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How To Sell on Instagram With LikeShop (2024)

John Beaton
March 21, 2022
Last Updated On
October 13, 2023

For brands that want to increase web traffic and monetize their Instagram accounts in one step, Dash Hudson's LikeShop is the must-have solution. With a single click, followers can go from your Instagram feed to any page on your site. It’s simple, seamless and helps users easily navigate to exactly what they’re looking for.

Brooklinen instagram page, likeshop page, and checkout page

Why Sell on Instagram?

Before jumping into how to sell on Instagram, let’s first discuss why selling on Instagram is a good idea for your brand and its benefits. If your brand has products for sale and an Instagram account, it only makes sense to utilize Instagram to drive e-commerce. Besides being one of the most popular social media apps with a massive user base, it’s also extremely engaging. These high levels of engagement are the perfect opportunity for brands to share, promote and sell products on Instagram to consumers and followers who are genuinely interested. 

Centring Instagram in your e-commerce strategy helps boost brand exposure, drives product discovery and even eliminates the middle man that can lead to consumers dropping off. Selling on Instagram makes it simple for users to buy directly from your site without ever having to leave the app. 

So, what other benefits come from selling on Instagram?:

Increased Reach

Instagram is home to 143 million users in the United States. Accounts that post a good mix of content have a better chance to maximize their reach — according to Statista, in 2022, carousel posts reached 2,325 average users, video posts earned an reached 1,323 users and static posts reached an average 1.850 users. 

What’s more, Instagram is a popular social channel for marketers, with 80% of social marketers using Instagram — by not utilizing Instagram for sales, brands stand to lose to their competitors who are on Instagram, and miss a captive audience who’s seeking brands similar to yours. 

Boost Traffic

Simply put, Instagram is a great place to be discovered — by having a robust Instagram presence, you create another avenue for your audience to discover your profile and head to your website. Employing social media SEO will help your social accounts be found via the Instagram algorithm, and even through traditional search channels like Google. 

Add Another Sales Touchpoint 

With Instagram Shops, brands can use Instagram to promote their content in meaningful ways — personal stories from users, influencer partnerships, educational carousels and more — and have a convenient path for conversion straight from your post. Creating an intuitive, convenient and natural customer journey is a huge perk of selling on Instagram. 

Foster Community 

Instagram is an ultra-engaged platform with a huge possibility to not just reach engaged users, but to build a community with them. For example, Instagram recently launched ‘Channels’, which allows creators and brands to host conversations and invite guests to participate. They’ve also recently launched a ‘discover content together’ feature which lets a group of users collect posts they wish to share. By selling and sharing content that relates to your brand and your users, you’re able to closer align with your target demographic.

As Instagram introduces more community-minded features, brands should leverage these to foster a sense of community — this also presents a great opporunity to use tools like AI-powered social listening to analyze community sentiment and understand your audience’s unique wants and needs. 

How To Sell on Instagram in 5 Steps

Brands engaging followers through meaningful connections are more likely to entice them into shopping on Instagram. While Instagram is deprioritizing Shopping on the app, a link-in-bio solution is a great way to streamline the checkout process for users who find your products on Instagram. With LikeShop, marketers get the best features of every link-in-bio option and all of their stats at a glance, in the same place they schedule, measure and publish their content.

Many brands sell on Instagram with this feature — not only is LikeShop a monetizing solution for brands, but it’s also an opportunity to create major added value for your audience. You don’t have to use it exclusively to sell products on Instagram — you can also send followers to news articles, promotions, collaborations or anything else you want to share with them.

Of course, a link-in-bio is only one part of how to sell on Instagram. Developing a social commerce strategy within your existing is imperative to driving sales. 

Here’s what brands should consider when crafting their social commerce strategy and which steps you should follow to build your selling strategy on Instagram:

1. Map Out Goals, Strategies and Tactics 

The first part of any great Instagram commerce strategy is defining your goals and which tactics you’ll use in your strategy to reach them — defining goals will inform your whole strategy, so it’s important to know what you want to get out of selling on Instagram before you start creating and posting to reach them. 

For example, if your goal is to expand your current customer base, you might strategize around boosting ads that target a new demographic. If you have a major goal to expand your current customer base, you might choose to dive into user analytics from your own profiles, and also competitive insights to determine which content your audience liked best in the past 6 months, or even the entire year.   

2. Create Reels 

Short form video content is one of the most popualr ways to consume content as audiences become increasingly focused on social entertainment. Instagram Reels are an effective way to grow your business and show your audience the tangible benefits of the products or services you’re trying to promote — this might be the outcome, the tactile experience of using the product or a partnership with nano or micro-influencers who share their thoughts and opinions with their audience. 

3. Set Up Instagram Shops, Tags and Collections 

While Instagram stopped live shopping in February 2023, there are still a few ways brands can maximize their social commerce efforts through Instagram. 

