More Ways to Sell Products and Services on Instagram: Social Media Series 2016

July 5, 2016

In our thrilling conclusion to last week’s Selling on Instagram post — or, as I’ve been calling it, the Social Media Series that wouldn’t end — we bring you a boatload of real-world ways to compel, capture, convince, convert, and cash in.

Sharing is Caring: Endorsements

Actress Carrie Ann Moss, whom you probably know as Trinity in the Wachowski sisters’ hit trilogy The Matrix, parlays her fame into other business endeavors. One of the main efforts is a “lifestyle brand designed to elevate & empower women” called Annapurna Living.

Her social media and content marketing is on fierce, y’all. Not fleek. Fierce.

Again, let’s be sure we define sales and what is being sold. Her company is selling online self-help courses and learning journeys — that’s the cash transaction.

More importantly, like most lifestyle brands and others, from Virgin Atlantic to Starbucks to hotels, they’re selling experience. They’re selling community. It’s right there in their vision statement, well, actually their Google snippet, “… designed to elevate & empower women.”

I wanted to share this example first, because look what she’s done for those artisanal beauty brands that she called out in the post, referring to them as her “must-have body care … faves right now.” She sent as many as 10,000 devotees to their respective sites. It’s not an Oprah bump, but it ain’t nothin’ either.

Reciprocity is the mother of social selling.

Sharing is Caring: Giveaways Here is the new giveaway for this week!! Leuchtturm1917 has come out with the all new B5 size that is great for writers and journalers of all kinds!! It’s the new B5 Composition size and it measures 7 x 10″ (178 x 254mm). It’s larger than the A5, but smaller than the A4. Not too big, not too small, it’s just right! So this week I’m giving away one of the new Leuchtturm1917 B5 journals, either dotted or lined, and a Pilot Metropolitan pen! The winner can choose the journal/pen color combo that best suits their taste. The winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday June 22. Good luck to everyone! ✍ To enter: 1️⃣ Follow me 2️⃣ Repost this picture to your own Instagram feed 3️⃣ Add a comment to your reposted picture that includes #jbwelly and @jb.welly That’s it! This is open to any country where shipping from the USA is ok! 1 entry per person, please. Happy journaling!! #bujo #bulletjournal #bulletjournalling #bulletjournalcommunity #plannerlove #plannernerd #planneraddict #pilot #pilotpen #pilotpenusa #pilotmetropolitan #leuchtturm #leuchtturm1917 #notebook #journal #journaling #write #writer #writing #handwriting #sketch #draw #everydaycarry #jbwelly

A photo posted by J B Welly (@jb.welly) on

Ah, the giveaway. It’s a “tried-and-true” tactic to get more followers, if only temporarily, and to maximize your reach.

As you see in the caption above: in order to be considered an entrant, you must follow, repost, tag, mention, comment, do the hokie pokie, and turn yourself about. They’ve got over 4000 followers and a beautiful product. My concern would be whether those followers, once gained, are as engaged as they could be.

Let’s go quickly back to Social Media 101, especially for consumer goods and products that have such a short sales cycle as to be evanescent and where repeat business, consumer sentiment, and customer loyalty are huge.

If you don’t populate your feed with worthwhile content which people want to see, share, and even seek out on their own, then your follower count is not a valuable metric. Realistically, it’s nothing more than a vanity metric.


Next @soultrees Sooooo excited to announce that I am participating in a #loopgiveaway with 6 other talented oracle deck creators! Each oracle deck is unique and shares powerful messages from the Divine. Complete the loop and get entered for a chance to win one of the 7 oracle decks! I’m going to be giving away one of my #soulflowerplantspiritoracle Decks! How can you ENTER? 1. Follow all the accounts in the loop. Tap the photo to see where to go next. Once you get back here, you’ve completed the loop! 2. Like and repost this photo with the hashtag #7oraclegiveaway 3. You can spam us with likes and comments to get noticed! Worldwide shipping included. Winners will be announced on July 9th!!! Rules: ♡ One repost per day ♡ No age limit ♡ Don’t follow to unfollow ♡ No Giveaway accounts ♡ Private accounts must be public on the draw date ♡ You must follow ALL the Instagram accounts for your entry to be valid (yes, we double check) DISCLAIMER: Giveaway is not sponsored by Instagram or any other entities.

