Getting your brand exposed to more followers is a great first step – here are 8 tips on how to turn those Instagram followers into actual money paying customers.
1) Give your followers access to exclusive content
Exclusive content furthers your relationship with your followers, it builds rapport and it keeps them coming back over and again. It encourages them to interact with your brand one on one for the long haul.
Ways to make it happen:
- Make your Instagram followers feel loved by offering them access to something that you haven’t shared on any other platform. This might be a new product or an Instagram only version of a product, for example, a handbag that is only available in the colour Navy via Instagram.
- Launch or offer early access to a new product or offering exclusively to Instagram. This could be done using Instagram Live to host an event to make your followers feel like insiders.
- Create an exclusive offer for your Instagram followers. A special discount code works wonders.
2) Make your Store or Business look awesome
Tapping into what your customer demographic wants to see here is key. One way to do this is by having an awesome looking profile with creative pictures and posts. Things such as what your employees get up to in their spare time, your products out in the world being useful, getting involved in your community…the options are endless. Remember to be creative!
Sneak peeks into a day in the life of your business can be engaging – even a few secret snaps of new products/offerings in development can help your customers feel more connected to your brand.
3) Interact with your followers
Instagram isn’t a one way street – you need to actively follow your followers too. This again helps to build rapport and earn trust as a well liked brand. So, like and comment on your follower’s posts and ALWAYS respond to their comments on all your posts. Don’t forget to @mention your customers so they see your response. This can be a great way to organically grow more followers as new customers see your comments on other’s posts.
It can also pay to be visible elsewhere – blog about your services, products and events, be a guest speaker on someone’s podcast or host your own to your own targeted niche market.
4) Tap into User-generated Content
Help boost your follower’s online presence as well as helping yours along. User generated content is the way to do this…
- The simplest and best way initially is to run a photo contest. This will give you lots of images to use to promote your brand, as well as make those featured followers happy
- You can run varied contests – followers need to post photos of your products or simply just some fun themes, eg Halloween dress-ups etc.
- Use hashtags that are both trending and specific to your particular campaign
- If you’re aiming for user generated content in particular, use a single, unique hashtag for continuity.
5) Be Likeable
This is more challenging on Instagram compared to other platforms as you only have one media- images.
How to be more likeable:
- Put effort into your photos – every Instagrammer is an amateur photographer. Try…
- filters to enhance your photos.
- cool angles, lighting and other photography tricks
- Photo editing software or apps
- Show who you are – don’t be generic. Personalise your brand and give it some soul. Try…
- Fun photos and videos of your employees/customers
- Include some behind the scenes photos from manufacturing, product testing etc
- Record company events/milestones to your feed
- Be authentic
- Customers appreciate businesses that operate in the real world and aren’t afraid to show it- don’t sugarcoat
- Show your products as they are in real life
- Include access to your leaders and other brains behind the business. Make them seem approachable and fun
6) Partner with complementary businesses
This is a surefire way to increase your customer base. Partner with complementary, like-minded or nearby businesses – create a mutually beneficial post and promote each other.
7) Run Instagram Contests
One of the best ways to build your customer base is to offer discounts and prizes by running a contest.
- Give your contest a relevant theme – tap into what your customers are currently thinking about….eg back to school, finals season, holidays, major events
- Offer a sweet prize – The incentive for your customers to enter and share with their friends needs to be worth it so ensure your prize is desirable. Even better if the prize is something your target market digs.
- Include a vote – This will boost your chances of the contest going viral big time! We know that translates to growth in your brand’s profile.
8) Brush up on your statistics
The old adage “work smarter, not harder” definitely applies to doing Instagram well. Make use of some of the free tools to analyse your results, help you optimise your efficiency and make sure your reward is worth it. Get to know:
- When your followers are online
- What images and post-styles your followers respond best to
- Where are your followers from? Do you need to make some changes in your target audience?
These simple yet effective strategies will help you convert those hard earned followers into loyal, engaged customers. Good luck!