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Like most millennials, I find myself scrolling through Instagram for hours at a time. Depending on your algorithm, you can come across some exciting and fun pages. You have your news pages, beauty pages, gossip pages, health and fitness pages, etc. Let's be honest. I use Instagram as a one-stop shop for my consumer purchases. I've purchased jewelry, art, facial scrubs and treatments, shirts with funny sayings and head wraps. For the last few years, I've noticed that I no longer look for brands that appease me — continuous popups on my feed with products that I'm not interested in using. I get it. I love business savvy people who like to introduce new products and to push their business to the limits. I especially have a love for black businesses. I love to spend my dollars on individuals who value me and my money. Once you put your profile on public, it's a free for all for unwanted DM's and product pushers who want you to try their products.
All promotion is better than no advertising. But with any good business; marketing is critical to get any business off of the ground. An awkward situation happened that I feel needs to be made public for consumers and for those who run a business. May 22, 2019, I posted the selfie below. Sadly, I don't show up in all of my followers’ feeds based on Instagram not displaying in chronological order. On average my selfies get 13-16 likes, not a big deal. My self-esteem doesn't equate with how many "Likes" I receive. My future husband likes me the way I am. I am speaking things into existence, of course.
Two days ago, I read a comment that surprised me. Under that same selfie, it was the owner of a waist trainer company called @ladyelitefit. I suddenly got confused and a little offended. Before I could respond, I had to ask myself these questions "Did I type waist trainer in the search bar?" "Is she assuming I'm fat?" and "Is she assuming I need one?" Before I can finish my thought, I've already written out my response and clicked send. Within a minute or two, I get a response from the owner apologizing. I wasn't as mad as I thought I would be. I've come to a place in my life that sometimes it's good to giggle at things and or people that think they know you.
If I were @ladyelitefit, I would have slid in the DM and sent a professional message such as:
"Hello, my name is @ladyelitefit I'm not sure if you are currently on an exercise regimen but, I wanted to know if you would be interested in trying my waist trainer? I can send you one for free to try out with an exercise program of your choice. After a three-month trial run, if you enjoyed the product, it would be appreciated if you could post and share your experience on your page. I'm an up and coming business owner, and I'm trying to showcase my product to as many women as possible. Again, you would get a waist trainer and one of my free nutrition programs in exchange for a re-post or a promotion. As you update me on your journey, I can create a promotion code just for you to share with your followers. If you are interested, I would be back online between the hours of 9AM to 3PM to answer any of your questions. Thanks for your time."
I would have taken this person a little more seriously if the approach was more private. Now its located in my comment section for those to read. Business owners are using this spam-like approach for is happening way too often in peoples comment sections, especially when it comes to celebrities. People can post about their great grandmother Susie Que dying from toe cancer and you get comments like "I do artwork DM me for a consultation." or "Do you like fat asses? Click on my story to see how fat it is." Instead of a simple RIP or my condolences. I still don't have a clue why celebrities don't remove the comment option under their photos.
People get so caught up in their own lives and trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents they forget that consumers are people too who have lives to live. Your sales pitch can't be cheap and watered down. It's a must that you continuously stay creative in getting someone's attention. Instagram is a free service for all to use. Different streams of promotion are needed to attract different customers. After a couple of days of playing with Instagram, I've created a list of ways businesses can promote their product and not get snappy replies such as mine ever again:
Focus on the followers you do have and use them as your marketing.
If you have ten followers or one hundred, have them be your voice. Have a giveaway. Most of your followers are following you because they believe in your product. Show them your appreciation by having a giveaway. Have your followers repost a picture and tagging their friends. After so many reposts, you gain at least 20 to 30 new followers.
From your followers' list pick at least five that have used the product to give a testimonial in writing. After you've read the testimonials, repost them in your Instagram story. A quick and easy way for fellow IG users to get a 15 sec to one min clip of the product and how well it works.
IGTV is a business owners’ best friend. With TV infomercials you have to pay for a ten-second spot to promote your product. With IGTV you can do it for FREE. Show clips or video testimonials on how well the product is. Create an introduction greeting from you, the owner about what you are selling and how this product will change the consumers' life.A simple sliding in one's DM, such as the letter above is another way to get the attention of future consumers. I think it is lazy that professionalism gets lost in just wanting the inventory to move. I've come across some great companies who put the customer first. As someone who loves to give constructive criticism one of my many Virgo traits, I am not mad at the business owner. She saw an opportunity and jumped on it. In hindsight, I wish nothing but the best for that young woman. I hope her business skyrockets. If you are interested in starting your fitness journey with a waist trainer, I encourage you to go to her page and website https://www.ladyelitefit.com/. I took a peek and its user-friendly. She put a lot of time and effort into creating her website and product.
With the many changes to Instagram, I think it is crucial to have an option to turn on or off the infomercials. Sometimes I enjoy double tapping and commenting. Impulse purchasing is my weakness, and Instagram does a pretty good job in making that more accessible. But, after an eight-hour shift, the last thing I want to do is log in to my bank account to see if I have enough to purchase while sipping my wine.