How to Build an Instagram Community for your E-Commerce

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The photo-oriented social networking app, Instagram is proving to be the network made for business- especially E-commerce. With the focus of this audience being on beautiful, stylized photos, it’s easy for E-commerce to showcase their best products and reach thousands of followers.

Let´s say, you’ve got your online shop set up and are starting to explore different avenues for traffic. Facebook’s social networking service is one of the most popular avenues for online merchants. The problem is that it can also be incredibly tricky. With roughly 1000 million active monthly users, social media is loaded with potential new customers. Do you know you to create and boost Instagram traffic?
All you have to do is set up an account, post a few pictures, like a few photos, and … boom! You’ve unlocked a stream of traffic available at your every wish and command, right? Wrong. Just being there is not enough to make the most out of Facebook’s media. In order to hit the growth metrics you want, you will have to pursue a more active communication strategy on the social network.
In order to boost your traffic, you must adopt a two-part strategy that focuses on first building up credibility and your audience on your account. Then, you can start funneling that traffic to your site.

Building Your Audience: A great start to boost Instagram Traffic

Accounts and niches respond to different strategies in a variety of ways. The first step in building your audience is to clarify what type of audience you want to have, relevant to your industry.
Building an audience is getting increasingly more difficult. The network’s post engagement is down an average of 33% for 2017. Every user is seeing much more content than they were just a year ago. They have started to react to this content overload by becoming increasingly less engaged with brands.

Variety of Post Content

If your focus is on building an audience, your posts should primarily be entertaining, informational, and community oriented. These posts help to build up your brand and increase your follows.

Top Strategies to Boost Instagram Traffic for Online Merchants
Adidas profile

Having a variety in the type of posts is a great way to keep your followers interested. For each product-oriented post in the early growth stages, you run the risk of pushing your audience away.

Hashtags or how to boost Instagram traffic?

Having at least one hash sign, on average, gets a post 12.6% more engagement than a post without one. Although hashtag use is not as novel as it was a few years ago, there are still massive numbers of users that use these to discover and surf new accounts. Try to find what your audience is already using instead of playing guessing games.
The more community-oriented, trending, and specific a hashtag, the better.

Call to Action

Having a CTA in your profile caption is an excellent way to encourage users to engage with your brand. Sparking a conversation in a caption like “What does everyone think about the Live feature? We like it better than Snapchat, but we want to hear your thoughts” is a simple way to bring up a topic with which everyone using the platform should be familiar.
The more industry-specific your captions, the better you will be able to target your audience in the future.

Sending Instagram Traffic to Your Site

So, now you’ve got a significant amount of engaged followers familiar with your brand. Your profile growth strategies don’t need to come to a stand-still, but it’s time to start incorporating specific posts that send traffic to your site.
Once you hit a sweet spot of followers and engagement with your  account, consider using a few of these strategic posts to boost your site traffic.

Related Content Post

Now that you have a significant following, you have an excellent opportunity to share useful content from your site. Creating a captivating and informative post adds variety to your posts, but a link to your on-site content in the description also provides interested readers with additional useful information.
Using a site like allows online merchants to create graphics with text that drive the reader’s attention toward the description and then toward your site.

Host a Contest to boost Instagram traffic

Running a giveaway or photo contest is an excellent way to reward your followers with an enticing prize. An effective prize for your contest would be something that draws attention to your brand and your products. Although showcasing your best-selling product in the giveaway might drive attention to the product, it could also seem overly promotional if done a certain way. It is important to set the criteria to enter to meet your end goal—in this case, getting site traffic.
An alternative brand-building strategy to drive site traffic is to promote an on-site contest on your account, with the main prize being something not directly related to your business. For example, if your store primarily sells high-quality bandanas and your audience consists of a high percentage of music-festival-goers, you could host a ticket giveaway to an upcoming festival.

