How to convert Instagram followers into leads or, better yet, sales.

Ahh, the ever-elusive goal for e-commerce brands.

That is, tracking exactly how many of those Instagram followers are converting into cold, hard sales. After all, why are we spending so much money/time/effort on growing our followers, anyway?

If you're an e-commerce brand and you haven't asked these questions yet, you might very well be as rare as a unicorn. And even when our Canupy partners don't ask us these questions directly, we always address them head-on at some point. Because our job isn't just to grow numbers for vanity's sake, but for value's sake.

When it comes to the Instagram app, we know that when tracking traffic leading to our e-commerce website, we're not getting the whole picture. Since Instagram is designed to be a mobile experience, which keeps users within the app, we only have one location to provide a link - in the profile. And even when followers click that link, traffic is tracked in Google Analytics as a direct referral, which is the same as someone who just typed the URL directly into their browser. So how do we know how many people clicked that "link in profile" and found themselves at our stunning e-commerce website? We don't really. 

But that one link, however, does give us some room to play with when it comes to tracking traffic generated from Instagram. And beyond tracking, we want to know who is buying from Instagram, too!

So here are a few ways we've developed Instagram campaigns to track online sales of products.

1. Use Have2Have.it. 

This service, developed by Soldsie, uses that one available link in the Instagram app to take followers to a mobile page which mimics the design of Instagram. This is where people can buy the same products they just discovered in the Instagram app.

 Image via Forbes.com

Image via Forbes.com

2. Use Instagram-specific discount codes.

Create a discount code, share it only with your Instagram following, and see how many people use the code. This gives an idea of how many of your followers are ready to buy your product and just need that extra nudge with a discount. Of course, it's not an exact science and you might want to account for the fact that followers can share the code with their friends who aren't following you, but it gives you a general idea. 

3. Use ShortStack to run a contest or campaign.

With this service, you share just one static link to direct your followers to your ever-changing campaigns and content. You can collect leads from your campaigns, schedule content, and the real-time analytics from the service let you know what's working most effectively. 

What about clickable Instagram ads?

Over the last few months, Instagram has increased its clickable sponsored posts for brands. These ads have similar targeting capabilities as Facebook Ads (the current preferred advertising platform for marketers) and so the power of Instagram advertising (ie, "Sponsored Posts") looks promising. Currently, Instagram ads are available to only select brands and partners, but keep your eye on this one. It's looking like it'll be a force to reckon with when the service is opened up to all, especially for B2C and B2B brands. And don't forget, Instagram is owned by Facebook. 😉 


About the Author:

Elise Darmanin believes that "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." That's why she makes beaches, coffee shops and co-working spaces her office by working remotely while growing Canupy Content. Canupy is a social media and copywriting agency for small to medium-sized businesses. The Canupy team helps brands grow through social media marketing, copywriting and content strategies that inspire audiences and drive sales.

Elise Darma

About the Author:

Elise Darmanin believes that "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." That's why she makes beaches, coffee shops and co-working spaces her office by working remotely while growing Canupy Content. Canupy is a social media and copywriting agency for small to medium-sized businesses. The Canupy team helps brands grow through social media marketing, copywriting and content strategies that inspire audiences and drive sales.