In its latest announcement, Instagram has opened its access to shopping feature to more types of business – including the creators and publisher. After the launch of its amazing checkout feature last year, Instagram has come up with another attraction, especially for SMBs and creators. The update is to roll out from 9th July onward. By which it means that from that day onward, the eligible creator, publishers and businesses can drive potential buyers to their website using shopping tags on Instagram.
So, “Whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merchandise, or a food blogger expanding into your own cookware line, any eligible business or creator account with at least one eligible product can use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase,” Instagram wrote in a blog post.
However, you need to know the fresh commerce eligibility requirements announced by IG with regard to the expanded feature.
Let’s have a quick look at the eligibility criteria for Instagram’s latest feature:
Set up your account complying with Facebook’s policies
This is the basic requirement you should comply with. Check out Facebook terms of servicecommercial terms and community standards. Well, these are all standard regulations mainly focused around types of goods and services that you can offer for sale on these platforms.
Represent your own domain on Instagram
Remember, that you can only tag products on Instagram from your own product or service website – from where you sell your products or services. It means that you cannot do affiliate marketing under this feature and the product list on your account must contain items from your own domain only.
Are you located in a support market?
Ensure your business is located in a market which is supported by Instagram’s latest features. However, not all Instagram shopping features are available to the “supported” regions. For instance, currently, only the United States is eligible for the Instagram Checkout feature. Here is the updated list of supported countries.
Build trust with your Instagram presence
A significant eligibility parameter here is – demonstrated trustworthiness. This implies that you need to have an established presence in the platform and maintain sufficient followers to avail the feature. This reiterates the importance of having an active presence on social media, whether you are a small business owner, creator or self-publisher.
Provide accurate information and follow best practices
Whether it’s your product information list, the pricing, or the refund and return policies, every piece of information that you display should be clear and accurate for the audience.
How to increase your Instagram follower base?
Be passionate about your niche
Instagram or any other social media for that matter is brimming with content creators. And with the rise of online shopping, almost every business is turning to social media selling. Hence, to stand out from the crowd – you need to stick to a niche.
It is very important to have your niche defined and be known about that particular niche. If you already have a business idea in mind, make sure you define its niche and stick to it. And if you haven’t already – think of your area of interest that you are passionate about. Keep posting and sharing knowledgeable content around your niche and it will surely build your authority and drive eyeballs to your posts.
Engaging high quality content
It’s a no-brainer that the quality of your content matters. Why would anyone take a look at your content, particularly on photo-sharing app like Instagram where there are huge number of people sharing their best content? Thus, you need to be posting pictures and videos that are of high quality and at the same time, have an engaging element. Try posting picture and videos which have high resolution. In case of videos, you can opt for stock videos which give a human touch to your story.
Take a note: Find similar accounts as yours and do cross promotion. This way, both of you gain exposure of each other’s followers.
Use catchy captions
Your captions are your messages that compliment your pictures in the post. You need to make your captions which give out your key point related to the post and in a catchy and concise manner. Your caption should be motivating and inspiring enough to make the user instantly catch your attention. Moreover, an engaging caption gives the user the right feel of the post – and that’s how they become your followers. You can either opt for short clever captions or long captions, in case of sharing a story or experience.
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Make best of use Instagram stories
With the meteoric rise of IG story feature, you cannot afford to miss out on it while establishing your IG presence. Through stories, you can stay in constant touch with your existing followers – which is significant if you want to create a strong following. Instagram story itself offers a range of filters and feature to make stories that drive engagement of your followers. For instance, you can share your products using the “poll” feature and ask your followers to select their favorite among it. Similarly, you can make a smart use of IG stickers.
Smart use of Hashtags
Hashtags are undoubtedly an important part of Instagram. However, it is equally important that you make right use of hashtags. Be strategic with your hashtags. As per a study, 3-5 hashtags are optimal for social media. In addition, hashtags need to be descriptive and relate well with your post, Also, you can make use of trending hashtags if they fit in your post well.
Reach out to influencers
Influencers are the entities who already have a dominating presence in your niche. Thus, they play a big role in bringing you in the eyes of your target audience. When influencers share your post or product it helps you gain exposure and more followers. Find accounts which have the same set of audience. You can easily find their email/contact on their profile so you can reach out to them and contact them with the offer.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. And now is the right time that you start building your strategy for effective social media marketingif you haven’t already. As in the coming times, the rise of social media for businesses is only going to show an upward trend and the only way to reap its maximum benefits is to plan out the things strategically.
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