How Can Ecommerce Owners Succeed on Instagram?
With more than a billion active users around the globe, Instagram is a social media sensation that’s only getting bigger with each passing day. Its popularity has seen it transform from a simple photo-sharing app to one of the most potent marketing tools for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Ecommerce businesses, in particular, have benefited greatly from Instagram in recent years, and in this post, we’ll give you all the information that eCommerce owners need to succeed on the platform.
The first thing you should do on Instagram is set up a business profile. If you don’t know how a business profile on Insta differs from a regular profile, consider the following points:
- A business profile allows owners to access analytics for assessing follower information, reach, impressions, and more.
- A business profile can be used to add calls-to-action and other interactive features that allow followers to engage with promotional posts.
- A business profile supports third-party integrations.
So if your business doesn’t have an Instagram profile yet, it’s about time you considered switching. The process of switching from a regular Insta profile to a business profile is simple and it’ll only take you a few minutes to make the switch.
So you’ve successfully switched to an Instagram business profile. But is that enough for your eCommerce business? The short and simple answer is – no, it’s not. Once your business profile is set up with all the relevant photo, video, and text content, it’s time to turn to the Instagram Shop feature.
Instagram Shop is a feature that you can use for integrating all your products with the business profile that you just switched to. Once the feature is enabled, you can display your product catalog in its entirety to your target audience on Instagram itself. Instagram has recently added a feature called Checkout as well, which allows people to buy products without having to leave Instagram. So, by combining these features, your eCommerce business is sure to see some degree of success.
Let’s take a look at all the benefits that the Instagram Shop feature has to offer:
- Your audience doesn’t have to leave Instagram: This is undoubtedly the biggest benefit that Instagram Shop offers to eCommerce businesses. The majority of social media users these days don’t want to visit different websites to view the products they want to buy. They’d rather get all the information on the platform they use.
If Instagram users like the products you have to offer, they’ll naturally feel inclined to visit your website. This ensures that the people visiting your website from Instagram are much more likely to purchase, and as a result, high-quality traffic is generated for your website.
- Allows product tagging across posts: You’ll have to post regularly from your business profile on Instagram if you want to stay prominent and relevant in the eyes of your target audience. With the Instagram Shop feature, you can also tag products across all your posts.
Once you optimize the hashtags for these posts, they have a great chance of appearing in front of your target audience in another recently-introduced Instagram feature – the Shopping Explore tab. The Shopping Explore tab is typically viewed by Insta users who already have an intent to buy.
- Direct product promotion: Before Instagram Shop came along, it would be rather difficult for eCommerce businesses to generate conversions from the platform. Sure, it was still a popular platform for strengthening customer relations, but when it came to conversions, it was lacking. This was due to the fact that Insta only allowed a single link to be placed in the bio. So, every post that was a product or brand promotion had to have the following type of call-to-action – check out the link in the bio.
However, Instagram Shop has spiced things up. Now, businesses can show their products directly, and that too in a variety of ways by using different posting formats (photo, video, Stories) without any adverse effects on the user experience. Thanks to Instagram Shop, tagging products across your posts will be as easy as tagging other people.
Starting your eCommerce store’s Instagram Shop
So now that you know all the benefits that the Instagram Shop feature has to offer, you’d naturally be interested to know how to set up an Instagram Shop for your eCommerce store. Doing this will take some time, as it involves integrating certain moving parts and also seeking Instagram’s approval to get it up and running. But don’t worry, the hassle is minimal and ultimately, it’s worth it!
The first thing you need to start your Instagram Shop is a Facebook Shop, which is the source for all the information extracted by Instagram for successfully creating your Instagram Shop. If you don’t have a Facebook shop, here’s how you can set it up:
- Standalone Facebook Shop: The first option you can explore is to start a standalone Facebook Shop. However, this has the potential of complicating things, as you’ll have to create the product catalog from scratch and also deal with inventory management on multiple fronts.
Facebook’s eCommerce management system has also been on the receiving end of some harsh criticism, as it doesn’t offer several features that are standard offerings on dedicated eCommerce platforms. However, it all boils down to your preferences. If creating a standalone Facebook Shop works out for you, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go ahead with it. However, if managing separate inventories and orders seems problematic, there’s a second option to explore as well.
- Sync your eCommerce store with Facebook: If your eCommerce store exists on a platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento, you’re in luck. You can integrate your entire product catalog in a matter of minutes and the best thing about this option is the automatic inventory tracking.
If simplicity is your thing, we recommend choosing this option, as you can manage all your orders from one place (Shopify or BigCommerce dashboard). This will also allow you to focus more on increasing sales.
Getting your Instagram Shop started
Once your Facebook Shop is operational, you’ll need to perform the following steps for successfully starting your Instagram Shop:
- Update your Instagram app: If you’re using an older version of the Instagram app, you won’t have access to the Shop feature. So the first thing you need to do is to update the app to the latest version.
- Link your Instagram and Facebook pages: Once your Instagram app is updated, link your business pages across Facebook and Instagram. Simply access the ‘Linked Accounts’ option in your Instagram settings to successfully link the pages.
- Add Instagram as sales channel: You can set up Instagram as one of several sales channels on your eCommerce store. For example, if you have a Shopify store, go to the dashboard and choose Instagram in the Add Sales channel box, which you can access by clicking on the plus icon.
- Wait for approval: At this point, it’s up to Instagram to conduct a review process, which can take some days to be completed. Once it is successfully completed, Instagram will send you a notification and you’ll be all set to start using the various Instagram Shop features.
- Confirm Facebook Shop to be added: The final step involves confirming the Facebook Shop that you want to sync with your Instagram business profile. You can do this by accessing the ‘Shopping’ tab after opening the ‘Business Settings’ option.
Now that your Instagram Shop is finally operational, you’ll be able to see the ‘Tag Products’ option when you want to create a new post. Click on it and tag the desired products.
Finetuning your Instagram Shop promotions
Simply setting up an Instagram Shop isn’t enough. Now that it’s operational, you need to focus on Instagram marketing to spread the word. Below, you’ll find a few tips that will help your Instagram Shop to become more visible for your target audience:
- Run ads: Your shopping posts can be run as ads on Instagram and you can do it through the Facebook Ads Manager. The posts should have accurate tags, descriptive hashtags, and high-quality images. Not optimizing the posts would most likely result in failure, so remember to optimize the posts as much as you can.
- Create niche hashtags for your posts: You can’t expect to succeed on Instagram without hashtags. So create and use niche hashtags across all your shopping posts. Take a look at what your competitors are doing on Instagram and get inspired!
- Use product stickers: You can also create shopping posts using the Instagram Stories feature. It includes product stickers in four styles and you can also edit the stickers’ text and colors.
- Tag products in previous posts: If you have previous posts that included products, don’t forget to revisit them and tag them. This will make sure that even if an Instagram user sees an older post, shopping for the products won’t be an issue.
In conclusion, we’d like to wish you and your eCommerce business the very best on its journey in the wide world of Instagram. If you want to boost your business’ presence on Instagram, turn to Mr. Insta for highly-targeted and top-quality Instagram followers, and that too for free! Mr. Insta also offers a wide range of premium services not just for Instagram, but for other social media platforms, such as YouTube and Twitter.
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