With over 1 billion monthly users worldwide, Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms today.
It is estimated that 77% of us Brits are active on social media (that’s 53 million people!) so it’s no wonder that business owners are keen to discover the newest ways to advertise their products on these sites and apps.
Are you wondering how can you make money using Instagram? Selling with Instagram can be time-consuming in the initial stages, but once you’re up and running it can quickly become a fantastic source of revenue for your business.
Sounds like something you’re interested in? Well, in this post we’ve pulled together all the steps you need to get started with selling on Instagram.
WHAT IS A SHOPPABLE POST?
For as long as Instagram has existed, there has been a frustration shared by small business owners, that is, the inability to add external links to posts.
That’s until recently, with the introduction of Instagram shoppable posts and checkout features. This means that your customers can now browse and buy products without even leaving the app.
Undeniably, there’s a little bit of admin and set-up to do initially, but once you’re all set up you can add a tag of your products in a post – just like you would tag a person.
LET'S GET STARTED
1. FIND THE PERFECT PRODUCT?
For selling on a visual platform such as Instagram, it’s a good idea to think about what naturally lends itself to photography and the aesthetics of the app. If this is your first time selling online, take a moment to consider which products would be your best sellers.
Products that get the most engagement include:
· beauty products
· sporting goods
Don’t worry if your business doesn’t sell these products, you can sell anything on Instagram – it just means you might need to get creative with how you present these items to your audience in an engaging way.
2. CONVERTING TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
You’ll not be able to access selling tools before converting a personal account to a business account. It’s easy to switch this in your settings.
When launching your business profile, make sure it reflects who you are as a business:
· make sure your posts and bio reflect your business, products and ethos
· include your logo, preferably as your profile picture
· try to incorporate brand colours wherever you can
3. CREATE YOUR SHOP
Setting up the shop can be the most time-consuming part. You will need to add all the products you want to promote by using Facebook Business Manager. Use Facebook’s handy how-to guides:
You can also connect your Facebook business page to Shopify or BigCommerce if you’re using these already.
After you’ve set this up, Instagram will just need to approve your product catalogue, then you can go ahead and connect it to your profile.
After you’re all set up, you’ll be able to see the Shop tab on your profile where customers can browse all of your products in one place.
4. SNAP SOME PHOTOGRAPHS & VIDEOS
What’s the best way to get your audience interested?
The golden rule of sales, to make your audience not feel like they're being sold to, is also important to remember when selling on Instagram. This is in fact especially true on Instagram, as it’s a social media channel after all – so you need to walk the line between your content looking professional and feeling authentic.
Here are our top tips on achieving this:
· be genuine – try to avoid using photos that look staged and out of place on your user’s feed, for this reason, we say try to steer clear from obvious stock images if you can
· use UGC (user-generated content) – encourage your customers to submit pictures of your products in everyday settings, they can do this simply by tagging you in a post or story
· tag multiple products – you can tag up to five products in a single post, or up to 20 in a carousel of multiple images
· tell a story – this is your chance to be creative and have fun
5. START SHARING
Now you have your shop set up and your images at the ready, it’s time to share your products on your stories and posts. You can tag your products using Instagram shoppable tags just like you would if you were tagging a person.
Get creative with your captions too. Try to tell a story and always include a call to action with what you want your customers to do.
6. MARKET YOUR SHOP
To try and grow the audience of your Instagram shop, here are some extra things you can look into:
· brand ambassadors – seek out influencers whose followers match your target audience. They can help promote your product and are seen as more genuine than other forms of advertising
· posting time – do your research on when your customers are online, and make sure you’re posting frequently
· offers and discounts – Instagram giveaways are a great way to encourage engagement and grow your business, offer users a chance to win one of your products if they share and follow your page
· promote your posts - selling on Instagram is free, but if you have the budget, you could look into boosting sales with paid advertising. This means you can promote certain posts or stories and reach a wider network
· hashtags – look at others in your industry and use targeted hashtags to help reach your customers
7. WORK OUT PAYMENT OPTIONS
Instagram’s checkout functionality means your customers can pay straight away, directly through the platform without needing to leave the app. This can be done easily with PayPal or a bank card.
8. CHECK ANY LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
A bit of legal boring stuff, but it’s pretty important so we thought we’d better mention it. To sell with Instagram, your goods must comply with Instagram regulations – so take a read of their merchant agreement and commerce policies.
And there we have it, your guide to getting started with selling on Instagram.
In no time at all your customers will be able to buy your products through their favourite social media platform.
An Instagram shop is a great way for your customers to make purchases, but make sure that the rest of your profile and posts are engaging. The combination of these factors creates the environment for great business success.
Not sure where to start with social media? At Audience, we’ve got you covered. Book a free discovery call today to see how we can connect you with your customers, so that you can focus on the day-to-day running of your business #sorted.