The first is to set up an Instagram Shop. To do this: 

  • Login to your account. 
  • Upload your product catalog.
  • Verify your website with Instagram.
  • Set up the ‘Checkout’ feature so users can shop within the app. While driving traffic to your own site is important, sometimes, the ability to make a purchase is a driving factor to converting users to consumers.  
  • Select your sales channel.
  • Add products to a catalog
  • Your shop is now live —  here, you can browse and review your shop to make sure everything looks the way you’d like it to.  

4. Add Shoppable Posts to Your Content Mix

Despite Instagram shifting to a more social, community-minded platform, brands can still pique consumers interests with their content. So, how does a brand create shoppable posts? 

If you uploaded your product catalog like we explain above, you’re almost there already — focus on producing posts, Reels and even Instagram Stories that feature your products with tags. These tags link back to your Instagram Shop, so users can easily purchase products straight from your post. For Dash Hudson users, product tags can be added from Scheduler, so you can plan your shoppable posts. 

5. What Is a Link-In-Bio Solution?

A link-in-bio solution is a URL found in a brand’s Instagram profile that users can tap on to go straight to that brand’s landing page. Solutions like LikeShop create a customizable feed that turns social media content into a digital storefront or magazine. 

Like any marketing tool, measuring KPIs for your link-in-bio tool is essential for streamlining your strategy and getting the results you need. We collected data into the LikeShop performance of brands in the first three quarters of 2022 to help you understand the best practices of this social media marketing staple, as well as seasonal shifts in click-through rates.

How To Set up Instagram Shopping Natively

There are a couple of things you need to do in order to set up Instagram shopping natively. First, make sure your account is an Instagram business account. On your profile, go to the settings section, tap business, and select the Set Up Instagram Shopping link. 

Once you click this option, it’s time for you to set up your product catalog through your Meta Commerce Manager. Within this Facebook Business feature, you’ll have the ability to add a catalog. You can start by selecting your catalog type, and then you can manually upload product information (500 x 500-pixel images, descriptions, price and SKU) or connect a partner platform like Shopify.

While Instagram has transformed how e-commerce happens on its platform, there are still ways to utilize the app to drive sales, showcase products and boost your overall e-commerce strategies. 

Here’s how to use Instagram Shops: 

  • First, make sure your business has its own website (a unique domain) that contains products available to buy directly from your site. 
  • If you already have an Instagram account, make sure your account is an Instagram business account. A Business Manager account lets you manage your pages, people working on them and your ads. 
  • Ensure you and your business is located in an eligible country
  • Familiarize yourself with Instagram’s Commerce Eligibility Requirements.
  • Once you click this option, it’s time for you to set up your product catalog through your Meta Commerce Manager. Within this Facebook Business feature, you’ll have the ability to add a catalog. You can start by selecting your catalog type, and then you can manually upload product information (500 x 500 pixel images, descriptions, price and SKU) or connect to a partner platform like Shopify. 
  • From there, ensure your Shop details are complete in Commerce Manager. This includes selecting a checkout method and sales channel (Instagram, Facebook, or both).

Strategies for Selling on Instagram 

Knowing how to set up a shop on Instagram is one piece of the puzzle; another is knowing how to strategize your approach to get the most out of your shop. Here are six tactics you can implement to ensure your efforts don’t go to waste.

  • Stay on brand: This may sound easy, but it’s important to ensure your shop still fits the aesthetics of your feed. You don’t want to bombard your users with products and lose the followers you’ve already worked so hard to get. 
  • Plan in advance: Keep a tight schedule regarding your content mix and how often you post about products. By making a proper content strategy, you avoid oversaturating your feed with product launches. 
  • Don’t forget Reels and Stories: Selling on Instagram isn’t only limited to your feed and Instagram shop. Use Reels and Stories as a way to show users how to use your product and why they need it in their lives. Product tagging is now available on both of these post types. 
  • Use hashtags: Hashtags are the perfect way for consumers to find the products they’re looking for. Be sure to use the right mix of hashtags on your products to lead the user exactly to where they want to go. 
  • Repurpose UGC: Showing your audience your products in action from other audience members is a surefire way to pique their interest. Consumers are more likely to trust a brand and want their products with strong UGC, particularly if they see other users liking it enough to post about it. 
  • Partner with influencers: Let influencers help you sell your products on Instagram. With the right influencer and audience, a partnership will likely be a successful match for both parties involved. 

Making the Most of Your Social Media Marketing Tools

Dash Hudson’s LikeShop is a great way to assess how your content strategy is functioning. Is your audience clicking on your LikeShop posts? What types of images are more effective at promoting follower action? What caption formulations garner the most movement? And finally, what call-to-actions compel people to head to the link in bio?

When measuring your performance, the click-through rate (CTR) is definitely the best place to start. You want to look at the percentage of followers who are opening your LikeShop page and clicking on content. Your historic CTR is important, but understanding where you stack up against the major players in your industry is also absolutely essential for a true picture of your results.