A photo posted by Lisa Estabrook (@my_soulflower) on

This reminds me of the good old days, pre-Google, when sites used to daisy chain themselves together for better findability.

#LoopGiveaways, apparently, are a thing. They combine the two previous techniques — endorsements and artificially boosting reach.

Artificial may not be the right word, but I chose it here to indicate that it’s not “organic” growth earned over time by following a consistent and regular posting schedule of quality content. Nor is it paid reach because, as far as we know, they haven’t paid the platform to promote the post.

And, not to say that the accounts in this loop aren’t also building their presence and community organically through careful curation of quality content. I’d like to see metrics from a loop giveaway before I initiated one.

Still Selling the Experience

#bloodymary #brunch #fathersday #atx photo @theglamgalsguide

A photo posted by Hillside Farmacy (@hillsidefarmacy) on

I mean, c’mon.

Sweltering doesn’t begin to describe how stifling and sticky it is in Austin right now. My grandma would say that it’s like soup on a plate. (But, it ain’t Phoenix!)

A cold Bloody Mary? Yes, please.

This is for brick-and-mortar Mom-and-Pops. Whatchu got, mane?

  • Show me pictures of your A/C blowing and your fans spinning.
  • If you’re renting kayaks up the river, show me family fun at the set off point. Show me videos of the rapids.
  • If you’re a bowling alley, I gotta see tight footage of some 7-10 splits, dig?
  • Roller skating rink? Show me your speedskaters stretching, show me your steppers doing a Slow Walk.

Recreate and Sell the Take-Home Experience

Absolutely stunning. I’m transported. Utterly undone.

Wait?! What’s that you say?! I can conspicuously consume stuff like this to make my crib look and feel like this and, in so doing, fill the existential hole in my heart?! Somebody pinch me! (I’m just bitter because I’m in the slip-sliding middle class. I consume with the best of them.)

Sell the Place (for Travel Agencies & Destinations)

It’s a beautiful day to be on a lake in Maine #mainelife #lovemaine #barharbor #mainesummer #mainetheway #pointsebago

A photo posted by M A I N E® M A G A Z I N E (@themainemag) on

Not all of us can easily travel, so take on us flights of imagination. We will follow.

Show You Doing That Voodoo That You Do (Indirect Selling)

Precision General Contractors in Morehead, Kentucky, seem to specialize in concrete construction and pools, which doesn’t instantly scream Instagram. But, they are working it. I particularly like this one. Because dogs.

When your working right down the road from your home and your dog knows it.. @devin_leigh88 #concreteconstruction #bestfriend #workflow #bringyourpettoworkday

A photo posted by Precision General Contractors (@precision_general_contractors) on

That Voodoo That You Do, Part Two: Behind the Scenes (Indirect Selling)

I give you data artist, Laurie Frick, whose work is stunning, cerebral big data visualized and (way, way) over my head. Sharing her process and her inspirations — see her series on Matisse — makes her work (for sale and by commission) much more accessible. It helps you visualize how and where you might display this hyper-personal abstracted art.

Relative amount of focus by geography…meaning ‘what am I thinking about in that location’? #dataart #collage

A photo posted by Laurie Frick (@lauriefrick) on

Create Urgency with Discontinuing Items

You know this tactic from ads and salesmen of all kinds. Limited time offer. While supplies last. Run, don’t walk, to your local ____ dealer before these incentives expire!

Doggone it, friends! I’ve run out of room and time to finish the neverending series. I promise next week it ends with ACTUAL selling in the post. Or I run screaming into the night. One of the two.

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