Engage with your audience. Instagram has one of the highest engagement rates of all social platforms, so be social! With Instagram, you are given the opportunity to directly interact with your existing and potential customers. Encourage conversations when you post and even join in on discussions on other relevant accounts in your industry. I would also recommend responding to each and every comment and direct message in a timely manner.
Asa part of our series about How To Leverage Instagram To Grow Your Business, I had the pleasure of interviewing Katy Kendeall.
Katy Kendeall is a sales executive at Sparq Designs. With over 10 years of sales experience, Katy is committed to providing clients with the utmost customer satisfaction.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Iknew after college I wanted to work within the media world, but I graduated right when the 2009 recession hit and no one was hiring. Because of that, I worked in retail for almost two years. During those years I literally applied to thousands (no exaggeration) of jobs until I finally landed one. I’ve been either working with or for agencies ever since!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
The most interesting (and fun!) experiences in my career thus far have been attending upfront parties that television networks hold in New York. Celebrities, free food, an open bar, and getting the chance to see what new shows will be premiering — it’s hard to find stories that beat that! It felt like something I should have been paying them to attend, not the other way around.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Like so many others, I think one of the funniest (and definitely most embarrassing) mistakes I made early on in my career was a simple one. Sending an email about someone without removing them from the email thread. Luckily, what i said wasn’t too bad.
Pro tip: always start an email by removing the recipient(s) from your email draft and then add them back once you are finished.
Ok. Let’s now move to the main focus of our discussion. For the benefit of our readers, can you explain why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
I’ve been in the media world for over a decade now and have gotten the chance to talk and work with some of the largest agencies in New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. I’ve also now worked for three different agencies and have learned a lot along the way.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
This sounds like a very political answer, but any good marketer will tell you that it depends on what audience you are targeting. That being said, one of our home security clients has seen a huge boost in sales using both organic Facebook posts as well as paid Facebook ads given that is where a lot of their target demographic spends time.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
- Engage with your audience. Instagram has one of the highest engagement rates of all social platforms, so be social! With Instagram, you are given the opportunity to directly interact with your existing and potential customers. Encourage conversations when you post and even join in on discussions on other relevant accounts in your industry. I would also recommend responding to each and every comment and direct message in a timely manner.
- Consider Influencer Marketing. Instagram is the ideal platform for brand ambassadorship. Influencers are connected to their audience and are a proven source of inspiration and information to their followers. Micro-influencers in particular provide an excellent opportunity to target your niche audience in an impactful way. Their fans are loyal and engaged and with their recommendation, there’s a great chance they will enjoy your products or services too.
- Utilize an Instagram Ad Campaign. If you are looking to either increase brand awareness or increase sales, then Instagram ads could work great for you. When creating an Instagram Ad Campaign, make sure your ad focuses on one goal only. Because Instagram is so visual, your ad creative will need to be impactful. And as most digital marketing campaigns go, A/B test variations of the same ad (changing the copy and image) to help figure out what works best for your audience(s).
- Consider Shoppable Posts. Shoppable posts make it super easy to tag and shop products directly from your organic Instagram posts. If you are selling products online, shoppable posts allow you to connect your audience with the products you sell and provide a seamless shopping experience right on the platform. You’ll provide your followers with less friction in their buying journey which will hopefully turn them into loyal customers.
- Add IGTV videos. IGTV is an amazing channel to show off your products, create tutorials, provide customer testimonials, and answer questions or tell stories with interviews. You don’t need a huge ad budget for them either! IGTV videos are very similar to YouTube — your videos don’t need to be studio production quality. Videos on IGTV allow you to grab your audience’s attention to form a genuine, personal connection with them.
- Leverage User Generated Content. Your followers who love your business can be your best marketers! User Generated Content is uniquely authentic and often gets more engagement on Instagram, which means more likes and comments on your posts. The more engagement you get, the higher your posts are prioritized in the Instagram feed. The higher your posts are prioritized, the greater chance new users will find your content on the explore tab. When using UGC, be sure that you have been given permission from your users to share their content.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
There are so many worthy causes — it’s overwhelming to choose just one! A lot of our world’s issues are interwoven and you can’t necessarily solve any of them without solving the others. With that being said, I think an important one that needs urgent attention and action, is climate change. No place on our planet is immune from the consequences, so effort from everyone is vital. It’s such a huge issue, but this quote by Howard Zinn is a palatable way to think about all of our small efforts that can help; “Small acts when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I’ve been following Steve Stoute for a long time, so I’ll have to go with him. He’s a former music executive turned author and advertising agency owner. He has one of the best pulses I’ve ever seen on the power of culture. Everything he works on is so effortlessly cool.
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!