Instagram has been killing it in the ever-evolving world of eCommerce recently.
Several years of having a captive audience stuck at home on their phones has seen the app introduce feature after feature to make shopping through the app a breeze.
However, this latest feature is going to take this seamless shopping experience to the next level––get ready for a game-changer in word-of-mouth advertising.
What’s just dropped?
Instagram has announced that users across the U.S. will be able to tag products in their posts. (Yes, just the U.S. for now, but we can expect to see it in Aus very soon if successful.)
Previously, this feature was only available to creators or brands, but now anyone with a public Instagram account will be able to do this.
All you’ll have to do is use the tagging feature when creating a feed post, find the brand and specify the product. When someone taps on the product tag, they’ll either get taken straight through to the product page on your website or the product detail page on the Instagram Shop tab.
Is this a good thing?
In short, YES.
We know that Instagram influencers are a great marketing tool because they show your products being used in the real world. This new tagging feature will take this real-world type of content to the next level because now anyone can be an influencer.
Anyone with a public Instagram account can snap a photo or upload a video and tag your product, and their followers will be able to just tap the link and buy the product. As a result, you can expect to see a massive uptick in user-generated content from real customers who will tag your products because they love them, not because they’re getting paid for it.
What does this mean for eCommerce on Instagram?
With 44% of people using Instagram to shop weekly, this new feature locks into how customers are already shopping.
Advertisers know that the most effective form of advertising is referrals/recommendations from family and friends. In fact, a massive 84% of people see family/friend referrals as the most trustworthy form of advertising.
Allowing users to tag products directly means that fans of your brand can post all about how much they love your product (with zero advertising costs out of your pocket!) and drive sales in the process.
Is this the modern word of mouth?
Word-of-mouth advertising has previously relied on people to talk about your product with their friends/family in real life, but now it’s as easy as posting to Instagram with a product tag, and all of a sudden, your product is in front of 200+ people who may never have heard of you otherwise.
We know that people are 4 times more likely to purchase a product when it’s been referred by a friend, so this new feature really is the future of word-of-mouth.
Are there other 2022 Instagram changes to be aware of?
We’ve seen a bunch of new Instagram updates come into play this year, as well as a few that are not new but have gained some momentum. Here’s what we recommend looking out for.
Reels & Stories
With Reels being Instagram’s answer to TikTok, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing TikTok’s dance trends and lip-syncing video content seeping into Reels. Keeping an eye on the latest trending audios and dance challenges is a great way to stay relevant with younger users, and with video content continuing to dominate, you could see a boost in engagement just for posting your own Reels.
The Instagram Shopping feature blew up last year thanks to pandemic shopping and the ease of shopping in the app. Instagram’s 2022 Trend Report announced that nearly 1 in 4 of its Gen Z users expect to shop through their social media feeds, and with all signs pointing towards social commerce becoming a pillar in the industry, it doesn’t make sense not to be taking advantage of this feature.
If you haven’t been using link stickers, now’s the time. After creating an Instagram story, just click on the sticker icon, and tap “Link”. You enter your URL, and there you go––a story link! This way, people who view your stories can just tap the link and be taken straight to the product page, blog post, or website without leaving the app.
Another new sticker option for stories––select the Add Yours sticker, write a prompt (e.g. what does your WFH desk look like today?), and people can respond to the prompt with their own photo or video. It’s a boost for engagement and interacting with your followers and a good way to gain insight and showcase a more human, creative side to your brand.
Twitter’s 280-character limit is not exactly Instagram caption/hashtag friendly. However, what we see a lot of recently is brands leveraging Twitter to showcase user-generated content. Just link posts from customers/influencers who love your brand on Instagram––you should start to see click-throughs to Instagram and some loyal new followers.
After all its pandemic popularity Instagram Live has become a strong tool for brands looking to connect with their followers. What’s more down-to-earth and human than live, edit-free video content? Live streaming can seem intimidating at first, but trust us, the more authentic you are, the more your audience will respond.
How does Instagram fit into my overall social media strategy?
Well, let’s look at the facts.
- Instagram has one billion active monthly users
- Users browse for an average of 53 minutes per day
- About 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram
- Instagram is the second most accessed network behind Facebook
With the continual additions of its new features, it’s clear that Instagram isn’t just a personal photo-sharing app anymore. It’s a global platform that allows your brand to connect with your audience on a human level, sell products, advertise and, most importantly, build your online brand identity.
Instagram trends play a huge role in the success of your social marketing strategy. Want to know how to stay ahead of the game? Chat with us today and receive a FREE strategy session worth $1200!
NEXT ARTICLE: What does the new Instagram update mean for you?