Best Practice Guide for Instagram eCommerce: Increasing sales for your business

Updated: 3 days ago


Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses. With over 1 billion active users, it's a great place to reach new customers and grow your business. But how can you use Instagram to sell products and services? In this blog post, we will provide tips and tricks for selling on Instagram, as well as best practices for setting up your account and driving sales.


Why is advertising your business on Instagram important?

There are a few key reasons why selling on Instagram is a great idea for businesses:


  • Instagram is a highly visual platform, which is perfect for promoting products and services.

  • With over 1 billion active users, it's a great place to reach new customers.

  • Instagram is a mobile-first platform, which means that most users are accessing it on their smartphones. This is important for businesses because it means that you can reach customers while they're on the go.

  • Instagram has high engagement rates, which means that your posts are more likely to be seen by followers than on other social media platforms.


Now that we've covered some of the reasons why selling on Instagram is a good idea, let's take a look at some tips and tricks for setting up your account and driving sales.



Best Practices for Setting Up Your Instagram Business Account

There are a few things you should keep in mind when setting up your Instagram account for selling:


  • Use a professional profile photo: Your profile photo is the first thing that users will see when they visit your account, so make sure it's a good one! A professional headshot or logo is a great choice for businesses.

  • Write a compelling bio: Your bio is another important element of your profile. Use it to give users an overview of your business and what you're selling. Be sure to include a call to action (CTA) in your bio, such as "Shop Now" or "Learn More."

  • Use relevant hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to make your posts discoverable by users who are searching for specific topics. When choosing hashtags, be sure to use ones that are relevant to your business and products.

  • Use attractive visuals: As we mentioned before, Instagram is a highly visual platform. Make sure your posts are relevant to your topic, visually appealing and include high-quality photos or videos.

What type of people use Instagram?

Instagram had around 34 million users in the United Kingdom (UK). The largest share of Instagram users were individuals aged between 25 and 34 years old, at almost 31 percent. This was followed by users within the 18 to 24 years old category (Statista.com, June 2022).


These are important demographics for businesses to target, as younger people are more likely to make impulse purchases. The younger demographic on Instagram, however is not set to last. Just as we have seen young people migrating off Facebook in favour of Instagram in the past 5 years, now Instagram is losing younger people to TikTok.


Instagram has recently started collecting non-binary data.


Guide to advertising on Instagram

Now that we've covered some tips for setting up your account, let's take a look at how you can start selling on Instagram.

One of the most effective ways to sell on Instagram is through sponsored posts. Sponsored posts are posts that businesses pay to have featured in users' feeds. They can be a great way to reach new customers and promote your products or services.


When creating a sponsored post, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your image is high-quality and relevant to your product or service.

  • Use an attractive headline and call to action (CTA) to grab users' attention.

  • Use relevant hashtags to make your post discoverable.

  • Target your audience with laser precision to ensure that your sponsored post is seen by people who are interested in what you're selling.


Instagram offers a few different types of sponsored posts:


  • Photo ads: These are static images that can be used to promote products or services.

  • Video ads: These are videos that can be up to 60 seconds long. They're a great way to showcase products or services in action.

  • Carousel ads: These are posts that contain multiple images or videos that users can swipe through. They're a great way to tell a story or show off multiple products at once.

  • NEW! Reels can be "boosted" on Instagram, however this type of advertising does not offer the granular targeting that you get from Meta Advertising campaigns.


Why you should avoid hitting the "Boost Post" button on Instagram


We know, we know. The "Boost Post" button is so tempting. It's right there, waiting to be clicked. And it promises to make your post reach more people. But before you hit that button, there are a few things you should know.


Boosting lacks control


The main reason to avoid the "Boost Post" button is that it doesn't give you the same level of control over your audience as a Meta Advertising campaign. With a Meta Advertising campaign, you can target specific demographics, interests and even behaviours. This means that your ad is more likely to be seen by people who are interested in what you're selling.


The "Boost Post" button, on the other hand, simply makes your post more visible to people who already follow you on Instagram. So, unless you have a very large following, the chances of reaching new customers with this method are slim.


