by Pejman Ghadimi
Let’s get down to basics. If you aren’t on Instagram, get on it ASAP. Instagram is a very fast and easy social network to use that doesn’t require a Ph.D. to operate. All you do is upload a photo and video and let that media do the speaking. Yes, you can add captions and hashtags but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. With the core essentials down, let’s discuss 10 tricks for selling on Instagram.
1. Buy followers the legit way
Perhaps the quickest way outside of importing your contacts is to partner with other Instagram pages. Almost all large (50k+) Instagram pages allow some sort of advertising on their pages if you purchase what is called a ‘shoutout’. A shoutout is when another Instagram page posts an update (sometimes a picture of your choice) and encourages users to check out and follow your page. Shoutouts costs vary among pages but usually increase in relation to total number of followers. We have personally paid for a shoutout as low as $5 and as high as $150. The key is to find these pages and simply email them for information. If you’re lucky they’ll even do it for free if you agree to do ‘shoutout for shoutout’ but that usually only occurs if your pages are similar in nature and size. This method is how we grew to over 100,000 followers and still over 1,000 new followers per day.
2. Your grid matters
What I mean by grid is what readers immediately see right after they click to view your profile. Outside of your bio description, your first six posts are viewable. Think about it for a second. If you have someone who is not familiar with your brand, they should be able to immediately understand what it is you are about or promote based on your grid. You want to make sure your brand is consistent with every single post. This refers to the quality of the photo, as well as the actual image itself. Once you start to deviate, you may start to see followers unfollow you when you don’t stay true to your brand.
3. Your bio is your sales person
Along with your grid, your bio is also visible and your chance to entice people to follow you but also to perform a specific action. One of the biggest drawbacks of Instagram is not having the ability to put clickable links in your caption but that can be resolved by including a website link in your bio. You should be able to explain your brand in a short sentence but also include any Instagram specific promotions. For us, we always advertised our discounts in our bio and remind people that they can purchase the product in the link below. Using emoji’s certainly helps to stand out from the pack and draw attention where you need it.
4. Mobile matters more than ever
99% of all Instagram users are using the mobile app. Why? Because only the mobile app lets you post updates to your profile. The desktop browsers and third party applications are only used for viewing. When it comes to selling on Instagram, users are now going through the complete buying process to the very end on their mobile devices. It is now more important that your webpages are mobile responsive or mobile friendly at the very least. Your goal is to make the buying process as easy as possible since there are much more limitations on mobile. Users will bounce immediately if your website can’t be rendered correctly. From looking at our analytics, almost all the traffic that is driven to our website (from Instagram) is mobile only.
5. Post frequently
Since Instagram is such a fast moving social network that only allows you to view one post at a time, it is vital to post more frequently than you think. Initially we posted only once or twice a day thinking that we were overdoing it. But as we started to gain followers, we noticed our followers were sometimes following 500+ people. What were the chances they would see our posts mixed in with 500+ potential others? Now we post every 2-3 hours every single day. With such a high frequency of posts, we had to retain a good balance of general posts and sale posts. Just remember that users are following you for a reason and that reason is because they like your content.
6. Don’t be afraid to sell
Some of our best converting Instagram posts are images with sales copy directly on the photo or in the caption. We’ve noticed that for every sale post, we almost immediately see several conversions within minutes after posting. Once your page starts to organically with new followers, it’s important to always be reminding the new followers of your products through sale posts. Yes, you can over do it and lose followers, but at the same time, those are truly support your brand will stick with you. We continue to lose hundreds of fans each week but are able to still have a positive net gain every month. Also don’t forget to try long copy captions. From our experience, long captions do catch people’s attention and draw in more engagement.
7. Social proof is powerful
Perhaps the best method of marketing is still word of mouth and social media has become the new platform for that. Hundreds of our customers have supported our brand by endorsing our products without us asking. It’s honestly quite a great feeling to see our customers share photos of their purchase with their friends. Sometimes we screenshot their message to us or their post to show our followers how much of an impact our product had on them. When this happens, usually a couple dozen more followers leave comments mentioning how much they enjoy it as well. For anyone that is not a buyer or a new follower, this is an extremely powerful showcase of social proof and increases our conversion rate considerably.
8. Don’t forget international
Take a look at your analytics and you’ll see that not all your followers reside in the United States. Some of the top countries with users that follow you will usually be other English speaking countries. It’s important to try to post during peak hours of these countries. It can be hard to do so with different timezones but sometimes you can find a helping hand in those areas. If not, you could resort to using a tool like Latergramme for ‘scheduled’ Instagram posting. We continue to sell a lot of products internationally and it is without a doubt a market you simply cannot ignore these days.
9. Use tools for automation
Speaking of tools, there does exist a few tools to help you better sell on Instagram. With our brand, we sell our products, both digital and physical, by sending followers to our website where they have to use our shopping cart and ultimately check out with Paypal. Now there are tools that make the process much more simpler like Spreesy. With Spreesy, all a user has do is reply to your Instagram post with their email address and Spreesy will automatically send the follower an email with an invoice to pay with Paypal. It’s quite literally a one click solution for selling.
10. Customer service is key
Instagram isn’t the most effective means to communicate with your customers and fans. The problem is that the Instagram activity/notification menu can only show you so many updates before they go archived, especially when you have over 100k followers like we do. It’s important to monitor your brand mentions through hashtags, replies to your posts, tagged photos, and also direct messages. Any unanswered customer can be a bad look for you if you ignore them in front of other followers. Putting an email address in your bio can also be great help to manage customer service issues.
Using these tactics is how we generate a significant amount of sales daily and weekly just from Instagram. For a closer look at how we market our products and ourselves, we encourage you to give us a follow at @secretentourage on Instagram. We hope these tips shed some light on the secrets to selling on Instagram!
Pejman Ghadimi is the author of the Third Circle Theory, a powerful book which explains how some of today’s top visionaries are made. Since the age of 25, Pejman has been financially independent and has dedicated his time to bringing Secret Entourage & Secret Academy to life, a unique platform which focuses on helping motivate, educate, and improve the lives of young entrepreneurs worldwide.
Adrian Korte | Courtesy of Pejman Ghadimi