Instagram has 1 billion users.
It’s the top photo-sharing community in the world.
Not surprisingly, it can be a very powerful part of your ecommerce marketing strategy, if approached correctly.
This provides ecommerce companies with a formidable tool for establishing their brand, interacting with customers, and boosting revenue.
That said, just like any social media platform, the money is in the list (of followers).
Here are 10 ways you can get more Instagram followers.
The truth is that people like reliability. When it comes to making purchases from a specific brand, your customers want to know you’re consistent.
That’s how you build trust, and consumers are much more likely to buy from a brand they feel they can trust.
It’s a good idea to land on a color scheme for your brand and to stick with it. And you want the visuals you use to follow the same pattern, too.
For example, when you think of brands like Facebook, Google, Amazon, or Coca-Cola, you can associate a color or color combination with each of them, can’t you?
Maybe you’re thinking, “Easier said than done. I have no clue where to start!”
First of all, calm down, Susan. We’re here to help.
Find several of your competitors’ IG pages and start scrolling through, making note of what you like. Make sure to pay attention to their latest posts and how much interaction they’re getting.
This is hands-down the fastest way you can get Instagram followers on a limited budget.
It’s as easy as it sounds – like pictures relevant to your ecommerce business and watch your follower base grow.
This ecommerce marketing strategy is so effective because you’re connecting with like-minded and relevant users.
When people see companies “liking” their pictures, they tend to view their profile (which helps improve traffic – IF you have effective profile text and a website link), like their pictures, and follow them.
Taking pictures is great. But your audience wants to see “good” photos, not the ones you snap on the fly with your smartphone.
(You’ve heard the saying, “Quality over quantity,” right?)
Nobody likes to follow people who blow up their Instagram feed with a ton of barely-acceptable pictures.
Remember, Instagram is all about pictures, and, like other kinds of art, photos have the ability to stir emotion. And that’s the sweet spot where you want to hit your prospective customers.
When you post a picture to Instagram, make sure that it’s relevant to what you represent and what you do, and make sure it is something people will want to interact with.
If you haven’t already realized, hashtags are your best friend on Instagram.
You can think of them working like keywords work for Google.
They help people find you, which is the ultimate goal of your overall ecommerce marketing strategy. (Well, other than them making a purchase. But they have to find you first.)
Whenever you post a picture, make sure you hashtag words that pertain to what the picture and your store are about.
These will immediately place your picture under each hashtag category and open more avenues to followers.
If you can hone in on a hashtag that’s getting searched but isn’t popular enough to push you out of the results, you may be able to rank among the “Top Posts.”
Hello, new traffic and boosted sales.
Pro tip: Keep a spreadsheet or just a document of the hashtags you use so you can easily copy and paste the ones you use frequently.
“Likes” are nice, but comments are everything.
In fact, Sprout Social says, “When your followers go beyond double-tapping your photos and take the time to leave a comment, it’s because they resonated with it. Comments, whether positive or negative, are the result of a person feeling some type of emotion for your content, your brand or both.”
While it’s hugely valuable to your company when followers leave comments (it means you’re hitting the target and engaging your audience), the opposite is true, too.
As you’re implementing your ecommerce marketing strategy on Instagram, it’s a good idea to reply to as many comments as you can.
If people cared enough to stop and leave a comment, please care enough about your customers and prospective buyers to respond.
Becoming a pro hashtagger takes some time.
First, you have to learn what common hashtags are used for your industry. Then you need to understand which hashtags are effective and which ones are a waste of hashtag space.
The easiest way to do this is by finding out what your competitors are doing.
See what hashtags they use to get thousands of likes and then apply the ones that are relevant to your company.
Although it’s wonderful to have 50,000 followers and only be following 50 people, it’s good to follow people who are relevant to your industry.
It’s important to remember that social media is a two-way street.
People will interact with you, so it’s important to do the same. Following people allows you to expand your circle of influence through interaction.
For example, if I was following 50 people and had 10K followers, then I would only be allowing myself to keep up with the 50 people I am following.
Now, If I was following 1,000 people and had 10K followers, then I would be opening the doors to interaction and relationships with 1,000 people who may visit my online store, share it with their friends, and possibly make a purchase.
When it comes to social media, timing is everything.
The most effective time to post is during the week, at lunchtime (between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.) and in the evening (between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.).
Keep in mind, you’ll need to test what works best for your audience.
Don’t forget that your Instagram account can be linked to other social media profiles, like Facebook. That means you can kill at least two birds with one stone.
It’s a definite time-saver, but it also means you need to do some research on the hashtags that are trending on Facebook (or whatever other platform you’re posting to) so you’re getting as much engagement as possible.
After all, that’s what a solid ecommerce marketing strategy is all about. Expand your reach, expand your sales. 👊
Your ecommerce marketing strategy needs to include Instagram. And that means you need followers and lots of ‘em.
Put these nine tactics into action and watch your follows – and sales – start to climb.
Originally published November 2017, updated March 2021