During the past five years or so, marketing and selling on social media has gone from a novelty to a necessity. Many local businesses feel the pressure to get onto social media… and fast. Why wouldn’t they? Studies show that our screen time has multiplied over the past few years, especially in light of the lockdowns of 2020. This has led many small businesses to try their hand at social media marketing.

Some owners give social media responsibilities to a tech-savvy niece or grandson because it seems difficult to figure out at first. I get that. Others set up a couple of basic profiles but don’t do much with them because they don’t know what to do. I get that, too. It appears indecipherable to many at first.

How does a small business (owned by people who may not be tech-savvy) use Instagram and other social media platforms to boost revenue?

This post will show you how to get started and link to a few free guides to aid the journey.

But first, take a breath. Don’t be intimidated. I promise you can figure this out. You can use Instagram to help sell your products like so many other businesses have.

Think of it this way: there was once a time when you had no idea how to use the tools that you now use every day. If you’re a chef, there was a time when you didn’t know how to start an oven. If you operate a retail store, there was a time when you didn’t know how to use a cash register. But you rolled up your sleeves, kept an open mind, and learned. You can do the same thing here!

Also Read: How We Drive Rankings and Traffic With Content

The Power of Instagram Marketing

A couple of years ago, Instagram hit a momentous milestone: one billion users. That’s right, Instagram has over a billion people on it. It’s hard to even think about numbers that high. 

If you’re a business on the island of Maui, it means you have hundreds of thousands of Instagram users, all within shopping distance of you, especially as it gets easier for Hawaiians to island-hop in the weeks to come. It also means you have 140 million users in the U.S. who are ready to give your e-commerce shop a try.

Not only is that a staggering quantity of users, but the market is hungry. About half of Facebook and Instagram users report buying products they learned about through social media. This means you aren’t just promoting your products to a bunch of bored, uninterested people. When you get your social media profiles up and running, you’ll start to gain customers you’d have missed otherwise.

Additionally, Instagram has plenty of helpful tools to boost your income. They offer promoted posts that function much like an ad, showing up when people are scrolling or tapping through stories. These promoted posts have an extremely wide reach and are bound to lead to conversions.

Instagram also offers wishlists, launch reminders, and a simple way for people to share about their new purchases. All of this makes it very easy to buy and sell through the platform.

And best of all, it’s easy to get started.

Also Read: How Aunty Sandy’s Built an E-commerce Platform and Started Converting At 9% With NO Investors

How To Get Started

It’s never been easier to link your business to Instagram. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Make Sure Your Business Qualifies

Though it’s easy to get set up, there are a couple of prequalifying conditions. It’s nothing major, though.

First, your business must be located in one of the countries on this list. If you’re a business operating out of Hawaii in the United States, you qualify.

Make sure you agree with the merchant agreement and commerce policies. Those are worth a read just so you know what you’re getting into. There’s nothing crazy in them, in case you’re concerned.

Then, make your Instagram account. As you make it, you can select whether it’s going to be a personal or business page. Select “business” when you reach that option, and you’re on your way.

  • Follow Instagram’s Setup Guide

Because Instagram benefits when people sell on their platform, they’ve made it easy to get started. They even created a step-by-step guide on it, with extra options and tutorials a-plenty. Here is a link to the step-by-step guide.

Once you’re eligible with an Instagram business account, it will ask you to link your Facebook business page. If that’s not something you’ve done already, visit this blog to learn more. It contains resources for getting your business set up on Facebook, which is a fantastic move anyway, regardless of whether one links to Instagram.

After that, it shows you how to link your products and set up shop. If you’re ever not sure about a concept in their guide, you can click on its name to learn more.

  • Use Instagram’s Promoted Posts

Besides enabling people to shop your e-commerce store right there on Instagram, the site also allows you to pay for promoted posts. As mentioned before, these posts show up automatically when users scroll and tap, and they work

Here is a link to Instagram’s guide to advertising. It will show you how to create promoted stories and posts, as well as track your budget and progress on them. Additionally, you can create multi-platform ads that reach both Facebook and Instagram. Speaking of which…

  • Branch Into Facebook (and Google)

If you didn’t know, Facebook owns Instagram. This means Instagram’s marketing tools may look a little bit different, but they are still powered by Facebook Business. You can effectively market on both without having to make twice the effort.

Since you need to have a Facebook business to start with Instagram, make sure you are getting the most from your Facebook Business profile.

If you’ve noticed that you’re on a business profile creating kick and wondering if there’s anything else you can knock out while you’re at it, then you’re in luck. You can also connect your business to Google using a very similar process. Check out this post to learn more.

After everything is said and done, you’ll have a business integrated with the world’s leading social media sites.

Further Reading: How Businesses in Hawaii Create Effecting Websites



Photos Courtesy of Solen Feyissa and NordWood Themes

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