Essays From A Ninja: 5 Jedi Tricks To Win on Instagram

My favorite social media platform that I’ve been using in 2015 has been Instagram. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the attention graph and organic reach of Instagram is the highest amongst all of the social media platforms out there. There are very few Ads, no ridiculous newsfeed algorithm, and it’s completely mobile. Since switching to the new iPhone 6 Plus, I’ve enjoyed the experience of using Instagram on a larger mobile device and the photos and experience is amazing.

I found myself using Instagram a lot more since I’ve opened a 3D printing store on Shapeways. I’ve been experimenting with various tips and tricks to market and sell my products and I’ve seen the best results reaching, engaging, and selling to new customers through Instagram. Here are the five simple tips and tricks I use to win on Instagram for marketing and selling my 3D prints.

  1. Search topic hashtags and Engage

When promoting my products on Instagram I choose not to play defense and expect users to randomly find my Instagram account and content, instead I play offense and hunt down potential customers and consumers who are sharing relevant content. I do this by searching the specific hashtags that my product targets and begin liking, and commenting on their content making them aware I have a product that they might be interested in. For example I’ll search all the photos that have the hashtag #Tardigrade, filter through relevant photos of Tardigrades, read their photo descriptions and identify if they express interest in Tardigrades with keywords in their photos that say “I want one”, or “I love Tardigrades”. Then I’ll follow up with comments on their photo saying “You love Tardigrades? I have a 3D printed one on my page”.

2. Link to your website on the location section of your post

Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links on post, no problem. Just add the link to your website on the location section by creating a “custom location” and just add the link to your website instead of a real location. This will add visibility to your website for consumers. You can also direct users to the link on your bio which is clickable as an alternative. Either method works.

3. Utilize Repost and Regram apps

Once I began selling a ton of my 3D printed products I began reusing customers photos that were shared on Instagram to promote them again with the Regram app. It essentially allows me to repost their photo, thank them for being a customer, and promote that product again.

4. Instagram Direct Messaging

Remember when Instagram launched photo DM to users back in 2013? I forgot about it until I learned a little tip you can use it for; getting in touch with influencers and other users who have a bigger audience than you. You can get in touch with them and ask them if they can cross promote your content. I would recommend the best course of action is to not go after big celebrities but instead go after relevant accounts. I first found success of this by DMing photos of my Thorgi figurine to influential Instagram users in the Corgi community. The reception was welcoming and I got quiet a few accounts to post and link back to my account and promote my product.

5. Share Hyperlapse, Stop Motion, Slideshow videos

These are just a few content creation techniques and applications you can use to get creative with your content creation instead of just sharing static photos. Videos and short form micro content like slow-motion action videos, stop motion, slideshows, and Hyperlapse videos are a great way to get your audience hooked and wanting more.

Incorporate these tactics into your personal or brand’s Instagram strategy and you’ll begin seeing better conversation and engagement. Do you have any cool Instagram tricks that you use to Zig when the rest of the world Zags? Tweet at me @NinjaRAWLegend.