Instagram Shop Button: Social Media Goes E-commerce
Prior to this month, if you wanted to use your Instagram account to sell products, there was no direct path to take. You would have to post your amazing picture and then direct people in your comments to your web address listed in your bio. But only a few days ago, Instagram announced the “Shop Now” button and a variety of other buttons for online marketers and advertisers. These buttons are not yet available but will be soon. You can see them on the Instagram for Business Blog.
When Instagram began, they created their app to focus on the visual experience. It is still very much about high quality, eye-catching photos. But other social media sites have allowed a more direct route for marketers. Instagram chose to wait until they were ready to implement this feature.
Since Instagram is still primarily a smartphone app rather than a desktop one, it may have been wise to wait until smartphones became more user-friendly from an online shopping experience standpoint.
In the past, Instagram allowed a certain select group of companies to use sponsored ads on the site, but it was not available to most. With the new buttons, Instagram is promising to make them available to businesses of all sizes.
There are further plans to add target marketing sometime in the near future. This will be possible because Instagram can use the analytics, experience, and information that has been garnered by their parent company, Facebook.
But while you are waiting for the buttons to actually become available, you should use this time to build your follower base.
Take the necessary steps to get as many real followers as you can on your account and it will make your advertising dollars more effective when you are ready to pounce on this option.
The current suggestions for building followers include:
- Use hashtags that are not generic; instead use ones that are specific to the message and brand of your account and product. And limit the number of hashtags you use to about five or less.
- Engage with the followers you already have. Like their posts, make comments on them, and respond when others say something about your images.
- Use the Explore option to discover accounts with similar interests to your own and begin interacting with those people.
These are just a few suggestions to help you prepare for when the buttons become available giving you maximum effect for paid advertising on Instagram.