You might know Instagram for its influencers, celebrity insights, and ability to occupy hours of your time. Instagram is also one of the top places for shopper research and product inspiration.
The high engagement of this visual platform can attract customers to your Shopify store and through to checkout. Read on to learn how.
Launched in 2010, Instagram now has more than one billion active accounts each month and 500 million stories every day.
But aside from sharing food snaps and holiday landscapes, Instagram has become a place to engage with brands. 80% of accounts follow a business on the platform, and 60% of those have discovered new products or services through their interactions.
So how do you use this engagement to drive sales on your Shopify store?
How to master Instagram for Shopify
1) Optimize your profile
Before we get anywhere near how to drive sales through Instagram, we first need to optimize your profile.
If you haven’t already set up an Instagram account for your business, then you need to:
- Download the Instagram app on the App Store, Google Play store, or Windows Phone Store and follow the on-screen instructions, being sure to select Business Profile;
- Verify your business account by submitting the form in Settings > Account > Request verification; and
- Complete your Instagram profile bio with information about your business and a link to your website.
Instagram is all about the visuals, so once you’re set-up, you need to get creating.
Ideally, you want to add a diverse range of images and content such as product photographs, motivational quotes, tutorials, and images shared from other users.
If you’re not a photography pro, here are a few tips to drive Instagram likes before you start shooting:
- Images with high lightness generate 24% more likes
- High background space generates 29% more likes
- Single dominant colors generate 17% more likes
- Low saturation generates 18% more likes
- Textures generate 79% more likes
Tip: Check out these product optimization tips for creating Insta-worthy photographs that can be used on your Shopify store too.
Video content receives 21% more interaction than images, making them an essential part of your content plan.
Top tips for creating engaging videos on Instagram
- Keep them short and snappy
- Mix up your camera effects
- Ensure they make sense with the sound turned off
2) Increase your audience
With your Instagram account sounding great and looking fine, you want people to see it. Increase your follower numbers by using hashtags, contests, and ads.
By adding the # symbol immediately before a word or phrase, you create a clickable topic that users can click, search, and follow. This is a great way to reach potential customers who aren’t yet following you.
For example, this post featuring TushBaby’s hip seat is accompanied by the hashtag #hipseat. Anyone searching #hipseat will come across this post in the results, and anyone following #hipseat will see this post on their Instagram feed.
There are four main types of hashtags we recommend for Shopify sellers:
- Branded – these hashtags are unique to your brand name: #Deliverr
- Niche – these hashtags are relevant to your target audience: #FastShippers
- General – these hashtags are about the general topic: #2DayDelivery
- Descriptive – these hashtags target events or feelings: #PanicOver
For the best results, research the popularity and competition of hashtags and use combinations of the above to target different audiences.
Contents engage your current followers while increasing new followers by offering participants the chance to win a product or voucher in exchange for interacting with your profile.
Common Instagram contests include:
- Follow us
- Tag a friend
- Leave a comment
- Post a photo
Tip: Be sure to adhere to Instagram’s contest rules.
Instagram Ads really deserve a blog of their own, but in short, these are sponsored posts and stories targetted to a particular location, demographics, interest, behavior, or user. They help get your brand in front of relevant users who may have otherwise not found you.
3) Engage your audience
Engagement on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, so take advantage of this interactive audience with stories, highlights, and user content.
Instagram Stories are photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. You can use Instagram Stories to promote your Shopify store and products by producing creative content or streaming live.
- Sharing audience content: Showcasing user-generated content about your products and brand to inspire trust and social proof.
- Create interactive content: Running polls and sliders to encourage user engagement and receive genuine user feedback.
- Telling your brand story: Sharing photos and videos of your offices, event attendance, or even your team lunch.
- Going live: Broadcasting live Q&As or product launches.
To create a story, click on the camera icon at the top left, add your photo or video, and then click Your Story at the bottom left.
While Instagram Stories are technically only available for 24 hours, you can give them the gift of eternal life by creating Highlights on your profile page. Highlights are collections of old stories and they help followers to find relevant content quickly.
For example, you might have Highlights called About Us, About You, and About Our Products. Add relevant stories to each one.
To create a highlight, click on the + icon on your profile.
Tip: Learn more about Vasanti and how they use partnerships and fast shipping to boost sales.
Interacting with user content
An easy way to engage your audience is interacting with their content, especially content that’s relevant to your products. Comment on photos, like videos, share posts and follow people to show that you’re a brand who values two-way communication. Check out how @tushbabyshop commented on this photo of their product in use.
4) Drive sales
By now, you should have gotten to grips with Instagram. But this blog isn’t about getting to grips with the platform; it’s about how to master Instagram for Shopify. So our final top tips are all about driving Shopify sales through Instagram.
Enabling Shopping on Instagram
You can now add product tags and stickers to your posts and stories, allowing viewers to see a product description and price, as well as being able to click through to the product page on your Shopify store. This creates a seamless shopping experience that makes purchasing easy and memorable.
To enable Shopify on Instagram, download the Shopify Instagram Channel app, and then get tagging.
Adding Instagram to your store
You can also embed an Instagram gallery directly into your Shopify website. Doing this can increase your audience and drive sales by:
- Encouraging website visitors to follow you on Instagram
- Providing social proof about your brand and products
- Refreshing your store’s look without updating your theme
Plus, many of the top Shopify themes come with a gallery already built-in.
Tip: Sound like a bit too much to handle? There are hundreds of Shopify Instagram apps out there aimed at making the whole process easier.
Instagram isn’t just reserved for influencers, travelers, and foodies. It’s a perfect platform to access your target audience and engage them through your checkout.