11 July 2018: How to Build an Instagram Community that Buys

Charlie Bradley Ross Friday, 1 June 2018

Renowned social media guru, Social Mouth Sam Burgess, reveals how to connect with your target audience TODAY and compel them to take action. In this live Q&A Sam teaches you how to create Instagram content your community can't resist engaging with and answered Member's burning questions about Instagram.

Los Angeles
Thursday May 31st, 2018 - 17:00pm
Friday Jun 1st, 2018 - 01:00am
Friday Jun 1st, 2018 - 05:30am
Friday Jun 1st, 2018 - 10:00am

Right now, Instagram is arguably the most influential social media platform for brands. The emphasis on visuals is perfect for design businesses and engagement with brands on Instagram is ten times higher than on Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.
However, with 500 million daily active users and an average of 80 million photos shared every day, how do you stand out from the crowd? Are you creating beautiful content and getting nothing in return? Or seeing hundreds of likes but no extra sales?

Renowned social media guru, Social Mouth Sam Burgess, reveals how to connect with your target audience TODAY and compel them to take action. In this live Q&A Sam teaches you how to create Instagram content your community can't resist engaging with and answered Member's burning questions about Instagram.

We cover:

  • Why an Instagram strategy is vital
  • How you can make a change right now
  • The mistakes all small businesses are making
  • + plus Sam answers questions live.


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Listen to the Audio>>

Key Takeaways

"Be famous for a few"

Being famous on Instagram is overrated. Sam believes that a smaller amount of followers who are engaged with you and dedicated to what you are about is much more powerful than simply having hundreds of thousands of followers.

Common problems:
  • Slow follower growth
  • Not much interaction
  • Only attracting other businesses
  • Sluggish sales- no return on time investment


Instagram strategy:

British adult spends around 8 hours a day consuming media

1 in 3 UK small business have built their small business on Instagram

1 in 4 people discover and buy products they find on Instagram


Know + Like = Trust

The key to closing a sale

The caption of a post is the same as communicating with your customer

Most companies use Instagram as a place to advertise. But this isn't right.

Instagram is a social media platform - we don't like being sold to on it.

If your content is focussed on closing the sale people will disconnect with you and your brand.

Build genuine, and long lasting connects with know + like = trust

People buy out of emotion; they don't buy out of necessity


Turn window shoppers into VIP shopper

Your followers are likely to be following their friends/family, celebrities or brands that they already have "know + like = trust" with.

We need to create content that they want to consume, and telling them to buy things is not going to tick the box.

To do this, you need to know your customer:

Define your customer so that each piece of content is targeted at them.

Every piece of content they come into contact with provokes an emotional response. Remember, we buy from emotion.

You need to know your target customers likes and dislikes etc. You need to know their ins and outs. You can find out a lot about your customer from their age, gender, family, likes, dislikes, where they shop and where they wish they could shop.

Example- if your customer is a millennial, they care a lot more about experiences rather than products.

You need to know these elements so when you speak to them, you talk in their lingo.

Start thinking like a magazine rather than a catalogue:

Readers skip the start of a magazine because of the advert. But You read the editors top picks even if you don't realise they have been sponsored by a brand.

E.g. Vogue - you skipped past the bag at the front in all of the adverts - which are boring. So you're now on a page where the editor is talking about how florals are hot for spring. The page includes outfits/ shoes/ bags etc. But because the editor, who you respect, is talking to you directly and is educating you on a trend and it appeals to you individually, you are suddenly interested in the whole outfit, not just the handbag. So not only are you now interested in the bag, but you're also interested in the other items that you can pair with your new handbag. They've doubled the revenue on that business!

They're the expert - and you’re listening.

This is what you should be doing with your marketing:

Your Instagram will inspire and educate your customers.

Having a mailing list is also essential. A mailing list has a better conversion than Instagram.

Hitting both Instagram and a mailing list, customers are more likely to purchase the product.

Educating your market on a trend adds value to your products.

A user is more likely to share a post with a friend that taught them something or solved a problem for them.


Update your bio to reflect the customer you're wanting to connect with rather than telling them who you are and what you sell

It can be as simple as adding "you" or "you're" into the text.

