5 Ways to Turn your Instagram Followers Into Paying Customers

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If you’ve come across some of my previous articles, you’d know that growing your followers on Instagram isn’t easy. It is harder when you have to do it organically.

You need to convert these followers into customers at some point. In a time when you’re battling hundreds of other brands for eyeballs, this can be tough.

In this post, I’ve broken down all the things you need to consider to get more Instagram followers, and how you can turn these followers into an amazing, loyal customer base.

You Need Followers Before They Become Customers

Obviously, you need more people to know that you exist and that you’ve got something they want.

You can get followers faster by combining tools of the trade with a well designed social media plan.

To keep it short, before you can even turn a follower into a paying customer, you need to understand:

  • Why somebody would follow you in the first place
  • Which social media channel is best for turning followers into customers
  • What you can do to minimize your social media tasks
  • How to humanize your brand

1. Identify what social media channels are actually useful for your business

Are you using Instagram as a product lookbook? Is your Snapchat for personal branding? Knowing what type of content you’ll push out on each channel is super important. For E-commerce, we recommend going the lookbook route.

Usually, Insta is used for stylized product posts and brand identity. Twitter is often used for focusing on written content, or alternatively, as a support channel. Facebook is a bit of both, leaning towards content-oriented posts. Of course, you’re free to decide what’s best for your business.

2. Make your life easier by spending less time on your social profiles

Making content is hard enough, and managing a business is even tougher. Especially if you’re doing all the day-to-day work – where will you find time to publish your content? How will you make time to find people on Instagram, Twitter, and other places that would love your brand?

It may not seem to make much sense at first – but you will probably want to spend less time on social media, and more time on building your business in other areas.

Don’t have a lot of time? I recommend two tools to make your life easier:

Target Your Audience with Upleap

When business gets busy, you may find yourself out of time for actually picking up followers. With Upleap you’re venturing into the realm of outsourcing your social media growth.

upleap - a tool that helps you turn your Instagram followers into customers

Benefits of Upleap:

  1. Get more followers relevant to your business
  2. Target specific niches or locations
  3. Get help to grow your social reach

Their promise: get you more followers that engage with your brand and would follow your profile. They’re a big help if you want to start growing your business on Insta but simply don’t know how.

There’s a no-commitment free trial for Upleap, and they have a starter plan at $39 USD should you decide they’re a good fit for your business.


Schedule Your Posts Automatically with Later

This one’s pretty simple. Later helps you schedule your posts on Instagram and automatically publish them if you’re a business profile. What this means is you can plan a 30-day  content burst without interrupting your regular workflow. They’ve got a forever free plan, so there’s no downside to using their tool.

Later - a tool that can help you tun your Instagram followers into customers

Benefits of Later:

  1. Automatically schedule your posts
  2. Save yourself a truckload of time
  3. Forever Free plan
  4. Powerful analytics to help you understand your social

Bonus Material

We covered both of these tools more extensively in our post about the best social media tools. Check it out if you’re interested.

3. Convincing people to follow you in the first place

This part of anyone’s social media strategy is almost always overlooked. You want to make sure you know why most people follow you, to begin with. It’s probably one of these five reasons:

  1. They like the look and feel of your business
  2. Perhaps your business resonates with them emotionally in some capacity
  3. Or your product/service directly solves a problem they face
  4. And your product/service is something they desire
  5. They’re waiting for discounts or freebies(!)

Regardless of whether they just followed you for your aesthetic, or whether they want those sweet, sweet discounts, there’s one common denominator. You need to be pumping out valuable content across your social media.

We’re talking style guides, consistent visuals. Make sure people who do check out your profile will want to follow you for one of the big 5 mentioned above. We hate the phrase “content is king”. But when it comes to convincing people that you’re like them, it’s important.

4. Your followers want to see consistency

When people do decide whether to follow you or not, they want to see consistency. You apply that consistency in a few ways, notably:

  1. Brand Story:  Tell them who you are and what you’re about. But don’t change your narrative.
  2. Logo: Your logo should speak volumes about your brand. Don’t be afraid to watermark some of your content (bottom right of your Stories, perhaps).
  3. Color Palette: You don’t want your content to be rainbow colored – unless you’re promoting LGBT of course, then that’s totally okay.
  4. Typography: If you use text in your images, always make sure you don’t use more than two fonts.
  5. Imagery: Maybe the most important one – don’t alienate your potential followers with something that stands out too much. There’s a reason why most popular accounts on Insta have the same stylized pics.
  6. Voice: Make sure your captions align properly with your brand. As an example, a lot of minimal brands write less to express more.


consistency can help you turn your Instagram followers into customers


How to turn your Instagram followers into customers

Now that you’re well-versed in picking up more followers, let’s get cracking.

