How to Turn Instagram Followers into Customers
The end-goal of your time spent on Instagram is to gain followers, right? What happens when you've dedicated hours and months of time, yet your sales aren't increasing? If your followers fail to convert, your entire Instagram strategy becomes pointless. While gaining social media followers is a great goal to have, be mindful about attracting quality followers and the consumer decision journey (awareness, familiarity, consideration, purchase, loyalty). If you're struggling to increase your social media conversions, here are five ways to start turning Instagram followers into customers:
1. Define your Goals
We always say to go in blindly is to fail. That's a little harsh, but it's so important for you to build social media goals that reflect your business goals, so that your efforts are intentional.
For example, let's say you're a custom home builder, serving your local community with custom architecture, design, and builds. Your business goal: Generate more inquiries for custom quotes
Your social media goal(s): Build local brand awareness, Drive traffic to your website Metrics to track: Quality and local followers, website clicks
Without these goals in place, you'll likely start posting content that isn't helpful to the end goal. As a business owner you wear several hats, and social media or marketing may be one of those hats (until you outsource to us 😉). Increase your productivity and stop losing time by posting content to Instagram that isn't intentional by setting your goals. Keep in mind: goals will change! Maybe you have a specific product or offer that you need to promote, or maybe you're in a busy season and can't accept new clients. Whatever it is, don't be afraid to change your goals and content strategy as often as you need to make things work for you.
2. Provide Social Proof
Your audience wants to know that you can provide the results you're promising. You need your followers to trust you before buying from you. How do you do this? Social proof!
Here's how Wikipedia defines social proof: "Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation"
Now that we've gone through a little lesson, let's dive into 3 ways to use social proof in your social media marketing:
Influencer Marketing and Brand Ambassadors: Micro-influencers and brand ambassadors can be a cost-efficient way of getting social proof. Find users with strong influence within your particular niche to post about your company. When other users see these influencers talk positively about your business, they're encouraged to trust and buy from you.
User-Generated Content: UGC is something business owners often skip-over, but it's an effective and simple way of getting free content and social proof! Create a challenge or use a branded hashtag within your business. The simplest form of user generated content is to reshare stories and content that you're tagged in.
Review & Testimonials: Don't be ashamed to brag a little. Share those recent five-star reviews and client results. If you have before & after shots, include those into your content. If you have a customer who was particular pleased with your business, ask them for a video testimonial - there's nothing better!
3. Lead with Value
Similar to social proof, valuable content will prove your authority and gain trust with your followers. Typically, we follow the 80/20 rule on Instagram: 80% educational, 20% promotional. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule, but the main point is to GIVE more than you get. Your content should be heavy with tips, tricks, how-to's, benefits, etc.
Ask yourself the following questions when planning your content:
What is my target audience struggling with right now?
How can my offer help them with the above struggles?
What is a frequently asked question I receive?
What do I want my audience to walk away feeling or learning after this post?
Every time you're providing valuable content, start with those questions.
4. Analyze your content & numbers
Don't waste your time posting content without knowing if it's optimized or helping you reach your goals. Here are a few questions you should answer:
What content is performing best right now? Are the metrics helping you achieve your goals? For example, is your content driving website clicks?
What are the best times for you to post?
What stories encourage the most DM's?
The numbers aren't just there to give you a boost of confidence. Use your insights to determine your next steps and help you attract customers to your website for conversions.
I know that everyone wants to see conversions with social media, but don't forget there is a lot to be mindful of before you ask for the sale and expect to see those conversions. It's much more than just posting on a consistent basis. Plan your strategy, provide endless value with irresistible content, share your results, build a community and don't be afraid to pivot if things aren't working out!
5. Build a Community
This is the best advice we give. Social media was created with the intention of building social connections with other users - let's not forget that a follower needs to know, like and TRUST your business before turning into a customer.
You should spend a minimum of 30-60 minutes a day engaging with your audience. Make them feel heard and appreciated before expecting them to buy from you. Here's how to effeciently and effectively spend your time engaging with your target audience on Instagram:
Start local: Search local hashtags and local businesses and start by visiting pages and genuinely commenting and connecting with those users. You already have something in common - your location, so the connection should be simple.
Search competitors: Chances are, the followers your competitors have should also be following you. Spend ten minutes looking at one of your competitors, and show their followers some love by leaving meaningful comments on their page or watching and responding to their stories.
Hashtags: Choose 2-3 hashtags that are relevant to your target audience. For example, if your target audience is a working mom, search #momswhowork and have fun building connections in their posts!
6. Optimize your profile
Make the buying process easy for your followers. You are competing with billions of users on this app, and consumers want things to be as quick and easy as possible.
Your information and promotions should be clear, obvious and easily accessible on your bio and within your content. Here's how:
Have a strategic bio: Your Instagram bio should state WHO you help, WHAT you offer, and HOW they can connect with you. Your Name Field should be searchable with relevant keywords (if a customer was searching for the service/product you provide, what would they search)? Don't forget to include a website, email address, location, and/or other ways to contact you! Check out the example below:
It's tough to cut through the noise and stand out as the "go-to" within your industry. You need to be strategic, thoughtful, and most important, consistent. Here's what we want you to remember: Attracting customers doesn't happen overnight. Building enough awareness and trust with your followers takes a lot of time, so don't get defeated if it's not happening for you yet. If you're struggling to convert those followers, let's have a chat. That's exactly what we do. We help determine a solution-based strategy that attracts potential customers and meets your goals as a business.