Instagram Growth Challenge for Retailers

So, you've opened your Instagram account, set up your profile, now what?  This 30 Day Challenge works for 

Here's our solution:  Our 30 Day Social Media Growth Challenge gives you different tasks that you can do in 15 minutes or less each day to get your new social media growing, engaging, and full of lively content about your business! 

This challenge is for beginners to marketing, but it still requires a basic level knowledge of Instagram, photography, and easy editing apps.  If you need extra help, we suggest you join our Social Media Academy! for one-on-one advice, feedback, and great instruction. 

Before you start, take a minute to write down the following basic stats for your Instagram account:
Followers:
Average Post Reach: 
Average Post Engagements:

 

Keep scrolling below the list for explanations of each item. 

 

Want to keep the inspiration rolling? Join our Social Media Academy! 

Bonus Points:  When you log on to do your task, take a minute to
interact with recent posts on your profile.  Try for genuine and specific
comments of at least 3-5 words, instead of just posting "cool!" on
each post you see. 

  1. Photo of your business
    For brick and mortar retailers. Take a quick snapshot of some aspect of the outside of your store.  This establishes your brand visually for customers.  Be creative - you can photograph your whole store, a window display, or seasonal decorations.
    For online/work at home retailers - share a photo of some aspect of your workspace - let people into your life as a small business owner!  If you go to festivals or markets, you could also share an old photo of your festival setup. 
  2. Follow 20 local businesses 
    Look for local business who post often and interact with other business profiles - it's likely they're looking for some new active accounts to follow back! 
  3. Flash Sale
    Very popular on Instagram, a "flash sale" is a quick 24 or 48 hour sale in which something is offered at a great discount.  This strategy is great for clearing out extra stock, as well as driving traffic.  Use a special discount code, or even offer a code to customers who drop by your store! 
  4. Follow 20 hashtags.  
    Following hashtags is a quick and easy way to make sure you're spending time each time you scroll the feeds interacting with hashtagged posts as well as users you follow.  Follow hashtags that have to do with either your local region and target demographic, or with the products and services you offer.   
  5. Post a beautiful photo.
    Take a breather from focusing sales and post something pretty.  Whether it's a shot you took recently at a favorite local hike, or a sunset you captured over the city skyline, your customers will appreciate the beauty of the photos, and local landscapes and landmarks will help key them into the fact that your business is nearby. 
  6. 15 extra minutes to interact
    Spend 15 minutes just browsing your business instagram feed like a normal human would.  Feel free to meander through different interesting hashtags. As you interact, craft genuine comments that are specific to photographs, and be generous with the like button. 
  7. Insta Story - show off
    Have a little fun with insta story video - keep in mind that this content disappears after 24 hours, and it's expected to be pretty casual and informal.  Show off some aspect of your business that you're proud of, maybe a display at your store, or a new product that's cool!  It may be awkward, but try to chat with your audience as you do so! 
  8. Inspirational quote
    Share a little of your brand's personality with a quote that inspires you.  Use an app like Over or Canva to create a unique graphic for the quote that matches your store's aesthetic - they have lots of templates!  
  9. Follow 20 influencers
    Influencer accounts are accounts with more than 10,000 followers - these people are the popular crowd on Instagram, and even commenting on their posts can generate some momentum for you - especially if you come up with a comment that's timely or clever.  They're also great for inspiration - you can learn a lot about what people enjoy on Instagram simply by observing some highly popular influencers! Browse through Instagram's suggested posts and users to find influencers. 
  10. Post a new product
    Share a new product that you're excited about.  Bonus points for using a great photo or a video that shows some product features. 
  11. Share a customer story
    Browse your positive Yelp reviews, Facebook reviews, or feedback you've gotten from customers elsewhere, and share a small quote from one of these.  You can overlay the quote on an image using an app like Over or Canva.  Consider using the same layout you did for the last quote! 
  12. 15 extra minutes to interact
    This time around, make an effort to interact with hashtags and location tags that represent your target market.  Think about hashtags and location tags from the town you're located in, or hashtags for a hobby that your business caters to.  If you find a really great hashtag, make sure to take a minute to follow it and add it to your list of hashtags to use later (if you don't have one of those, start now!) 
  13. Insta Story - Current Inventory
    Take an insta story video that displays some of your current inventory.  Walk through your shop, pan across your favorite display or lay out some of your favorite things on a table to show off!  Make sure to include a call to action about where customers can get something they like!
