Selling on Instagram (How To Monetize Your Account)
When it comes to social media platforms, few provide the level of flexibility and creativity of Instagram. And, likewise, few of these social media platforms can be leveraged for commerce as effectively as Instagram. Doing so requires a certain amount of pluck but also a good amount of knowledge. If you decide that your business should be based on Instagram, it makes sense to follow the best practices of the platform.
The reason why people love Instagram is the creativity embedded within the platform. Using the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words correctly describes the way Instagram allows you to engage with different folks. It is a fascinating way to gain insight into your friends and family while losing very little time to a conversation. In fact, as one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, Instagram is ubiquitous – it goes through all age groups, races, and nationalities.
However, there is one bugaboo of Instagram – the algorithm. This algorithm keeps folks from maximizing the system’s benefits. The good news is there are several different ways you can manipulate the system and your posts to turn your Instagram posts into revenue generating machines. The key is having a strategy, sticking to that strategy, and adjusting that strategy as needed.
As long as you take the time to understand the benefits of Instagram and how to work within the system, you will always be rewarded for your endeavor and daring of becoming a merchant via Instagram.
Here are tips to become a pro at selling on Instagram
- The Politics of Personal Empowerment:
You can absolutely sell in Instagram and anyone who tells you differently is far from correct. Everyone in sales is told that social media is where you personalize your brand. But here’s the thing – most people on Instagram are not interested in your story – they are vastly more interested in the product; ergo it is wise to make sure that your product is front and center on the platform. Make sure that you provide users with information about your business and that you have stuff for sale.
Furthermore, understand that no matter what your product is, Instagram is the platform for you! People are interested in seeing your wares, so if your product is something that seems non-traditional, well, Instagram is free! So, don’t worry about whether people will buy. If you market what you have correctly, it will happen.
- Call Attention to Sales:
So, you are spending all this time putting together a sale only to have no one notice and worse yet – among the people who do, not enough of those people buy enough merchandise to justify the sale. Now, you may be thinking that Instagram is just photo and that sales have no place, but oh my, you are wrong.
On Instagram, creativity is key. Make sure that when it comes time for you to hold a sale that you are doing so by using your creative streak to brand your photos. Use an overlay to mention different sales. Put links in the comments. The bottom line is you want to make your sales overt so that customers will notice them. Most Instagram folks especially enjoy sales that do not have intricate codes! Make sure that when you do put up a sale you make all parts easy – finding the sale, going to the site to review the items, and having an easy-to-remember coupon code that will get you the discount you rightly deserve.
- Make Use of Different Instagram Sales Apps:
So, when you go to sell, it should not be too hard, right? Thankfully, there are several Instagram sales apps helping you manage your inventory, product, and sales. The goal of using these apps is to keep your Instagram sales a manageable endeavor.
There are several great apps. One of them is LIKE toKNOW.it. On this app, when people double tap photos with a link to the LIKEtoKNOW site within a caption, they get different product links. This is excellent for showcasing a different product. The truth is you have other products like Like2Buy and Soldsie doing much of the same.
Tracking your business is something that is a must do. So, get one of these incredible apps that will make your sales life on Instagram much easier. The key, as always, is finding one that best suits your needs. Take the time to review the features and the one that has the most features you would use. These sales apps allow you to manage your Instagram feed as you would an eCommerce type of site. Use them to keep yourself apprised of how well your Instagram sales are performing and then what you can do is make the tweaks you need to your Instagram feed to increase commerce.
- Make Sure You Use Social Proof:
For a seller like you, there is nothing better than when a customer is using your products and loving it! Make sure that you nurture these connections, it is critical to keep social proof running throughout your feed because if nothing else, it lends credibility to your claims about your product. For example, if you go on Instagram and make certain claims about your product, they exist in a state of disbelief. When someone purchases your product and goes on Instagram making the very same claims, it gives your initial claims incredible credibility.
It is imperative to search out these folks and ask them for permission to feature them on your Instagram page. There are many ways you can make searching for these folks easier. One of the best ways is using hashtags. Use hashtags so you can search Instagram with ease, find these folks, and then put them on your page. You can also get the people who love your product to tag you. This is another easy way to get more social proof. As with anything, if you have people who love your product and are willing to testify to how much they love your product, it lends credibility to your claims. This is why people use reviews – social proof does the same thing.
- Advertising – There’s a Reason it Works:
You have probably scrolled through your Instagram feed and saw how there is lots of advertising. This, of course, is not by accident. In fact, advertising on Instagram is very purposeful and targeted. The reality is advertising works because you are targeting the right people with your ads. Instagram advertising is especially a boon because so many people use the platform and will see your ads that otherwise wouldn’t. Organic growth is a wonderful thing, but you can supercharge your growth by using Instagram advertising.
So, what are the benefits to advertising? It is remarkably simple! You get to target your ads and they go through the sponsored section of someone’s feed. Feeds are curated by Instagram so the only people who see the ads are the people who may have an interest in your product. The worst thing is when your feed is cluttered by ads that you could care less about. This is not so with Instagram Advertising. Instead, each feed has the right ads, so your products will get in front of the people most likely to buy them.
Using Instagram advertising is one tool that can easily boost sales. Check out all the different options within the platform.
