5 Instagram Strategy Tips For E-commerce Brands

5 Instagram Strategy Tips For E-commerce Brands

Recently, the team at Products On White Product Photography had the opportunity to interview one of our favorite clients – Rikita Kapadia, the founder of luxury beauty brand Cocovit!  In the interview, we took a deep dive into the background and details about why Rikita founded Cocovit, and then focused on one of our favorite subjects – social media!

We’re totally in love with Cocovit’s Instagram presence – and, being photographers, we couldn’t resist the chance to get some insight into the social media process of Cocovit. We wanted to learn more about the strategy, details, and process that Cocovit uses to publish great content consistently – on their Instagram page.

So we’ve taken the top insights from our interview with Rikita Kapadia, and turned them into an article that can help you gain valuable information about how to run your social media strategy – whether you’re a small startup, or working in social media for a Fortune 500 company!

1. Seek Inspiration From Other Brands

 One of the most important takeaways from our interview related to the overall branding process – especially when starting a new business.

When starting Cocovit, Rikita had a bit of an advantage – she worked in marketing for 13 years, and had a deep knowledge of branding and its benefits for new companies. To create a consistent voice and brand before starting Cocovit in 2014, she turned to other beauty brands for inspiration, and to help her define a clear voice for Cocovit’s social media posts.

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Her reasoning was simple – “No woman buys only one beauty product”. By using the branding and imagery of other top-tier beauty products as inspiration, she was able to quickly create a powerful, sophisticated brand image that was fun and unique – while still remaining upscale.

For new businesses, she highly recommends this process. Take a look at your competition. How are they branding? Do they emphasize certain colors or photos in their Instagram strategy? How often do they post?

Using this information can help you create a strong brand image for your social posts from the outset, and aid in creating a unified voice and brand strategy across all social channels.

2. Keep Your Imagery Consistent

 One of the most striking things about the Cocovit Instagram page is the stylistic consistency of the photos. And though we thought that many of these images had been professionally photographed – due to their high quality – Rikita revealed that she’s responsible for every single post, and that she almost exclusively uses an iPhone to capture these images.

And though the actual content of each photo varies widely, an emphasis on natural lighting, a consistent aesthetic (Cocovit never uses filters in their Instagram posts), and an emphasis on certain colors (you’ll always find splashes of white in each Cocovit post) ensures that the brand’s voice always stays consistent.

So don’t be afraid to mix things up in your Instagram and social posts – but make sure that you keep most aspects of your photography and posting consistently. By doing so, you’ll create a wide variety of attractive posts that are still instantly recognizable as being part of your brand!

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3. Unify Your Brand Image Across All Platforms

 Consistency was a common theme in our interview with Rikita. She mentioned that, often, she’ll take a look at a brand that she really likes, or an up-and-coming brand, and notice that their social media presence is not at all consistent with their other branding – such as their official website.

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Social media can be a powerful tool – but when devising a new social media strategy, you should ensure that your voice and brand stay consistent with the rest of your platforms.

This doesn’t just include your web presence either – packaging and physical marketing materials should also serve as inspiration for your social posts. By unifying your brand’s aesthetic, you can create a consistent brand image for your customers – they’ll always know what to expect when interacting with your brand, whether physically or digitally.

4. Use Editorial Calendars As A Guide – But Not As A Bible

 Rikita has a unique method of guiding her Instagram posts. She handles all of the posts from beginning to end – so each weekend, she’ll sit down and ask herself “What should I focus on this week?”

Is there a sale coming up? A holiday? A new product release? Based on these events, she’ll create an editorial calendar for each social media platform – and she only creates it for a single week.

This editorial calendar is a useful guide for determining which posts to create – but it’s important to note that it’s only a guideline. Often, if Cocovit has gotten good press coverage, been featured in a blog, or a client sends a photo, Rikita will adjust her editorial calendar accordingly, in order to fit in a new post.

Her advice to newer brands is simple – keep your posts consistent and well-crafted, and use editorial calendars to ensure that you’re always setting yourself apart from competitors who post more infrequently.

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5. Don’t Overdo It

 The final insight we gained from our interview could be one of the most valuable to any company starting a social media strategy – don’t post too much!

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Rikita prefers to post only a few times a week on each social media platform – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram included. Though she did mention that Cocovit would probably post more often if she had a dedicated social media team, she’s against constantly bombarding customers with promotional posts.

Her advice is to post only a few times a week – enough to keep your customers interested, but not so much that you bombard them or overload them with your posts.

Learn From Cocovit – And Create Your Own Style

Just remember – seek inspiration from others, build a strong and consistent brand image, use editorial calendars to guide your posts, and don’t blast your customers with too many posts at once. If you follow these rules – as expressed by Rikita Kapadia – your social strategy is sure to succeed.

Written by Jeff Delacruz

Jeff is president of Products On White Photography. He's worked with 100's of ecommerce and Amazon sellers over the last 10 years. Prior to starting POW! he was a freelance commercial photographer in Chicago. He's an expert on technical photography, digital marketing & sales. He really likes cats.