  14. Flash Sale
    Relate this Flash sale back to the insta story you've just offered!  This increases the likelihood that followers will be excited about what you have on sale. 
  15. Follow 20 local organizations
    Non-profits, informal groups, clubs, and other organizations can be great to follow for inspiration!  Interacting with these groups will show that your business cares about the local community and is civic-minded - and you'll be building great relationships for future marketing ideas, such as fundraisers. 
  16. Tell a Part of Your Story
    How did you start this business?  Why is it important to you?  What do you enjoy about it?  Take a minute to share a story that gives a personal side to your business.  This will build customer trust and help them remember you later.  Pair this with either an inspirational quote post (again, match the Canva or Over template you picked before) or a photo of you or the business. If you're really good with the design apps, you can maybe do both! 
  17. Follow 20 new accounts
    Have a look through the accounts instagram is suggesting you follow as well as the hashtags for business, organizations, and others who are new to the platform.  Someone who's new and on the hunt for followers is likely to follow you back, especially if you both follow them and comment on one of their posts. 
  18. Share a local tip
    Establish a connection with your local community by sharing something just for locals - from cool events that your business is involved with, to great hikes you've tried, to your favorite spot for coffee, anything goes here! 
  19. 15 extra minutes to interact
    Head into your feeds and interact with all of these new accounts and hashtags you've been following.  Pay special attention to posts with 5 or fewer comments, these accounts are most likely to notice and appreciate your comment, and your comment will be more visible to people scrolling their own feeds. 
  20. Post about a new product
    Another product post!  Try and match the style of your first new product post, if it did well.  If you didn't see a lot of interactions there, now's the time to branch out and test another style.  
  21. Follow 20 popular locals
    From businesses to local personalities like reporters and radio DJ's, find some people near you who are very active on Instagram, and follow them.  As you follow, be sure to comment on some of their recent posts.  Ecommerce only? Still do this one - even if your business doesn't have a physical location, people love buying from businesses that are local! 
  22. Take a tour on your insta story
    Walk your fans around your shop, your workspace, your crafting table, or anything else fun and interesting that gives them a look at what's going on with your business.  Remember, Insta stories expire after 24 hours, so it's a great spot for informal content like this.  However, if you're seeing that tons of people are viewing your stories, it may be time to take this technique to your profile! 
  23. Post a funny quote
    Show that your business has a lighthearted side, and post something funny.  Follow the style that you've been using in your design app of choice, as long as you've been happy with how it's performed so far.  Pick a quote that has something to do with what your store offers - for instance, there are lots of funny quotes about needing new shoes, for a shoe store! 
  24. Follow 20 local artisans
    Artists and crafters are often quite active on social media, as they use that as a platform to sell their art.  Find a few to follow, comment on their work, and you'll likely see some follows back!  
  25. Flash Sale
    Post a flash sale that relates to an item you've shown off earlier in the month.  You've already introduced this item to your audience, so they may be excited to see it go on sale! 
  26. 15 extra minutes to interact.
    Pick 3 hashtags and interact with as many posts as you can within them.  Feel free to browse around and venture on to other hashtags as much as you like. 
  27. Insta Story - be lighthearted
    Establish trust and confidence in your brand by letting customers get to know your brand's personality a bit more.  Pick something lighthearted, fun, or funny to post to your Insta Story.  Pro tip: design apps like Over offer layouts specifically designed for the story posts. 
  28. Post a flat lay
    Instagrammers love "flat lay" style photos, where you take some of your products and some seasonal or artsy "props," which can consist of anything from flowers to coffee mugs, and lay them out on a neutral surface to photograph in an artistic way. 
  29. Follow 20 retail stores
    Get inspired by what some other cool retail stores who carry similar items to you are doing!  Have a look through local, regional and even national retailers and pick some you like to follow.  Browse through their feeds, make a note of what you like, and brainstorm ideas! 
  30. Coming up
    The end of the month is a great time to tease out something that's coming soon - whether it's a new product you'll be stocking, or next month's seasonal event, think of something forward-looking to post about and keep people checking back for. 

Did you finish the challenge?  Share your results in the comments below - we'd love to hear if it helped you grow your social media following! 

Want to keep growing? Join our Social Media Academy! 

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