2018 has been a huge year for Instagram with dozens of new features added since January. For e-commerce shops, these new features have turned Instagram into an online shopper’s paradise. With the biggest online shopping day just around the corner (looking at you Cyber Monday), now’s the time to lean on Instagram’s platform enhancements to capture more customers, build engagement, and drive sales over the upcoming holiday weekend.
Win Cyber Monday With These New Instagram Features
Here are three of our favorite new Instagram features that’ll take your e-commerce brand’s Cyber Monday social media marketing to the next level.
1) Shoppable Posts
Have you ever seen a product showcased in an Instagram post and you just had to have it? You’re not alone. With the new shoppable post feature, users can now purchase a product directly from your brand’s Instagram post.
Here’s how it works:
- Set up your profile as a business profile
- Connect your Facebook business page to your Instagram account
- Create a catalog of your products through Facebook
- Wait for your account to be reviewed. Your account must comply with Instagram’s business policies.
- Add your product stickers or tags on Instagram
- Create a shopping post
Right now, only physical goods are available for sale through Instagram’s shoppable feature. Users can find your store on the Explore page as a category tab. You can find out more information about how to set up your shop’s page on the official Instagram Business Set Up Guide.
Cyber Monday E-Commerce Tip: Every product-centric Instagram post that your brand publishes to Instagram should be shoppable. Be sure to include accurate sales pricing and make it clear in the language of the post that the product being featured is available on your online store.
2) Build Sophisticated Instagram Stories
Instagram took a mighty swing at Snapchat by enhancing their story feature with fun new elements that allow brands to make each post more interactive and engaging.
Unlike regular posts that live on your store’s Instagram feed in perpetuity, Instagram stories are only viewable for 24 hours. And since new stories always appear at the top of a user’s newsfeed, Instagram stories are an ideal method for ensuring that a Cyber Monday posts gets seen on Cyber Monday. No more worrying about that Instagram’s pesky algorithm.
Here are just a couple new ways you can dress up your story this Cyber Monday:
- Add a Link to Your Story – Brands can now add website URLs to story posts! Need we say more? E-commerce shops can use this tool to drive potential customers directly to their product pages, blog posts, or Cyber Monday landing page. One note, this feature is currently only available to verified accounts or accounts with more than 10,000 followers.
- Type Mode & New Fonts – Instagram added new fonts including Classic, Modern, Neon, Typewriter, and Strong. As A best practice, be sure to use the font that best supports your branding.
- Add GIFs on Instagram Stories – One of the most exciting and most anticipated additions to stories are the GIFs. GIPHY teamed up with Instagram to create a library of high-quality GIFs for users to incorporate into their stories.
- Mention Stickers to Tag Accounts in Your Stories – @-ing someone just got a lot more fun. Tag your favorite customers or even call out a featured product brand in your store’s stories with an interactive sticker
- Focus Portrait-Mode Camera – Finally, you can take awe-inspiring photos right from the Instagram camera.
- Repost Instagram Stories – This is great to cross promote with. Share your fans or favorite brands’ stories in your story.
- Tag locations to Stories – Use the tag location to notify the location as well as have the opportunity to be seen by others who are searching that location tag in that location tag’s stories.
- Re-share posts to stories – Share your followers’ posts or tagged photos of you in your stories. A great way to cross promote.
- Upload bulk photos and videos – Can’t decide which photo you want to share? Carousel photos allow you to upload up to 10 photos or videos. You can upload photos and videos in one post.
- Share songs from Spotify – Share your amazing music tastes with your followers.
- Share Go-Pro footage – Easily share your exciting Go-Pro footage from events or activations with your followers.
- Emoji Slider Polls – Learn what your followers think about new products or services instantly with the poll feature.
- Superzoom Effects – Zoom in and out for a fun way to share what’s happening in front of you.
- Question Stickers – Get quick feedback about potential products or services instantly.
Cyber Monday E-Commerce Tip: Stories are an opportunity for you to have a bit of fun with your users. Their fleeting nature means they don’t have to be as “polished” as your traditional posts. Use stories throughout Cyber Monday to drive awareness of your sales and discounts, while also having a bit of fun with your customers.
3) Automatically Schedule Instagram Posts
To the applause of thousands of marketers around the world, Instagram has (finally) started to let business accounts schedule posts. Third-party platforms like SproutSocial, Planoly, and Buffer now let social media managers schedule and publish posts on their own time.
This small, but mighty update, is a boon to e-commerce stores everywhere. With so much at stake over the holiday weekend, your social media manager should be using their valuable time addressing customer service questions, creating and publishing fun stories, and driving sales. They shouldn’t be worrying about whether or not a post was published at the “perfect” posting time.
Cyber Monday E-Commerce Tip: Plan ahead and use a third-party tool to schedule Instagram posts ahead of Cyber Monday. This way you can focus your Cyber Monday social media efforts on driving sales instead of publishing content.
Still Have Questions?
If you’re still not sure how to maximize all the exciting new features Instagram has to offer, good news! We have a brand new white paper that outlines all of Instagram’s new updates that will be dropping soon. In the meantime, if you need your Insta-questions answered Insta-ntly, call us at 855.62.TOAST or send us an email! Wishing all e-commerce shops good luck during the upcoming holiday weekend. May your bounce rate be low and your conversion rates stay high this Cyber Monday!