Convert Your Instagram Followers Into Customers
Updated: May 30, 2019
You’ve spent years growing your Instagram following around your passion that provides constant inspiration to your audience, whether it’s fashion, beauty, decor, travel, lifestyle, etc. You’ve partnered with some great brands, but now you’re ready to diversify your income streams and create products or services to maximize your growth potential.
Having lots of followers on Instagram is great, but a large social media following will not necessarily translate into sales because they are not always the same audience that will buy.
If you desire to convert your followers into customers, then you’ll first want to start by learning more about your target customer and understanding their needs and what they are struggling with.
Understand your target audience
You can learn more about your target audience by taking note of the individuals who engage with your content often. Take a minute to check out their profiles to get a better idea of who they are and their interests. Pay attention to the comments and questions they leave under your posts, send through direct message, or respond with to your Stories. They will often share their viewpoints, needs & wants, and the problems they are facing. You can use this insight to create content that speaks directly to them and delivers value.
Also, don’t hesitate to send them a direct message to learn more about them. You can also utilize the poll and question feature in Instagram Stories to do this. Ask questions to find out: What are they most interested in? What types of content do they engage with the most? What do they know and love you for? What problems could you solve for them?
Become a part of your audience's daily routine
Use Instagram Stories to update your followers on what’s going on behind the scenes and give your followers the story behind your business. People are spending more time watching Instagram Stories than they are scrolling their feed; they want to get their daily dose of your life and see what you have going on. Show them your journey and give them a glimpse of the process. When you give your audience behind the scenes access they feel like they know you and feel invested and connected to your mission.
Foster your community
The more relevant engagement within your community, the more valuable it becomes to your audience. Encourage your followers to share their thoughts and feedback, and ask for their input any chance you get. Re-sharing your followers’ Instagram Stories or posts is another great way to get your audience to feel more connected to you.
It’s also important to respond to comments and messages because it makes your potential customers feel important and valued. You don’t need to reply to every comment and direct message, especially if you receive hundreds of them a day, but try to develop a system where you take 30 minutes out of your day to respond. For a deep dive into why replying to comments is a critical component of any social media strategy, check out this podcast episode by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Prime your audience
To get your followers ready for your pitch, start sharing content that is in line with your product and your audience's interests. This content should inform, educate and speak directly to your target customer.
When you spend time educating and providing value to your audience and lead them down the path-to-purchase, when it’s time to pitch your product, your audience is primed and ready to take action.
No one wants to be constantly sold to, that’s why it’s advised to stick to the 80/20 rule when sharing content on social media on an ongoing basis. This means that 20% of your content should promote your product or service, while 80% should be content that interests and engages your audience.
Build loyalty and advocacy
Marketing is a continuous process and doesn't end once the sale is complete. The foundation of any business should be providing quality products and services to their customers and creating a superior customer experience. Not only do you want your customers to buy again from you in the future, but you also want them to advocate for you by telling their friends and family about your brand and their experience. The majority of purchase decisions are influenced by word of mouth.
Delight your customers by sending 'thank you' emails after they complete their purchase, provide deals tailored to their past buying habits, send birthday discount coupons, offer sneak peaks, and set up loyalty or referral programs.
Be sure to collect feedback to gain insight on how to continually improve the customer experience. This can be done through online reviews, surveys, chat-bots or contacting your customers directly via email, social media or by phone.
You won’t be able to turn every customer into an advocate, but make sure you do nurture the relationships with those who are fans of your product or service.