Instagram promotional guide

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks in existence. It recently reported having over 500 million monthly active users which puts it ahead of both Twitter and Linkedin! Instagram is the perfect platform for promoting your products because it’s all about visuals—you can easily share engaging images and videos showing off your products. Plus you can use this platform to create hype around your products and sales while making your products easily accessible for purchase.


Add bio link

The bio lives at the top of your Instagram profile and provides information about you or your brand. Even though you can’t add clickable links within in-feed posts on Instagram, you can add a link to your website in your bio–making it easily accessible for followers. Your bio is the perfect place to add a link to your Teespring store or listing. When running a sale you should add your Teespring store or listing URL to your Instagram bio. If you’re running a sale make sure to optimize your storefront banner with your code too. 

To track the number of clicks your bio link is generating you can use a bitly link here. If you want further analytics insight like the number of visitors and purchases your bio link drives, you can take advantage of Teespring’s Google Analytics Integration too.

You can also consider creating a account with to host multiple articles within your Instagram bio. When a follower clicks on this link they’re taken to a page with all of your posts to date and the corresponding link to the product. This way, you can keep all of your product links in one place and your buyers and followers can easily discover your products.


Publish posts

Instagram posts are one of the most important features you can use to promote your products. Once you publish a post it remains visible within your Instagram feed. As you gain more followers they can scroll through past posts and see this content. The most effective promotional posts feature photos or videos of you wearing samples of your products. Other key information to include in Instagram posts include:

  • The story behind your design or inspiration for your merch collection. 
  • Information on where followers can buy your products(“Link in bio if you want to get your own!”).
  • Promo codes followers can use to redeem special discounts. 

Let’s take a look at examples of successful promotional posts created by Teespring users on Instagram. 

Keep in mind you can also use Canva to create professional and visually engaging graphics. There are an array of templates you can pick from, including Instagram posts and stories. You’re able to add custom photos and text to templates—ideal for creating in-feed promotional graphics that showcase your promo codes during sales. Check out our design resources for more creative tools and tips. 


Share stories

Instagram stories let you share key moments of your day in a slideshow format. You can post as many videos or photos as you’d like without fear of overlapping content. The posts will disappear in 24 hours, and will never appear in your actual Instagram feed. Instagram’s 400 million active users spend up to 53 minutes per day on Instagram, with over 250 million clicking on at least one story per day. 

Stories are an extremely effective Instagram feature for creating awareness and hype around your products and sales. Because stories last for only 24 hours before disappearing, they are a great way to ramp up the promotion of your sale by ‘counting down’ to the day your sale starts.

Once you upload your photo or asset, you can make use of the many features within the stories function like countdown timers and polls. See some examples below of how they can be used.

Unfold is an app (accessed on iPhone or Android devices) that specializes in Instagram story templates. You can simply upload your photos and videos into the app and customize them using Unfold’s features. You’re able to add text to the templates to tell your audience more about your promotion. When promoting you should consider using both in-feed and story posts to maximize engagement when releasing new merch or running a sale. 


Create highlights

Your Instagram Stories don’t have to only last 24 hours. You can create a dedicated ‘merch’ highlight and add your merch stories to it so they’re always visible on your Instagram profile. You can even customize your highlights to feature a specific theme or aesthetic (using the design resources we mention below). Many creators feature stories of themselves wearing their merch or photos submitted by fans and followers who purchased from them (see “social proof” below for more info).


Use swipe up/IGTV

This is another feature available within Instagram stories, where you can add a website or product link to your story. The user then simply swipes up from the story to be directed to the website or product. This feature is currently only available to accounts who have 10,000 followers or more. If you’ve got access it’s an effective way to direct shoppers to your Teespring store or listing

Example of swipe-up function in action on our Instagram

If you don’t have 10,000 followers, you can utilize IGTV to replicate the swipe up feature. IGTV is a standalone video app created by Instagram. It allows for longer videos to be posted (between 15 seconds and 10 minutes). While IGTV is available as a standalone app, users are able to access and watch IGTV videos within Instagram. You can use IGTV to replicate the swipe up feature by uploading your video of at least 15 seconds and adding your preferred link into the description. Unlike Instagram stories, IGTV videos are permanent and will stay on your profile–so this is something you may want to keep in mind.


Collect social proof

Once buyers start receiving their orders, use social proof to drive even more sales. Social proof is essentially the approval of a product from a peer group. Happy buyers sharing photos of themselves wearing your merch can generate excitement and interest, as well as affirm the value and quality of the products you’re selling. 

If photos of you wearing products gets followers excited, imagine how much they’ll love the chance to feature on your Instagram profile! Reward loyal customers and make them feel special by giving them a shoutout or sharing their photos within your community. You can then re-publish this content on Instagram by featuring it in your highlights or within your feed.  Ask follower to use a personalized hashtag when posting photos with your merch or ask them to tag you so you can easily keep track of your buyers’ selfies. 

In this example, @ALLISON [158k subscribers] features a fan wearing her product and incorporates it into the Instagram feed of her brand, Magic Dwells Here.

The @mississippi_golden_gurls [188k followers] created a dedicated merch highlight where they showcase photos submitted by fans wearing their products. 

@jackfragsyt [265k subscribers] shares an image of fans who’ve purchased his merch and asks others to send him their photos. 

@johniejasworld_apparel [35k followers] asks followers to use a unique hashtag when posting photos for the chance to be featured across his social accounts. 



Ready to put these tips to the test? Start promoting your products on Instagram now!