Instagram is one of the best platforms for interacting with potential customers on social media. In 2018, 104.7 million people in the United States – or 31.8% of the population – used Instagram, according to eMarketer. Considering the size of the audience, there is no doubt that a strong presence on the platform can help boost your brand. The good news is people are looking for the brands they like: 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand and 60% say they have discovered a product via the platform, according to Instagram.
With Buyable Instagram Posts, you can sell products directly from buyer feeds. Users can browse, buy, and check out without leaving the app. People come to Instagram for inspiration and selling on the platform allows you to share photos that show how your products are used in real life, creating the optimal sales environment.
If you want to expand your brand reach and increase your online sales, connect your Square online the product library on your Instagram account to make your items purchasable and turn your followers into buyers.
If you don’t have Square Online, you can accept online payment for an item on Instagram with Square online payment. Square Online Checkout generates a simple online payment link or button. Just link with your item name and a price, and you can share the link in your Instagram bio or an Instagram post. Learn how to get started with Square online payment.
Getting started with purchasable items
Logging in to Instagram to create purchasable posts is easy and only takes a few steps, but certain conditions must first be met:
When you’re ready, go to your Dashboard Website page and click on Social, then select Instagram. Click “Configure” to begin, taking note of the information in the “Read Me” pop-up window. Click the button to confirm and continue on Facebook.
Then follow the instructions to connect a Facebook page, install the Facebook pixel, and import your products to create a catalog that automatically syncs with your product library. When you’re done, your dashboard will update with the logged in Facebook account.
From there, connect a Facebook Business Manager account and add your Instagram Business profile – make sure your Instagram account is converted to Business and you have verified the Shopping on Instagram requirements.
Once Instagram has reviewed and approved your catalog and your account for shopping items, you can start tagging your items with products from your online store.
Create a purchasable item
To get started, create a new standard Instagram post or open an existing one. You can tag up to five products per image or video and up to 20 products in a multi-image post, but less is more. Overwhelming a photo with too many labels can be confusing, reducing the likelihood that a buyer will select a product. Tap Tag Products on the share screen, select the product from the catalog, and place the tag next to the product in the image. Then share your message.
Instagram users can identify a post as purchasable by displaying the cart icon. When a user hovers over a product, a label and price appear. To buy, the user clicks on the product page. Don’t stop there – once you’ve completed nine purchasable posts, your Instagram account will also receive a store feed added to your profile, where customers have direct access to your products.
Turn purchasable publications into sales
Once you’ve set up your account, focus your attention on sales, but be selective about which Instagram posts you tag. Customers want to build relationships with brands through social media, not feel bombarded with ads. Remember, purchasable posts should be part of your overall Instagram content strategy.
Make sure your purchasable items match the branding and aesthetic of other items you share. When a potential customer visits your profile page, you don’t want some posts to seem incompatible with others. Instagram is a visual platform and posts must be authentic. While filters can improve images, you want to make sure your products are displayed accurately, creating correct expectations for buyers and ultimately avoiding returns.
User generated content
Next, consider layering user-generated content into your social media marketing strategy. Consumers rate user-generated posts 76% more trustworthy than branded advertising, according to Adweek. Repost the photos your customers shared and tagged with your brand, adding tags to make them purchasable. Of course, ask for permission to repost the photo and give credit to the customer in the post.
You can also boost your post-sale strategy on Instagram by collaborating on a position of influence. Getting an influencer to talk about your products and share them with the right audience is a powerful seal of approval that can drive sales.
Finally, don’t forget the hashtags. Posts containing at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement than those without, according to Sprout Social. You can use up to 30 hashtags on your Instagram post, but the optimal number is 11. Include a branded hashtag on all of your posts, such as your business name, so buyers can search and find your business. Think about relevant hashtags buyers can use to research your products, and research your competition to stay on top of trends.
Performance of purchasable items
Monitor the types of posts that generate the most sales. Keep track of impressions, which is how many people have viewed your posts, and engagement, which means how often your posts are liked, commented on, or shared. This information helps you identify which posts your customers want so you can put your time back into what works.
Instagram Shoppable posts offer a visual and dynamic method to drive engagement and sales. According to YOTPO, at least 30% of consumers have made a purchase following a post on Instagram. Buyable posts can become an important part of your social media marketing strategy.