How to Make Instagram ‘Shoppable Posts’ for Selling Prints
by Thad Allender
Dec 30, 2020
4 min read
Instagram as a visual medium for photographers can be very effective for showcasing your best products. Until 2018, the only way to link to an online shop was through your bio or Instagram stories. However, this is an inefficient way to sell for many reasons.
The new ‘shoppable posts’ feature is a slick way to integrate e-commerce into your users’ native Instagram experience. Rather than just employing your usual marketing strategies to attract your followers to your store, you can also bring your shop right to them.
In this article, we’ll discuss what Instagram shoppable posts are and show how to use them to sell your Visual Society products.
Understanding Instagram’s Shoppable Posts (and Why You Should Use Them)
Previously, you could only connect your products to your followers by adding a link in your bio or Instagram stories. However, in March 2018, Instagram released the shoppable posts feature.
A shoppable post looks like any other, with the exception that it’s tagged with links to a product page – such as on your store on Visual Society, for example. It can be identified by the shopping bag icon on the lower left-hand corner of the post. Clicking on it pops up a bubble with the product’s name and price.
Note that you can create shoppable posts or stories, and we’ve opted for using “post” to refer to both. Features such as this can bring more visibility to your products, and the usage stats show that over 130 million accounts tap on a shopping post every month.
Simply put, shoppable posts are an effective way to optimize your Instagram account for shopping. Visual Society user Guillaume Garin notes that “diversification is key” to succeeding as a photographer, and this feature is ideal for implementing it.
As such, your followers don’t just get to see products, they have an easy way to interact with and learn more about them – all without disconnecting from the normal Instagram user experience.
How to Make Instagram Shoppable Posts for Selling Prints (In 3 Steps)
Before you get started using shoppable posts, you’ll need to be using the latest version of the Instagram app and be in a supported country. You also want to ensure that you’re using a business Instagram account connected to a Facebook catalog. We’ve included a few steps below for checking off some of these.
1. Connect Your Instagram Business Account to Your Facebook Page
You’ll need a Facebook Page for your business before you can make the switch to an Instagram business account. Head over to Facebook, log in, and click the Create link on the top bar. You’ll want to select the Page option:
On the next screen, you want to click Get Started under the Business or Brand category:
Following this, you’ll want to enter a name for your page, a category (optional), and your address:
The next step is to connect your page to Instagram. You’ll want to log in to your account and open your profile. Click on the Settings icon and make that Private Account is unchecked:
Next, find the Switch to Business Profile option and click Continue. Then, select your Facebook page and click Next to connect both profiles. Finish by clicking Done.
Note that you may first need to add Facebook as a linked account. If so, simply navigate to Account > Linked Accounts and select Facebook.
2. Connect Your Product Catalog to Your Instagram Business Profile
The next step is to create a product catalog using Facebook Business Manager if you don’t already have one. You want to log into Facebook using your page, and if you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one to continue.
Next, click Catalog in the sidebar menu in the Data Sources section, then click the Add button and select Create a New Catalog:
Here, enter a name and the type of products you’ll be adding. Then, click the Create Catalog button:
Note that you may also need to assign some permissions following this. On the next screen, you want to click Open in Catalog Manager so that you can begin adding products to your catalog:
You can continue by clicking on the Add Your Items in Bulk suggestion:
You’ll be given options to add products manually, do bulk uploads, and more. You can add as many products as required here, before moving onto the next step.
3. Add Shoppable Tags on Instagram Posts or Stories
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you can begin creating your shoppable posts. To begin, upload a photo in the usual way. Once you’ve added your effects and filters, access the screen where you’d usually enter your photo caption and other information. Here, you’re able to tag products.
When you’re done, you’ll notice that your post looks like a normal image. However, when you tap on it, a tag pops up containing the link to your store. You can add up to five shoppable links to a post, for times when you’re showcasing multiple products or variations. Prints are a good example, as they can often come in different sizes.
Note that you can add tags to existing posts as well. If you have any older posts which are still popular with your followers, it might make sense to turn them into shoppable posts too.
Selling your print products through an e-commerce store can be a smart decision. However, attracting traffic is often challenging. Rather than focusing solely on strategies that aim to draw your followers to your store, you can take your products right to them by using shoppable posts and stories.
Here are the steps you’ll take:
Connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook page.
Connect your product catalog to your Instagram business profile.
Add shoppable tags on Instagram posts or stories.
Do you have any questions about creating shoppable posts on Instagram? Let us know in the comments section below!
Thad Allender is the founder of Visual Society. He leads a team of passionate designers and developers working to revolutionize the way photographers and artists sell online. He lives north of New York City in the Catskills.