How to sell on Instagram: definitive guide to Social Selling

It is a fact that Instagram is enjoying one of its best moments. It is already beating its older sibling, Facebook, and has over 24 million active users in Spain. So if you are thinking about selling through this social network, it is a fantastic idea. In this guide, we tell you how to sell on Instagram with all the major and sure-fire ways to achieve it.

Instagram has long been more than just a network for uploading selfies and lifestyle photos. It has become a platform with huge potential for companies that want to increase their sales, achieve a greater reach and strengthen their brand. 

In fact, every month there are two million advertisers who advertise on Instagram and, according to a study by Socialbakers, 83% of users of this social network say they have discovered new products on it. 

It’s crystal clear: using Instagram to sell is a unique growth opportunity for your business. 

Why sell on Instagram 

We have already mentioned some of the main key reasons why selling on Instagram is – almost – a requirement for any business. The data relating to this social network speaks for itself, according to a study carried out by The Social Media Family: 

  • Approximately 80% of Instagram users actively follow a brand.
  • 200 million users visit one or more business accounts each day.
  • 50% of Instagram users follow brands, which is the highest percentage out of all of the social networking platforms. 
  • Instagram has an engagement rate of 2.2%, while Facebook has a rate of just 0.22%.
  • 33% of the most popular stories are produced by companies.

If we objectively analyse all the data from the study, we can predict that users are (very) interested in the content produced by brands, especially in video format (something we will talk more about throughout this guide).

Therefore, as you will have already observed, this platform and all its features are highly powerful tools to include in any business strategy.

Before you start: some tips for optimising your business profile 

To start selling on Instagram, the first thing you need to review is your business profile. Here are some quick tips for optimising it: 

  • Add your logo as a profile picture. If you don’t have one yet, hire the services of a designer or create one yourself with free tools like Canva.
  • Write a description of your company in the biography. A well-written bio should describe who you are and your main differential value in a clear, brief and concise way. 
  • Also include a link to your ecommerce in the bio. If you want to direct people to different landings – as Instagram only allows you to add one link – you can use tools like Linktree, which allows you to join several URLs in one page.  
  • Make the most of the tools that the platform offers you to publish high value and trending content. Create stories, use video, join in by using reels and try out the formulas that work best with your audience. 

The essentials for dropshipping on Instagram 

Social selling is a sales strategy to bear in mind for your business. It is becoming increasingly important to look for winning products for your dropshipping store and optimise them to sell through other channels, such as social networks.

One of the most important actions when it comes to defining a social selling strategy is to segment your target audience properly, both in terms of demographic information (gender, age, spending power, level of education, job, etc.) and their interests (hobbies, consumption, likes, preferences, etc.). 

Once you have your target audience located and segmented, it’s time to find and test the most attractive products for this audience.  Below we tell you how to choose winning products and test them on Instagram to maximise your business sales. 

How to find products to sell on Instagram

A winning product is an item for sale which has great potential to stand out, in terms of sales, above others from the same category or sector. To be clear: it is a best-selling product in a specific niche. 

Normally these products are trending for a limited time or are seasonal. For example, it’s easy to predict that a fan has the potential to be a winning product during the summer months. However, it is important to always be on the lookout for trending items to sell in your online store, but….how do you find products to sell on Instagram? 

  1. Choose one or several niches that you would like to start with. There will be winning products in all niches that you can sell on Instagram, so if you start in one niche that you really enjoy, it will be much easier to master it and understand it. Indeed, it is important to validate the real scope of the niche to check whether there is enough demand. 
  2. Thoroughly research your competition. Analyse and research your competitors, their best-selling products, their adverts on social networks, the most highly-rated products, etc. That way, you will be able to get an idea of how successful the products are.
  3. Analyse the adverts that come up for you on your social networks. The more adverts you see, the more Meta’s algorithm will show you. So, remain attentive, interact with your adverts, save them and analyse what type of products they promote, the brands that advertise, in what format, content, etc. Additionally, you can also view adverts from the competition (or any account you are interested in) with Facebook’s Ad Library. If you have never heard of it, we recommend you take a look right now! It is an extremely useful platform to see what type of content other brands are creating.  
  4. Search on the main marketplaces. There is no doubt that AliExpress, eBay, Amazon or Etsy are perfect platforms for finding the products that sell most on the internet. Research the categories of your niche and draw conclusions about the best-selling products. 
  5. Take a look at the Instagram account @shop. It is a profile where the Instagram team post emerging products and brands that are trending from all over the world.  You are bound to find ideas and inspiration for winning products.

How to test a product on Instagram

Once you have the products that are – seemingly – winning products, it is important to validate them. Before starting to explain to you how to test a product on Instagram, it is important to have a good idea about the trends of these products and, to do so, your best friend is going to be Google Trends. 

With this tool, you can view the search trends of a product, or more importantly, a related term, by filtering by specific time and place. For example, you can look for search trends for an entire year, in Spain, for elastic sports bands. You can also, and you should, search for other related terms, such as training boards or muscle-building boards. That way, you will have a much clearer idea of the trends for the product you are going to test, the months in which there is higher consumption, related products, etc.   

Now that you have validated the product and are clear on the trend, it’s time to check whether it really works with the audience you had already thought of targeting. To do this, you will use Instagram Ads:

  • Have your online store ready and the product data sheet of the product to be tested. 
  • Prepare your Instagram profile, just as we talked about in the guide. 
  • Create Business Manager and the advertising account (configure pixel, events, etc.). 
  • Launch conversion campaigns to validate the data. 
  • Analyse the results and make decisions. 

