Sure, many companies – big and small – have learned that in order to get new clients and customers, you must open up shop on Instagram.
Yet, nobody told you it was going to be this challenging.
Fighting for attention amongst so many brands with huge marketing budgets can get overwhelming quickly. And simply starting to use Instagram for business and posting random stuff from time to time won’t cut it.
So, how is any business to navigate the over-competitive world of Instagram marketing in this day and age? And exactly how do you attract customers on Instagram?
There’s no one simple answer, to be quite frank. If there was, this would be one very short blog.
No matter how confusing it may seem, we’re here to clear the air and help you navigate the bumpy road of how to convert Instagram followers into customers.
Let’s get started!
Looking for more Followers?
Define Your Goals
You’ve got yourself a solid following – and you feel pretty good about your Instagram game. That’s it, right?
Not so fast.
No matter how good it makes you feel, a large following won’t do much for your ROI if it’s not the right kind of audience for you.
It’s fine if your goal is to increase your reach and get a ton of social proof – but if you’re looking to attract customers on Instagram, there’s a lot more to be done.
Here are some real-life examples:
Let’s say you’re a local restaurant with followers from all over the country. The social proof is there, and it looks good for the branding, but it won’t do much for you in terms of generating Instagram clients – i.e., quality leads.
Then again, if you run a global online store, social proof and lead generation will go hand in hand. The world will be your market, every follower will be a potential customer – and Instagram will be your direct sales platform.
And if you’re a real estate agent, Instagram is less of a sales funnel – and more of a portfolio.
You get the point.
So, the first order of business when it comes to finding Instagram clients – define your goals and target your audience accordingly.
Take The Time To Understand Your Target Audience
When it comes to lead generation, you obviously want to attract your ideal customers on Instagram. But how can you know who your ideal customers are if you don’t take the time to identify your target market and develop buyer personas?
One of the most powerful ways to do this is through storytelling. You’ve heard this one so many times, we’re sure. And the reason every marketing expert has it on repeat is because it’s that important.
Sure, you have to showcase your products and services to get your ideal Instagram clients sold, but first, you need to get your audience hooked. Make your Instagram grid a platform where you offer an exclusive look into what is so amazing about your business:
Create beautiful on-brand visuals that show flawless aesthetics, like the ones by unbirthday.co.
Let your audience know how your team works by offering behind the scene bits and fun team-building events.
Tell the story of how your company came to be, featuring your old photos, sketches, or the founding team meetings.
Put the majority of effort into telling a captivating story. This way, you’ll create a sense of familiarity and genuine connection with your audience. As a result, you’ll build trust, which unlocks an important part of the puzzle called how to find clients on Instagram.
But before you go into a follow-and-comment spree, stop and make a plan.
Yes, we’re talking about your buyer persona.
Go back to basics and think of who you had in mind when you created your product or service. What are their motivation and value in life? How can you connect your business to that?
That’s a crucial part of attracting your customers on Instagram – and keeping them engaged. Start there, and you’ll soon see a difference as your marketing efforts pay off.
Engage With Your Followers & Respond To Comments
You must never underestimate the power of social connections. It’s what social media platforms are all about – connecting with your ideal Instagram clients.
Social media followers want to feel seen, and that needs to be included in your social media marketing strategy.
Followers become loyal customers when they relate to your brand – and if you respond to comments, your followers will feel more inclined to participate in your brand’s conversations. So, use every chance to interact with your followers and show them you care – and make every comment reply meaningful.
That’s just the beginning, of course.
Once you’ve attracted the right social media followers, it’s time to keep them around by creating content that:
Speaks clearly to them
Solves their problems
Speaks their language
Occasionally provides comic relief
Run Giveaways That Encourage Following & Sharing
Getting your followers to speak about your brand, products, and services is a perfect way to get more customers on Instagram – and one of the best ways to achieve that is to give them something cool to talk about.
Starbucks nailed this one more than once, with the #starbucks hashtag seeing a staggering 45,000 photos of people sharing their favorite cup of coffee.
The trick here is to associate your brand image with something genuinely enjoyable, relatable, and fun to talk about on social media. It will make your audience feel connected – and help you build exposure among potential customers.
And let’s not forget one of the most successful social media marketing strategies for creating buzz about your brand – Instagram giveaways.
Everyone loves getting free stuff, so why not cash in on this?
Simply pick a product or service as a prize. Come up with a great branded hashtag, and watch the engagement boom.
Turn Your Customers Into Brand Ambassadors With User-Generated Content
What better way to get leads than to use user-generated content as a fast-converting strategy?
Once you’ve acquired a solid base of satisfied customers, ask them to share their success stories using your branded hashtag to leverage user-generated content on the social media platform.
Why not make it into a competition?
Create a prize campaign. For example, one follower per month will get a prize if they use your hashtag when posting product-related content.
One, your brand gets a ton of buzz and a larger social media presence. And two, your products or services get to be featured in action – and thus inspire many new purchases – making it a great action to convert followers to customers.
