instagram.

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

As of September 2017, Instagram has over 800 million active users and the engagement is far beyond that of Facebook, who cannot keep up with its acquired counterpart. Instagram is the place to be for promoting your brand.

Increasing your audience on social media has never been easier as companies such as Grapple when asked by Instagram on their performance they stated that they enjoyed 23% percent increase in followers and a markup in sales times 3.

What many users fail at, is that they focus so heavily on the number of followers that they spend money on endless bots to quickly grow their social followings. The bot-method seems like a simple and easy way to grow a following, but the engagement is usually quite low and the followers are not usually the target audience for the product.

For Instagram marketing, it is all about engagement: engagement = sales. This seems like a simple concept because anybody could understand that the more users engage with a page, the more apt they are for buying the product that’s offered, but there is no true formula for achieving this goal.

While there is no clear cut path for reaching the generation of engagement to equal sales, here are several strategies that users can implement to aid them in their quest for generating sales:

Original or Outlandish Content

All we hear when running a social for a business is content, content, content, but it has to be content with a purpose and style in order to be effective. By a purpose, I mean content should have an obvious message about your product and/or your brand.

Nobody scrolling through their feed wants to follow a page that is always going to say to them “BUY THIS,” but any user will follow a profile with a fat guy falling around for comedy. Convey the product in a scenario with content that grabs their attention in a way they have not already gotten used to.

Instagram pages such as “The Beard Club” have a purpose, buy their beard grooming products, and they merge it with comical and outlandish videos and posts about the beauty of beards.

Engage the Masses

One method for growing engagement for your profile can be as engaging your followers. Build a relationship with your followers by having shout-outs or displaying follower submitted content, so that your followers know that your profile offers emotional value to them of simply being valued.

Showing your followers to your audience is a strong strategy for solidifying an engaged follower base because of the anticipation it can build within your fanbase of whether or not their submission with make your daily post.

While your viewers will enjoy your efforts to showcase them and their content to the entirety of your audience, rewarding you followers is a way to immediately increase engagement.

Promo Codes and Sale Events

Getting a delicious meal would make anybody happy, but that same meal for half-off would make them overjoyed. Nothing gets people more excited about a product than when they can get the product for a lower price.

The amount of followers that partake in the promo code event not only will bring in money from sales, but it can give a reference for how much better the promotionals help sales or if they help much at all.

The main goal of the promo code is to generate more interest for your product, but giving away promo codes is another way for feeding the bond between you and your followers.

Contests

The only thing that will get followers more excited than stuff they can get for a deal is stuff that they can get for free. Contests are another medium for showing appreciation to the followers and furthering a positive outlook for your account.

Holding contests between followers for giveaways over liking and commenting can build buzz for you profile and spike engagement for the event. You can also see which contests are performing the best by analyzing the content getting the most engagement by using Instagram analytics.

The more people who don’t follow you hear about this contest is a way to capitalize on growing the fanbase and to keep the followers interested with periodical contests.

Make yourself accessible

Offer up your email or your profiles from other social platforms so people have more points of access to you. Post your Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, etc. and it enables followers to see more of you if they want.

Expanding your scope of influence over different platforms keeps you more in the minds of your followers and more genuine engagement because your brand is in more than one aspect of their life.

Hosting meet and greets is another way to increase engagement, and whenever you allow followers to meet you, give them the opportunity to buy stuff from you personally and give them a face to the business. Having a genuine conversation with your fans will also just make them more comfortable with you and your brand as a whole.

Be clever with your Stories

Stories are your opportunity be informal and give an on the spot look for a day-in-the life, and you can use this to portray yourself and your business as more personable.

The daily portrayal of raw moments in your life can be very effective because you’re completely off script and have a chance for a real life portrayal of your product. Stories allow your product to be seen for its raw value rather than the doctored up look the audience get from your posts.

Creative stories that advertise your products are effective for serving as an appealing proposal and a daily reminder of your product.