One thing many budding entrepreneurs don’t realize early on is that your followers are your hottest leads.

Whether your followers are on Twitter or Instagram, they’ve followed you for one of the many reasons we covered earlier.

Below are 5 tips on how to turn Instagram followers into customers

1. Warm them up to your brand

Publish content about your brand frequently. I mean a post a day, at least. The same holds true for any type of product or service: evoke an emotional response from all your posts and stories!

If you’re a fun brand, show them why and how you’re fun. If you’re going for that minimal vibe, don’t blast them with text-heavy pics and vids.

This step is often referred to as lead nurturing – a process where you warm up your potential customers with great content.

Product, Product, Product

You can truly warm up your followers by showing off your product (if you have one).

If you’re a personal brand, like an influencer within a niche – show off yourself. Frequently.

Ever wondered why influencers always take selfies?

It’s because they’re their own brand, and it’s why people follow them. If you’re a fashion business, show off your latest SS/AW collections on the regular.


A good way to turn your instagram followers into customers

Service, Service, Service

Don’t have a tangible product, but need traffic? Maybe you’re a consultant, a freelance copywriter, or just a business that deals with words.

Words are your tools in this case. You could design your feed to have a few words in each post, and you can then explain the importance of the word in your caption.

It sounds simple, but longer captions tend to work. 72% more engagement is seen when there are captions longer than 30 words. Crazy, right?

Here’s what we did with one of our test accounts. Keep in mind, we’re a media and publication site, so there aren’t too many angles we can take our Instagram profile grid without it looking sloppy. And we’re not technically a service, but building a readership doesn’t align that great with being a product (in our humble opinion).

Our test account had about 2800 followers at the time. These followers were disengaged as we hadn’t posted for over a year.

What we did:

  1. Gradients were used for each topic like we do on our website
  2. We used the same font
  3. The most important word had a black backdrop to get users attention
  4. Our logo was slapped on the bottom right of each post.

turning Instagram followers into paying customers

We noticed about 30% of our followers clicked our bio link from these posts over a 3-day window. Pretty cool, considering this didn’t take too much effort. Consistency is key and we’ll keep growing this account with this basic-form content and our other favorite social media tools.

2. Get them to think about you

Outreach is important, regardless of what you offer your followers. Don’t send them a quick message asking them what’s up, whether they’re looking to shop, or if they’ve seen your latest post.

Instead, post stories that engage with your followers. Use emoji sliders to judge their interests, and get your followers to vote on your stories.

This tactic is called priming – which gets your followers thinking about your product or service.

get your followers to think about you. That way you can turn them to paying customers

3. Be human

People love interacting with brands. Even though you have brand guidelines to abide by, you probably want to make sure your social media accounts seem human and friendly.

Here are a few simple things you should be doing every time:

  • Reply to every comment: If your followers write something quirky, useful, or even inflammatory – make sure you reply.
  • Ask them questions: People love being able to provide feedback and offer their insight. Even if it’s a simple yes/no question about your brand!
  • Show them your business: Maybe a few pics of your employees or yourself can creep into your story. Just make sure it stays consistent with the rest of your brand.

be human with your followers. That way you can turn them into customers

4. Give discounts

This works best if you’re running paid campaigns on your social media. You can post discounts organically as well.

If you run specific discounts for your followers, they’ll feel special & wanted.

Make sure you leverage the fact that they’re your warmest leads. Sometimes a discount is all that’s needed to push them over the edge and get them buying.

And when this tactic works for you (we promise it will) – don’t use it too often. There are a few unintended effects that may scare your followers away:

  • Your brand can end up looking cheap. That’s not cool.
  • You’re undercutting yourself.

With enough brand exposure, your followers will naturally buy from you.

5. Show them what they want to see

If you notice a lot of people pressing your bio link, make sure you’re remarketing to them!

Your social media strategy needs to move beyond just your social media.

What this means is that, if you want to turn followers into customers, you need to be showing them what they’ve already seen.

Remarketing is a simple but super powerful way of showing people the products or services they’ve checked out on your website.

Ever checked out a handbag, a pair of sneakers, or something else – and then decided not to buy it? Then you went onto your IG feed and bam! You see the exact same pair of shoes. That’s remarketing, and it’s easy to do.

remarketing to turn your Instagram followers into customers

We won’t get into this too much, but here’s an awesome guide by AdEspresso that covers everything you need to know.

For the best results, you should definitely combine your remarketing with some discounts.

Turning your Instagram followers into paying customers isn’t easy

We’ll wrap up this guide by saying that the process takes time. You need to do your own research and see what works for you.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you find the right starting point!

Don’t forget to check out our post about dominating your niche with these top 5 social media tools!


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