Instagram shopping on iPhone

This article was updated on 10/28/2022

Instagram is a go-to platform for making money. Between the power of influencers and the shopping mecca that the platform has become, Instagram provides plenty of ways to sell, promote, and make a profit.

Whether you’re a creator or a business wondering how you can make money on Instagram, here’s what you need to know about the platform and some tips to get started.

How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?

First, let’s cover the basics: How many followers do you actually need to make money on Instagram?

The answer is fewer than you may think. While the platform’s top influencers have millions of followers, making money is more about engagement than numbers. A strong (but smaller) base of followers who like, share, and comment on your posts on a regular basis can be an effective driver of profit — whether you’re selling products through a storefront or you’re trying to get a brand’s attention, engagement from your followers can make you stand out.

How much can you earn on Instagram?

How much money you earn on Instagram depends on how you’re using the platform, whether that’s partnering with brands or selling your own products.

If your goal is to partner with brands, HypeAuditor provided some estimates based on influencer earning averages:

  • Nearly 49% of influencers said they earn money from their Instagram accounts.
  • On average, influencers earn about $2,970 per month with their Instagram account.
  • Micro-influencers earn about $1,420 per month, while mega-influencers earn about $15,356 per month.
  • The average influencer makes about $31 per hour, and influencers in the beauty category earn the most — up to $60 an hour.

If you’re selling your own products on Instagram, the channel is a great way to attract new customers, promote your products, and make sales. But how much money you make depends on your social commerce strategy and the tools you use to engage followers — the more engaged and connected your followers feel with your brand, the better your chances of making sales.

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Tips for making money on Instagram

From shoppable posts to Instagram ads to creating your own storefront, there are plenty of tools to get your brand some attention and make sales. Here are seven tips for making money on Instagram.

1. Set up an Instagram business account

If you plan to sell on Instagram, it’s smart to create an Instagram business account. First, create a standard Instagram account. Then, in the app, find your settings and scroll down to “Switch to Business Account.” Once you have a business account, you can add more information about your business, help increase your brand’s legitimacy among your potential customers, and enable your team to take advantage of Instagram features only available to businesses, like customer analytics and the ability to sell directly on the platform.

2. Use a call to action

Once you’ve set up an Instagram business account, you can add a call-to-action (CTA) button to your profile page. These CTA buttons allow customers to instantly take action right from the Instagram app — like booking an appointment on your website or navigating directly to your online store to make a purchase. The integration can help you reach new customers without adding extra marketing work for your team.

3. Set up shoppable posts

One of Instagram’s great features is shoppable posts, which allows users to buy a product straight from the app. Let’s say you’re a clothing brand and you post a picture of a woman in a pair of black jeans walking her dog. Users can tap to view the jeans in the post, see details, and then purchase them.

You can sell products through posts and stories once you’ve been approved for shopping, but you’ll also need a connected Facebook page to enable this feature. To eliminate the manual setup of Instagram and Facebook Shops, you can sync your eCommerce store to the platforms to make Instagram and Facebook shoppable through storefronts and shoppable posts.

4. Use Instagram ads

Instagram ads can be used across the platform — from Instagram Stories to Reels to shoppable posts — and are a useful way to target a specific customer segment that matters to your brand or business. Ads can also provide valuable insight into user behavior and engagement with your content.

There’s no set cost or average price for advertising on Instagram, and the cost of your ads will vary based on who you’re targeting, the competitiveness of your industry, and what time of year you choose to advertise. However, if you have the budget, Instagram ads can be especially effective for reaching users interested in new brands or products.

5. Find brands you can partner with

Whether you’re a business or a solo creator, you can partner with other brands to help promote your own. From your Instagram account, follow brands that are competitors, but also those that are adjacent to your products or services. Observe other brands to ensure their values align with yours. Once you’ve identified the right partner, you can reach out and create a mutually beneficial relationship. Partnering with brands of similar follower counts helps both brands increase exposure to new followers — and ideally increase sales.

6. Collaborate with influencers

If you’re a business looking to expand your social media presence, collaborating with an influencer can help generate brand awareness and new customers. Influencers typically have a sizable following or an expertise in a certain industry, and by endorsing or promoting your products, they can generate plenty of shopper interest in your brand.

If you don’t have the budget to partner with an influencer, using a micro-influencer strategy can be just as effective, especially for small or local businesses. Reach out to social media users with smaller, more niche audiences, especially those that are known in your community.

7. Connect your eCommerce store

If you have a selection of products, creating an online store is a great way to centralize your collection and provide shoppers a way to explore all of your products, see any promotions you’re offering, and even join your loyalty program.

With an eCommerce store, you can automate some of the steps that come with selling on Instagram. ECommerce platforms like Square integrate with Instagram, so you can sync your online store to the platform to create a storefront, shopping tabs, and shoppable posts. Shoppers can discover, browse, and shop on your Instagram store and easily make a purchase through your online checkout page.

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