Instagram is one of the most effective social media platforms for engaging with prospective customers. According to Instagram, 90% of its users follow at least one business, and nearly half of active Instagram users surveyed reported that they use Instagram to shop weekly.
As consumers use Instagram to connect with brands and to shop on a regular basis, Instagram shoppable posts can help your business get in front of more potential customers. Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram shoppable posts, from how they work to how to use them.
What are Instagram shoppable posts?
Instagram shoppable posts allow you to sell products directly from shoppers’ feeds. By tagging your products in a post, users can shop from your brand’s videos and photos across Instagram. Shoppers can browse, buy, and check out without leaving the app, so the entire discovery and shopping experience takes place on Instagram.
How to get started with Instagram shoppable posts
Learning how to use Instagram to create shoppable posts is easy and takes only a few steps, but there are some requirements that must be met first:
- You must have an Instagram Business account. You can convert your personal account in the Instagram app settings, or you can create a new account for your business.
- You must be located in an area where Shopping on Instagram is available. You can check availability in this Instagram help guide.
- Your Instagram account must be approved before you can use Shopping on Instagram. You’ll be able to request a review in the final step of the setup.
- You will need to connect to Facebook Business Extension. Doing this imports your products to a catalog that you can access when creating posts on Instagram.
- Your website must be published, and you must have at least one available product in your online store.
Next, follow the instructions to enable Instagram Shopping. You’ll be guided through the process of connecting your Facebook Page and Instagram account, connecting or creating a catalog, connecting or creating a Facebook Pixel, or linking your eCommerce store. You can also choose to enable Facebook Ads and Facebook Shops.
After you’ve followed these steps, your account will be submitted to Facebook for review to make sure it meets their commerce guidelines. Once reviewed and approved, you can start tagging your posts with products.
How to set up shoppable posts with Square Online
If you’re looking to extend your brand reach and increase online sales, connect your Square Online product library to your Instagram account to make your posts shoppable and turn followers into potential customers.
If you don’t have an online store through Square, you can still accept online payment for an item on Instagram with Square Online Checkout. Square Online Checkout generates a simple online checkout link or button that you can add to your posts. Simply create a link with your item name and a price, and you can share the link in your Instagram bio or in an Instagram post.
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How to add product tags to an Instagram post
To begin, create a new standard Instagram post or open an existing one. Tap “Tag Products” from the share screen, select the product from the catalog, and place the tag near the product in the image. Then share your post.
Instagram product tagging allows up to five products per image or video and up to 20 products in a multi-image post. But keep in mind that less is more. Overwhelming a photo with too many tags can cause confusion, making it less likely that a shopper will select a product.
Instagram users can identify a post as being shoppable by viewing the shopping bag icon. When a user hovers over a product, a tag and a price appear. To purchase, the user clicks through to the product page.
But don’t stop there. By adding a Shopping tab on your profile, customers have direct access to browse all of your products at once, without having to leave the app.
How to sell on Instagram with shoppable posts
Once your account is set up, be selective about which Instagram posts you tag. Customers want to build relationships with brands through social media, not feel like they’re being bombarded with advertisements. Remember, shoppable posts should be one part of your overall content strategy on Instagram.
Ensure your shoppable posts fit the brand and aesthetic of other posts you share. When a prospective customer visits your profile page, you don’t want certain posts to look inconsistent with others — Instagram is a visual platform, and posts should be authentic. While filters can enhance images, be sure your products are displayed accurately, creating correct expectations for buyers and, ultimately, avoiding returns.
Consider layering user-generated content into your social media marketing strategy. Consumers consider user-generated posts 76% more trustworthy than branded advertising, according to Adweek. Repost photos that your customers have shared and tagged your brand in, adding your own tags to make them shoppable. Of course, ask permission to repost the photo and give the customer credit in the post.
You can also boost your Instagram shoppable post sales strategy by collaborating on an influencer post. Getting an influencer to talk about your products and share them with the right audience is a powerful stamp of approval that can drive sales.
Don’t forget hashtags. Posts that include hashtags get more engagement than those without. You can use up to 30 hashtags on your Instagram post, but according to the corporate-backed Instagram Creators account, using three to five hashtags per post is best practice.
Include a branded hashtag on all your posts, such as the name of your brand, so that shoppers can search for and find your business. Consider relevant hashtags that shoppers might use to search for your products, and research your competitors to stay up to date on trends.
Shoppable post performance
Monitor which types of posts generate the most sales. Keep track of impressions, which is how many people saw your posts, and engagement, which is how often your posts are liked, commented on, or shared. This information helps you identify the posts that your customers want so you can reinvest your time in what’s working.
Shoppable Instagram posts offer a visual, dynamic method for driving engagement and sales. According to YOTPO, at least 30% of consumers have made a purchase as a direct result of an Instagram post, so shoppable posts can become an important part of your social media marketing strategy.