Top 10 Ways to Turn Instagram Followers into Loyal Shoppers

Instagram’s increased popularity as a social media platform and tool for building followers has made the site increasingly valuable marketing tool. Small businesses have been flocking to Instagram in the hope of posting photos that entice followers to discover them and their brand – and do some shopping!

Some businesses are finding Instagram to be considerably more challenging than Facebook or Twitter when it comes to ROI. Instagram does allow individuals and businesses to share photos or videos, but it doesn’t include a click-through for those using the site for ecommerce. So how can you  turn your photos and videos into customer conversions?

How Instagram can help your business

In today’s market, social media is a top tool for not just sales, but also communication, promotion of online newsletters, engaging in customer service, and click-through links. Social networking sites have become an important digital marketing resource to find new customers or strengthen existing customer relationships.

But it’s also important to use a site like Instagram successfully – and in a smart and creative way. With so many businesses rushing to open Instagram accounts, how do you cut through all that noise? In order to create a profitable audience on Instagram, check out these proven methods.

Top 10 Ways to Turn Instagram followers into Dedicated Shoppers

1. Find a story to tell

Ask yourself if there’s a narrative about your business that other people can relate to and empathize with? All businesses go on a journey, often with challenges and successes along the way, and they’re made up of people who are all unique. Chronicle your journey, and let your followers tag along. Humanize your brand so you’re an extended family, and not simply a product.

What’s the human side of your company? What are the obstacles you’ve overcome? What are the victories your staff have celebrated together?

Instagram can become your platform to take your followers on that journey, one photo at a time.

2. Survey the competition

source: Letterfolk IG page

Because Instagram has become so popular with businesses, it’s a great platform to network in, to follow news within the industry – and to see what your competitors are doing. Chances are you’ll be able to quickly find other, similar businesses on Instagram. You can even follow others within the industry and converse with them.

3. Take advantage of Instagram Stories

source: iDownloadblog

There are now more than 200 million people using Instagram Stories every day, and you should, too. It’s a feature that allows you to post a bunch of photos and let it play like a slideshow. They’re only available for that one day; when the day is over, the slideshow disappears.

But within that day, you can continue adding photos to this slideshow within that 24-hour period, adding to the overall story within it. Start a story through your gallery and leave your followers wanting more.

4. Invite followers to submit photos

It’s entirely possible that your customers have at times posed photos of your products on their own Instagram accounts. So why not invite followers to post those photos on your company Instagram account as well?

In a sense, this is like encouraging your customers to review your product – and a photo of them showing off your product is definitely a positive review that speaks volumes.

5. Watch the language you’re using

It’s not a great idea to introduce yourself on Instagram through what amounts to a giant sale pitch. People don’t go on Instagram just to get a bunch of hashtags mixed in with salesy language. It could become the social media equivalent of a dinner hour telemarketing call. Additionally, depending on the nature of your brand, expletives could also be inappropriate. Why go out of your way to annoy your followers?

Instead, initiate a conversation with your followers. Start a dialogue with them first, and make a connection, then make an impression. Just don’t rush into the idea of making offers or landing deals – there’s time enough for that. Let your followers be heard, and don’t make them feel like they’re only on your page for a sales pitch.

6. Avoid aggressive pitching

When you’re getting ready to post something, first ask yourself this question: Are you certain this is something your followers would want to see?

A series of glossy photos of your products can come across as just a “buy now” pitch that people quickly grow tired of.

Even if the photos are professionally made and look slick and attractive, that may not matter. You’re up against others on Instagram who are posting photos that are funny, touching, eye-catching, sad and dramatic. How does a glossy product photo compete with that?

It’s important to share quality photos for sure, and you don’t even need a professional photographer to accomplish that. What you really want is quality images. Capture people’s imaginations.

7. Take advantage of APPS

There are photo editing apps that can significantly enhance your images. Whether you want to crop it, make it look more artistic, or cut out things you don’t want in the photo, there was easy ways to make your images look much better.

You also want to add videos whenever possible.

8. Use Insights

source: Technology for Publishing

Don’t just post into a void. First you want to build up a following, and preferably one that’s ready and willing to spend.

Once you have your followers and you’ve started posting, check out Instagram Insights, which allows you to tailor your posts to be more relevant to your followers.

Insights lets you see which posts get the most impressions and comments, determine the reach of your most popular posts, and see your followers’ demographics, as well as what time of day they’re most active
These are highly valuable metrics for your content strategy.

9. Build Excitement among Followers

What you want to accomplish through your photos is to build up a sense of excitement – to make people start saying “I have to check this place out!” And it’s not just products – don’t forget special events as well. Promoting in-store events on Instagram is increasingly popular – and effective.

10. Include your exclusive offers

source: Mark Growth blog

Your Instagram feed is a great source for exclusive offers that can be redeemed online or in your store. This is a way of making your customers feel like they’re getting something special – something only they can tap into by being one of your followers. It’s also likely to get them to keep checking back for more deals and steals.

Instagram is the platform for visual content, and that makes it ideal for showing off your products. It’s also proven to be a great way of converting buyers, and to let you engage in free advertising.

Sharing your brand story is a great way to get your followers engaged beyond the goods and services you sell. Post often to keep people interested, and use hashtags so that your posts will pop up in search results. Hashtags also allow customers searching for those hashtags to find you, and it allows you to target people posting about similar topics.

And don’t get fooled into thinking that you need to buy a large number of followers so that you can brag about how many people are following your page. Purchasing social followers to artificially boost your count won’t matter much if none of them are likely to become paying customers. It’s more important to have people following you because they want to, due to their interest in your brand or your products.

Conclusion

Instagram is a fun site that allows people to demonstrate their creativity. The same is true for businesses, as they can showcase their products and connect with consumers in a way that’s fun and imaginative. Just how creative you’re able to get will go a long way toward turning your followers into loyal customers who purchase from you and enjoy your content.

Instagram is also a very valuable tool for building long-term relationships with your followers. Using smart and effective content will help to develop their interest in what you do.

These days, it may be easier than ever before to drive sales through social media channels like Instagram. You just need to figure out what makes your followers tick, and then pique their interest. If you can do that, chances are you will eventually find successful ways to funnel them back to your site’s sales pages.

Michael Freeman

Michael is the Content Writer and Editor at Chatter Buzz. A native of Massachusetts, he has more than 20 years of experience as a print and online journalist & has as a marketing writer for more than 50+ private firms in various industries. He loves red wine and spending time with his cats.

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