Is your Instagram getting a fair amount of likes and positive engagement but not translating into sales? It’s more common than you think. It’s easy to get caught up in the creative process of Instagram, choosing between filters and thinking of a witty caption. Businesses tend to forget why they’re on the platform; to boost sales.
1. Set up your Instagram Shop
Even if you already sell online through a website where all the e-commerce transactions happen, and even if you showcase your Instagram feed on your website, don’t overlook Instagram Shopping as a selling source as well. Your Instagram can be more than just a tool to post product shots — more than 44% of the app’s one billion-plus users interact with the shopping icon weekly.
The beauty of Instagram Shopping is the convenience it provides. If you’re from a country that supports checkout, your customers can browse, shop, and pay without leaving the app.
2. Optimize your Instagram bio
That small area on top of your Instagram profile might not seem like much, but not only is it the first thing everyone sees, but it also helps you rank on searches.
Think about your bio as your business card. You have very little to work with (150 characters, to be exact), but you have to explain who you are in a single glance.
An optimized and ideal Instagram bio should:
- Summarize what your brand is all about (the who)
- Explain what makes you different from the competition (the why)
- Include relevant keywords
- Have a working link to your website (if any)
Image source: CreativeCubes
CreativeCubes.Co (@creativecubesco), a co-working space based in Australia, has a great example of an optimized bio. In just two lines, the company wasn’t just able to explain what it does but also why its customers choose them over others.
Talking about culture may instantly hook specific audiences such as startups and small business owners who consider culture and community building top priorities. The @creativecubesco bio includes essential keywords such as co-working, meeting rooms, and event spaces.
Another incredibly crucial and often overlooked aspect of your bio to consider is the name field. Using a target keyword instead of your actual brand name can be a great strategy to rank on searches.
Image source: SmallOrchids
The bio of Paola Velez (@smallorchids) provides an excellent example. Instead of simply placing her name on her bio, she added “Pastry Chef” so that when Instagram users search for that particular keyword, her profile will be one of those suggested.
3. Consider investing in more video content
Our attention span is getting shorter and shorter, especially on social media. Naturally, it’s easier to stop someone from scrolling through their feeds to view your content with a video rather than any other media.
More than just getting more engagement, videos like how-tos or reviews are powerful tools to help turn followers into customers. A study of 84% of shoppers says a video posted by a brand convinced them to purchase a product or service.
a. Jump on the Reels bandwagon (it’s worth it)
As one of Instagram’s newest additions, Reels content will get more attention than your regular in-feed videos. Each time you post a new Reel, Instagram automatically adds it to the new Explore page, where you can reach an audience beyond your current followers. The more eyes you get on your content, the higher your chances of getting more conversions.
Image source: Girlfriend Collective
Sustainable activewear brand Girlfriend Collective (@girlfriend) uses reals to showcase its products in action.
Pro-tip: Don’t forget to tag the products featured on your Reels. This way, viewers can tap the shopping bag icon on your Reel to view the products, learn more about them, or shop directly from your virtual storefront. For easy video editing, use apps like Instasize that allow you to create high-quality content in a few taps.
4. Always include a strong call-to-action (CTA)
Sometimes your customers aren’t behaving as you want them to because they simply don’t know what you want. The rule on social media: if you don’t ask, you shall not receive.
So, you have to tell them — whether you want your customers to click on the link in your bio, tap on the shopping bag icons, or check out your newest items on sale.
There are many ways to include a CTA without spelling it out on your caption (but please do that too). You can add an emoji next to a link on your Instagram Story, include a “swipe up” CTA, or even embed it into some of your visuals.
Pro-tip: Good CTAs include answers to the question in your customer’s head, “What’s in it for me?”. Using Instagram’s shoppable tags will instantly add a View Shop CTA at the bottom of your post.
Image source: Great Jones
Cookware brand Great Jones (@greatjones) always includes a little bonus on top of the regular “click the link in our bio” CTA. The brand provides promo codes and limited-time-only discounts on its captions to entice its followers to take action.
5. Encourage user-generated content (UGC)
No matter your business's industry, e-commerce shoppers look to reviews as research before purchasing a product. Reviews can be in the form of written feedback on your designated product page or social platform, comments on your social posts, or through creating content such as blogs, photos, and videos.
To encourage customers to post more photos wearing or using your products, you can:
- Promote a branded hashtag on your bio as a CTA
- Remind them to tag you as part of your thank you message after they purchase anything from your store
- Use social media listening tools to help you find brand mentions or specific keywords and hashtags
Image source: Solana
Slow fashion brand Solana (@hola.solana) regularly posts UGC on its Instagram page featuring customers wearing best-selling pieces.
6. Maximize the link in your bio
You’re only allowed one link in your bio; ensure you promote the right one. While it might be obvious to link directly to your website, you might want to change the displayed link to your homepage to the sale landing page. This way can direct your customers to the right place.
Many brands use third-party micro landing page tools that allow you to maximize and work around the single-link rule.
Depending on the features of your chosen tool, some will allow you to direct followers to a different landing page per Instagram post or give you five to seven links. Plus, you can track the performance of each link and refer your followers to the correct page effortlessly.
You can also use plugins such as POWR’s Notification Bar to effectively engage with your customers as soon as they land on your page; this will ensure that you can lead them to the right tabs and encourage conversions.
Engagement isn’t the be-all and end-all of Instagram; you want those conversions more than anything! With these tips, you can turn your followers into customers in no time. But, before you go, don’t forget the one rule of marketing: keep testing and be ready to change things up.