In short, the "Boost Post" button is a quick and easy way to get your post seen by more people. But it's not the most effective way to sell on Instagram.


Your Guide to Instagram Shopping


Now that you know how to create a sponsored post, let's take a look at another selling method: Instagram Shopping.


Guide to Instagram Shopping (step-by-step)


Instagram Shopping is a feature that allows businesses to tag products in their posts and stories. When users see a tagged product, they can click on it to get more information, such as the price and product description. If they're interested in purchasing the product, they can be taken to the business' website to complete the transaction.


3 reasons why you should set up an Instagram Shop


  1. Allows you to showcase your products in a customisable way.

  2. Create shoppable content by tagging products in your posts or your story

  3. Gain insights from your shop to learn what engages your customers with insights such as product views.

Setting up your Instagram Shop step-by-step


When you set up your shop, you will be asked to connect your Facebook Account, so you can control all your settings through your Facebook (Meta) Business manager.


Connect your product catalogue directly, or use an ecommerce partner, like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, or WooCommerce.


Follow the prompts to connect your shopping catalogue.


Using Shopify makes it easier to get started with Instagram Shopping as it will automatically tag your products in your posts, making them shoppable.


Best Practice for eCommerce Businesses on Instagram

Now that you know the basics of selling on Instagram, let's take a look at some best practices for eCommerce businesses.


Product photos should be high quality and show the product in use.

In order to sell products on Instagram, you need to have high-quality photos that show the product in use. People want to see how the product looks and works in real life, so make sure your photos are clear and informative.


Include a call-to-action in your posts.

Your posts should always include a call-to-action, such as "click the link in our bio to shop now!" This will help encourage people to take action and visit your website.


Use Instagram Stories to show behind-the-scenes content.

People love seeing behind-the-scenes content, so use Instagram Stories to give your followers a glimpse of what goes into running your business. You could show them how you pack orders, or give them a tour of your office or warehouse.


Post regularly, but don't spam your followers.

It's important to post regularly on Instagram, but you don't want to spam your followers with too many posts. Aim for one or two posts per day, and make sure they're high quality and relevant to your audience.



Engage with your followers.

Make sure you're engaging with your followers, responding to comments and questions. This will help create a community around your brand and make people feel like they're part of something larger.


Use hashtags to reach new audiences.

Hashtags are a great way to reach new audiences on Instagram. When you use relevant hashtags, your posts will be seen by people who are interested in that topic. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, you could use hashtags like #fitness or #workout.


Run contests and giveaways.

People love free stuff, so run contests and giveaways to help promote your products. You could give away a product, or offer a discount code for people who enter the contest.


Attracting and nurturing your target audience on Instagram

To build a following of your target audience, you need to understand who they are and what they're interested in. Once you know this, you can create content that appeals to them and post it at the times when they're most active on Instagram.


Your target audience should be:


People who are interested in your products or services.

For example, if you sell fitness equipment, your target audience should be people who are interested in fitness and health.


People who are likely to buy from you.

This means they should have the disposable income to make purchases, and they should also be interested in what you're selling.


People who are active on Instagram.

This means they're regularly using the app and are likely to see your posts.


Now that you know who your target audience is, it's time to create content that appeals to them. This could be anything from blog posts and infographics to product photos and behind-the-scenes videos. Once you have this content, you need to post it at the times when your target audience is most active on Instagram.


Using Instagram insights to understand your audience


The best times to post on Instagram are different for each account, and these insights are available on your professional dashboard. Press "See all" on your Account Insights and click on Total Followers. Scroll to the bottom of that screen to see the Most Active Times for your followers for each day of the week. This tab also contains vital demographic information for your followers including the top age ranges and gender for your audience.


The value of User Generated Content (UGC)


One of the most powerful marketing tools on Instagram is user-generated content (UGC). This is content that's created by your followers, and it can be anything from photos and videos to reviews and testimonials. The reason UGC is powerful is down to social proof. This means that people are more likely to buy from you if they see that other people have already bought from you and been happy with their purchase.