- Customize Your Instagram Sales Strategy:
Here’s the truth, many failed Instagram businesses are due to folks not thinking differently with Instagram. Instead, they use the same tired strategies to get to the same bland results. Instagram is not the same as Twitter or Facebook, and your sales strategy should not reflect it. Instead, you must look at Instagram differently. Remember the cliché, the picture being worth a thousand words? Well, with Instagram you have to live this cliché.
Take the time to get your photo right. Make sure that it is in a square shape, it is easy to identify, and bereft of any distractions like bad lighting or other issues. When you have clean, clear photos you are selling people not just on your product, but your professionalism as well. If someone is taking and posting a bad photo, is this a person you’d like to do business with? I think not. So, remember how important making a first impression is, and use Instagram to do so effectively.
- Work Around Instagram’s Hyperlink Issue:
So, you say that Instagram does not let you use links, so you are unable to advertise? Well, then you are just not being creative, and frankly, you should go back to the drawing board. The reality is you can do many different things to work around Instagram’s hyperlink ban. The easiest way is putting your website in your bio. This is an easy way to keep customers clicking. Oh – and the best part – as you scroll through a feed the bio stays pinned to the top! You can easily refer someone to click on the link in your bio!
In fact, the captions in many of your pictures should include calls to action to get customers to head on over to your site by clicking the bio. If you include promo codes with deals, this will enhance your profile link’s clickability. So, make sure you are constantly referring people to click at the top of your bio. This funnels traffic from one space and you can easily monitor how many clicks you are getting. The posts with the highest traffic and likes are the ones usually resulting in clicks. Once you see which posts generate the largest number of actions, then be sure to emulate what worked in those posts so that you can use those success stories on subsequent postings.
- Make Sure You Are Always Including Details:
The biggest lie in the world about Instagram is that people do not read while scrolling through Instagram feeds. Really? Then why do celebrities post a long screed on Instagram? People read on Instagram and the industrious people use their captions to sell – and they use the image to do the same. The key with details is you need to make sure the pertinent details are featured. Don’t spend time on the extraneous stuff.
So, what are the important details? Simple – dates, times, and conditions. If you are having a sale, give the dates of the sale. If there is a specific time, mention it. The conditions of a sale matter as well. Don’t go to the fine print on Instagram, instead go to the big deal stuff. When a person clicks the link in your bio, they will get the fine print details. By that point, they have usually been turned into a conversion, so the fine print will matter less. People want to read compelling stuff, so make your Instagram posts compelling so people are not confounded by your text or turned off due to lack of interest.
- Make Sure Your Instagram Sales Strategy is Integrated:
Again, for some reason, people think Instagram is this isolated unicorn in the world of social media. Instagram is powerful, and it is different, but it works so well with your other social media platforms. The best eCommerce businesses do exactly that – they have an integrated social media strategy that features Instagram. And, guess what, people who are younger tend to like Instagram better than Facebook and Twitter.
Now instead of keeping Instagram on an island, you want to have many different roads leading home. For example, your business should be engaging on multiple social media fronts. Use your Twitter, Facebook, and other socials to feed to your Instagram, and vice versa. This allows you to reach different people that otherwise have the same goals. The more followers you get, the better your feed is curated and, of course, the bigger your sales are!
- Maintain Your Sales Funnel with Extreme Diligence:
The people who are successful on Instagram sales are folks who have a great sales funnel. Guess what – you probably won’t make the sale on Instagram! But Instagram is where you can do a whole lot that builds your brand effectively. For example, what’s better than Instagram in spreading awareness of your brand? Having a viral post does more for your product than some of the best SEO can. You can also build relationships with influencers, display user-generated content, and conduct market research. The best part is your feed provides most of these answers!
To the extent it does not, there are a whole host of tools that give you the ability to monitor your feed and determine the best way forward. What people love about Instagram is how it allows for unmatched engagement. When you can slice through the morass of engagement to find the different patterns, what you end up finding is how your sales funnel is working. Maintaining a great sales funnel is key to making sure your products are constantly moving and your cash flow is constantly churning. No one wants to have a stymied cash flow situation.
Maintenance of your sales funnel is more than just your Instagram feed. If you are getting great engagement but losing folks at the point of sale, then what you are having is a problem with closing. Make sure these parts of your funnel are up and running so that you can use Instagram to get people hooked. The best way to do so is limiting the number of steps folks must take. If you are primarily selling on Instagram, then your bio link should just basically be the shopping cart. Get people to where they will be selecting what they want. This cuts down on time spent on deciding whether they want and instead, they’ll think about how much they want. It’s a fairly easy equation.
Instagram is an amazing way to get your products in front of the most people in the least amount of time by using your creativity. The best way to be creative on Instagram is to constantly push the boundaries of what you think is possible. Make sure that your time on this platform is spent getting the right amount of engagement with the right types of users and use these ten different tips to get you where you need to go. The reason why people love Instagram is simple – people love pictures. Pictures are easy to interpret and leave little to the imagination.
Your sales strategy on Instagram should follow the same protocol. Leave little to the imagination and be sure to check all the boxes of what your potential audience is seeking. Doing so increases sales. Don’t be afraid to use the different tools at your disposal, whether they are through Instagram or third-party apps. The reality is you are always going to be using different methods to engage folks, so having a multi-faceted engagement strategy is critical. Once you build your Instagram sales strategy, the next step is ensuring that your funnel is maintained. Doing all these tasks means your business will use Instagram to its maximum benefit.