If you’ve found your way to this blog you’ll already know the importance of having an Instagram presence as a way to communicate with current and prospective customers. Tagging your products in relevant posts is the next step to maximising conversion opportunities and is a no brainer – the easier you make it for customers to shop your products, the better!
Why should I tag my products in Instagram posts?
Instagram has become pervasive in influencing purchasing decisions – in fact, 81% of users use the platform to research products and services, whether that’s seeking out brand and business profiles, looking for content containing information and reviews on them or using the handy shop tab. When it comes to running a successful ecommerce business, maximising your visibility is essential – being where your customers are is a key to this.
The shopping functions on Instagram have made it so easy to quickly share links to where products can be purchased and can be used in posts, stories, reels, lives, guides and IGTV. 130 million users tapping on Instagram shopping posts every month is testament to this. This convenience is great for consumers and businesses alike! Prospective buyers no longer have to trawl the web to find a specific product they’d like to buy, reverse image search or ask where they can buy something – resulting in a convenient and satisfying buying experience. Businesses benefit from a more straightforward sales funnel, increased visibility and greater traffic to their shop pages and/or ecommerce websites – it’s a win-win situation!
Being able to tag your products on Instagram also gives you greater flexibility in the kind of content you post. I don’t know about you, but I often find myself watching something on Netflix and coveting crockery, clothing or homeware (I know I am a HOOT, shoutout to Jean Millburn’s duvet covers!). If technology catches up and we can purchase such lovely items via clicking mid-Netflix binge then my bank account is screwed! The point I’m making here is that although these great products aren’t the main focus, they’re still desirable – the same can be said when it comes to Instagram posts that have tagged products. Being able to tag the products gives you the freedom to be more creative with your posts – you can shoot stylized product imagery, create reels that show the product’s function or benefits, show ranges or suggested uses. Rather than sharing a standard product photograph with a white background, you can use this opportunity to tell a story, take your customers on a journey and ultimately inspire them to buy whatever it is you are selling or offering.
How do I tag my products on Instagram?
1. It All Starts with Setting Up an Instagram Shop
This is your very own digital storefront with a catalogue of your items for sale- you can set it up so users can either purchase directly within Instagram in the space of a few clicks or so that product links take them to the relevant page on your ecommerce website. Here are a few things to consider before you start the process:
- Check that Instagram Shopping is supported in your country – check Instagram’s list here
- You sell a physical product eligible to be sold via Instagram
- You’ve read and comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies
- Your business owns your ecommerce website (you can definitely use etsy or other third party ecommerce sites for this)
- The Instagram account you intend to use to tag products is a business or creator account (this is very easy to switch to within Instagram’s settings)
2. Connect to Your Facebook Page
You’ll need to have a Facebook page for your business to set up a shop. You can create one catalogue that allows you to tag your products on both Instagram and Facebook, so it’s a no brainer to have one if you don’t already!
3. Upload Products to Your Catalogue
Now it’s time to list all of the products you’d like to sell via Instagram and Facebook. You can add product photos, descriptions and technical information such as materials and size dimensions. You can even integrate with existing product databases such as Shopify or BigCommerce. There are several ways to get your products uploaded, Hootsuite has an excellent guide on the whole process of setting up Instagram Shopping here.
4. Start Tagging!
With your Instagram shop all set up and your products all uploaded to your catalogue you can now start tagging products in relevant posts concerning them. You can tag up to 5 products per post – which is fab if you’re promoting a collection, sale or want to highlight products that complement each other.
In stories you can use the shopping sticker to link to specific products, collections or your whole shop. You can also use Instagram shopping tools to promote products in live streams, guides and ads.
If you work with influencers or collaborate with other businesses to advertise your products you can even add them to your ‘shopping partners’ list within Instagram. This allows them to tag your products in their posts and stories, making it easier for their followers to shop your products within the app.
5. Monitor Your Analytics
Now that you’ve done the hard work of setting up a shop and adding your products, after a while you’ll want to see what effect it is having on conversions and your sales funnel. You can view your Instagram Shop analytics from within the app or via Commerce Manager on Facebook (I’d recommend the latter). From here you’ll be able to see specific product analytics such as product page views, how many people have added your product to their wishlist and clicks through to your ecommerce website (if you have chosen that checkout option). Revisit this at least once a month to get valuable insights that will help inform your social media content curation and the most popular products within your shop.
With so many people using Instagram as a shopping platform whether intentionally or not, it’s a no brainer for any business with physical products to be taking full advantage of it’s shopping features. From easy conversion opportunities to freeing yourself from referencing the link in your bio in every product-related post, the benefits are multitude! I hope this post has been helpful to you if you’ve been umming and ahhing about whether to create an Instagram shop for your small business! Do let me know if you set up a shop or if you’d like to outsource the setup and or management of your Instagram shop – I’d love to help!