5 Tricks to Turn Instagram Followers Into Customers
Did you know that roughly 18% of all people on Earth use Instagram? That’s right. As of July 2022, there are over 1.440 billion Instagram users. For marketers, this audience size should be considered a gold mine for brand awareness and conversion opportunities. The bottom line: your brand should be on Instagram. Having an active Instagram account doesn’t guarantee sales, however, but it does present the possibility of sales. We’ve compiled a list of 5 tricks to help turn your brand’s Instagram followers into paying customers so that you can unlock the potential of this popular social media network.
Why Should You Use Instagram For Sales Generation?
Before we get into how you should be using Instagram to drive sales, here are a few reasons why it’s a worthy channel:
- 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business
- In one survey, Instagram ranked #1 as the top media platform for building relationships with brands.
- 81% of users use the app to research products or services.
It’s clear from these statistics that the Instagram audience is receptive to content from brands and seeks out branded content before making a purchasing decision.
5 Tricks to Turn Instagram Followers Into Customers
#1: Develop an Audience That Values Quality Over Quantity
Sure, having a lot of Instagram followers looks impressive when you’re sharing stats in a board meeting. But just think about how proud you would be to share trackable sales data instead. When it comes to audience development, quality should be prized over the number of followers.
What makes a quality follower audience? Understanding the usual buyer (or customer persona) of your brand will help. We are looking for followers who…
- Are interested in your product/service/industry
- Have a problem that your brand could help solve
- Actively engage with the content you share
- Are likely to continue coming back
#2: Those Are Real People Behind the Usernames; Talk to Them!
Say you have a storefront and someone walks in. You wouldn’t ignore them, would you? Neither should you ignore the users who choose to respond to the content you share on Instagram.
Engaging with Instagram followers through comments, interactive polls, and responding to messages can demonstrate strong customer service practices that leave a lasting impression on prospective customers.
Responses to even simple comments can make a difference in overall post performance. The higher the engagement your post receives, the more likely Instagram will put it in front of other users in their feeds.
It’s all about the algorithm.
Remember to respond to all comments–even if they’re negative. Reaching out to people who may have had a bad experience with your brand can change their overall brand perception and signal to other users that any kind of negative experience was a one-time occurrence meant to be resolved.
#3: Share Video Content
On Instagram, video content is known to receive more than twice the amount of comments as photo content. Videos can be shared in a variety of ways, including in Stories, on Reels, in extended IGTV content, and on Lives. Multiple viewing options increase the potential of a user seeing the video content your brand shares.
Here are a few ways to make video content more likely to drive sales on Instagram:
- Demonstrate your brand in action. Customer testimonials, lifestyle imagery of your products “in the wild,” and unboxing videos all show prospective customers what it would be like to purchase from your brand.
- Videos should be short enough to hold viewers’ attention but long enough to make a point. Set a goal with the content of each video and strive to achieve it with easy-to-digest information.
- Add captions. This one is for all Instagram users who silently scroll. Instagram mutes videos by default, so including captions can hold some users’ attention longer than a video without them.
#4: Offer Exclusive Deals
People like to feel special. It doesn’t take much effort to create exclusive content or deals to make your Instagram followers feel like VIPs. Using Instagram Stories to share discount codes “exclusive to our followers” or promote giveaways and contests helps encourage engagement. This comes in the form of comments and/or shares. Posts with “behind the scenes” footage can also add value for followers and turn them into buyers.
Posts that encourage sales might seem to receive lower “vanity metric” engagement at first glance, but it’s important to share these intermittently anyway. The metrics that matter are outbound clicks and conversions outside of Instagram. Be strategic with CTAs and don’t only share content asking for conversions to keep your audience engaged.
#5: Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)
The secret sauce of successful Instagram accounts is high-quality imagery that values authenticity over anything else. People buy what they believe in, and they believe in what seems real. User-generated content (UGC) is as real as it gets–providing both repurposable content for your brand and customer testimonials that are valuable for prospective customers.
Here are two ideas to encourage UGC from Instagram followers:
- Run a contest requesting photos. Every entry you get fills another slot on your content calendar and provides your brand with valuable customer insights.
- Use custom hashtags for both your brand and specific campaigns. Launching a new product could be the perfect time to launch a branded hashtag to accompany it. Branded hashtags allow marketers to track product sentiment and UGC easily on Instagram.
Use these strategies to maximize Instagram ROI and encourage followers to transition from casual browsers to paying customers. The key to attaining brand loyalty from followers is consistent content that matches what they want to see from your brand. Keep things informative, visually appealing, and exclusive on your brand’s feed, and the conversions will come.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make my Instagram grow faster?
Instagram growth comes from dedication and adherence to a consistent strategy. Cross promote content with other Instagram profiles, work with brand ambassadors, collect follows through your loyalty program, and market your brand content through your personal Instagram account.
How do you turn Instagram followers into customers?
The key is to lead with value. Don't come across as overly promotional in your Instagram posts. The more valuable information you share, the more likely your followers will want to visit your website through the link in your bio.