Marketing on Instagram


You have a tiny, but genius, product line — or perhaps a full blown, successful business. But. Your sales are only getting nibbled from one slice of the market. Social media has grown over the last decade as a primary method to generate sales. Instagram specifically, has grown significantly since Facebook’s acquiring of the service in 2012.

Because photos appeal to the emotions, they are the main source of “clicks” on social networks. Instagram, being a photo/video only network, is like a smorgasburg of potential sales, lets look into how to capitalize on it.

1. People not product

Humanize, humanize, humanize. Focus less on this product, that service, buy this, get that — and more on the atmosphere of your brand, it’s values, and it’s products in action in everyday life. People want to feel like they have an emotional connection, not like you’re trying to shove your incentives down their throat.

2. Everyday Life = better with your brand

Closely related to #1 — when you show your products, services, brand, etc — show it in scenes. For example, a bracelet has more impact shown on a woman in matching apparel while laughing & drinking coffee, then when just placed on a plain backdrop.

3. Concise Captions

The second thing the user will see after your photo is the caption. Keep the initial tagline short and to the point. You can include more details, but separate them with **** or — — — or whatever tickles your fancy. Just keep your main message clear — the main focus, and separated from the rest of the so called “specs” or nitty gritty. Additionally, include a clear call to action — make sure it’s obvious where to go to find out more, or purchase.

Tip: The location tag is often useful for other things like saying “find the link to our store in our bio”.

4. #Hashitup

Instagram thrives on hashtags, make use of them. Tag both the product you’re showing off, but also your brand name, and related emotions, environments, or surroundings to your offering as well. People often search for photos by tags, you’d be surprised at the traffic you drive in by using them.

5. Give thought to your bio

Your bio is the first thing at eye level when a user clicks on your profile page. Do you have your brand logo for your profile photo? Or perhaps a scene which showcases your message or products? Keep your bio text concise, and include a link to your website.

Tip: You can use services such as to create your link and then track how many times people click that link, and view analytics like location and platform statistics for those users.

6. Create a Contest

Encourage your followers to post photos with a contest hashtag you’ve created. Pick the winner, and share it on your feed. This is a great way to get others to do your marketing for you, and generate excitement for your brand at the same time. You’ll likely find that giving away one product generates many more sales in the long run.

7. Make use of Instagram Direct

Instagram direct allows you to message 15 followers a photo or video in one message. So whether you send a ton of messages with the same photo to all followers, or you create a split of various photos to send out to your followers and then monitor which garners the most attention is up to you. This feature should be used sparingly — so that your followers don’t start to feel like they are being spammed.

Tip: Another approach is to send your most active followers direct messages of your newest products, or advance notice on flash sales.

That’s it!

Well, really we’ve only covered the tip of the preverbal iceberg, but these 7 guidelines should get you well on your way to snapping & sharing your way to increased sales. Happy Instagramming!