How to Generate Direct Sales on Instagram

Your channels for selling products are growing beyond your website and amazon store. Social media sites -- particularly Instagram and even Facebook-- have become an extremely effective for converting direct sales. You just have to know how to leverage them. To maximize your selling ability on Instagram try these eight tips:

Tip 1: Make Your Photos Look Professional
Frankly, selfies aren't going to help you sell products on Instagram. But well-taken, artsy photos will. If you're taking pics of your products, spend time arranging them and getting the lighting right. What's the background? Try positioning it with several layouts for variety.

Here's a secret: Not all of your photos should be product photos. Mix in several that embody your brand. For example, @Tonicsiteshop sells website templates, which are hard to successfully share on Instagram, so their feed is filled with beautiful architecture, food, and nature.

Tip 2: Use Geotagging
This is especially smart if you're also a brick-and-mortar store. By tagging your location, you attract people in your area who might not have known about you otherwise. You can also get other brands on Instagram to give you love if, for example, you tag a restaurant or museum in your photo.

Here's a secret: Make sure your store has a tag on Instagram and encourage your shoppers to check in.

Tip 3: Share Consistently
Not everyone will see every post you share, so aim to post several times throughout the day so that you catch the attention of different people who are on Instagram at different times. Posting consistently, again, gives people some expectations of what you're about on Instagram.

Here's a secret: Consider your audience and time zones. If your followers are millennials browsing on their phones after 10 pm, then that's when you should post.
Tip 4: Be Strategic in Your Shares
If you have a product launch coming out, plan an Instagram campaign around it. Also leverage holidays by taking relevant photos of your products that relate to the holiday. For example, if you sell jewelry, you could set up a photo shoot of a necklace next to a rose for Valentine's Day, kissing faces or a jewelry box under the tree for Christmas.

Here's a secret: You can create a regular schedule of what you share. For example, you can always post a photo to celebrate #TBT (Throwback Thursday) each week. Or maybe you introduce new products on Monday. This gives people something to look forward to.

Tip 5: Leverage the Hashtag
Hashtags are huge on Instagram, so you need to use them on every post. People search for hashtags like #hikinggear or #lipstickmatte when they're doing research. Use the hashtags that are relevant to your product, and you'll put your product photos on Instagram in front of more people.

Not sure what hashtags to use? Browse a few. You'll likely find a handful that will always be relevant to your products that you can make your go-tos.

Here's a secret: Overloading on hashtags can make you seem like a pre-teen with nothing better to do. Select your hashtags carefully and just use a few.
Tip 6: Celebrate Your Followers
People love being mentioned or getting comments from brands. You can do this in several ways. You can like their photos and comment on them. You can share their photos on your account (ask permission first). And you can embed their photos on your website. Again, ask permission. They'll be delighted.

Here's a secret: You can also hold a contest on Instagram and get engagement that way. Celebrate the winner with a graphic with their name on it and tag them.

Tip 7: Take Followers Behind the Scenes
Another way to make your products sell like hotcakes on Instagram is to post pics behind the scenes at your company. You could create short videos of your products being made or demos of how to use them. You can take photos from a different perspective at your next photo shoot.

Here's a secret: Getting your employees in on the action helps make people addicted to your brand. If they have their own Instagram accounts, ask them to share and tag photos on the job to get people excited about your brand.
Tip 8: Leverage the Buy Now Button
Instagram makes it easy for you to sell online. They've even got a "Buy Now" button that people can click to get your products without having to leave Instagram and hunt for your website. Keep it simple for them and you'll win the sales. Heck, even Sonic is getting in on the Instagram sales action.

Here's a secret: Even if you don't use the Buy Now feature, you should include a call to action and a link to the specific product page on your site where people can buy the product featured on Instagram. A photo alone isn't going to spur people to buy from you. Use language like "buy now" or "limited time offer" to create a sense of urgency.

Just think, it can't hurt to have another channel to connect with customers, and close sales. Even if your selling well on your website be sure your customer can buy from from you everywhere you connect online.