Woman sitting on floor wearing tie-dye outfit with sunglasses
Image credit: @carbon38

Like any social media marketing tool, measuring KPIs for your link-in-bio tool is essential for streamlining your strategy and getting the results you need. 

LikeShop Benchmarks by Industry

We calculated the click-through rates of all LikeShop users for the first 3 quarters of 2022 and segmented them by industry and quarter to give you a better idea of where your brand sits in your competitive landscape. A CTR of around 70% seems to be the general percentage marketers should strive to hit, with some fluctuation of 10-20% higher or lower depending on your specific industry and seasonality—in general, Q1 & Q2 performed higher than Q3.

Social media insdustry benchmarks
Likeshop Beauty benchmarks
cpg, food and beverage industry benchmarks
fashion industry benchmarks
home industry benchmarks
media industry benchmarks
publishing industry benchmarks
retail industry benchmarks

LikeShop Benchmark Findings: Tips for Selling on Instagram

Now that you have the percentage, you need to know how to achieve it. On the visual side, Instagram users across industries are persuaded to click on celebrities and creators. Most top-clicked posts have a photo tag or mention another account. Caption length is not a factor in performance. There are top performers with lengthy captions as much as there are with short ones. Captions get the most amount of traction when:

  • They involve some kind of news or announcement, such as a product launch
  • They're promoting a sale
  • They have a sense of urgency, for example: "last chance" or "today only"
  • They have an air of mystery followed by a strong call to action (CTA)
  • They’re a bit provocative
  • They direct audiences to buy an item a high-profile influencer is wearing or using
  • They have anything to do with winning a prize, like a giveaway or contest

Some of the highest click-throughs come from CTAs that directly name the action you want followers to take. For example, using words like ‘shop’ instead of just saying ‘link in bio.’ This tactic is even more successful when the CTA is followed by a description of the benefit they get when they take the action, like: ‘Click the link in bio for/to (fill in the blank) or ‘find (fill in the blank) at the link in bio.’ Brands like Marshall Headphones use compelling verbiage in their call to action instead of ‘link in bio’ language to direct their audience to their website and boost website traffic. 

Man grabbing metal jar form shelf
Image credit: @marshallheadphones

On the flip side, a subtle approach is much more successful for brands in the fashion industry. In fact, a lot of the highest-performing posts for fashion brands don't have a call to action at all. This means that the audience has already been educated on the behavior and does not need to be reminded every time items are available to shop (but it’s still effective to add CTAs once in a while to refresh your followers’ memories).

For links, the number of clickable items do not affect post performance. There's an even mix of single-link posts and posts with multiples. The common thread across all topics and industries is to pique people's interest. Think about what your audience is interested in, would be intrigued by, and can't get enough of. Those posts will garner the most traffic.

What Is the Easiest Way To Sell on Instagram?

Integrating LikeShop in your Instagram strategy is a great way to use all the tools at your disposal and consequently optimize all touchpoints on the marketing channel. It can help you sell on Instagram, unlocking a whole new revenue stream, while also enabling brands to turn Instagram into a major growth driver. Now that you know the secret to hit that high bar you've set for yourself, you can meet and surpass it every single time.

FAQs

Can you sell directly on Instagram?

Yes. Instagram shopping gives the ability to sell directly through posts, stories, live streams and advertisements. 

Do you need a business license to sell on Instagram?

No. There is no need to obtain a business license to sell products on Instagram. That being said, it’s still important to adhere to Instagram’s Commerce Eligibility Requirements

Does it cost to sell on Instagram?

No. It is completely free to set up Instagram shopping and sell products. The only thing that comes at a cost is advertising if that is something you explore when choosing how to sell on Instagram.

What is LikeShop?

LikeShop is a link-in-bio solution that sends your audience from your Instagram posts to your website in one tap. With LikeShop, your brand is able to leverage Instagram to send customers directly to your storefront or digital media, and it is fully trackable with the use of UTMs.

What is LikeShop me?

LikeShop.me is the URL destination that brands use in their bio to link to their LikeShop.

Is LikeShop free?

LikeShop is a part of the Dash Hudson platform, and comes as a part of your package with a number of other powerful features to help you navigate the competitive social media landscape.

What's the difference between LikeShop and LinkTree?

LinkTree and LikeShop both offer options for brands to add multiple links to their bios with one single link in bio — so, what's the difference? LinkTree has both free and paid versions, and is a stand-alone feature, meaning social managers still need a separate tool to pull in social analytics and data from their site clicks. LikeShop is a feature available within Dash Hudson, that's perfect to bring your audience straight to your storefront, or any other page you want to direct your audience to. LikeShop is perfect for marketers looking for a single social tool they can plan and schedule content from, use to help define their strategy and pull in data and insights from their overall social performance — including site clicks. This offers a meaningful analyzation of your audiences journey from your social pages, to your website.

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