With 1 billion monthly users, Instagram is no longer an “optional” social media platform for your business. It’s now a necessity—especially if you have products or food to sell. With the latest shopping and food delivery options on the Gram, you can both leverage the power of social media and the convenience of online shopping.
Why Should I Use Instagram to Sell My Products?
It’s not just that Instagram has a ton of users—it’s that those users are actually interacting with businesses and making purchases. The stats speak for themselves:
- Over 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile on the platform every day
- 90% of people on Instagram follow a business
- 130 million users tap on shopping posts every month
- 80% of users say Instagram helps them when deciding to buy a product or service
With those kinds of numbers, using Instagram to increase sales is a no-brainer.
What Tools Do I Use to Sell on Instagram?
With Instagram Shopping, there are a number of ways for businesses to promote and sell their products.
- Shops. You can set up your own virtual storefront to display your products right from your Instagram profile. This creates an easy and convenient browsing experience for your customers.
- Product tags. You can highlight and link to various products within your pictures and videos, either in-stream or in your stories, allowing you to post engaging content and drive sales simultaneously. You can also use product tags in your Instagram ads.
- Check Out on Instagram. Eligible businesses in the U.S. can sell their products directly on Instagram, providing a super convenient way for people to make purchases without leaving the app, using Facebook Pay.
Restaurants can also directly boost sales on Instagram, thanks to the ChowNow integration. This feature allows eateries to take orders through their business account with an “Order Food” button or a sticker on their stories.
How Do I Make the Most of Instagram Shopping?
Now that you have the power to sell your products (or food) on Instagram, there are several ways to maximize your results.
- Striking visuals. Sharing beautiful pictures is already the rule on Instagram, and that shouldn’t end just because you’re posting product photos. Make sure to post compelling, high-quality pictures that integrate your products into real-world settings.
- Strategic hashtags. Using hashtags can put your posts in front of a large audience, but that doesn’t mean you should use them with reckless abandon. Do your research to see which hashtags will best meet your needs (consider things like your audience, customer demographics, industry, and competitors).
- Exclusive sales. As with any medium for advertising, running promotions is a great way to convert prospects into customers. Consider offering special Instagram-only discounts and promo codes to compel your audience further to make a purchase. When you couple a good sale with a convenient, in-app checkout experience, you’re sure to make a good impression and create repeat customers.
- Authenticity. There’s a fine line between promoting your shop and being overly salesy. Do your best to strike a good balance between sharing engaging content and peppering in your products (product tags can really help with this endeavor). For example, instead of just posting a picture of the purse you’re selling, share a photo of someone actually using it and showcasing its features.
- Cohesive visual identity. If you don’t already have one, creating a signature visual style can really help your brand stand out among a sea of competitors. As you establish your look and feel, take care to have your product photos follow the same design aesthetics so that your customers are more likely to recognize your pictures quickly.
- Motivating calls to action. While there may be plenty of times when “Buy Now” is an appropriate CTA button, getting more creative may help drive more conversions. Play around with different ways to ask your followers to take action. Instead of “Shop Now,” try things like, “Explore our newest arrivals” or “See how we can make you look fabulous” or “Discover today’s biggest sales.” This way, you’re giving people a more compelling reason to click or tap.
As with any social media platform, replying to comments and direct messages can only help engage your followers and strengthen your brand.
If you’re looking for more tips for how to best leverage Instagram, check out our Instagram Marketing Best Practices for Businesses or give us a ring.