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Instagram continues to steamroll over other social networks as a platform for businesses to reach and engage their audiences. The image-sharing application shows no signs of slowing down, as modeling predicts that its user base will reach 1.2 billion by 2023. A big part of the success of Instagram for businesses is the fact that they continue to evolve with new tools to promote products without too much disruption to user experience. They have been especially active in this manner this year, with one new update in particular that your company can get excited about. Let’s review.

A Big New Instagram Update Your eCommerce Business Can Start Taking Advantage of Today

Happy Customers Can Now Tag Your Products

Product tags enable you to feature products from a catalog and help customers learn more about what you’re selling on Instagram via Post Feeds. In the past the effectiveness was limited by the size of your Following. If only your Followers see product tags from your own Posts, you’re trying to sell products to people who are already familiar with them. The strategy does little to grow your brand. When the product tagging feature expanded to designated Content Creators possibilities for your business began to grow. However, the capacity for growth was limited. You had to actively solicit and collaborate with Content Creators to get them to share your products or services with their audiences. This practice can be expensive and time-consuming. But this has now changed. On April 18 2022 Instagram announced that they are expanding product tagging in their Feed to everyone.

By expanding the product tagging feature to the masses, your business can now grow organically. Consumers have a natural inclination to support brands that they love. They already do so by @ tagging company profiles when they’ve recently purchased a product (from them) and have had a great experience with it. But now they can tag a specific product in their Posts. As a result their Followers can tap the tag and be taken to a product detail page on Instagram. From there they can purchase the product directly in-app, or through your product detail page.

How to Take Advantage of the Product Tagging Update

You need to get set up for Instagram Shopping. To do so you must set up your shop in Commerce Manager or a supported platform (Shopify, etc.). Alternatively, you can get started directly within the Instagram app. Instagram walks you through the entire process here. Once established, you can take advantage of the new product tagging update. But how should you get started if you don’t already have a large following of brand loyalists? Employee social advocacy is a great place to begin. If your staff is on board, they can start tagging your products in their own Posts, which will grow your reach to the collective size of their Following. If you don’t already have an employee social advocacy program in place, now is the time to get one started. We’ve provide tips to making that happen, right here. In addition, ask family and friends (the non-virtual kind) to help out by tagging your products on their own Posts.

After you have exhausted “in-house human resources”, it’s time to be more proactive. While product tagging to occur naturally (assuming you sell a great product that people want) consumer outreach will be important. If you have a brick and mortar shop, incentivize customers at the point-of-purchase by offering a small discount for following your profile (if they don’t already) and ask them to tag your product. You’ll be surprised to find how willing happy customers are to support your brand on Instagram. You can also request this for online purchases, whether they come from an email, SEO, or PPC campaign. You can do so by making a post purchase request to tag their newly purchased product on Instagram in order to receive a future discount or gift. The discount or gift will be “released” once you see your product has been tagged from their profile. Lastly, you may consider Content Creator and Influencer outreach. We know that we stated Influencers are a waste of marketing budget, but we’re not opposed to giving them brand swag from your inventory. Nano-influencers (1,000-10,000 Followers) and Macro-Influencers (10,000-50,000 Followers) are especially open to trading products for promotions, without you having to dole out cold hard cash. Whether you sell sporting goods or organic health products you’ll find a large number of budding Instagram personalities who are willing to tag your products in exchange for them.

Once you’ve taken the proactive steps above, the rest will unfold naturally. Customers will begin to tag your products on their own accord. In each in every case, be sure to respond by commenting on their Post to express gratitude which will encourage them to keep advocating for your brand.

At press, the product tagging (for everyone) feature has launched in the U.S.. We anticipate a summertime arrival for Canada, which gives you time to establish your strategy. However, you may not have the time or human resources to take advantage of this Instagram for business update. That’s what we’re here for. Strategis Consulting Group can help you leverage social media platforms to increase your customer/client base. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.