We live in a highly digital world. Our phones are always next to us, or in our pockets, the internet is often a voice-command away, and social media follows us everywhere. For the average business, there are upsides and downsides to this technological era, particularly pertaining to that last aspect, social media.
New words and phrases in the past few years have gone from non-existent to part of our everyday vocabulary. If you had asked someone back in 2006 what a hashtag was, the majority of the population would have looked at you like you have two heads. Now, our grandparents are saying, “Hashtag YOLO” and if that isn’t a sign of pervasiveness in our culture, I don’t know what is.
Instagram is an app which allows videos, pictures and other visual media to be shared and searched across a large audience. In an industry which is highly visual, like the sign industry, one would think Instagram would be a prevalent social media platform; however use of social media in general, but Instagram in particular has not grabbed hold of the Sign Business the way that it has other industries.
When searching the hashtag “#Signindustry” on Instagram, it only returns 114 tagged posts. Other similar hashtags related to the sign business return equally as abysmal results. The Sign Industry exists primarily off of visuals; the entire point of signs is to be eye-grabbing. Therefore, Instagram should be a natural medium to gravitate towards.
Due to the progression of technology, people are expecting more and more instant gratification. Companies have mere seconds to catch a perspective client’s attention, making pictures the best option as the brain can process images more quickly than words. And it is not as if marketing campaigns on Instagram are without merit and tangible results. Much as visuals are important in the Sign Industry, the Fashion industry also relies visuals to sell their products. Sparkle in Pink, a children’s fashion company used Instagram ads and according to this study saw a 9% increase in monthly sales since beginning to use Instagram for advertising.
Instagram can be successful even for a business who does not specialize in a highly visible medium. Salesforce utilized Instagram for a marketing campaign and reached 5million unique people with a 1% click through rate. That may not sound like a lot but that is 50,000 unique people who may not have ever otherwise visited Salesforce who interacted with the marketing campaign.
The use specifically of Instagram Sales, which is paid targeted advertisement is good for reaching your ideal demographic with ease, but it is not the only way. We mentioned hashtags earlier, and they are a fantastic way to have your ideal audience find you. Although #SignIndustry is not the most trending hashtag at the moment it is not the only option out there. There are plenty of tags related to signs on Instagram, but they are from the average citizen ogling the beauty of signs, not the people producing these works of art. By using both generic and targeted hashtags you can cast a wide net and slowly reel in those Instagram users that you wish to convert into customers. By using for example “#SIGN” you will find yourself lost in a sea of Instagram posts and less visible to your targeted audience. However, if as a Philadelphia based sign company you were to also use “#Philly and #PhillySign you might reach customers specifically in your region. We know as an industry how much work, and planning go into making a sign, so let us show the world. Instagram has been proven to work for less visual business than ours, so let’s get out there and get #SignIndustry trending.
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