Can Instagram Be Your Business’ Selling Platform?

Here, we are going to look at how to drive online sales by optimising your listings and making the most of Instagram Shopping.

It is important to remember that, despite the fact you’re going to be pushing for direct sales through Instagram, it is still a social media platform.

This means that you need to focus on Instagram growth, building followers and creating interesting content, with the hope that this will turn into a greater number of followers.

Instagram is a visual medium

This is why a lot of people look to franchises opportunities, as they have already got a blueprint for success and a readymade following on Instagram. 

Don’t forget the fact that Instagram is a visual medium. It is all about your images. Try to get creative so that your photographs stand out against others on a person’s feed.

The same goes for Instagram stories. Use this feature to engage with your followers in different ways, from interesting facts and polls to fascinating insider videos. 

There are lots of great brands you can use for inspiration. Nike is a brand that uses Instagram well, posting photos of inspiring athletes doing what they love, influential sports moments, and record-breaking sports highlights, rather than simply posting an endless array of product shots. 

When posting a photo, make sure you space out your shopping tags so that they do not damage the picture. 

Create carousel posts, stories and videos

Instagram carousel posts are great for brands, enabling you to combine up to ten videos and photos in a single post. Used properly, you can tell a visual story. This enables you to show off an entire product line or a collection of your best products too. You can also show your products in action so that people get an idea of how they work. There are a number of creative ways you can utilise multiple-image posts to tell a story, including…

  • Showing before and after photos
  • Demonstrate a step-by-step process
  • Zoom in, digging deeper and deeper into an interesting photo
  • Launch a product, showing it from different angles
  • Share customer reviews
  • Break up long videos
  • Promote events, showing speakers and other elements of the event with each photo or video 

Use searchable hashtags to make your posts searchable

Your Instagram Shopping post is going to be taken into consideration by the Instagram algorithm too. This means you need to optimise every post you publish.

One of the best ways to ensure that your post is searchable is to use descriptive hashtags. This will ensure your items can be searched in the new Shopping channel or via the Explore page.

Plus, users have the ability to follow a specific hashtag. This means that there is a greater chance your products are going to be viewed by the right people. 

Remember that you are speaking with an engaged audience

People who you will reach on Instagram Shopping decided to follow you. It is important to remember that and create posts that take into account the interests of dedicated follows of your brand. 

Target market-decision making should be weaved into posts, collecting data so that you can adapt your strategy. Your posts should be in line with a wider Instagram aesthetic and utilise user-generated content if applicable to your business.

Use Instagram Shopping to build your wider brand

Instagram shopping is a shop front window on everything you do. However, as mentioned earlier, it is not simply about the products, it is about building your brand as a whole. Being so visual, Instagram helps you define your brand in front of an audience that is invested in you. 

All of your posts don’t need to be shoppable posts; in fact, for the best effect, you should spread them out. Being overly promotional is never wise on any type of social media platform.

Analytics will help you optimise posts and integrate Instagram into your wider ecommerce strategy 

Instagram has an analytics feature. You should make the most of this so that you can see what is working and what isn’t, enabling you to make changes when required. If you do not use Instagram analytics, you could be missing out on brand engagement opportunities, posting during non-optimal hours, ignoring mentions that could lead to future sales or partnerships, driving calls from an ad type you only used once, driving irrelevant visitors to your business, posting too frequently or not frequently enough, or targetting the wrong audience.

Of course, there is only so much Instagram Analytics can do though. For more detailed Instagram analytics data, and to put it in the exact same place where all of your other platform analytics reside, an ecommerce plugin is a must. This allows you to see which channels you have the most success. Plus, you can also get insights on the best hashtags and other high-performing post types in your category.

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Sarah Meere
Sarah Meere
Executive Editor

Sarah looks after corporate enquiries and relationships for UKFilmPremieres, CelebEvents, ShowbizGossip, Celeb Management brands for the MarkMeets Group. Sarah works for numerous media brands across the UK.


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