E.g. Ethical fashion brand: "contemporary fashion brought to you in a responsible way."

When someone reads your bio people believe in you.


Talk around your product, not about it

What motivates people to buy?

Engagement comes with connection.

If you can't work out what your customer would reply, then you should not be posting it.

You need to know exactly what they are going to say in response.

If you're going for the buy, tell your audience to click the link in your bio or use the shoppable tags instead.

But you should only be doing this around 20% of the time.

Add value and educates the customer about the product.


80:20 rule

80% of the time you are building your brand, speaking to your community, adding value, 20% asking for the sale.

Content pillars-

Brand/ value/ community/ sell

Brand- reinforcing your brand identity. What are you about? Motivate your customer. Inspire them. Entertain them. Uplift them. That's why they're on Instagram.

Value- Addressing FAQs, closing down pinch points and barriers to purchase. Add extras- downloadables/follow Friday.

Community- Asking your community for feedback. Brand hashtag. Are people wearing your products?

Sell- telling your audience about promotions. Not ugly images! Write your sale in the caption, don't just have an image that says "Sale". Do this 'pillar' only 20% of the time.

Alumni case study
  • Uses chosen brand colours- e.g. yellow, black and white
  • Uses a brand voice- e.g. fun, tongue in cheek
  • Uses a brand message- e.g. empowering
  • Target audience- e.g. female entrepreneurs 25-30

It's iImportant as a business owner that your face appears on your Instagram

People buy from people - it builds trust.

Embrace your community.

  • It's not all about you, it's about them.
  • Stop selling, start storytelling.
  • Include your customer in your brand.
I want to keep a constant flow of Instagram post coming out daily, but don’t have enough high-quality images to keep this up. What should I do?

Quality over quantity. Post three times a week on your feed then focus on using stories daily. Get your face on stories, show work in progress, show behind the scenes. Improves trust. Hire a photographer if you're struggling for excellent imagery. You need a bank of photos. You can reuse imagery but roughly 21 posts apart.

Hashtags- how many?

You can use up to 30; it doesn't mean you will get blocked by the algorithm. You want to be using hashtags with less than 1 million tags because otherwise, you will drop very quickly down the feed. You will also attract bots. Look at community hashtags- look at businesses/bloggers that are relevant to you.

Algorithms- is it true that if I comment on more posts my posts, will get seen more?

No. Instagram is a community so, the more you comment the more people you will attract, but that's not to do with the algorithm.

Profile/layout squares/profile grid- how do you keep it looking concise and showing your company reflects?

I recommend getting a planning app like Plannerly. You can import all your photos and move them around to see what looks good together. You can add white squares and see where you need to add pictures. Sam plans her captions then finds the images to match. It should be a representation of the quality of your brand.

How do you promote an event/ product without forcing it on your followers?

You can mix it up- feed and stories. Put content in between the sales- 80:20 split again. Put in brand and value content in between your sales.

Stories? Are they as important as standard posts? What kind of content should be on there? What is Instagram TV?

Stories are more important than your feed. Try to use stories daily. Peoples attention are much more on stories now. Before stories, people’s average time spent on Instagram was 15 minutes, now its 30 minutes. You can include links- swipe up. Make it easy so people can click and buy. IGTV- you can upload a video as long as 10mins.

Is Instagram suitable for older audiences?

100%! Sam's average client is 50, and she comes from Instagram. Millennials are a minority. Average people are 35+ now as millennials have moved on.

How do I get more followers without spamming accounts?

What I recommend, look at other businesses or people who you think your target customer is engaging with. Go to their profile and look at the people who are commenting. Look at the quality of comments and who you think will be your target customer. Then click on their profile and like/comment on a couple of their posts. If you've got your targeting right then, they’ll come over to your lovely looking pattern and follow you.

Do I need to pay money to boost my account?

It's a trap! Don't do it! Do not boost your post, because once you start its a hook and they want you to spend more money. And the targeting is dreadful!


Sam’s E-course: bit.ly/offsetinsta

Use code "offset" at the checkout for 10% off!