Ever since Instagram implemented its shopping tool, brands have been pushing to build their following in an effort to generate sales. However, unfortunately, that’s not how it always works. More followers and more likes does not necessarily equal more sales.
Yes, it certainly has the potential to drive customers to your online site, however without an in-depth strategy, likes and follows are simply vanity metrics. They essentially don’t mean anything if they are not converting into sales in the backend. So just how do you turn those likes into sales?
Use the shoppable feature
Instagram rolled out the shoppable feature in Australia last year however there are still many businesses who haven’t jumped onto this. The shoppable feature allows potential customers to tap the photo to show tag items with product and pricing information, giving them the ability to link directly through to your online store. This means customers can now literally shop through your Instagram account so make sure you are capitalising on this. Making the purchase easy and seamless for your customers should be a priority and Instagram offers the perfect way to do this its shoppable feature.
Determine your goals
This is a great starting point because if you’re not working towards anything specific, it can be hard to determine what your outcomes need to be. Decide what the purpose of your account is and be specific in what you want to achieve. Without giving you a marketing 101 lesson, also set measurable and achievable goals. Perhaps you want to drive people to your website, or convert people to sign up to your mailing list, or build your following before focussing on anything else. Whatever it is, determine your goals first then get to work achieving them.
Test what works
A lot of people get stuck in an Instagram rut because they are too scared to make any changes. You might have spent a lot of hours making your Instagram look a certain way, however, if your posts are getting you any return, it might be time to try something different. Don’t worry too much if it’s going to mess up the aesthetic of your profile – these days it’s rare for people to be looking at your profile anyway. Test what works by using different style of images, videos or captions and try posting at different times of the day. What works for one person might not work for you, so it’s up to you to figure out what gets the most attention and then stick with that.
Tap into Instagram stories
This is a really obvious one when you consider that 500 million people around the world use Instagram Stories on a daily basis and that number is growing rapidly by the minute. Plus, many users are now watching stories first before scrolling through the feed. So if you’re not putting time and attention into Instagram stories, then you’re going to be left behind. As a general rule, the best time to post to Instagram stories is outside of work hours and the optimal length is one to seven stories long. Instagram stories are an incredible way to capture the direct attention of potential customers and work towards creating a loyal following.
Run a competition
Running a promotion on Instagram can be a quick and easy way to generate brand awareness and build your following. It also gives your followers an opportunity to personally interact with your brand and promote it through their own networks. Get together with some like-minded brands to come up with a prize, then promote the giveaway and encourage potential customers to follow, like and share for their chance to win.
Boost your posts
Social networking sites are making it harder for brands to have visibility, so make sure you are tapping into their marketing functionalities to build on your awareness. Boost your posts on Instagram by linking your profile to your Facebook business profile, which gives you access to the ad manager. From here you can promote your posts, define your target audience and put some marketing budget behind your platform. This works well if you do some A/B testing, where you use different options of posts to see which ones get the most engagement, then put your focus on the best one.