Instagram has made amazing strides in the last nine years of its existence. Recently, the platform announced a whopping 1 billion monthly active users. It’s now the third most-used social media platform (after YouTube and Facebook), and brands everywhere are discovering the power of the platform in connecting with customers. As an eCommerce retailer, you too can generate revenue and popularity through Instagram. Owing to recent changes and burgeoning strategies, Instagram now has many ways for retailers to increase their profit revenue. Here is a few worth mentioning. Develop Social Proof Social proof is a psychological concept used to denote the power of consumer opinion. Basically, when interested consumers see that other customers are happy with their purchases, they’re more likely to make the purchase themselves. Instagram is obviously a great place to develop that social proof as it’s filled with a billion consumers who are purchasing and reviewing things often. To build social proof for your brand, start with your follower count. Many potential customers look to see if your business is popular before they buy something. They might also look for the checkmark next to your name that indicates you’re a verified business with over 10,000 followers. In both of these cases, you need followers. The best way to get organic followers is through regular posts and high-quality engagement. This takes time and effort, so while you’re working on that, kickstart your growth with purchased Instagram followers from a trusted brand like ViralRace. This will boost your follower count quickly so that you get a leg up against the competition and can draw more sales. Focus on Your Bio Instagram is different than other social posts because you only get one link, and it stays in your bio. Therefore, beefing up your bio page is vital to growing your sales. When a customer arrives there, they should be able to see who you are, what you do, and how your products can benefit them. Fill in your bio completely with a short, keyword-filled introduction, a compelling profile photo (preferably featuring your logo and/or face), and your product link. Switch this link up often according to your post focus to get the most action from your posts and advertisements. Use Shoppable Posts Not everyone can use Shoppable Posts, the integration that lets buyers tag and shop products without going to your bio or leaving the app. Only those who have an Instagram business and a connected Facebook catalog can use it. Once you have that going for you, it’s easy to get started, and your dedicated followers you’ve worked hard to build can shop right from the app! It reduces the number of steps they must take and increases the likelihood that they’ll buy. Post Regularly to Stories Instagram Stories captures the attention of nearly 500 million Instagram users each week. Brands can make amazing headway by talking about their products and services on their Stories. A genuine, value-filled plug for your products will create many conversions. Stories should also be used to generate relationships. About two-thirds of your Stories should be interesting, educational, humorous, inspiring, or otherwise valuable to your audience without promotion. These posts connect you to your audience and get them to trust you. The other third should be promotional to drive sales. Hold Contests and Giveaways Contests and giveaways are no-brainer tactics for gaining social proof and improving your online sales. When you give away products, it lets consumers try and review your products for free. Their experience can convert many more followers to your website. Special discounts exclusively given to your Instagram followers can also draw in a lot of sales. Many consumers are bargain shoppers and will wait for a sale to buy. Once they try your products and love them, they’ll be hooked and pay full price the next time. Contests can draw a lot of attention to your brand. It will have your dedicated followers tagging your brand, using your branded hashtag, and otherwise promoting your profile. This added attention will increase customer interest. Pay for Influencer Marketing Influencers on Instagram include those with 10,000 or more followers who will endorse your products in exchange. Usually, influencers will charge based on how many followers they have. They might also offer an exchange of endorsements if it’s advantageous to them. It’s important to find an influencer in your niche, as they’ll be speaking directly to your target audience. It will be mutually beneficial to you and the influencer because their endorsement will help you gain more customers and the on-brand products will help their brand. You can find influencers on networks like Influencer Marketing Hub. This resource provides long lists of influencers on every platform and other information about their success with influencer marketing. Reveal and Showcase Products Instagram is one of the most powerful visual platforms out there, and you can use that to your advantage as you showcase existing products. Show how to use your products in person, post reviews from those who have loved your products, and continually post product information for consumer education. You can also generate interest through suspense. Instagram is a great place to reveal new products because you can use a countdown to generate excitement. Then, you can go live on Stories or IGTV to show your newest products and place the appropriate link in your bio to drive sales. Ask for User-Generated Content User-generated content (UGC) is simply defined as content that your followers post with your brand attached. They might tag your brand or simply mention it. One of the simplest and most effective strategies for generating more UGC is to create a branded hashtag. This tag should incorporate the name or nickname of your business and a relevant topic. For example, the clothing company Zalando uses #zalandostyle on all of their posts. You could also use a slogan if it’s well recognized. For instance, Nike always uses #justdoit. Ask consumers who have purchased your product or would like to engage with your brand to use your branded hashtag. In some cases, you’ll need an incentive to get the ball rolling, but you can usually get a lot of UGC simply by asking your customers to use your hashtag. Instagram isn’t exactly a shortcut for eCommerce businesses because there’s still a lot of work and attention required. However, millions of businesses have seen their revenue streams grow drastically just by using Instagram to boost sales. It’s attainable for any eCommerce store with the tools and diligence to keep it going.