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3 tricks I use to raise my click-through rate on Instagram

by Andre Felipe about a year ago in social media

Seems like common sense now, really.

3 tricks I use to raise my click-through rate on Instagram
Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Published first on Squiggle Store.

I’ve been struggling with Instagram. Truthfully, I’ve never really been good at social media. It’s hard, time-consuming, and I don’t seem to have the knack for it.

However, starting small and being lean means that I have to deal with it. And I can’t just ignore it and leave it on the back burner until I can afford to pay someone to deal with it.

In fact, as we deal with art, Instagram is the most important social media to be on, since the platform itself is made primarily for it.

Grow a fan base, and sales will come.

It’s been about a month since I’ve started Squiggle Store, and it has already passed through a lot of changes, from being a small storefront on Teespring, to a temporary website on another platform, until finally having a website of our own.

And our Instagram account has reflected those changes. Even if we have cleaned up house now.

However, through all this, and after all this time, we still only have 43 followers:

And this is after running a few ads. So, not great. At all.

I decided to switch things up about a week ago. To focus more on the art. To be more personable than act like a major corporation. After all, we aren’t one. Just a few artists trying to spread our work.

So, I published this post on Instagram, which is the following:

And started posting only the art with the story behind it. How that piece came to be, WHY it was made, who made it, etc. And a funny thing happened.

I started to get a lot more profile clicks and website clicks per post.

So here is my new strategy:

1. Focus on the art side of things

People don’t want to be sold anything anymore. I know I don’t.

What will make me want to buy something I don’t really need right now is its story. I find myself asking: how does this relate to me? What gives it the edge over anything else?

Yes, quality of the product is essential, but there are a lot of high-quality products. Why should I get this product over another?

And the answer to these questions always seem to be in their story.

An amazing story has the power to make or break a product. However, the story must be true. That doesn’t mean that you have to do crazy things every time you are going to do something new. Take a moment and think about how your product truly came to be. You’ll be surprised at how crazy its story actually is.

For example, this post:

This piece actually has a pretty cool backstory to it. Something I was ignoring completely before.

2. Be personal

Another thing that seems to be working better is changing the tone of voice to be less of a cold, uninterested mega-corporation tone to something that is more approachable and reflective of what we really are.

This, of course, isn’t new information. It wasn’t to me when I started my first business all those years ago.

But it is so easy to ignore this and try to make your operation look bigger than it is. After all, you want people to think that you are serious so that they will have confidence in buying your products.

But the thing is, it’s fake. And your audience knows it. So, it ends up having the opposite effect than what you were going for.

If you’re small, be small! Own it! Trying to fool your audience is the worst thing you can do.

3. Use ads to find your target audience

So now that you know what to talk about, who are you talking to?

Clearly, my organic traffic isn’t enough for me to really know, so I ran a few ads on Instagram to learn more who it is I’m really talking to. Now, I didn’t want to use the automatic audience, because it is based on my followers. Given the small amount of them, the audience the ads would be shown too don’t really reflect who I want to target, since most of them are friends and family, in a country that is not my target country.

So, I input my general target audience filters and ran a few different ads. That let me see who I was actually engaging with the most. Now given the nature of the work being art, the targeting isn’t as essential as it might be for another area. But it still is important, since your audience is the catalyst to any sale you make. Given the surprising result in my own case, I can now consider my target audience as well when making new art. Which is neat.


Being more than just another store trying to sell you stuff seems to be getting more attention and interaction than the alternatives.

I should make something clear though. While I did drive up profile visits and website clicks, I did NOT raise new follower rates.

But a bonus is that now I don’t have to worry whether everything matches the brand tone or not, because I can just be authentic and everything will fit.

So, the lesson here is: Be authentic and focus more on your product and customers than on selling. Grow a fan base, and sales will come. Focus on sales, and you’ll never get fans.

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Andre Felipe

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