How To Use Instagram To Grow Your E-Commerce Business (With Zero Budget)

How To Use Instagram To Grow Your E-Commerce Business (With Zero Budget)

Even though it has seen massive growth, it’s still fairly easy to increase your followers and reach your target market organically on the visual-based social media platform. In order to convey a balanced message to your followers and not be overly promotional, it’s important to pay attention to the rule of thirds, which includes: Conversational Posts - this includes posts that encourage your audience to engage in a conversation, it can be anything from asking your followers a question to giveaways and contests. Instagram now allows business accounts in select countries to tag products in their post, just like you can tag people. When posting an image, select the “tag a product” option and you should see a list populated of all the products you uploaded on your Facebook shop. And of course, we add a few applicable hashtags to each post at the time of posting as well. “It's very time intensive, but it's also really gratifying to make Instagram friends who often convert into customers.” Using third-party apps can help you manage your time, since growing and maintaining a popular Instagram account can be quite time-consuming. When my company was first starting to grow our Instagram account, we spent a year commenting, liking and following posts and accounts of our target audience. If you engage with your target clientele, they will often check out your page, reciprocate likes or even start following you. Purchasing likes or followers is not in your best interest. With Instagram’s priority being an excellent user experience, fake accounts or accounts that have purchased likes or followers are likely to be shadowbanned, meaning photos or accounts are suppressed.

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Photo Courtesy of Toni Hukkanen on Unsplash

Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users and the platform is a great marketing tool if utilized effectively. Even though it has seen massive growth, it’s still fairly easy to increase your followers and reach your target market organically on the visual-based social media platform.

Photo Courtesy of Statista

Let’s take a look at ways you can use Instagram to build your brand and grow your following without spending any money on advertising.

Make Sure Every Post Exudes Your Brand Image

Instagram is all about the aesthetic. The images should be impeccable as should the feed, so it’s important to take time to plan out what your feed strategy will be and then publish photos accordingly. For example, many companies will alternate images from a product shot to a lifestyle shot, or will pick one filter that they use across the board. Whatever your artistic vision, it’s important to stick to it religiously so your Instagram feed tells a compelling story and convey’s the lifestyle of your target customer.

“As a women’s apparel company, for us it’s about showing real women in our styles. At first we focused on polished, controlled images with hand-selected models, and while aspirational is still a strong tactic for Instagram, user-generated content is just as important, if not more,” says Kristin Celano, Founder & CEO, Jane Hudson.

In order to convey a balanced message to your followers and not be overly promotional, it’s important to pay attention to the rule of thirds, which includes:

  • Conversational Posts – this includes posts that encourage your audience to engage in a conversation, it can be anything from asking your followers a question to giveaways and contests.
  • Sharing Posts – this includes sharing industry news or cross-promoting with bloggers, your audience, or other companies.

“As a small business founder, I had to figure out fast what worked most effectively. The two most effective hacks that worked to quickly grow my following and build awareness was to cross-collaborate with influencers in a similar space, and load up on giveaways,” shares Gianne Doherty, Co-Founder of Organic Bath Co., an organic skincare company.

Finding the right balance is key to increasing your engagement and your following.

Tag Products To Make Them Shoppable

Tagging products is critical because it allows you to have a clear call-to-action and simplifies the purchase process for the customer. Instagram now allows business accounts in select countries to tag products in their post, just like you can tag people.

The setup process is fairly simple and you can transform your social channel to a sales channel with a few clicks of a button. These simple steps will get you started:

  1. Set up a shop section on your business Facebook page that is

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