You can’t sell on social media without being social.

liking a photo on instagram
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I’m just going to say it— It’s a myth that you need to have a large following to convert followers into customers on social media. In fact, as of today I have 570 followers on Instagram and I’ve converted followers to customers on my social media! Another fact, large accounts don’t necessarily convert. You could spend your days posting inspirational quotes or catchy content that attracts followers but does NOT convert those followers to customers.

Engagement is the name of the game

Instagram’s goal is to have users spend as much time on the app as possible. To do this it pushes content that the algorithm predicts the user will like. In other words, if a user constantly liking cat memes, Instagram’s algorithm will show them more cat memes. But it doesn’t stop at likes! Instagram is monitoring all the the user’s activity on the app— likes, comments, swipes, saves, shares, and even engagement time (the amount of time they spend looking at a post).

Okay great, Instagram is literally big brother, so what? So, you can use this information to increase your reach and visibility. The more engagement you can get, the more Instagram will push your content to your audience. Keep reading for tips on increasing your engagement levels.

But first, things to keep in mind

If you are using social media to sell products and services then your main objective is not just to increase engagement, but to convert followers into customers. This means going beyond the like button and creating content that is valuable and entices your followers to comment, DM you, share and save. WHY? Getting lots of likes is great but it is also a passive way to engage with content while commenting, DMing, shares and saves are active ways of engaging with content. Think about it, if someone likes your content so much that they decide to share it, isn’t that more engaging than casually passing by and liking?

Also keep in mind that Instagram is not only tracking what your audience is doing, it is also tracking what YOU are doing on the app. This means you need to be mindful of your activities and how that will impact your feed— the last thing you want is to have a feed full of cat memes and no potential customers.

Tips for increasing engagement

  1. To start things off on the right foot, you need to post engaging content! “But I don’t know what’s engaging content” Well that’s a bigger problem, but don’t worry, I got you, just message me if you need help.
  2. It’s not just about the bottom line: engage with all followers regardless of whether you believe they are a potential customer or not. First of all, you never know, do you? Second of all, they may never be customers themselves but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t share your content with someone who would be a client.
  3. Be strategic: the best times to engage with your audience are up to an hour before and an hour after you post on your feed. Engaging with your followers’ posts before you post will signal to the algorithm that you and those followers enjoy each other’s content, in turn pushing your content to their feed. After you post you’ll want to quickly respond to anyone who engages with your post. This is a good customer service practice that increases trust with you and your followers.

What do you think?

Did you find this post useful? I’d love to know your feedback. You can also check out more tips in my Ultimate Guide for growing your online business using social media.


Cat Marte is the founder of TheGoodLife Co, a lifestyle brand for new entrepreneurs who want to work smarter, not harder while building their online businesses. TheGoodLife Co offers business coaching, digital resources and more.

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