How Wayfair Made Instagram Its Strongest Social Channel

How Wayfair Made Instagram Its Strongest Social Channel Tripti Shrivastava Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

It is becoming increasingly obvious how important a role social media plays in e-commerce. According to recent research:  

  • 71% of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on social media referrals
  • 81% of consumers admit that recommendations and posts from family and friends directly impacted their buying decisions
  • 78% of people said that branded social media posts influence their buying decisions

Earlier this year, Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online destinations for home furnishings and décor, beat Amazon, Etsy, Nike, and Nordstrom to become the Internet Retailer of the Year, as ranked by Internet Retailer®. Wayfair has established its presence across the most popular social networks, and has seen growth on all three of them.Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 10.35.32 AMWhile Facebook accounted for the most audience growth for Wayfair (61K followers added) between 9/10/16-10/10/16, Instagram was its fastest growing channel, with 9.1% follower growth. Apart from audience, Instagram was the most engaging channel for Wayfair, too, contributing over 84% of the total engagement for the period.Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 10.56.15 AMEven though Wayfair was most active on Twitter, publishing an average of over 15 Tweets per day (since they use the same Twitter handle for customer service), the platform saw the least growth in terms of audience.

Let’s take a look here at the tactics Wayfair uses to generate such high engagement on Instagram:

  1. Solicit User-Generated Content, and Regram: Wayfair uses the description on its Instagram profile to ask users to submit their pictures for a chance to be featured. The brand stands by its promise.

Over 55% of the content they posted in the period were regrams.

Their most engaging post for the period was a regram, too. User-generated content generates rich content from your audience and builds a deeper connection with them.

An ottoman like this deserves center stage! #LinkInProfile #homedecor #wayfairathome 📷: @maryannc_t

A photo posted by @wayfair on

2. Connect with Consumer Moods: Wayfair beautifully captured the first day of autumn with a perfect image and a creative quote. Posts like these connect with consumers on various levels of emotion and enhance that deep connection I mentioned above. This was the second-most engaging post for Wayfair for this data period.

“There is an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever.” -Elizabeth Lawrence #FirstDayofFall #fall #autumn

A photo posted by @wayfair on

3. Be Responsive (on Instagram, too): Wayfair proves that Instagram is not just a place to showcase products and create engagement. Wayfair takes their Instagram strategy a notch higher by responding to consumer issues in the comments, thereby demonstrating that they are listening to their customers, no matter what the platform is. These steps help build trust and create positive associations with the brand.Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 2.49.58 PM

4. Lifestyle and Celebrities: As our earlier studies suggest, posts on social networking sites, especially Instagram, do not have to sell each time. Instagram, with its incredible images, is like an art gallery where a lot of people find inspiration, from fashion to home decor. Subtle positioning of your products and how they fit into your followers’ lifestyle resonates with Instagram users. Wayfair employed this tactic and doubled its impact, involving not one but two celebrities.

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Using celebrities in posts can influence your audience, helping brands build trust, authenticity, and awareness. This post about Canadian actress Shay Mitchell’s guest room makeover, by the famous interior designer Mat Sanders, was one of the top-performing posts for Wayfair.

Shay Mitchell's guesthouse makeover is absolute perfection. 😍Celeb designer Mat Sanders of Consort Design pulled in trends from all over the world to reflect Shay's global aesthetic, and the result is totally gorgeous! Head to the link in our profile to see this exclusive #WayfairRoomover! @shaym @consort design

A photo posted by @wayfair on

5. Use the Right Hashtags to Improve Discoverability: Wayfair uses hashtags to help users discover related content from their feed. Apart from using simpler and more common hashtags like #livingroom and #makeover, the brand also uses specific branded hashtags, which are unique and easy to remember for different purposes. For example, they use #WayfairRoomover to showcase rooms made with their products, #WayfairAtHome to solicit content from their users, encouraging them to share their stylish home photos, and #wayfairwedding for their wedding registry – and they select some of the photos for re-grams. Using specific hashtags helps tie all related posts to a stream, monitor progress, and keep track of how the audience reacts to the posts.

My art!! 💗 #Repost @shaym ・・・ So excited to share the big reveal of my newly updated guest house! (Sammy is THRILLED that we no longer qualify for an episode of Hoarders 🙌🏻) Huge thanks to @wayfair and @consortdesign for everything you did to turn my vision board for this room to life! Including a massive floor to ceiling actual vision board 😍✨💃🏻! Love that it all came from @wayfair – check out the full feature now by clicking the link in my bio! #sp 🙌🏽🛋💃🏻 #wayfairroomover

A photo posted by Jaime Derringer (@jaimederringer) on

Enjoying my morning cup of #coffee and can't help but obsess over this #copper french press that I got from @wayfair a few months ago. It's so pretty AND so practical! Who else is loving the copper trend right now? #wayfairathome #tablescape

A photo posted by Home Blogger • Amy Katherine (@theblissfulbee) on

Wayfair is an online retailer, and so it is very important for them to create a positive online experience for their audience, as this can have a major impact on a customer’s buying and shopping behavior. The brand uses some great strategies to build and grow their Instagram community. How do you measure the success of your Instagram strategy? What metrics are most important for you? Leave us a comment below, or, if you would like to learn more about Instagram Analytics, download the guide below.

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Tripti Shrivastava

Tripti Shrivastava

I'm a Social Media Analyst at Simply Measured. I love food, music, movies, and long walks. Let's talk about social media data!