Insights, observations, and stories from the front lines of ecommerce and online marketing

How to Capture Your Instagram Followers

If you are building an ecommerce brand online, there’s a high probability you’re using Instagram. Of all your potential social media channels, Instagram allows you to really show off your products and build a lifestyle around them.

Instagram’s popularity has really grown in recent years—up to 800 million users—and has some of the highest engagement of any social media channel because of its mobile and visual nature, according to Forbes. (Yes, I said 800 million!).

We’ve pulled some statistics to show how popular the platform really is:

 

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A post shared by Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) on

Going from Instagram Followers to Customers

While your Instagram following is important for your brand, at some point, you’ll want them to actually visit your website and purchase a product. Hopefully you’re already be doing that by pointing your followers to blog posts or to shop new items in your store, but if not it is time to get started.

Once your followers click on the link in your bio though or a promoted post, you have a huge opportunity to create a cohesive experience for them. After all, they already know and like you and your brand! So rather than serve them a generic campaign, greet them like the old friends you know they are when they reach your site.

That means taking some specific actions both on Instagram and on your website. Here are a few of my tips on both:

1. Tips For Your Instagram

Ask for Engagement

People are twice as likely to engage with your posts on Instagram, as opposed to other social media channels. That means that people will like, share, or comment on one of your posts if you’re posting great content.

While there are lots of ways to encourage engagement, creating a compelling image that starts a conversation is the best way. The second best? Ask for it. Ask your followers a question that has to do with the image, or even ask them to “double-tap” if they agree with your point of view.

One caveat on this: Facebook has changed their algorithm to demote “engagement-bait.” While we haven’t seen anything about Instagram, make sure your asks are thoughtful and you use this technique sparingly.

Stay Consistent with Your Calls-to-Action

On your Instagram feed, you don’t always have to have a call-to-action to visit your store on every single post. However, you should be consistent with where you send your followers and how often you include a call-to-action. And we definitely recommend reminding your followers about your website or blog on a regular basis.

Chances are, your followers like what you’re doing and who you are. If you’re already providing a positive experience, it’s much more likely that they will want to see what else you’re up to—including your website. By consistently calling attention to what you have to offer and tying together your content with your Instagram feed, you’re more likely to get that organic traffic that allows you to turn your followers into customers.

Use Instagram Stories to Your Advantage

Your Instagram presence isn’t just about your regular feed. Including regular Instagram stories is another way to engage your followers and tell your story. While you don’t need to post every day, the key is to post consistently so that your followers expect them.

If you qualify on Instagram with 10,000 followers or more, you can also include links in your stories. To use this, click the link icon at the top of the story and paste in your link. Be sure to include a note to swipe up for your followers to take action.

Then, you can…

2. Tips for Your Website

Target Your Instagram Visitors Specifically with On-Site Displays

Once your followers arrive on your site, make sure they see the correct message. Using audience targeting in Privy, you can make sure that your targeted pop up is only seen by folks coming right from Instagram. That way in your Instagram stories and in your profile, you can send them straight to your homepage or a product page instead of using a complicated URL.

To do this, go to the audience targeting section in the Design step of building your campaign. Choose “referring URL contains” and type in Instagram. You’ll also want your campaign to launch as soon as someone arrives on your site so they are instantly engaged.

Create a Special Offer for your Instagram Followers

Now that you’ve brought your followers to your website, give them a reason to take that extra step and make a purchase. You can do this by creating a specific discount for your followers.

Here’s the sneaky part: You don’t actually have to create any kind of new discounting or messaging. With your audience targeting from the first section, you can take your existing discounts or messages and tweak them for your Instagram audience. So if you usually welcome visitors with a 10% off discount, you can still do that. For your Instagram visitors, simply change the language to call out that you know where they’re from.

Make A Seamless Transition

Once you’ve targeted your Instagram followers and created an offer, you’ll want to closely tie together your imagery and messaging from your Instagram into your on-site campaigns. For example, if you’re a clothing company with a whole bunch of new products, use the same imagery to promote your new products on Instagram as you do on your landing page.

Take one of our customers, Great Lakes Collection, for example. Here's their Instagram post for one of their giveaways:

...And here's their on-site campaign to promote it, including all the images from their Instagram post.

This provides a consistent map for your followers—they’ll immediately recognize the image and know that they’re in the right place.

Do It For The Insta

There you have it. Now you’ve given people a reason to visit your store from Instagram and targeted a message just for them. And if you’re investing in other social channels, you can follow the same process to create YouTube or Facebook-centric welcome campaigns.

Sign up or log in to Privy to start turning your Instagram followers into customers.

How To's, Instagram, Social Media, social media strategy, Social Media Tips

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