In recent months many social media platforms including Pinterest and Instagram have updated their platforms to include shoppable tags that allow consumers to shop images. It is important for all of us to remember as designers, these are consumer-driven platforms their goal is not to assist a designer in their own consumer-driven business. However, their goal is to make the most income within their own platform and prevent the consumer from leaving the said platform. This marketing strategy has been used for centuries actually, boils down to finding your target market and creating a product or in this case a platform that enhances their experience. As designers, on a smaller scale that is our goal as well, but how can we manipulate what social media platforms are doing with shoppable links and use it in our best interest? There are several ways which we are going to talk about today!
Why do Retailers Use Instagram? Should You? Can You?
First, before we start talking about how we can use Instagram’s shopping feature or advert the shopping feature entirely let’s break down why retailers use it, to begin with.
These brands share their products on Instagram because of the fact that a massive amount of profit is being created from the engagement of an engaging audience. Instagram allows businesses to increase their market visibility by providing an attractive, seamless, and relaxing experience to their customers on mobile and laptop devices.
Instagram’s ‘Shop’ feature can be activated in a business profile by creating one shopping post in its feed. If the brand wishes to engage more customers, they can showcase more than one product and use various tags and stickers; without overdoing it. As a result, Instagram performs all the work, thus creating a relaxing platform.
There is no doubt that Instagram shopping has become a powerful tool for brands. This led them to create a new tool called Explore, With Explore, users will be able to browse products and items on Instagram that suit their interests as well as browse for products related to those interests using AI tools that search images.
As an Interior Designer can you Build a Shop on Instagram?
Instagram Shop isn’t just for large brands or retailers. As an Interior Designer, if you have a shop on your website you can create a shop on Instagram as well. You need the following :
Step 1. Make sure your account is eligible :
This is an important step when considering if building a shop on social media is right for you. Personally, I do not have shops on my social media accounts and we will go into why in a few minutes after I help you evaluate the eligibility for Instagram/facebook shops.
You must have a Business or a Creator Account
You should have this type of account already for multiple reasons but if you are wanting to set up a shop within social media platforms a business or creator account is essential.
You must comply with Facebook Polices
You must have a visual shop on your website
This is the sole reason why I personally do not have a facebook or instagram shop. My services or items that I sale are not visable on my website. For my personal business model creating a sales page where people can buy my services is not ideal. However, if you are an interior designer with a sales page for your services you will qualify for this. The price and buy button must be listed.
You must demistrate trustworthiness within your industry
This mean that you must interacte with your audience providing them clear and valuable content. Maintaining a consistant follower base (doesn’t have to be larger) just do not appear like a bot.
Provide accurate infomation
This means that you have clear communication considering your scope of work, what you do as a designer, as well as your privacy polices on your website.
Step 2. Set Up Your Shop :
Use Commerce Manager or a supported platform to set up a shop.
To choose a checkout method, select where you want customers to complete their purchases.Tip. Checkout on Instagram is recommended for businesses based in the US because it enables people to buy your products directly on Instagram.
To choose sales channels, select the Instagram business account you want to be associated with your shop.Tip: If you have a Facebook Page, check the box next to your account to have a shop on both Facebook and Instagram.
To add products to your shop, select the product catalog you want to use in your shop. If you don’t have any catalogs, you can create one. Learn more about how to add productsto your catalog.
Review your shop. If everything looks good, submit it to Instagram for review. You’ll be notified when it has been approved.
Learn more at Facebook.com
Step 3. Submit Your Shop for Review and Get Started!
Once you connect a product catalog to your shop and have products in the catalog, follow these steps to submit your account for review.
Go to your Instagram business profile and tap the three lines in the upper right.
Sign up for shopping.
Follow the steps to submit your account for review.
Under Settings, visit Shopping at any time to check your account status.
Once you have been approved, you can add your shop to your Instagram profile and start tagging!!
Go to your Instagram business profile and tap the three lines in the upper right.
Tap Business, then tap Shopping
Select the Product Catalog you want to connect to your account.
How to Tag Products??
You might be wondering how to tag?? To walk you through that process, since I don’t personally use Instagram shop even though I know about it, I am sharing a video by the Lovely Lidia S from Incoming Success. She does an amazing job walking us through that process. Go follow her on Youtube. She also has more wonderful videos on this topic if you are more of a visual learner.
What are the benefits you as an interior designer??
