Ways to Sell from Your Instagram Post

More Ways to Sell Products and Services on Instagram: Social Media Series 2016

In our thrilling conclusion to last week’s Selling on Instagram post — or, as I’ve been calling it, the Social Media Series that wouldn’t end — we bring you a boatload of real-world ways to compel, capture, convince, convert, and cash in.

Sharing is Caring: Endorsements


Actress Carrie Ann Moss, whom you probably know as Trinity in the Wachowski sisters’ hit trilogy The Matrix, parlays her fame into other business endeavors. One of the main efforts is a “lifestyle brand designed to elevate & empower women” called Annapurna Living.

Her social media and content marketing is on fierce, y’all. Not fleek. Fierce.

Again, let’s be sure we define sales and what is being sold. Her company is selling online self-help courses and learning journeys — that’s the cash transaction.

More importantly, like most lifestyle brands and others, from Virgin Atlantic to Starbucks to hotels, they’re selling experience. They’re selling community. It’s right there in their vision statement, well, actually their Google snippet, “… designed to elevate & empower women.”

I wanted to share this example first, because look what she’s done for those artisanal beauty brands that she called out in the post, referring to them as her “must-have body care … faves right now.” She sent as many as 10,000 devotees to their respective sites. It’s not an Oprah bump, but it ain’t nothin’ either.

Reciprocity is the mother of social selling.

Sharing is Caring: Giveaways


Ah, the giveaway. It’s a “tried-and-true” tactic to get more followers, if only temporarily, and to maximize your reach.

As you see in the caption above: in order to be considered an entrant, you must follow, repost, tag, mention, comment, do the hokie pokie, and turn yourself about. They’ve got over 4000 followers and a beautiful product. My concern would be whether those followers, once gained, are as engaged as they could be.

Let’s go quickly back to Social Media 101, especially for consumer goods and products that have such a short sales cycle as to be evanescent and where repeat business, consumer sentiment, and customer loyalty are huge.

If you don’t populate your feed with worthwhile content which people want to see, share, and even seek out on their own, then your follower count is not a valuable metric. Realistically, it’s nothing more than a vanity metric.



This reminds me of the good old days, pre-Google, when sites used to daisy chain themselves together for better findability.

#LoopGiveaways, apparently, are a thing. They combine the two previous techniques — endorsements and artificially boosting reach.

Artificial may not be the right word, but I chose it here to indicate that it’s not “organic” growth earned over time by following a consistent and regular posting schedule of quality content. Nor is it paid reach because, as far as we know, they haven’t paid the platform to promote the post.

And, not to say that the accounts in this loop aren’t also building their presence and community organically through careful curation of quality content. I’d like to see metrics from a loop giveaway before I initiated one.

Still Selling the Experience


I mean, c’mon.

Sweltering doesn’t begin to describe how stifling and sticky it is in Austin right now. My grandma would say that it’s like soup on a plate. (But, it ain’t Phoenix!)

A cold Bloody Mary? Yes, please.

This is for brick-and-mortar Mom-and-Pops. Whatchu got, mane?

  • Show me pictures of your A/C blowing and your fans spinning.
  • If you’re renting kayaks up the river, show me family fun at the set off point. Show me videos of the rapids.
  • If you’re a bowling alley, I gotta see tight footage of some 7-10 splits, dig?
  • Roller skating rink? Show me your speedskaters stretching, show me your steppers doing a Slow Walk.

Recreate and Sell the Take-Home Experience


Absolutely stunning. I’m transported. Utterly undone.

Wait?! What’s that you say?! I can conspicuously consume stuff like this to make my crib look and feel like this and, in so doing, fill the existential hole in my heart?! Somebody pinch me! (I’m just bitter because I’m in the slip-sliding middle class. I consume with the best of them.)

Sell the Place (for Travel Agencies & Destinations)


Not all of us can easily travel, so take on us flights of imagination. We will follow.

Show You Doing That Voodoo That You Do (Indirect Selling)

Precision General Contractors in Morehead, Kentucky, seem to specialize in concrete construction and pools, which doesn’t instantly scream Instagram. But, they are working it. I particularly like this one. Because dogs.


That Voodoo That You Do, Part Two: Behind the Scenes (Indirect Selling)

I give you data artist, Laurie Frick, whose work is stunning, cerebral big data visualized and (way, way) over my head. Sharing her process and her inspirations — see her series on Matisse — makes her work (for sale and by commission) much more accessible. It helps you visualize how and where you might display this hyper-personal abstracted art.


Create Urgency with Discontinuing Items


You know this tactic from ads and salesmen of all kinds. Limited time offer. While supplies last. Run, don’t walk, to your local ____ dealer before these incentives expire!

Doggone it, friends! I’ve run out of room and time to finish the neverending series. I promise next week it ends with ACTUAL selling in the post. Or I run screaming into the night. One of the two. In the meantime, you might enjoy this thorough post on How to Sell on Instagram from Lisa Kallner Williams at Agora Pulse.

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Suzanne Hoenig is a strategist and writer helping small businesses, nonprofits, and private practitioners craft their marketing copy, grow their online and offline community, and navigate the changing tides of social media and digital content marketing.
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