I have had an Instagram account for a while but I’ve never really taken the time to use Instagram for marketing purposes.
Last month I created a new account for a niche store that I am experimenting with. The niche is avocados. Yes, avocados! When I created my Instagram account, I had no idea how many avocado lovers had accounts of their own.
In this post, I’ll explain what I’ve learned so far with using Instagram. You can market your store products or affiliate products for free. Let’s begin!
Creating Your Instagram Account
This is simple enough. You create your account from the Instagram app on your smartphone. You can choose any username that you want (so long as it’s available) and you can change it at any time.
Try to stick to a name that is that same as your store or as close to it as possible for branding purposes.
Post Some Photos
Once your account is created, you can begin posting some photos. As you can see from my account, my niche is avocados.
I post a combination of photos from food pics, avocado facts, and the products that I promote:
Begin Following Other Accounts
The next thing I did was follow other avocado related accounts. Instagram will also show you recommendations for accounts to follow.
I began following healthy food accounts, vegans, dieticians, home chefs, etc. Some accounts followed back and others didn’t.
However, the ones that did follow back, I made sure to engage with likes and comments. This is important as I feel it helps to keep them as followers.
I am genuine in my comments. People can tell when comments are automated. At least I know I do as I get those types of comments often.
Post New Content Often
Similar to blog content, Instagram content should be posted often. I try to post new photos three to four times per day. Some photos are of my meals which is easy.
Other photos, I prepare in advance. The time that you post may be helpful as well. You will read varying opinions on the best time to post.
I have been posting around 10am, 12pm, 5pm, and 11pm during the work week. The weekends seem to be a lot slower so I post maybe twice on the weekends unless I am out and about and feel like posting more.
Automated Posting Software
There are various automated Instagram posting software that you can try so that you do not have to manually post yourself. Some of the ones I’ve tried include:
I don’t mind posting manually since the time between postings are hours apart. If you are running multiple accounts you may find that using the automated software is more efficient.
Beware of Buying Followers and Likes
You may be tempted to speed up the process of gaining followers and likes on your posts by buying them. Instagram frowns upon this tactic and will close your account if caught doing so.
It doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of accounts that get away with it. However, I opt to play it safe and build up my account properly from the start.
Part of getting more likes and followers is by using hastags in all of your posts. You can always use the suggestions that pop up within Instagram.
A much easier method is to use a hashtag generator. I have been using a free phone app called Leetags.
Leetags gives you the best suggestions for the keyword that you search for. You search using more than one keyword at a time. The app brings up a list and you eliminated the hashtags that you don’t want to use.
You can then copy the list to paste into your Instagram post or you can save the list to use over and over. All that you have to do is click the copy and paste link and you’re all set.
Methods for Creating Instagram Content
You may be wondering how I come up with content on a regular basis for my niche which is avocados. I do a few things which I’ll highlight below.
Posting My Own Food Pics
When I do eat something with avocado, I’ll post my own food pics as pictured below. Of course, I don’t get the opportunity to eat avocados every day so I have to come up with other types of content.
I also repost pics from other accounts using the Repost app. I don’t do this often as some account owners may not want their photos reposted.
However, if I find something that has caught my interest such as the avocado sauce pictured below, I will repost the image and credit the account owner in both the photo and my text description:
What is great about a repost is that it can create a conversation. In the post pictured above, I simply asked if anyone has tried the sauce. You can see a genuine response in the comments.
Using Food Pics From Unsplash
Another way I get avocado food pics to use is by downloading free images from Unsplash.com. These images are free to use in any way that you want.
You can credit the creators if you want to but it isn’t mandatory. I use the food pics by themselves or I use them to create tips and facts related to avocados.
I create these images using Photoshop but you can also use Canva to do the same thing.
Promoting My Store Products
If you check out my Instagram account, you will notice that I sprinkle in a few product photos along with my regular content.
I try not to overdo it on the promotion but I’ll make one post each day a product promotion.
What is nice about Instagram is that it is owned by Facebook so they make it easy to connect your account to a Facebook page.
Each time I make a post from Instagram, I have the option to post it to my Facebook page as well.
Take a look at my description text for the product image above. If you notice, I tag my account and I post my store’s URL.
The reason I do both is so that people can easily click on my Instagram profile page and click on my store link.
Posting the URL is for my Facebook page. When it posts to my page, Facebook will automatically link my URL so that Facebook followers can click on the link.
I do receive traffic to my store’s website from both Instagram and Facebook. So far I’ve made one sale which is great for free traffic.
As you build your following, the more sales you are likely to get.
I hope this post has been helpful in learning a thing or two about using Instagram for promoting your dropshipping or affiliate marketing products.
To recap, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Post new photos on a regular basis (3 to 4 times per day if possible—less on weekends)
- Genuinely engage with your followers (likes and comments)
- Use good hashtags (I use the Leetags app)
- Tag your account and post your store’s URL in your product descriptions
Also remember that there are many Instagram users that are using software to follow accounts and then unfollow after they’ve received a follow.
You’ll catch on to these accounts quickly. The same goes for comments. You’ll receive comments that are obviously automated.
These are very beginner tips as these are things that I’ve learned as a newbie to using Instagram for branding and promotion myself.
Do you have any tips to share? You can do so in the comments below.