Leverage The Power Of Influencers
Partnering up with famous Instagram influencers who share the same values as your brand promotes will ensure the best possible marketing for your new products or services – and turn many IG followers into regular customers.
Don’t assume that if you’re not part of the “big players” club, you can’t afford to increase sales through influencer recommendations.
You just have to adjust your approach:
Think small and reach out to micro-influencers. Their super-specific and engaged following will provide an ideal target audience for your products – which will make the purchase that much more probable.
Encourage Them To Sign Up For Your Email Updates
If you want to convert social media followers into customers of your brand, you’ll need a serious strategy spread across multiple channels.
One of the best ways to boost social media conversions – besides influencer marketing – is to get people to sign up for email updates.
Newsletters can provide value for your followers – but they can also turn social media followers into paying customers. Plus, they’re a great way to keep followers engaged, even when they’re not on Instagram.
Stick To The 80/20 Rule When Sharing Content
It’s extremely important to remember that this is about your audience – and not about your brand. When crafting your social media strategy, follow the 80/20 rule – with 80% of your content being about the value you provide, while the remaining 20% can be promotional.
Let’s say you’re a clothing brand for runners. 80% of your social posts should focus on educating runners with tips, success stories, and big news from competitions – with a few funny memes thrown in – and the remaining 20% should be about your latest sales and new products.
Use your social media content to inspire and educate your following by offering interesting and rare information about a subject matter of their interest and sharing advice that addresses their most common pain points. Then, you can offer additional value with exclusive promotional codes, contests, and giveaways that reward loyalty.
This approach to posting content gives added value unmatched by any similar business – and, as a result, you’ll get a dedicated following willing to buy from you.
Invest In Instagram Ad Campaigns
Investing in paid ad campaigns is one of the smartest moves that new businesses still trying to establish their customer base and up their current followers count on social platforms could make. Promotional posts – coupled with the right landing pages – can drive traffic to your e-Commerce site and, potentially, increase sales.
By incorporating ad campaigns into your content strategy, you get to keep existing customers interested as you gain new followers and start fresh, interesting conversations. Your follower count will continue to grow – and so will your sales.
Make The Buying Process Easier With Shoppable Posts
Turning your Instagram followers into customers comes down to making the buying process easy and intuitive.
Here are some tips:
Use the bio wisely
Make your bio creative and informative. Place the link to your website in the Instagram bio or, even better, to the landing pages offering products and new deals.
Shoppable Stories and posts
Add a “Swipe Up” feature to your Instagram Stories featuring your products or services and direct new customers straight to your website product page.
Even if your Insta game isn’t that strong and you don’t have the required 10,000 followers yet, you can still treat your Instagram as a unique shop for your business.
Use the Support Small Business sticker to shout out some cool brands – and encourage influencers you’re working with to support your business using this feature, too.
Use every opportunity to encourage buying
Add shopping stickers to each post or Story that features your product. It’s a great way to provide product information without being too pushy.
Design Dedicated Social Media Landing Pages
We’ve talked about advertising on social media and how that can help you turn followers into customers – and one of the things we’ve mentioned is directing users to your landing page.
Sure, your website’s home page would work, too – if it features a lead magnet, that is.
But in most cases, the home page is not as specific, engaging, and targeted as a landing page – so it might not make a strong enough impression to convince users to complete a desired action.
So, if you’re hoping to generate more leads and turn social followers into customers, develop landing pages specifically for your social media audience.
Use Instagram As A Customer Service Channel
Have you thought about turning your Instagram account into a customer service channel?
You can use social media channels to handle all things business-related – from answering your followers’ questions to helping them resolve issues related to your products.
Excellent customer service is what turns followers into loyal customers.
It establishes credibility and improves your reputation. Plus, when people see how dedicated your brand is to helping other users, they’ll be more likely to give your products a try, too – which, for you, means more conversions.
Test, Optimize, Repeat
Don’t expect a miracle right from the start. Embrace the “You live, and you learn” philosophy and treat each step as a learning opportunity.
That is to say:
Once you’ve implemented a new strategy, prepare to test, analyze, and measure the actual impact of your Instagram efforts. Using social media analytics is the only way to find out for sure what works – and what doesn’t.
So, be sure to:
Analyze your top and worst-performing posts to learn what your prefers
Fine-comb through your audience’s analytics and optimize your buyer persona profiles
Test each strategy and adapt to changing factors
And, well – rinse and repeat.
Ready To Convert Social Media Followers Into Customers?
Cutting through the noise and getting your business in front of your ideal customer on Instagram is not an easy task. Social media marketing takes a ton of dedication, smart work, and many a try.
That said, we hope that this guide helped you learn a bit about how to convert Instagram followers into customers.
Using a killer visual message – combined with the list of strategies mentioned above – is a sure way to gain new followers and boost conversions by leading them through the sales funnel and turning them into paying customers.
Need help to reach your target market, gain followers, and boost traffic to your eCommerce site?
Sign up for Flock Social today!