Sales strategies on Instagram: trial and error   


The most important thing when it comes to developing your strategies is to be clear about the fact that everything is susceptible to trial and error. In other words, if you don’t try, you can’t find out what really works, so we encourage you not to be afraid of failure.  If in doubt, always test it first! 

In this article, we have been talking about the importance of some of the tools that Instagram offers brands to generate content, both organic and paid. 

Therefore, it’s now time to explain which the most important tools are for developing your sales strategies on Instagram. Let’s get started! 

Instagram Ads

Instagram adverts are one of the most effective sales strategies for an online store, especially if you do dropshipping.  As we mentioned previously, to check whether you have a genuine winning product, it is best to test it and, to do so, Instagram ads are one of your allies. 

To begin, firstly you need to know and control how advertising works on this social network, what formats you can work with, etc. 

To create a campaign, the first thing you will need to do is decide your goal: interaction, consideration or conversion. And, within one of these, you will be able to choose a more specific goal. What do you think is the best option for testing your products? Effectively, the conversion campaigns. 

Once you have configured your campaign: added the budget, have a segmented audience, etc., it’s important to choose the content for your adverts. Although you should carry out the tests, all the trends and results point towards videos. 

What resolution and weight are appropriate for video ads on Instagram? 

Video ads can appear in several different proportions, but the specifications recommended by Instagram are as follows: 

In the feed sections: 

Resolution: 1080×1080 px.

MP4 and MOV formats. Does not allow GIF 

Size: maximum 250 MB   

In stories: 

Resolution: 1080×1920 px.

MP4 and MOV formats  

Size: maximum 4 GB   

Bear in mind that each clip lasts for 15 seconds

Instagram Shopping 

By now, you are bound to know about Instagram Shopping, but just in case you don’t, this is an Instagram tool that enables brands to tag the products from their store in a post: in the feed, stories, reels, in live, and even in mentions. So when a user clicks on a tag, they can see the product information and go directly to the product data sheet in your online store. 

But, watch out! Because Instagram’s latest updates now allow some users to tag products from brands in their own posts. So it is more important than ever to keep your catalogue up-to-date and synchronised with Instagram. 

How can you configure Instagram Shopping in your profile? 

It is very easy. You simply need to prepare your Instagram store step by step: 

  1. Use a Catalogue in your Business Manager: you can create a new one or use an existing one for purchases on Instagram. 
  2. Connect it to your Instagram profile: on Facebook, go to the catalogue administrator and select the one you want to use. Go to “Use cases” > “More ways of using the catalogue” and select “Purchases on Instagram”. Finally, go to “Connect your Instagram profile for business” and select “Connect account”.
  3. Add products to your catalogue. Make sure that it is completely updated and includes all the minimum fields that Instagram requires (name, description, category, price, etc.).
  4. Make sure you comply with all the community rules and the Meta commerce policies. Otherwise, your products may be rejected and will not be displayed either in tags or adverts. 

If you dedicate some time to it, Instagram Shopping is a very powerful tool to boost your sales on Instagram. For that reason, if you keep your catalogue up to date with relevant information and images, you will have better results. And, of course, you should delete all the products that you have discontinued in your ecommerce. 

Organic posts: take advantage of the trends to sell more

Although there is no doubt that they are a fundamental part, dropshippers don’t just rely on paid strategies.  If you are able to take advantage of all the trends and tools that come up on the platform, you will increase your reach and the sales on your profile. 


Instagram is an endless source of content. Every so often, a challenge, meme or trend appears on reels which sky-rockets the reach of users that join in. If the content fits in with the strategy of a product belonging to your online store and you can upload this type of content, you are bound to increase your visibility enormously. Also, don’t forget that you can tag products inside the videos in the reels format! 

Stories and highlights 

Stories are one of the most-consumed formats by Instagram users.  It is the perfect content to interact with your audience, launch products, special offers, play games or share content from other customers. 

One of the most important things about stories is that you can add links, which will help to generate traffic towards your ecommerce. You can share links using the sticker that is specifically for that purpose. 

In contrast, another very popular function is highlighted stories, which enable you to group and leave a series stories pinned to your profile. Many brands take advantage of the highlights to present a new collection, occasional product offers, etc. What about you? What do you think you could do with them? 

Videos on Instagram: the King of content 

It’s no secret that the video has become the new King of content. If you want to be relevant on Instagram, you will have to use this format to boost your sales, both in organic posts and in your adverts. 

As we mentioned in the article, all content is a question of trying, trying and trying again. Search for trends, dare to create, try out different durations, styles and discover the content that interests your audience: tutorials, recipes, tips, lifestyle, product demonstrations, etc.  The rest will come by itself! 

Conclusions: the most important thing for selling on Instagram 

After this analysis on how to sell on Instagram, dropshipping and which are the best strategies, let’s look at the most important conclusions that we need to keep in mind: 

Instagram is one of the social platforms with the most potential for social selling, thanks to the enormous range of opportunities to develop attractive and quality content. Also, remember that in Spain alone, it has nearly 25 million active users. 

You are going to need investment to promote and test your winning products. In dropshipping, these are the rules of the game: users buy on impulse and, if you don’t invest in advertising, it is very difficult for you to be able to scale your business. Investing in social selling is a fundamental part of dropshipping. 

– Stay on top of the trends. In such a fast-evolving world, it is important to stay up to date, not just to generate content that works and is rewarded by Instagram’s famous algorithm, but also to capture new sales opportunities with winning products.  This guide is sure to have helped you to find out more about social selling on Instagram. If you would like to delve even deeper, we encourage you to take BigBuy’s Social Selling course, with Héctor Blat as mentor and expert.

How to sell on Instagram: definitive guide to Social Selling
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