Here’s how businesses can do business through Instagram

Running a business through Instagram: This has become an attractive way for medium-sized businesses. Anna-Lena Popp is convinced of this. The 21-year-old is a social media manager at the IT company Krick.com in Eibelstadt (Würzburg district) and advises companies on how to deal commercially with popular online platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

Popp will be speaking on the subject on July 20 at the E-Business Night in Eibelstadt. A media officer tells you up front what business people should consider when dealing with Instagram.

Question: Ms Popp, why is Instagram an interesting sales channel for SMBs?

Anna-Lena Popp: It is very interesting. You should definitely start with this. The Corona period in particular showed that medium-sized companies – especially local stores, which until now were not even present on the Internet, benefited. It was a very good sales market for them. There were little boutiques in Würzburg that started with Instagram and were the first to show what products they have there in the stories. They reached a huge number of people and also sold something through an online store.

Running a business through Instagram: how does it work in detail? What do business people have to do?

Pop music: You need in the backend (Technical term for the administrative part of the application, fn.) on Facebook and Instagram – belong together – upload your collection first. This is a simple Excel list of all products that are to come out. So you can decide for yourself whether these are all products or only the seasonally interesting ones. Then there is the option of placing the products in advertisements or in regular, eco-friendly posts. For example, you can take a picture of a customer wearing a dress that is about to be sold. A type of stamp can then be placed on the dress to mark the product. If you like the dress, you can go directly to the Instagram store via this link and then purchase the dress via the appropriate store on the store’s website.

In addition to being on Instagram: What else do business people need?

Pop music: Definitely a real store, i.e. a store on your own website. It does not have to be a large, specially programmed online store, there are also modules. Instagram is only an intermediate step to buying from this store.

“I always advise you to think carefully in advance if all this can be implemented at all.”

Media expert Anna-Lena Popp on the burden of social media on companies

How much is it all?

Pop music: It’s for free. Regular Instagram posts are free anyway. However, if you want to put your ads there, you have to pay for it. There are also no costs for uploading your collection in the background.

Let’s take a classic fashion store in the city. It has normal opening hours. However, online shopping is possible around the clock and on Sundays and public holidays. How does the owner of our sample boutique need to be organized in terms of staff and time to deal with this extra time?

Pop music: I always advise you to think carefully beforehand whether all this can be implemented at all. If so, there must be someone in the store who can be used for this and who, for example, can answer customer questions about the store. And someone has to be there to ship the items you ordered.

How quickly should business people react if, for example, an order or question to an online store via Instagram arrives late Saturday evening?

Pop music: Social media works fast. Nobody wants to wait there. Of course, it would be best to answer immediately. For our Krick accounts, we always reply during business hours. We also share it. You should do this generally. A fashion boutique may rush on the weekends as people have more time. There is no golden rule about how quickly you should respond to customers. Only: as soon as possible. Anyone with an Instagram account should be aware of this.

How regularly should business people post something in their Instagram presence?

Pop music: First of all, it’s important that they do it at all. I know clients who say: I don’t dare. Then my advice: just try it out and explore the platform. And then stick to it. This means: post at least once a week, otherwise you will fall back on Instagram.

But what should the owner of our sample boutique publish so often? There are no new clothes in the store every day.

Pop music: For example, he may photograph one of his employees in appropriate clothing. Then he has something to publish for a few days. There are also so-called stories, which are posts that disappear after 24 hours. Therefore, it is worth showing a dress that has already been published in the stories in more detail and as a video. This should give the user an even better picture of what the product looks like.

“Good photos are important. But you should get away from that shiny mindset. “

Media expert Anna-Lena Popp in photos on Instagram

Reviews of products and stores have become popular on the Internet. What should business people consider when it comes to being on Instagram?

Pop music: These ratings do not exist in the Instagram store. What is important is what happens directly in the company’s online store. You can also rate there. It makes sense to inform users in their own Instagram account that they should leave a message or review in the online store. You can also send a direct message via Instagram which can then also be published.

Instagram relies heavily on good photos, that is, appearance. What should entrepreneurs pay attention to in this respect?

Pop music: That’s right, Instagram is a graphics platform. Nothing works without photos and videos. So good photos are important. But one has to get away from that glittering thinking. It’s more about being honest and honest. Because the client wants to find what he sees on Instagram later.

Do you need to hire an expensive professional photographer for this?

Pop music: No way. For a basic stock of photos – e.g. a store or employee portraits – you can hire a photographer. Otherwise, photos from a mobile phone will suffice. You don’t need an SLR. Data protection is important, i.e. that employees and customers agree in writing that they will be shown on Instagram or Facebook. When using so-called stock photos, it is important to check that you are authorized to use these photos. There are lawyers who specialize in alerting violations.

What platforms other than Instagram do you propose to SMEs for online trading?

Pop music: Of course, Facebook is always involved. I always suggest a Facebook theme page. If you then set up an Instagram store, it will automatically be there. The advantage of Facebook is that you can find people between the ages of 16 and 70 if you like. In contrast, Instagram continues to grow among the older generation. I can also recommend Pinterest. This is suitable, for example, for a small travel agency or a small clothing store. Pinterest is a lifestyle and creativity. TikTok is gaining in popularity – especially among the younger generation. In my opinion, however, this is more suitable for larger companies as the effort for TikTok is huge. Most companies have a team for this, because the movies aren’t shot just fast. You have to have ideas and follow trends. Shopping isn’t number one on TikTok. It’s more about entertaining people, raising your own awareness, and gaining new customers or employees through compassion.

Back to Instagram and Facebook: what are the biggest obstacles for business people?

Pop music: Believe you can do it on the side. You always have to make time for that. It is not enough to take a quick photo with your mobile phone. Consider on what days and at what time something is published. Difficult topics that you take up can also be an obstacle. If someone feels discriminated against or attacked, the great discussion starts online, possibly with lots of hateful comments. It could get worse. So you have to ask yourself: What does the company represent? Critical issues should be handled with caution.

E-Business Night: Tips for Instagram and Company

Social media such as Facebook and Instagram have recently made it easier for companies to do business there. This aspect is at the heart of the “E-Business Night” on Wednesday 20 July, which the IT company Krick.com and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Würzburg-Schweinfurt are organizing at their headquarters in Eibelstadt (Mainparkring 4). Details and registration (until July 17th): www.events.wuerzburg.ihk.de/ebusinessnight

Program: “Strategic Marketing in Social Media for Medium-Sized Companies” is the title of a lecture by Professor Markus Besenbeck of the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt. Crick expert Anna-Lena Popp will then talk about how Instagram can be used as a sales platform. Her colleagues Melanie Wolz and Kai-Oliver Kruske from the Central Competition Office in Bad Homburg will take on the role of marketing influencers. Finally, Hammelburg sporting goods supplier Paste shows how social trading is handled there. Lectures start at 6:30 PM.

Of August

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