Instagram is a fantastic source of free traffic – when you know how to use it.

First, let’s take a look at who uses Instagram. 60% of Instagram users are aged between 18-34. And they typically use Instagram as a way of learning more about a product or service. 75% usually take action after being inspired by what they see on Instagram.

It’s estimated that 68% of Instagram users regularly engage with brands, compared to the 32% on Facebook.

Instagram is slowly becoming more ecommerce focused, with the new addition of the Shopping feature.

This allows you to link to products featured in your photos.


Here are a list of tips on how to get free traffic from Instagram to your online store:


Set Up a Business Account

It’s important that you keep your personal and business account separate. Your followers don’t want to see what you ate for breakfast, unless you sell healthy foods and are showing ways to use it.

Setting up a business account on Instagram also opens up special features, like being able to tag your products, and see insights as to what posts are performing well.


Optimise Your Profile

First, make sure to upload a high quality image of either yourself, a popular product, or your company logo.

Then, fill in your bio. Explain what it is you do, or sell, and how you help the person reading your profile. You can even use this space to promote your lead magnet to encourage followers to join your newsletter list.

Lastly, link to a page other than your home page. Because Instagram only allows you to include one link, you can link it to a landing page that includes a few different links. Such as: your hero product, a free download, your newsletter, and your shop or blog.

There’s also a free service called LinkTree that does this for you.


lays chips product comparison
Gather Followers

There’s always going to be trial and error when it comes to finding what type of content works for your followers. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different kinds of posts, different posting times, and how many times you post a day.

It’s recommended that you post 3 times a day. This helps to keep you fresh in your follower’s minds by popping up in their feed frequently. But work out what suits you and your followers.

Use something like Hootsuite to schedule posts if you aren’t keen on manually posting several times a day.

You’ll want to find hashtags that relate to what you do or sell. Hashtags are how people will find you on Instagram.


Start by using 5 hashtags that are a mix of:

  • Industry specific terms
  • Niche related
  • Product related
  • Campaign related
    Or, brand specific
Cross-Promote With Similar Brands

Find brands that share a similar audience to you and you can promote each other’s products on your business pages.

This exposes you to other people who are likely to be interested in your product as well. It also works as a value post as you’re introducing your followers to a brand or product that they’re likely to be interested in as well.

Avoid contacting competitors though.

Engage With Other Pages

With Instagram, it’s not just a matter of posting several times a day – you also need to interact by commenting and liking other pages similar to your industry. This part of using Instagram can include interacting with competitors.

This allows you to be seen by their audience on their posts. Just make sure your posts don’t come across as salesy.

Instagram Post Ideas

With Instagram, it’s important to remember that offering value always comes first, and selling second.

  • Here are some ways to offer your followers value:
    Behind the scenes shots – show progress pics of making your product, or getting orders out ready to post
  • Education – show people how to use your products, and the benefits that come with using your product
  • Images that demonstrate your values – if you’re an earth-friendly company who doesn’t test on animals and believes in clean eating, let people know!
  • Seasonal & holiday posts
  • Competitions and giveaways (once you have a stable following)
  • Pics that are fun & entertaining

You’ll also want to make use of Instagram Stories. They’re short videos similar to SnapChat and expire after 24 hours. You can include a link to a specific page. Instagram Stories are a great way to advertise a sale, or educate your followers on how to use your products.


starbucks instagram stories for a giveaway contest
Avoid Hard Selling on Instagram

Instagrammers use the platform to learn about products. So always go with value first on Instagram, but make it easy enough for followers to find your website.

Need help with getting traffic to your online store? Call in the Shopify Experts!

Zyber can help create a marketing strategy specific to your business for Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms while on a low budget.

Zyber are web design specialists based in Auckland, New Zealand. Since 2009 they’ve been helping thousands of kiwis find their place online by building websites that convert. As New Zealand’s #1 Shopify Experts, there isn’t much they can’t do!


by Joe Coles
September 20, 2018


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