Social Media has always been a fantastic place for businesses to promote their products and services. However, this form of promotion has historically relied on product photography with supporting copy to detail prices, descriptions and a call to action link off to a website.
Unfortunately, results from these posts will be influenced heavily by the platform’s algorithm, and the content will quickly slip down the feed.
Now, with the introduction of Instagram Shopping, products can be featured on your profile without the need to consistently post sales messages and risk leaving your audience unengaged.
According to Instagram, nearly half of the people surveyed use the platform to shop weekly. Your potential customers are already browsing your content, so it’s up to you to make it as easy as possible to purchase.
Creating An Instagram Shop
Make Sure Your Account Is Ready
Firstly, you must ensure you meet Instagram’s Commerce Eligibility Requirements (found here) and that your business has its own website. Any Instagram Shop listings must also be available for purchase on your company website.
You will need to have a Business or Creator Instagram Account. Your personal account can be converted in the app under Settings and then Account. Furthermore, once you have switched to a professional account you can connect your Instagram to your company Facebook Page.
Finally, businesses will need a Business Manager account. Here you can add your Pages, set up Commerce Manager and add new users.
Set Up Commerce Manager
Although you can get started within the Instagram app, it’s often easier to set up your store under Commerce Manager.
First, choose whether you want to feature your shop on Instagram, Facebook or both platforms. Then, either connect an existing product catalogue or create a new one.
Once you’re happy with your Shop, submit it to Instagram for a review. This review will typically take a few days but sometimes longer.
Adding Products To Instagram Shop
As above, you will need a catalogue to manage the products within your Instagram Shop. This catalogue is found within Facebook Commerce Manager and can either be managed manually or by integrating a third-party e-commerce platform. Facebook partners with some of the bigger e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce and Shopify.
Product Tags On-Grid Posts
When it comes to promoting your products, there are several places across Instagram to do so. For example, when you post a photograph to your grid, simply upload the image as normal, add your caption and then tap ‘Tag Products’. You will then be able to search for the featured product(s) in your catalogue and share your post.
Product Tags On Instagram Stories
Many users choose to flick through the 24-hour Instagram Story content first, before then scrolling down the newsfeed. As a business, if you’re looking to utilise the exposure and engagement Stories bring, be sure to highlight your products so customers can click off to your Instagram Shop in what Instagram refers to as ‘the moment of discovery’.
To do this, simply share your Story – whether it’s a flat lay or lifestyle image featuring your products – and add the new ‘Products’ sticker. You will then be able to select the product(s) from your catalogue.
Product Tags On Instagram Ads
A fantastic way to increase your reach beyond any existing followers is to run Instagram Ads. These are a good opportunity to reach conquest audiences and increase your brand exposure. Within Ads Manager, businesses can create Instagram Ads that contain product tags, thus making it easier than ever to drive traffic to your Instagram Shop.
Instagram Shop Tab
There is also now a Shop tab available on a user’s home screen that enables them to browse for products and discover new brands. Consider how your product photography can stand out amongst the crowd and increase your chances of engaging new audiences.
Instagram is frequently introducing new and helpful ways for businesses to market themselves and sell products via ‘Social Selling’ on their platform. As more and more businesses catch on to the likes of Instagram Shopping and Facebook Catalogues, it’s important brands keep up to stay competitive.