Marketing for Small Businesses

How To Use Instagram as a Sales Tool

Selling on Instagram can be tricky. While a fantastic platform for retailers because of the fact that it is centered around pictures, using it to sell has plenty of drawbacks that, for the uninformed, can make the app seem like it isn’t worth the effort.

Instagram Does Work

However, Instagram has proven time and time again to be a successful method of advertising wares for a variety of shops, especially those with eclectic and unique items that might otherwise not be as easy to advertise. Facebook, while an exceptional tool, can be overwhelming and does, on occasion, make it difficult to engage with customers, especially unwitting ones. Successful sales on Instagram only require amassing a following and posting on the store’s feed will do the rest.

Part of the success that can be tapped by using Instagram as a method of advertising depends on creating a brand image that customers and followers can immediately recognize and appreciate. The go-to example is REI, whose Instagram is a warm, flowing collection of nature photographs, products, and people that seem at home on the page. A cluttered, unrelated series of pictures can detract from the store’s aesthetic and turn potential followers away. There are plenty of resources to help with this!

Instagram Posting – Consistency is Key!

Another piece to successful sales through Instagram has to do with frequency. While posting hourly works for some retailers, it has significant potential to turn away potential customers due to overwhelming their feeds. Most successful Instagram sellers have a schedule for their posts. These range from three times daily to three times weekly. It’s all in what works for the business and what the users react positively to.

Instagram – Sales Tools Lacking

Once these are tackled the only real task left is navigating actual sales on Instagram. An inability to use hyperlinks is the main issue that retailers have with Instagram. This can make getting a potential customer through to the purchase difficult.

Currently, for US businesses only, Instagram is rolling out an option to create “shoppable” posts. Users are able to click on tags applied to retailer’s images and are then taken to the website where the product is being sold. It’s a great innovation, but not all sellers are applicable or even interested.

For smaller scale shops, making a sale can be as simple as including a price and phone number in the description of the picture. For others, followers are invested enough to go through the process of visiting the website and searching for the product. It all depends on what the shop sells and who it sells to.


If you are selling business to consumer, you should definitely look into how Instagram could play into your overall marketing strategy. We have clients who love it and some that it does not work for. Let us help you determine if Instagram is right for your business.

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