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.While 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.Even 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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.