Instagram is a leader in terms of social interaction and business promotion alike. With it's cozy environment and obvious "inside look" into the lives of others, it's easy to forgo watching out for basic etiquette when interacting with others.
There are certain behaviors that absolutely must be refined in order to establish yourself as an established business and are critical to your success. Some of the things you're doing, may be sending customers to other online retail establishments.
What is etiquette, you ask?
In layman's terms, there are times you're being totally rude without even realizing it.
Here's how you might be doing it:
1. Sending a promotional message to someone who sells the same product as you.
When I first started Beauty Boss Tosh, I was mainly promoting LipSense and Monat products. I literally can't count the number of times I was offered LipSense and Monat products by other distributors and Market Partners on Instagram. It was sad and also a little funny that in an effort to sell sell sell, no one was actually interested in the customer! (me, apparently). Before you blindly send out your generic message, take a look at the page of the person you're messaging. It's important to know a little about your customer and looking at their profile is a good way to see if they are even a good target. Plus, it will help you avoid the embarrassment that comes along with them totally rejecting you because they already sell that product. (If this doesn't embarrass you, it should. Why? Because you're a professional.)
2. Sending the same promotional message to the same person over and over again without realizing it or correcting it.
A few times I've been surprised to see that the same people keep sending me the same copy and pasted message every time I like one of their photos. I like to hop around liking posts because I enjoy being in the Instagram social world. Liking photos helps to build your following and boosts your personal engagement. Just because someone likes your photo, doesn't mean they are necessarily interested in purchasing your product or service right away. It just means they liked your picture. I am, in no way, saying that you should never send out promo messages. These can be a great tool, after all. But I am saying that if you do choose to send one out, read through it to be sure it doesn't come off as spammy and make sure you're not sending the same message to the same person over and over.
You should also be aware that the person receiving the messages sees all of them in one feed. When they scroll up, they can see your same message followed by them politely declining. Over and over again.
Just an extra food for thought on the subject; people love to be remembered. If you're sending the same message multiple times, it's telling the person that you don't remember them and don't even care to try. It's a rookie mistake and hopefully now you'll stay aware.
3. Believing that just because someone likes your photo, they want to buy from you.
I briefly touched on this in #2 but here it is again in more detail. Liking photos is all a part of the marketing game. It's a total necessity if you want your reach to grow and anyone who knows a bit about Instagram is probably doing this, or paying someone else to do it for them. A like is a like, and that's it. If someone comments that they're interested in your product, that's usually a pretty good indicator that they want to buy it.
I know that a lot of multilevel marketing companies encourage their consultants to use this method but I strongly suggest a more authentic approach. No one wants to feel that a product is being pushed at them. It just comes off as super spammy.
4. You're literally ONLY trying to sell your product.
A good way to think about selling your product is to find the problem your client is having and solve it for them. That's the basic premise of sales. Your product must be in place to provide value for your client and your job is to show people the value of your product.
With that being said, people don't just want to see your product all the time. Occasionally, I will come across Instagram accounts that have pictures of product after product. Sometimes I can't ever figure out who owns the Instagram account. This type of account lacks authenticity and consumers are very unlikely to purchase from an account like that.
But you know who people do like to purchase from? Other people! Show that beautiful, bright smile of yours! Allow people to genuinely connect with you and your life. They want to know why you truly love what your selling, how it has helped you, and why it will also help them. Don't be afraid to highlight your actual life so you can make some Instagram friends and sales.
5. When someone turns your down, you stop replying.
Countless times I have had individuals ask me if I have tried such and such product. I will kindly reply that, yes, I have tried this product and love it so much! I may follow up with a personal question or insight and many times, after being "rejected", this person says nothing else to me! Seriously!?
Try to remember that Instagram isn't full of robots. These are real people your messaging and interacting with. Imagine if you asked someone on the street if they wanted to purchase this revolutionary lip color you're selling.
They tell you, "I'm actually wearing it right now, thank you so much! I see you're from Colorado, where's your favorite place to hang out?"
You look at them as they finish their sentence, turn, and walk away without saying a word.
Yeah, that would be pretty freaking rude! Well guess what, that's the kind of crap people are pulling on Instagram and it's ridiculous. You can't expect to become successful with manners like that.
6. You "pick someone's brain" about their business but as soon ask they ask anything from you, you ignore them altogether.
My husband actually told me to list this one in here. I have one already successful Etsy shop that brings in the majority of my income. I also have a business and fashion blog (you're on it!). I frequently receive messages on Instagram from people who are interested in doing similar things for income.
I'm super happy to help, that's what this entire blog is for, after all! But as soon as I ask this person if they're interested in trying any of my products or subscribing for business updates, they stop responding all together.
I'm not going to be offended if you say no. I am absolutely going to feel offended if you flat out ignore. This is basically what is stated above...just worse.
You know, it takes a lot of time and energy to respond to people. Especially when these things are in depth business practices and sometimes business secrets that someone is telling you. If they take the time to share their knowledge with you, show a little courtesy and at least close out the conversation.
The most important thing you can take from this post is that in order to be successful in business, you have to have good manners. Everything else will fall in line after that.