As an interior designer, you can utilize this shop to showcase your online services or e-commerce site. Enabling you to tag your own post helps prevent other brands from tagging on your images. Utilizing Instagram shop as noted earlier also helps push your products to new audiences that might otherwise not see your services or products.
Is there another way?? YES! VIDEO!
Video is the easiest and most effective way to avoid product tagging on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. As an interior designer, most if not all of our content is a photo. If you have been using Instagram for many years you probably have been posting gorgeous imagery of your finished work and giving your client a hint of what they can accomplish with your help. However, things have changed and our photos are now being shopped by AI technology. There are several super easy ways to change your photos into videos!
In the video above, I walk you through the multiple different ways you can utilize the tools within Canva to easily animate your portfolio images or renderings. This is the easiest way to prevent your post from being shopped. As of right now, there is no way for a social media platform to shop your video post.
Why is video superior in today’s social environment?
Video engages audiences
As a matter of fact, consumers are over 27 times more likely to click on an online video ad than a standard banner ad. Think about your audience. Utilize content that previously worked well and convert it into a video!
Video provides the best search engine results
I bet you didn’t know this, Because there are less videos online than text, they have a better chance of reaching audiences who search a keyword. To be exact, videos are 45 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google than text results. Videos have less competition because, again, the material is more dense.
Video reaches the widest market
more and more platforms are focusing on video which means more and more consumers are intaking video. Video will allow you to reach a further audience then your follower count and allow you to reuse content easily to multiple platforms.
Conclusion : VIDEO IS HERE TO STAY!
Post vs REEL?? Which one is better?
First, we need to step back and look at the very basic definitions of each post type so we can further understand how and when to use them.
A Post is a regular video that you share on your profile, and it shows up in your followers’ main feeds. This is the “standard” option that, for a while, was the only way you could share video content on Instagram. Videos in this placement can be up to a minute long.
A Reel is the relatively new short-form video feature that mimics TikTok’s platform. It allows for a video that’s up to 60 seconds long made up of a single clip or multiple clips edited together. Like TikTok, you can add music, on-screen text, closed captions, and visual effects to your video clips right in the app.
Now let’s take a deep dive into when to use each of these!
For a Post :
A Post is the classic video option, and it plays an important role in the Instagram video ecosystem. A Post is a great option for content under a minute long that you want to live on your page forever. If someone clicks through to your profile and goes through your content, your video will be there for them to view and engage with. Posts also work well when your goal is to engage with your existing audience rather than appeal to a potential new audience.
Types of content that work well here include promotional videos, testimonial videos, interviews with founders or employees, product launch videos, and any other content that has a slightly “produced” feel but appeals to your current followers.
For a Reel :
Like its competitor TikTok, the Reels feature is great for getting your content in front of a new audience. High-performing Reels content can help you attract new followers and even bring in new customers if you’re posting from a business profile.
If you’re going to post on Reels, make sure your content is attention-grabbing and engaging. Reels viewers are looking for content that’s either entertaining, educational or a mix of both, and they’re attracted to authentic content over content that looks scripted or formal. If you have a video that fits these criteria, Reels is a great option.
For more information on how to create reels make sure you check out this blog post: How to Create Reels (Interior Designer Edition) | Lauren Ashley Design | Graphic Design for Interior Designers and the video below if you are a visual learner 🙂
How to Post Your Video
When you share a video on Instagram, you can toggle between three of the four video options easily in the sharing process. To begin, you’ll click the “+” button at the top of your screen. Then, at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see options to toggle between Post, Story, Reels, and Live. (If you click Live, your video selection will go away since it’s not actually a way to post an existing video.) IGTV is the outlier here, so we’ll share how to use that feature in a minute.
If you choose Post, you’ll scroll down through your camera roll to find the video that you’d like to post, then click “Next” in the top right corner to continue with the sharing process.
If you choose Story, tap the little square in the bottom left to access your camera roll and choose your video, then click “Your Story” in the bottom left to post. If you choose Reels, tap the same square in the bottom left to access your video, then click “Share To” and “Share” to post. Depending on the choice you’ve made using our criteria above, you’ll choose either Post, Story, or Reels, then click “Next” to continue with the posting process.
That’s It!! I hope that was helpful and helped each of you understand how simple it is to prevent your images from getting shopped by social media platforms. Please comment below and let me know if you have any questions or feel free to book a 1:1 mentoring session.