Instagram marketing tips – how to turn your likes into sales

Rachel Gleeson Ivy Alley Fit For Social

Instagram marketing tips – how to turn your likes into sales

Owner Rachel Gleeson at the entrance to the fabulous Ivy Alley in Sydney's Hunters Hill.

Of all the social networks, Instagram is perhaps the most frustrating when it comes to ‘like’ culture.  Likes are as abundant as confetti on a wedding day, while sales can be as competitive as the fight for the bridal bouquet.

A like is definitely not a sale, but it can help increase brand awareness and help your target audience make an emotional connection with your product or service. Whether you’re driving people to an online store or bricks and mortar business, there are some things you can do to increase the chances of your followers putting their money where their likes are.

Instagram to get feet through the door: case study

Rachel Gleeson runs Ivy Alley, a lush nursery in Sydney’s Hunter Hill where she grows and sells succulents, bonsai and other green things. Tucked away down a quaint walking lane, Ivy Alley is in what Rachel describes as “a very hard to find location”. Naturally, she relies a lot on word of mouth, but she has also successfully been using her Instagram strategy to help her target audience – typically women aged 45+ – find her business.

“There’s no point in someone in America or London liking my Instagram posts because they’re never going to visit me,” Rachel says. “I need to attract locals over likes.”

Rachel doesn’t have an online shop, so her Instagram content needs to be so compelling that it makes people want to visit her nursery. Ivy Alley’s Instagram feed not only inspires gardeners and plant enthusiasts, it makes this hard to find business visible.

  • Essential info: Rachel’s opening hours, Fri-Sun, are featured in her bio and reinforced regularly in her post captions. Not only does she have the location of her business in the bio so potential customers can find her on the map, but she also offers helpful directions (in the walking lane off Passy Avenue) to find the nursery.
  • Rich content: There isn’t a green thumb that wouldn’t love Rachel’s photos and videos! The images of beautiful plants and garden ornaments are diversified by appearances by Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis (influencer alert!) and the resident cat Oscar, positioning Ivy Alley as a must-visit tranquil plant sanctuary.
  • Searchability: The brand hashtag #ivyalley is among more than 15 hashtags – from #sydneylocal to #plants, #terrarium and local suburb hashtags – that allow Ivy Alley to show up in search results for a variety of related interests.

How does Rachel know these techniques are working? Today, it’s not uncommon for her to talk to customers at the nursery who found out about the business through Instagram.

Instagram to get online sales

A minor conundrum on Instagram is the inability to post links in captions. This has resulted in a proliferation of hacks and external tools for businesses that want to link to their products and track the performance of their Instagram posts. The following is a snapshot of some of the things you can do to help move your customers down the sales funnel.

  • Maximise the link in bio feature

Your Instagram bio is prime real estate so make the most of it by linking directly to the page on your website that allows people to convert on the call to action in your latest post. Then, remind people in the caption of that post to click the link in your bio. If you find yourself constantly wanting to reference more than one link – say you have a blog, an online store and an eBook – it might be worth looking at tools such as linktree that allow you to link to multiple pages via your profile.

  • Swipe up for more

If your business is verified or you have more than 10k followers, you can use the ‘swipe up for more’ function in Instagram stories. This handy link will appear at the bottom of your story and allow you to direct users to your landing page. Don’t have access to this feature? No worries. You can still create Instagram ads – stories, photos, videos and carousels – with a distinct call to action using the Facebook Ads Manager.

  • Create shoppable posts

If your business account is approved for shopping on Instagram you can add little price tags to your products, in stories or posts, with links to purchase. This call to action is a great function if you have a high volume of product you want to sell. But don’t overdo it! Remember, emotion builds engagement and you need to focus the majority of your attention on creating an enthusiastic fan base by posting high quality content.

Instagram @ivy_alley
Facebook @ivyalleystore

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