As of June 2018, instagram has reached the 1 billion monthly active user mark. That’s a big milestone for the mainly mobile photo sharing network! More than 500 million instagram profiles are active on a daily basis. A little 5 years ago, in June 2013. Instagram had 130 million monthly active users. Since then, it’s grown 10 times.
With a billion monthly active users, it comes as no surprise that instagram is the second most engaged social platform. (E-marketer 2018) or every small business should consider using the platform. And this platform has 800 million monthly active users.
11 tips to increase sales using instagram
1. Choose the perfect profile photo
If you’re a business on instagram, you might want to consider using your logo or a shortened version of your logo as your profile photo. This can help with long-time brand recognition and will make sure that everyone who lands on your instagram page is quickly introduced to your logo and branding.
On the other hand, if your business is personal- for example you could be a teacher, photographer, influencer or life coach –you may want to use a headshot as your instagram profile photo.
Are you thinking why? Because if you’re selling “you” on instagram, you want to make sure that you’re introducing yourself to visitors right off the bat!.
2. Boost your following
Instagram can be a highly-targeted, visual marketing channel for your brand and an opportunity to build a loyal audience that grows with your business. In fact, over 500 million Instagram users browse the app every day, making it home to some of the most engaged audiences around. But like any social network out there are the right ways to use your Instagram profile, wrong ways to use it, and clever ways to use it.
3. Content on a regular basis
Content is the foundation of your Instagram presence. Many B2C businesses use Instagram to make their product the star of the show. Other B2B companies often focus on company culture and team recruitment. But the right approach is one that best showcases your brand. Based on your target audience and objectives, develop a plan to deliver eye-catching content to your community on a consistent basis.
4. Add pictures and videos to your story with Product Links
This tip is kind of a no-brainer, but because of that it’s also easily forgotten. Without a link to your store, your followers don’t have a way of easily becoming customers. While you can’t link directly from your images and videos, you should still put the URL there for anyone interested in copy-pasting it.
That’s also why you should try to make your URLs short and readable. And other side Instagram stories you can now take Snapchat-style video to send out to your followers. Of course, you’ve always been able to upload videos to your feed, but are you taking advantage of it?
According to April 2015 research by Locowise, only 10.81% of Instagram posts are in video format. Yet, they get 17.51% of all comments!
5. Add hashtags to your caption
You can add hashtags in the caption or comments of your post. If you have a public account and add hashtags to a post, the post will be visible on the corresponding. After you tag your post with a hashtag, you'll be able to tap the hashtag to that shows all photos and videos people have uploaded with that hashtag.
6. Know your audience
This point isn't just about Instagram specifically, but can apply to pretty much all kinds of marketing in general. Before you get started with any campaign, it's crucial that you have a clear understanding of your target “consumer profile.”
Go beyond just age and gender to get into more complex factors such as education levels, household size, interests, or income level. Try to be as specific as possible about what your ideal consumer likes or dislikes. Consider what factors influence their purchasing decisions, and what pain points they currently face that your products could solve.
Once you identify some common themes from the profiles of your desired audiences, you can begin tailoring your Instagram campaigns to better target them. These common themes don’t need to be directly related to your product.
7. Take advantage of the “swipe up” feature
The swipe up feature is a game-changer for businesses. For years, you probably had some trouble getting users on Instagram to navigate to your website from a specific link.
Once your business profile reaches 10k followers, you’ll have access to this feature. Just promote a product or service on your story, and add the swipe up function with a link to a landing page about your promotion. If you’re advertising a specific product, a logical landing page would be to the product description on your site.
These lead magnets are a great way for you to drive more traffic to your website and ultimately increase conversions.
8. Contests, discounts and giveaways
This one is fairly self-explanatory. Contests tend to do well on most social media platforms, and Instagram is no exception. Some contests may require people to post selfies or product shots that need time and a little planning.
You may want to consider making it a bit of an event by inviting the public to vote on their favorite entries. The benefit of this approach is that contestants will help popularize the contest and your account by sharing it with their friends and family.
As a general rule, the easier it is to enter a contest, the better your engagement is likely to be. A lot of successful contests, particularly product giveaways, need only a “like” or “follow” to enter. Setting the barrier to entry very low is a great way to quickly raise engagement on your posts.
9. Use shoppable posts
If you have an ecommerce brand, you need to take advantage of shoppable posts. This strategy allows you to sell products directly through the Instagram platform. The reason why I love this feature so much is because it increases the chances of getting your current and prospective customers to buy something. Here’s why.
Right now, you’re relying on consumers navigating to your website to buy your products. This can be from organic traffic, paid ads, or direct navigation. The problem is that people probably won’t do this every day. But they’re active on Instagram daily. So there’s a great chance your target market falls into this category.
10. Use Facebook + Instagram Ads
Advertise. Now that Instagram ads are available for all users, why not do a quick study of the sponsored posts that currently appear in your newsfeed? With that said, I don’t recommend you run just Instagram ads. You will need to create your Ads from Facebook Manager. Combine them with Facebook to increase your reach. To activate Instagram ads, go to Ad Set-Edit Placements-Platforms.
11. Answer to comments and messages
If your followers are commenting, you should be taking full advantage! Comments show that people like your posts and want to engage with your brand and product.
It’s also important to respond fairly quickly. Usually no longer than 24 hours.
If you take too long to answer, people will feel they’re not a priority or that you didn’t read their comment. That said, even if it takes longer, still make an effort to answer.
You can’t rely on website traffic alone to sell products. Take advantage of other distribution channels as well. Social media influences consumers’ purchasing decisions.
Since Instagram is growing at such a rapid rate, it makes sense to use this platform as a primary method of driving sales. Plus, as you’ve seen from this list, Instagram has features that allow businesses to sell items directly through its platform. If your Instagram marketing strategy needs improvement, refer to this guide.
All of these strategies will help you elevate your Instagram presence and increase sales as a result. If you have any thoughts on this list, or if you think we missed out something important, go ahead and share it with us in the comments. We'd love to hear from you.