Updated 15 September 2020.
Instagram likes don’t always translate to Instagram sales. Ever since the social media powerhouse implemented its shopping tool, brands have been pushing to build their following but aren’t sure why these follows aren’t converting to sales.
Without an in-depth strategy, likes and follows are simply vanity metrics. They essentially don’t mean anything if they’re not converting into sales in the backend. So just how do you turn those likes into sales?
Use the shoppable feature
Despite Instagram rolling out the shoppable feature in 2018, many businesses still haven’t used it. The shoppable feature allows potential customers to tap the photo to show product and pricing information and link directly to your online store. This means customers can 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
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 hours curating your Instagram to find your posts aren’t seeing returns. This is just a sign 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 anyways. 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. It’s up to you to figure out what gets the most attention and then stick with that. Accounts that authentically interact with their followers have the best growth.
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 create 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 brand visibility even harder, so make sure you’re 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. Try out A/B testing to compare different posts. This helps find which ones get the best engagement so you can focus on the top performers.
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