Instagram is undoubtedly an essential component of a successful social media marketing strategy. After its boom in recent years, it has rightfully become one of the most effective means of raising awareness and improving the reputation of any online brand, as long as the target audience is on the platform.
Whether you are a business or an individual, Instagram is one of the main channels for attracting potential customers. Instagram can be a gold mine if used in the right way. Thanks to its unique communication, it allows you to establish a direct and trusting relationship with followers. Aren’t those ingredients to obtain a consistent stream of new followers on Instagram?
Interactions and shares are certainly good metrics to measure one’s reputation on Instagram, but today, they are no longer enough. In a world inflated by BOTs and low-value automation, providing more value to your business by converting followers into qualified contacts (leads) and customers has become crucial. However, to do this requires strategic planning and, not least, perseverance.
For this reason, today, we will talk about some techniques and strategies to convert Instagram followers into real contacts for your company.
Know Your Audience
The first step to getting more contacts from your social media marketing strategy is to identify your target market. You must research and develop your buyer personas to devise an effective communication strategy, especially to turn your followers into potential customers.
Although being active on as many platforms as possible is important, you do not need to have the gift of ubiquity, and your target audience will tell you where to be. Based on this, you can decide whether Instagram is the right channel to intercept new contacts for your business.
For example, let’s assume your target audience is 18 to 29. Based on this, Instagram would become indispensable, with a curated feed and Stories strategy.
Your target audience will inevitably diversify if your company offers a wide range of products and services. In this case, you must conduct market research, identify yourself with your audience, and understand how to use the different platforms to reach your potential customers.
Always make sure your messages make sense about the channel you are using and tailor your communications to meet the needs of your buyer personas. This will increase the likelihood of gaining targeted followers and turning them into real contacts and customers.
Keep Your Profile Active and Be Consistent
Gaining new followers is great. When we see the numbers grow, inevitably, our egos get activated. That of followers, however, is strictly a vanity metric.
Regarding marketing, one should focus on such numbers rather than the actual return on investment regarding conversions and earnings. This is why it becomes imperative to keep engagement high, and the best way to do this is to use certain tools provided by Instagram.
For example, if you have already reached the 10,000 follower mark on Instagram, you can access the famous Swipe Up, which allows you to insert links in Stories. These, for example, will allow you to drive newsletter subscriptions, download an ebook, participate in a webinar, access special discounts via dedicated forms and much more.
You need to take care of your profile consistently and thus push users to give you their data to cultivate them into customers.
And if I Don’t Have 10000 Followers, What Can I Do?
Swipe-up is a very useful feature, but there are other ways to use Instagram for lead generation.
- One of these is the famous link in the bio. Several sites allow you to activate a URL collector to guide the user through landing pages and websites.
- You can create an interesting freebie for users, promote it in your post feeds and Stories and link back to the link in the bio for downloading. A bit scattershot, sure, but it will only get you highly qualified leads.
- Another way is to use the box in Stories. Still thinking of a hypothetical freebie, you can leave the question sticker in the Stories by polling people’s interest in receiving it. To those who answered yes, you can send, via DM, the link to the landing page that will contain the designated content. The more quality and on-target followers, the greater the chances of getting real contacts.
- Finally, another strategy that will enable you to acquire leads via the platform is to launch an Instagram contest.
Be Consistent and Keep Engagement High
The number one tip for creating an Instagram profile capable of convincing and converting followers into real customers is to manage your account consistently and persistently. The best way to do this is not to dissipate energy in creating several social profiles simultaneously, which would risk being overlooked and neglected. When you open up to the world of social media, choose carefully those that can be useful for your goals.
Only try to be present in some places, but instead, focus on one or two social networks that are most in line with your brand voice and the target audience you wish to communicate with. If Instagram is among them, invest time in structuring a professional profile and dedicate yourself consistently to acquiring new followers and maintaining a high level of engagement with your community. Vanity metrics such as the number of followers are satisfactory but poorly reflect a profile’s engagement rate, which is the only parameter for assessing whether conversions and return on investment are possible.
Once you have ascertained that Instagram is the perfect social network to talk about your company and you have thoroughly studied the peculiarities of your audience, make sure that every message you transmit is consistent. Consistent, first and foremost, with the platform itself, i.e. designed and structured to be at its best in the context of that social media.
Each platform requires different communication formats, and it is necessary to adapt to its rules. It is unthinkable to communicate via Instagram, for example, if you do not use high-quality images, high-impact graphics, compelling stories, and short but incisive copy. Just as you must be prepared to use vertical videos and a confident tone if you land on Tik Tok, or a more formal type of content if you choose Linkedin as a means of communication.
You should also always ensure that you speak a language on Instagram consistent with the target audience you have chosen to intercept. Remember to channel all the personality of your brand or company into each post without compromising to appeal to a wider market share. Only by remaining consistent will you be able to attract followers who are truly on target and willing to turn into real customers.
It is important to follow your country’s regulations to the letter to avoid incurring economically unsustainable penalties by proceeding with the communication of the start of the contest, paying the required deposit, and involving a notary to draw up the prize-giving and closing minutes.
Furthermore, the participants’ data collection servers must be on your soil. Otherwise, activating a mirroring system, i.e., real-time data transmission on servers, will be necessary. Having many likes and followers is great, but you must find ways to convert them into qualified contacts and customers to grow your business.
A contest on Instagram is a great strategy in this regard, which will help you improve your awareness, build follower loyalty, and acquire the data to turn them into customers.
Look at your feed and your stories with a customer’s eye. If you are one of those brands that have fallen into the ‘catalog’ trap, change your ways. Instagram is not a supermarket flier: have a dialogue with your community. Ask them what they need or what their favorite product in your industry is. Also, always interact with your community by replying to comments and DMs. Start a conversation about your products or services and connect with your followers.
Through your posts and stories, incentivize purchases with discounts dedicated exclusively to your Instagram community for a short period. This will encourage your followers to buy quickly and visit your profile regularly to discover new promotions.
Make your Followers Protagonists
Organize contests to engage your followers and increase their interest in your products or services. For example, ask them to post a story in which they use your product, tag your profile and offer them 10% off their next purchase. This is a surefire way to increase sales and interest on your IG profile.
Tell your Story
Show your work, tell who you are, and how your business started. Offer a unique insight into your world and generate interest. Customers support a brand when they associate it with one or more faces. In this way, you build trust and a lasting bond with your follower, who has become your customer.
Use Links in Bio, Polls, and DMs
The Swipe Up is unavailable if your Instagram profile is fledgling and you still have few followers. Still, other ways exist to establish a more direct relationship with your potential customers and realize a high-performance lead generation campaign. One of the most frequently used strategies is to combine stories, DMs, and links in the bio to get in touch with followers.
You can, for example, use stories to tell your followers about an interesting ebook on your site that they can download by following the link you leave in your bio. You can also use story functions such as polls or questions to ask your audience to let you know if they are interested in a report or freebie that you have prepared for them, which you will then make available for download via a link in your direct messages (DM), which will always point them to a website or landing page that you have specifically created. If you have created a follower base perfectly aligned with your business goals, these methods will lead to a positive response.
Avoid Direct Advertising
One point to remember to make money on Instagram without compromising your relationship with your audience is that people refrain from going on social media to be inundated with advertising offers and invitations to purchase. They come to Instagram and similar platforms to be entertained, to relax, to be entertained: you must offer them exactly what they are looking for to attract, retain, and convert them. So ban promotions or ads that are too explicit, pushy or annoying, and prefer a type of communication that engages and creates a positive user experience.