In today’s world, social media plays a very prominent role in the lives of millions. It’s common practice for nearly anyone to check their social media accounts for updates several times a day, and as a result these various platforms have proven themselves to be effective tools for generating eCommerce sales. While Facebook and Twitter have always been popular among eCommerce entrepreneurs as a way for them to brand and market themselves, doing so with Instagram remains a mystery for many budding entrepreneurs.
While Instagram make not market itself as a business tool like Facebook does, it can be as effective (if not more so) at generating sales as any other social media platform. The trick to generating sales with Instagram can be summed up into two main parts: exposure and engagement. In order to successfully generate sales using Instagram, it’s important to understand the nature of exposure and engagement, and there are a number of reliable ways to achieve these two goals using basic social media marketing strategies.
Many set up their Instagram account looking only for exposure, and while having thousands of followers or likes may feel like an accomplishment, it’s only half the battle. In order to generate sales using Instagram, followers must be engaged with content, as engagement converts into sales. While engagement includes likes or comments from potential customers, it’s also important to engage with new audiences using Instagram’s useful search feature. By searching for hashtags that relate their company’s product, entrepreneurs can get engaged with potential customers by commenting on their posts with some content related to their account, product, or website. The customer has already shown probable interest in the product by posting something of relation, and eCommerce entrepreneurs can capitalize on this interest by politely showing audiences what they have to offer through well-put comments. This process can be automated using any number of services available online, and is a tried and true way of increasing sales and content engagement using Instagram.
This process of using engagement to convert exposure into sales should be repeated indefinitely, and there is no set point in the process when this will no longer be useful. Many brands stop using this method after they have begun to establish themselves, so it’s up to personal judgement. After proper engagement with customers has been established, it’s time to focus on exposure; the more exposure an Instagram account gets, the more likely it will be to generate sales. Using the commenting method is not only an excellent way to draw potential customers to a product’s website, it is also a way to build a large following for the account itself. This can also be done using a number of other methods, with the most important being consistency.
Instagram accounts must be consistent with content, particularly accounts being used to market a product or website. In order to achieve this consistency, create several weeks or months worth of content ahead of time, so that posts can be made on a fairly regular schedule. By having content ready for upload at any given time, entrepreneurs can monitor which times of day their account sees the most engagement, and they can then use this knowledge to post only during peak traffic. This will generate more engagement with each photo that is posted, and in return will result in more sales.
After an account has been established, it’s important to reach out to others for further engagement. Send polite requests to the administrators of accounts with 20K followers or more, and ask if they would be willing to accept a free product in exchange for a review or post about it; the review or post should direct back to the product’s website and Instagram, and in turn will result in more views from a much broader audience.