How to Use Instagram to Boost Holiday Sales

Now that the spookiest day of the year has passed and November is here, it’s just about time to ring in the holiday season. Not only is this time of year perfect for stuffing our faces with as much pumpkin pie as possible and spending some quality time with  f a m i l y, it’s also a wonderful time for your business to ring in the New Year with a bang!

The holidays are almost here and if you're a small business owner this is likely your busiest season! Find out how you can utilize Instagram and Instagram stories to boost your holiday sales and help that bottom line!

Here’s how you can use Instagram strategically to boost holiday sales. . .

Plan Ahead

The first + arguably most important step when boosting your sales this holiday season is to put pen to paper & plan ahead. The sooner you can plan out your content strategy as well as your business strategy, the better! Some things to consider–

  • Do you plan to create a holiday themed package or offering?

  • What digital content will you need ahead of time to promote? (i.e. photos, graphics, blog posts, etc.)

  • Do you need to setup a discount code or special sales page?

  • What physical content do you need to have on hand? (i.e. packaging, business cards, holiday themed thank yous, etc.)

UseInstagramToBoostSales_SocialStudioShop
 

Our sweet friend, Sarah Sweeney prepping for the holidays!

Pro Tip: Pull out a calendar + jot down the days that you plan to host special sales or discounts. Make sure to have your ready-made content (like photos, graphics, discount codes, etc.) to share ahead of time on Instagram. Giving yourself at least two days in advance before you plan to announce anything will give you time to fully think through your strategy as well as give you time to schedule your post to go out at the most optimal time.

Get Strategic

Even the best-laid plans can be Scrooged if you don’t implement them strategically. To boost your sales on Instagram during the holidays (and any time for that matter) keep these four strategic tips in mind–

1. Use Calls-to-Action

One of the biggest causes for sales falling flat on Instagram is because the hopeful customer either didn’t know how to purchase OR it was too difficult for them to purchase quickly. You’ll want to make it as clear and as easy as possible for your Insta community to hit that “purchase” button by giving them a direct call-to-action (instruction) as to where they can go to buy.

When we worked with Natalie (above) on her custom Instagram review, we focused heavily on the importance of using calls-to-action within her posts. She is totally rocking it since then! I love how she lets her community know how they can contact her for a custom workshop and how she highlights the value of her events! Go girl!

2. Use Hashtags to Boost Your Reach

Of course one way to boost your Instagram sales is to get in front of new faces. To do this, you can use a variety of hashtags to extend your Instagram to people who are not already following you. A few quick tips here, try using less popular hashtags (those with less than 10k pieces of content under an individual hashtag hub) as well as hashtags that your ideal audience would be combing through.

For example, if we were promoting our hashtag strategy online course (How to Develop a Successful Hashtag Strategy), we might want to use Etsy-related hashtags to attract Etsy shop owners as opposed to more general hashtags like #VSCO.

3. Don’t Forget Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories offers you a new way to craft fun, creative content for your community. It also offers you an extra platform to highlight your products and your services directly on Instagram. Drive sales by showcasing a product in action, give teasers for upcoming sales, or reiterate your marketing messages. More creative ways to use Instagram Stories! >>> 11 Creative Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business [e-book included!]

On average, most buyers need to see something 3-7 times before they actually end up purchasing. It may also be possible that your community simply didn’t see the first time you mentioned any given promotion. Don’t just assume everyone has seen that one Instagram post you shared yesterday– half of them probably haven’t. Repeat, remind, reiterate to boost your Instagram sales!

Repeat, remind, reiterate! 3 Ways to Boost Your Holiday Sales Using Instagram via @social_studio [click to tweet]

4. Offer Exclusivity + Urgency

Everyone loves an exclusive invite to the holiday party. Provide the VIP experience by offering an Instagram only discount. Follow that up with a sense of urgency (discount expires December 22) and you’ll motivate those on-the-fence sitters into new customers!

Use Your Tools

Remember earlier how I mentioned the importance of making it as easy as possible for your community member to make a purchase from Instagram? Checkout these handy Instagram tools–

  • Link.inbio

This helpful tool is a feature available by our friends at Later. It allows you to drive traffic to multiple unique links attached to your Instagram posts. This allows you to continue to make sales on something you’ve promoted days, even weeks ago! Learn more here.

  • LIKEtoKNOW.it

If you’re a blogger or influencer, this is the Instagram tool for you! When your Instagram community signs up for LIKEtoKNOW.it and they “like” an Instagram photo that includes WWW.LIKETK.IT link, they will get an email delivered to them with links to purchase individual products that you make an affiliate commission on.

  • Bitly

We’ve blogged about our serious obsession for Bitly previously. This tool will allow you to track exactly how many clicks are happening on an individual link from your Instagram profile. Wondering how many of your community members actually clicked on a link to purchase after you promoted something on Instagram? Bitly can show you!

Now that you have your plan, your strategy + your tools to implement, it’s time to get into the holiday spirit & make some sales! If you’d like a custom holiday strategy created just for you, give us a shout! We’d love to work with you one-on-one to develop your social media strategy.