To get UGC, you need to encourage your followers to post about your products or services. This could be done by running a contest or giveaway, or simply by asking them to use a specific hashtag when they post about your brand. You can pick up these hashtags and repost the UGC without the extra effort and cost of a giveaway.


Tagging your products on Instagram

You can only tag up to 20 items per post while creating it. You may personalize your Instagram account and add tags to individual posts both new and old. On your Instagram account, you may personalize the display of products by tagging them. You can add up to 5 product tags on each photo or video in a video or photo feed post.


How to add shopping tags to your Instagram posts

How to tag products in your posts:

  1. Tap (+) and toggle to Post.

  2. Select a photo or video and add a caption, effects and filters. Tap the right arrow (Android) or Next (iOS).

  3. Tap Tag Products. Tap the products in the photo or video that you want to tag.

  4. Search for the products you want to tag, then select them as they appear in the search box.

  5. Tap Tick (Android) or Done (iOS).

  6. Tap Tick (Android) or Share (iOS).


Note: When you share a post with product tags on Instagram, you can share the same post to Facebook with product tags. You can do this by toggling on Facebook before posting. Your tagged products are displayed on the post.


If you're an eligible seller with an active promotional offer tied to the tagged product, the promotion is automatically tagged. The post's call-to-action bar changes to View Offer or View Sale depending on the promotion type that you select in Commerce Manager. You can remove the promotion from the post by tapping the call-to-action bar and then tapping X to remove.


The benefits of Instagram Stories


Instagram Stories is a great way to connect with your followers in a more personal way. You can use it to show behind-the-scenes content, give sneak peeks of new products, or just share everyday moments from your life. Stories are also a great way to run quick polls and surveys with interactive stickers - these can help you understand your audience better.


To get the most out of Instagram Stories, make sure you're using all of the features available to you. This includes adding stickers, using the drawing tool, and including links to your website or products. You can also use Stories to run ads, which is a great way to boost your sales.


What are product stickers (and how do I use them?)

Product stickers are a new feature on Instagram that allows you to tag your products in your stories. This means people can see more information about the product, and they can also click through to buy it from your website.


To use product stickers, simply take a photo or video for your story and then tap the sticker icon at the top of the screen. From here, you can search for products or browse by category to find the right product to tag. Once you've found it, tap on the product and position it where you want it in your story.


When people see the product sticker, they can tap on it to see more information about the product. If they're interested in buying it, they can tap again to be taken to your website.


Product stickers are a great way to increase sales on Instagram, and they're also a valuable tool for understanding which products your followers are interested in. By looking at the product sticker data in your professional dashboard, you can see how many people have viewed each product and how many have clicked through to your website. This information can help you make decisions about which products to promote in the future.


Add shopping stickers to Instagram Stories

To add shopping stickers:

  1. Tap (+) and select Story.

  2. Select a photo or video to upload to your story.

  3. Select the shopping sticker from the sticker tray.

  4. Select the collection, storefront or product(s) from your catalogue that you want to feature.

  5. Tap Done.

  6. Move the shopping sticker to where you want it to appear on your story.

  7. Note: The style of the shopping sticker can be changed by tapping the sticker.

  8. Tap Send to and select your audience.

  9. Tap Share.

The bottom line on Instagram Ecommerce


The Instagram app is a powerful selling tool, but you need to put in the work to make it work for you. This means understanding your target audience, creating content that appeals to them, and using all of the features available to you. If you do this, you'll be well on your way to boosting your sales and growing your business.


Interested to learn more?

If you're looking for more ways to boost your eCommerce business, check out our guides to building your Instagram presence, and watch for our upcoming guides on Facebook Shopping and TikTok Shopping.


Check out the rest of the Instagram Strategy series

Part 1: Top Instagram Strategies to Boost Account Growth

Part 2: Strategies to increase Instagram engagement in 2022


If you have any questions about selling on the Instagram app, contact us at hello@treattorbay.co.uk

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