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Social media marketing is highly valuable for connecting with an audience. Social networks provide a platform to create a brand identity, build an ethos, and develop a following. However, if your social marketing is not converting to sales, then it doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers or 10K. Instagram is one of the most powerful tools for social media marketing. With over 500 million monthly users, Instagram possesses tremendous customer acquisition power. In order to capture these users and convert them into customers, you have to be strategic. Here are some tips for using Instagram to sell online.

Make sure your Instagram is set up for business

The first step to successful Insta-marketing is to make sure you have set your account as a business profile. Business accounts have extra features that let users recognize you as a business, such as location services and an easy contact button. This is important for bridging the gap in your conversion funnel from follower to customer. Business accounts also allow you to see helpful metrics and performance results regarding your posts and audience reach.

Link your Instagram to your Facebook

Connecting your Instagram to your company’s Facebook page is like killing two birds with one stone. Synchronizing these two social networks and enabling the Instagram tab on your Facebook allows you to share your posts instantly to both platforms. This is also a great way to boost your social presence and get your Facebook audience to recognize and follow your Instagram account.

Stick to a consistent brand identity

Know who you are and how you want others to see you. Your Instagram page should reflect your brand’s unique aesthetic and identity. Keep your tone consistent when writing captions. Be mindful of your color schemes and don’t get too crazy with the filters. Don’t just think of how a post looks individually, but how it will stand amongst your other posts in a grid view.

Engage with your followers

Engaging with your audience is an easy way to increase your reach. Follow other brands in your industry and users in your target market. Follow back users who follow you, and like their posts- they are likely to reciprocate the favor. Always respond to comments and use captions that encourage engagement. Remember, it’s not just about promoting your brand, but building a relationship with your audience.

Mention your followers

Give your followers their fifteen minutes of Instafame. Mentioning followers with an @ is great method to capture and engage users. Reposting a follower’s photo with their permission and giving them an @ mention is a quick and easy way to create content, give your brand credible reputation, and get likes from that user and their friends.

Use hashtags

Make use of the almighty #hashtag. Be sure to hashtag all your pictures with various relevant hashtags, including generic hashtags and brand specific hashtags. Repeatedly using brand specific hashtags develops your brand identity and creates a niche in vast Instagram universe for your business. The more you hashtag your photos or videos, the more places they appear throughout Instagram, making it easier for users to find your posts. The more impressions your posts make, the more likes you will get, and the more followers.

Run hashtag campaigns and contests

Encourage your followers to use one of your brand specific hashtags to increase your reach. Go a step further, and create a hashtag campaign or contest. Calling on your followers to use a specific hashtag for an incentive creates a domino effect for your exposure. All of your followers’ followers will see the photo and related hashtag. For example, hashtag all your photos with #CodedesignDigitalMarketing for a chance to win a puppy this Holiday Season!*

Remember your goal is to sell

According to an Instagram user survey from November 2015, 60% of people learn about products and services on Instagram. Always keep your ultimate goal in mind- sell your product or service. A sunset picture is nice, but if doesn’t further your main goal, keep it for your private account. Use this space to promote your product or service in a manner that creates value for your potential customers. Always include a link in the caption to where products can be purchased. Another easy method is to keep a link to where products can be purchased in your Instagram bio and ending your caption with “link in bio.”

Sponsor your posts

Instagram is one of the most effective platforms for running sponsored posts. Since the interface allows photos to appear one at a time as users scroll through their feed, your post is guaranteed to be seen by your audience. Segmentation on Instagram adverts is also very high, allowing you to get right in front of the eyes of your target audience. You can also add simple CTA buttons to your post such as Shop Now or Learn More, making it smooth and easy for your potential customers to travel down your conversion path.

*Codedesign is not actually giving away puppies.

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