Instagram is more than just a visual platform used to share those stunning images of mountainside views and great lakes. While those pictures are certainly welcome, users are also on the platform with the intent to do some research, interact with people and brands they love, and even do some shopping.

More than 500 million people log into Instagram every day and one billion log in at least once a month. And they don’t just scroll through the feed looking at pretty pics:  72% of users have bought a product they discovered on the platform. There’s enormous opportunity here.

Selling on Instagram is clearly a very profitable possibility. With the right strategies in place, you can start seeing the sales roll in before you know it.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the 7 Instagram selling tips you should be using to maximize the sales you get from the platform.

1. Use Shoppable Instagram Features

The Shoppable Post updates were some of the bigger developments that came to Instagram recently.

Instagram has just announced that they’re expanding shopping capabilities on platform. These include adding Shopping sections in the Explore tab and allowing users to save Shoppable Posts and products they love.

Users can now shop your posts and your Stories. They’ll be clued in by a small shopping bag icon on the Shoppable posts, which are tagged with products and linked to product pages on your site. If they tap the post, they’ll see a product tag. This contains information like product name and price.

Instagram selling tips

If they click that product tag, they’ll be taken to an in-app page with more information, including potential sizes, descriptions and product variations. Users can then choose to “view on website,” where they can purchase the product directly.

Instagram selling tips

Setting up an Instagram shop can take some time, but it’s worth it. One case study saw a 25% increase in site traffic and an 8% increase in revenue attributed to Instagram.

At the moment, only business profiles can set up Instagram shops and you can only do it once you have a Facebook Shop up and running. This is true even when you’re using features like Shopify’s integration for Shoppable posts.

Once you connect your Instagram account to an account with a Facebook catalog and active shop, you’ll be automatically reviewed for Instagram Shoppable posts. After you’re approved, you’ll see a “Shopping” tab under your Settings that allows you to select the product catalog you want to use and then start tagging products in your posts.

how to sell on Instagram

You can learn more about the process here.

2. Optimize Your Profile

If people are discovering your products due to a well-timed hashtag search, seeing you tagged in someone’s post, or coming across you in the explore section, they might be finding out about your brand for the first time. In this case, they’ll almost definitely click to your profile to see what you have to offer and if they actually want to buy from you.

Instagram selling tips

Keep this in mind because optimizing your profile bio for sales is so important. You should explain what makes you different, offer some branding information, and hopefully add a CTA and a link where users can buy your products. This will drive interested traffic to your site where they can complete their order.

3. Leveraging UGC to Its Fullest Potential

User-generated content is well-trusted and it can be a powerful selling tool. UGC helps people like and trust you. Plus, it acts like a powerful piece of social proof showing your followers that people like them already love your stuff.

how to sell on Instagram

When sharing UGC on your platform, make it clear right away in the description that’s what it is. In the picture above, for example, it would be easy to mistake the image for something professionally shot by the brand. Note that it’s a #regram and tag the original poster, thanking them for sharing.

4. Use Intent-Oriented Hashtags

Choosing the right hashtags will go a long way in helping you connect with your target audience. Hashtags can be tricky as a selling tip, but the key is to use a combination of hashtags that put you in front of your audience and hashtags that indicate high-intent searches.

how to sell on Instagram

Someone who searches for #housewarminggift like in the post above, for example, might actively be looking for housewarming gift ideas. Similarly, if a cosmetic brand used the hashtag #highmaintenanceproblems, they’d likely be able to connect with their target audience– self-proclaimed “high maintenance” individuals who have a taste for luxury goods.

Consider what your audience might be searching for if they’re in the mood to shop or brainstorm products, and add a couple of those hashtags to your posts in addition to the general-appeal hashtags you know they might use to find you anyway.

5. Show Your Products In Use

When you showcase your products in use, whether through a tutorial or just by demonstrating how they work, you’ll get people more excited about what you’re offering. They can picture themselves using it, and then imagine themselves buying it.

View this post on Instagram

We 💚 our greens! Especially @TheBlenderGirl’s recipe for a Green Energy Smoothie. Make your own with the KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series Blender. Click the link in our bio to shop blenders. #BlendWithFlavor #Smoothie _

A post shared by KitchenAid (@kitchenaidusa) on Jun 25, 2018 at 7:58am PDT

According to Yotpo Instagram data, 72% of customers believe that seeing Instagram images of a product actually increases the likelihood that they’ll buy. This can only increase when customers are actually seeing the product in use. It’s one thing to see a pasta roller online, for example, and another to see those fresh fettuccine noodles swirling in rich lamb ragu.

6. Add Links to Your Stories

Accounts with 10,000 followers or more on their Instagram business accounts can add links to their Stories, giving you a direct way to send users to specific pages on your site and hopefully get them to purchase. Since this is the only organic way to add links to your content outside of the Shoppable posts, this is a big opportunity.

how to sell on Instagram

If you don’t have access to this feature, you can use Story Ads to get the same effect. If you want to stick with organic content, you can use the following strategies to get results from Stories without that link (or to increase its power):

Use CTAs like “shop our gallery at #buyloft” or “check our bio for the link.” These will tell users where to find information about the products you’re selling.
Include in-Story details to increase urgency and drive sales, like data about discounts or promotions going on.
Use hashtag stickers to send users to streams of Shoppable posts that you’ve created, hopefully helping them find a product they love.

multiple Instagram account

7. Answer Questions in the Comments

One of the best things you can do to sell more on Instagram is going to just be engaging with your audience. If people are interested in a product, they’ll likely want to know more information. They might ask about price, shipping availability or product variations. People who ask questions are interested in buying, otherwise they wouldn’t waste their time.

Instagram selling tips

One missed comment can mean one missed sale, so you need to stay on top of your social media management. Use Agorapulse’s social management tools to make sure that you never miss a single comment and to answer every single customer question thoroughly and quickly. You want to strike while the iron is hot and we can help you do that.
how to sell on Instagram


There’s huge opportunity to sell on Instagram, whether you’re using Shoppable posts or just optimizing your content to drive sales to your site by catching user interest. For best success, combine as many of the strategies above as possible to ensure that your content is optimized for reach and results.

Oh, and one last but very important tip: Make sure that the landing pages you’re sending customers to through your bio, your Instagram Ads, and your Shoppable posts are all mobile-optimized since most users will be coming from a smartphone.

What do you think? Does your business use Instagram as a selling tool? Which selling tips do you use? Which have been most effective for you? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below! 

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