Social media, once the stomping grounds of the purely internet-savvy, has become an everyday part of ordinary people’s lives. As of this year, users spend an average of two hours and fifteen minutes on social media daily (one out of every three minutes spent online) and it retains attention more than television does. Knowing this, brands need to have the foresight to establish themselves where they’re most likely to get views from interested parties—and social is where it’s at.

It isn’t enough to just create a profile on any social media network and call it a day, though. Social media marketing has a purpose—and that purpose isn’t just to earn likes and followers. What use are those numbers if none of them convert? Master social media and it can act as a gateway to earning website clicks and eventually, conversions.

One of the most popular social media networks right now is photo-sharing platform Instagram. Heavily focused on visuals, it’s a great platform to use if you want to share eye-catching content. But while earning double-taps and follows is all well and good, how do you encourage those same people to visit your website? Here are three tips to boost your traffic, and help you do just that... without the need to pay for ads.



Optimize Your Profile

Optimize your Instagram Profile

One important thing to know about Instagram: the one and only hyperlink you can place on your page is the one on your main profile. Use it wisely! Create a short but clear description of what your brand is, written in a tone that conveys your brand’s personality, but skewing on the casual and friendly side—Instagram is, after all, primarily for sharing.

Because it’s the only spot you can place your website link, you need to make sure it looks appealing. If you’re directing users to your main page, keep it clean by using your plain domain name. However, there will be times when you’ll need to direct them to specific pages using a link that isn’t exactly easy on the eyes. This may be because you added a tracking URL to your page, are running a specific contest or promotion, or directing users to a landing page. In this situation, link shorteners are your best friend!

You can even go as far as creating branded short links to boost brand awareness. Create a short but clear description of what your brand is, written in a tone that conveys your brand’s personality, but skewing on the casual and friendly side—Instagram is, after all, primarily for sharing.



Pair Engaging Visuals with Calls to Action

Pair Visuals with CTA's

You aren’t just competing with other brands on Instagram, you’re competing with every other personal account out there for attention and space on users’ feeds. Make your photos and videos worth the follow, and write good captions to match. When sharing a promotional image, include a call-to-action sentence in your caption and direct users to click the link on your profile. If you used a link shortener, you can also double the effort by asking them to copy and paste the shortened link into a browser window.

A big no-no is making the mistake of having all your content be promotional in nature. This can make your account look like a pure sales pitch, which you definitely don’t want. You’re here to build a relationship with your social media followers, not spam them. Here are a few types of social media content to mix-and-match on your Instagram feed:

  • Shots of daily life at the office

  • Behind-the-scenes

  • Inspirational quotes

  • Product shots

  • Reposts of user-generated content

  • Excerpts from content offers

  • Photos from events your team attends

  • Announcement posters

Don’t forget to use carefully-selected hashtags (and your branded hashtag, of course) in post captions to increase exposure!



Use Instagram Stories

Drive Web Traffic with Instagram Stories

Did you know that it’s possible to add links to your Instagram Stories? There’s a catch—you need to be a verified user. Instagram’s process for this is nebulous and unclear, but luckily there are other ways to use Instagram Stories to boost clicks and sales.

A huge benefit to Instagram Stories is that you can disregard worries that posts will get lost in a sea of others on the feed. Stories are listed at the top of Instagram’s home page and are active for a full 24 hours after posting. They also have a host of other features useful for businesses too. You can draw and add text to them, which can act as more calls to action to visit your site, and they’re searchable by location and hashtag stickers, so apply those when needed too.

Template Monster

Details

Ready to use Instagram to direct users to your website? Great! But remember—social media is just one half of the equation. The other is your website. A service like TemplateMonster can make the process of building an attractive website easier and make sure it’s up to the task of retaining visitors’ attention, whether you have a CMS, ecommerce site, or blog. Click the link to get started.