10 Tips for Instagram Selling

10 Tips for Instagram SellingInstagram’s focus on images makes it an appealing marketplace for brands and consumers alike. Comment selling with Instagram presents a fantastic opportunity for customer engagement. Here are 10 tips to build an Instagram brand and monetize the channel:

  1. Use hashtags. Develop a set of hashtags to narrow the search your followers may want. You Fresh Naturals, an all-natural coco-butters company with 83,000 followers, uses these hashtags #youfreshnaturals, #paleo #nutbutteraddict to find and retain customers.
  2. Use keywords in your account name. Instagram’s search function isn’t extensive. Finding listings or shops can be tricky for customers trying to discover new places to buy. Your shop’s name needs to be obvious—not one that could be mistaken for a personal account. Use keywords like “shop” or “closet” to make your business stand out from personal accounts.
  3. Start following. Currently, there is no great way to search for shops only. Buyers often find new ones through the shops they already follow. Start following and interacting with other shops that sell in your category to make your presence better known.
  4. Don’t use photo filters. You want your customers to be able to see the items you’ve listed clearly and know their actual colors. Don’t risk a return because of a pretty—but misleading—vintage-inspired filter. If you use a filter, make sure to tell your followers in the caption.
  5. Be available to interact. Instagram doesn’t offer the opportunity to receive customer reviews and feedback, as you would on Etsy or Facebook. Try posting a “feedback” photo and invite your customers to leave their thoughts and suggestions. Also, post behind-the-scenes photos between sales posts, so your followers can see the people behind the brand.
  6. Keep it clean. Instagram doesn’t filter your posts the way Facebook does.  Your followers will see all of your posts. That’s great news—but make sure you don’t overwhelm them. Keep your sales to a maximum of 10-15 posts, and be picky about which items you choose to feature.
  7. Utilize video. Does your current sale include flashy jewels? A beautiful, flouncy skirt? Show it off! Use Instagram’s video capabilities to show the best assets of your most impressive pieces.
  8. Push flash sales.  The average Instagram user checks their feed for updates at least once an hour, and flash sales take advantage of those habits. Flash sales build anticipation, but you risk losing potential followers if you don’t post often enough. If you’re going with random times, make sure it’s regular enough to keep your fans engaged and your account looking active.
  9. Give advance notice. This is an important tip for how to sell on Instagram. If you don’t want to stick to routinely scheduled sales, but want to make sure your followers know when to start refreshing, try putting the info about your next sale in your description.
  10. Stick to a schedule. Set a schedule for daily deals, so fans know exactly where to be when they want to close a deal. Aim to post 3-5 times a day and spread out timing of your photos. Most importantly, get a feel for how your followers are interacting with your photos

As the old saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this modern world an Instagram photo could be worth thousands in sales.