For years, social media has been seen as a great way to increase exposure and an OK tactic to drive sales. But as platforms continue to integrate more shopping features, the tides may be changing.

Last year, social media marketers reported an increase in sales compared to 2017, according to the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry report.

That dovetails into the latest research, which was conducted in November 2018. More than half of users (54 percent) said that they bought a product or service after seeing it on Instagram.

As people scroll through their Instagram feeds, they’re soaking up inspiration — searching for the next best place to visit, life-changing service or irresistible new product to add to their home.

Eighty-three percent of people are looking to discover new products or services on Instagram.

But that’s just the start of the buying process. A nearly equal number of people (80 percent) use Instagram to research products and decide if they’re going to buy them.

The only question: Are you delivering the right content to help them make those decisions?

Doing so could be the difference between increasing sales and exposure or just "getting the word out" about your business.

Read on to see if you provide the information people want before purchasing on Instagram.

Note: All below data, unless otherwise cited, is from FacebookIQ’s November 2018 research.

1. Is your profile up-to-snuff?

First off, you should have an Instagram business profile. Here’s how to set one up if you need to. That will allow you to add a category, address, website and phone number.

You want that information to be as easy as possible to find on your profile. Sixty-five percent of people visit a brand’s website after seeing a product/service they liked on Instagram, and 37 percent visited a brick-and-mortar store.

2. Have you integrated shopping tags into your posts?

Once they’re intrigued, people want more, more, more! Seventy-nine percent of people start searching for additional information.

But, if you include more details on your Instagram profile, they wouldn’t have to go searching elsewhere. That means you get to control the entire narrative.

Integrating shopping tags are a great (and relatively easy) place to start. But don’t stop there. Create highlight reels using Instagram Stories.

There, profile each of your top products. Show customers what it looks like, how to use it and even what your guarantee is. The idea is to answer all the top questions you get from customers on the verge of purchasing all in one place.

Then, when you feature products in Instagram posts, let them know that they can find more information in this go-to destination.

3. Do you highlight customer testimonials?

In the same vein, 29 percent of people talked to someone about the product they saw on Instagram. Though, even more, 41 percent of people, look up reviews before making a purchase, found 2018 BizRate Insights research.

In 2019, reading reviews is a fundamental part of the customer journey. By integrating testimonials into places people already go, like your Instagram profile or website, you’ll improve the user experience and hopefully boost conversation rates.

Experiment by highlighting customer reviews on an Instagram Story highlight, displaying reviews directly on product pages or more prominently featuring review stories or sites on your webpage.