The social networking platform Instagram is blowing other social media platforms out of the water. With its massive growth rate, Instagram has become more than just a photo sharing platform. There are currently over 700 million monthly active users on Instagram, and not less than 400 million of these people are daily active users. While most people will view these numbers as just stats, proactive entrepreneurs view them as opportunities for conversion. If you own a business, it’s time you start seeing your Instagram followers as potential customers, and to work on converting them into regular customers. How do you achieve that?
Related: Instagram Marketing eBook
Your Instagram profile, or bio, should reflect your brand and tell your followers how much value you offer. One look at your bio should tell prospective customers whether you have what they’re looking for. This first impression can really impact your followers’ journey to becoming customers.
Rather than including a link to your homepage as the URL in your Instagram bio, use it for a landing page. This could be a landing page created specifically for your Instagram followers that welcomes them and invites them to sign up for your email list, or could be for a timely piece of content that users must provide their email address or phone number to download. This will help you to generate leads from your Instagram profile, who can be nurtured and converted into customers.
To convert your Instagram followers into customers, you must have a good understanding of who they really are. What do they do for a living? What do they like? What worries them? What is their average age? Pay attention to which types of Instagram posts are generating the most likes and shares by your followers. If you have a business account, you will be equipped with additional insights. This type of information is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing and holds the key to creating happy customers out of your Instagram followers.
Everyone likes to be treated specially, there’s no age limit for that. Your Instagram followers are no different. They are more likely to convert into customers when they find you endearing, social and approachable. A simple mention, comment, like, share, or direct message can go a long way in building a strong relationship with them, and strong relationships beget more happy customers. You don’t need to be an overly active Instagram user to achieve this. In fact, going overboard with too much special treatment takes away from the authenticity of it. Engage in this manner only with your most active and interested followers.
While your Instagram posts are a great way to build brand awareness and strengthen your messaging, it’s also important for your posts to focus on your followers. Deepen your engagement with your followers through an Instagram giveaway, discount code, or free download. If you can capture their email address or phone number to stay in touch with them, you’ve just generated a lead on social media.
The more followers you have, the more customers you’re likely to get, so promoting your Instagram account is vital to getting customers from the platform. To promote your page and make it visible to your target audience, engage in these practices:
• Make your Instagram handle simple and recognizable (preferably by including your business name).
• Make your handle searchable by making your account public.
• Use hashtags to expand the reach of your posts.
• Advertise. Instagram advertising offers advanced targeting and an easy-to-use interface.
• Promote your account outside of Instagram, such as through email marketing, other social media platforms, and on your website.
Another way to boost your connection with your followers and facilitate conversion is to feature them for the rest of your followers to see. You could feature one loyal customer or follower each week by creating a post dedicated to them or reposting on of their posts. Being featured in this manner can help to build a strong community of followers around your brand, from which you are bound to obtain customers.
People love to know that the brand they’re buying into is worth it. One of the best ways of knowing is listening or reading the testimonies of satisfied customers. You don’t have to directly ask your followers to post testimonials for your business, but you can incentivize mini testimonials through contests and giveaways—where they have to enter by creating a post that tags your business or shows them happily using your product or service. Seeing followers that are happy customers of your business can encourage non-customer followers to make the leap.
All the mentioned points require an active Instagram presence, but try not to get overwhelmed. Work on one strategy at a time, and take on only what you can attend to consistently. The competition might be rife, but with a little more effort you can turn your followers into real life loyal customers. You already know how.