Run a Limited Time Discounted Instagram Promotion

The first step to taking advantage of the social media’s feed is to understand what time your audience is checking their phone. By viewing optimal times on the network, online merchants can plan contests to add an atmosphere of exclusivity and urge users to pay attention to their brand name in the future.
If you find that the majority of your audience is checking their feed at 3 p.m., you could launch a two-hour contest during which each purchase comes with a free item.

Network with Influencers

Sometimes the best way to send traffic to your site is to work on promotions with ambassadors with significant followings. Most of them usually welcome working with other companies for a share of the revenue, a fixed payment per post, free products, or even, occasionally, goodwill if they are familiar with your brand.

Top Strategies to Boost Instagram Traffic for Online Merchants
Exemple of cosmetic / beauty products top influencer : Huda Beauty

Here are 8 steps to nailing that Instagram strategy for your E-commerce:

Show off your Products

When you are presenting your products on Instagram, try to make sure your photos follow the same kind of theme or look. You want to give consistency to your brand and really attribute a visual identity to your brand. A great example is Everlane, which has a consistent, bright look to all of their Instagram photos. They even follow the same colour scheme when staging photos.

Show how it’s made

If possible, show how your product is made, or show someone using your product. This can be a non-typical way to show off your brand without the classic advertisement. If your process is a long one, you can make it part of a multipart series, which is extremely shareable on other social platforms as well.

Go behind the scenes

Instagram is especially adapted for showing your audience a “behind-the-scenes” look into the world of your production, or work life. Show your followers something that the average person wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to see.

Show what your products can do

Instagram works really well for tutorials and showcases of what your products are capable of. Try showing gif tutorials, or perhaps less thought of ways to use, wear, and consume your products. Get creative!

Show off the Office & Employees

A fantastic way to build brand intimacy with your followers is to show photos of you and your team in day-to-day life. This humanizes your brand and gives your followers the personalized view of your E-commerce.

Take your Customers with you

This is a great way to promote events that you attend and give your followers the impression that they get an exclusive view into the world behind your E-commerce business. Remember to use the hashtag of the event and tag prominent attendees in your Instagram shots.

Share Quotes and Inspiration

Sharable quotes and inspiring photos are a hit on this social network, and you should be capitalizing on that. People want things that speak to them, so choose quotes that represent who you are as a brand and share them in a visual way. Try not to use quotes that have been overused- you still want to be unique.

Get Competitive

Use competitions to get new followers and foster brand loyalty. You want your consumers to engage with your brand and actively participate. They will be more likely to share your content with their friends on their own networks, which will launch more acquisition for you. This is especially useful for brands that do charitable work to present their causes.

Extra tips:

Use hashtags: Hashtags are great ways to help new people find and follow your brand. Use an official hashtag for corporate events and for your official brand. This will allow your customers to tag you in photos of themselves enjoying your products!
Regram your followers: Don’t shy away from regramming what your users send you. You want your followers to share their creativity with you and engage, so reward them by resharing their awesome photos.
Tag a location: If it’s pertinent, tag a location to your photos. Instagram posts with a location tag get 79% more engagement.
Promo it: Share special promotions with your Instagram followers that are exclusive to the social network.
Plan it out: Design your photos around a central colour scheme. Single dominant colours tend to get more likes on Instagram.
Understand your post lifespan: 50% of all comments on an Instagram post are posted within the first 6 hours. They’re usually all posted after 48 hours.

Instagram is a fantastic social media for those with the eye for design and creativity. Feel free to go wild with the expression of your brand and create a visual community that will convert your followers to customers.

Conclusion: Now you know how to boost Instagram traffic

In addition to the above strategies, there are many other tactics that will help online merchants boost traffic from their account. The logic behind driving the network’s traffic to your site is pretty straightforward, but, in order to optimize the full potential of Facebook’s network, online merchants need to have a clear strategy and the ability to analyze what works and what doesn’t.
Neither of these strategies is a magic pill for site traffic, but when combined with a holistic content strategy they can come pretty close. You have all the keys to boost Instagram traffic, all you need to do is open your account and make the most of it!

What’s your favourite social media for branding? Tell us below or Tweet us!