If you’re a user of Instagram then you know it only allows you to link to 1 website or page in your profile’s description (unless you’re paying for ads).
This limits your company’s ability to promote a sale, at least by traditional methods. There are those rare cases where some Instagrammers are making some serious money just by posting selfies.
The truth is it is a gradual process when it comes to building your brand on Instagram.
MarketingProfs published a post that highlights some interesting statistics when it comes to Instagram users. You might find some of these stats helpful in the list below, with your own marketing efforts.
- 55% of U.S. 18- to 29-year-olds are Instagram users
- 31% of female internet users are on Instagram compared to only 21% of male users
- 30% of Instagram users earn between 50,000 to 75,000 thousand yearly
- 26% earn more than 75,000 per year.
- There are more than 600 million users on Instagram
- Selena Gomes has over 105 Million followers on Instagram
- Top USA filters are Clarendon, Gingham and Juno/Lark
- The most popular Fashion Filters are, Kelvin, Valencia and Nashville
- The best hashtags for marketing #socail, #branding, #sales, #business, #contestalert, #sweepstakes, #smallbiz, #deal, #discount
- Instagram is used by 48.8% of brands, a number expected to rise to 70.7% by end of 2017
- Top brands post 4.9 Times per week
- 5% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping and telling a friend
- Top brands on Instagram, National Geographic, Victoria Secret, 9GAG and Nike Football
- Best days to post on Instagram are Wednesday and Thursday
- Introduced sponsored post advertising targeting US users
- Launched video sharing
- Allows users to send photos to specific people
- Allows 30-second ads for all advertisers
Connect with consumers using instagram direct
Instagram Direct, or DM as it is known, allows you to connect with others via private messaging. You can find this option by clicking on the arrow graphic just below the image in this example on your Instagram account.
Using this option will allow you to send text and multimedia messages by displaying a message thread. You’re limited to sending up to 15 followers messages at one time. You will have the ability to name the group.
This is a useful feature, all-be-it you are limited by the number of followers that you can send to at one time.
Before you begin think of the groups that you might be able to setup with Instagram Direct and test this feature out. We expand upon this more below.
Let’s move on and talk about some engagement ideas that you may find useful.
idea #1: Offer a promo code
Try sending a product image to your followers. In your message share a promo code. One of the limitations of Instagram as a social media tool is that it won’t allow you to offer clickable posts. So send them as their own message. Or make use of the hot links in your profile. Nordstrom often posts on Instagram, it reminds users to click on the link in its profile (see image left), to learn more about the post’s topic. And that link? It’s a customized Bitly link. It’s a workaround and you will need to update it on each of your promotions. You might consider adding a time limit to the promo to encourage your followers to take action.
idea # 2: Hold a contest right before your big sale
What if you offered a pair of movie tickets or a certificate to a local restaurant and all you had to do was comment on a photo that was posted…would you?
Contests draw people, and they keep your followers engaged.
As an example, you might offer a contest photo and announce that the fist 15 people to comment will receive a DM from you on how to participate.
Many progressive marketers use this approach, GAP being one of them.
IDEA #3: try holding a q&a session
Use DM, Instagram Direct to encourage conversations. This is a good use to find out if your followers have questions about your product or services.
As you begin a relationship with the most engaged followers consider naming these different groups either based on the most frequent users, or by product or services names.
In other words you might label a group as “most loyal followers” or “mountain bikers” etc.
All of these ideas would be a benefit working them into the various groups. This drills down on your target audience, making your posts much more relevant.
idea #4: Have fun!
Yesteryear Cyclery posts a joke on his highway sign on a weekly basis. He then posts it to his Instagram feed. Should he forget, not to worry, his customers will call him out on it: “What is the joke of the week?”
Posting something fun, unique or quirky can be entertaining to your followers, even if they don’t always click the like button.
Instagram tools for easy shopping and more
If you’re thinking of selling a product or service on Instagram, take a look a these tools that will make it easier for customers to buy from you:
#1: Use Hashtags to identify shoppable content
If you’re an Instagram user, chances are your familiar with hashtags, and Inselly makes good use of them. Inselly lets you use the profile-link-to-storefront way of selling. It comes with the Inselly hashtag.
While hashtags were introduced on Twitter, they quickly became part of most social media channels that you probably use. Currently, Instagram hashtag usage tends to be much greater than Twitter’s because companies realize the success of their Instagram marketing depends on proper hash-tagging.
One of the ways people find content and contributors they like on Instagram is to search with hashtags.
You’ll will need to add the hashtag #inselly to your description, as well as any other relevant tags that might place you in front of your target audience. Hashtags make it easier for users to search for buyable content, but it also flags your products or service as being buyable if users stumble across it on another social platform.
#2: Sell right from your comments
Soldsie allows Instagram users to purchase right from a seller’s Instagram news feed. You do not have to leave the app. And the bonus? Soldsie works for Facebook, too!
Both buyers and sellers have to install and integrate the software with Instagram after registering with Soldsie, which uses “comment selling” as its method of making sales.
Start by uploading your products through your selling dashboard. This will action will turn the product images into shoppable Instagram posts. Then you add specific buying description and product details, such as “100% wool, and it comes in green and white“ on each Instagram product post.
Then ask your buyers to make purchases by commenting “sold” directly on the post. At that point the user would include any necessary size/color/selection information.
Once the buyer fills in his or her information, Soldsie will email them an invoice so you can collect directly from PayPal or a credit card service.
Soldsie has several packages based on your store needs. The basic plan costs $49 per month, with a 5.9% commission fee on sales.
#3: Curate, Tag, Promote
E-Commerce integration, galleries right on your website, product filtered feeds, scheduling, analytics, customize your galleries and support. This is what you get for $20 per month.
Like2Have allows your Instagram users to shop your Instagram gallery allowing them to directly view your product pages. First you pick the Instagram photos you want in your gallery. Tag each photo with products from your store and showcase right on your website. Nothing to install and works on any device.
#4: Link photos from your Instagram account to products on your website
Take your Social media marketing to a new level with Like2Buy. You can link your photos right from your Instagram account to your products for sale on your website. Your audience now has a way to take action on visual content that you’re sharing on Instagram,
Once you link your Like2Buy into your bio section followers can then window-shop your products, services, and content. With a Like2Buy gallery, your fans can read your stories, shop your Instagram feed, or take any other action you wish to ask them to take.
Since the tool incorporates the same photos on the Like2Buy page as on your Instagram account, followers don’t feel they’re leaving Instagram.
However, Like2Buy is not the ideal option if you’re looking to start right away. And it’s expensive, it costs between $1,000 to $2,000 a month to use it.
Selling tools have revolutionized Instagram’s potential, increasing its value as a marketing platform even further. Regardless of which tool you choose to try, and there are many more of them, it’s a good idea to publish a post letting your users know that your Instagram is now shoppable.