Ah… you know when you’ve been waiting for a social media update and willing it on to hurry up? And then it’s here?! And you go and carry out a standard action and you see the new options? And you let out a little shriek?! Well, that describes tagged products on Instagram for me. And I am very pleased that this amazing new feature is now here in the UK.
What are tagged products?
For quite a long time now, you’ve been able to tag products on Facebook, so I’m going to explain product tagging through Facebook’s functionality, just in case you have no idea what I am on about! Tagging products means that if you post a lovely image on your Facebook page, you can tag the image with the specific product/s featured. Tagging the product makes it infinitely easier for your fans and followers to shop, because the final destination is just one click away. And it looks really neat too. On Facebook, you click on the image of the product below the main post in the News Feed and BANG, you’re on the right page to make your purchase. BOOM! For the customer, this just makes the whole thing so much easier… you don’t have to go to the website, try and remember the product’s exact name and use the search function, or even guess which category it might be in. Previously, you could have included a link in your caption, but if you had a long caption, this would be hidden and very messy. The ability to tag a product on Facebook makes the shopping experience easier and more direct, and that helps brands and businesses. People invest huge amounts of time, effort and money into streamlining the buying process for a customer… and this continues this.
Until recently, this was not available on Instagram.
A very warm welcome to tagged products on Instagram!
I have read many an article about the introduction of tagged products on Instagram. I’ve seen pictures of the testing of this and I was excited. One of the ‘flaws’ (and I mean that in the nicest sense of the word… quirk might be a better word) of Instagram was the lack of ability to link from posts. Now, it wasn’t a huge issue as it kept the platform focussed on what it set out to achieve, but saying ‘link in the bio’ all the time and then directing the potential customers to your main site was always a big ask. Putting the URL in the caption was another option, but it didn’t have the ability to link. That was a faff at best… and didn’t really help you get those all important conversions…
When people are on a platform, then don’t really like to leave it…
See, when people decide to spend time on Instagram, they like to stay there because they made that choice. So, imagine you see a picture of a beautiful product on Instagram that you might like to buy. Previously you would have to click on the profile pic, then the link in the bio, then hope that went to the main site, then try and remember the product’s name or at least a keyword in order to find it and buy. Now, you have to be seriously committed to do this. Option two would be to copy and paste the URL from the caption into a browser… and I know with my fat fingers this is always a faff and results in a lot of swearing and cursing. It wasn’t easy for someone to buy something that they saw in a post in the main feed. Well, until now.
Why am I excited about tagged products on Instagram?
Well, it’s just made one of my favourite social media platforms a WHOLE lot more commercial. Shoppable links are something I have been waiting for and willing on, because I think it will help prove the huge value of Instagram for business even more. I also think it’s going to encourage much stronger imagery and styling because it’s now a place that can generate easy leads. Tagged products on Instagram- you’ve made me a very happy camper.
Have you tried tagging products on Instagram yet? Do you think it’ll help you and your business?