If you have a brand on Instagram, you know the little thrill of getting tagged in a post. Whether it’s by a long-standing influencer partner or a new fan, that @ symbol represents your social media marketing strategy taking form and new eyeballs engaging with your work.
Tags can also link directly to product pages integrated into the shopping tab. Thanks to this feature, it’s possible for more of your fans to shout out their love for specific products—and drive sales in the process. Not only is this a big deal for brands that want to spread the word about their goods, it also allows fans to make more direct connections with the standout items they love.
When tags were first rolled out, Instagram, unsurprisingly, highlighted a makeup brand—Kulfi Beauty—in its announcement, given that beauty brands rely on Instagram as the perfect place to highlight everything from swatches to packaging to amazing full-face looks.
“Our customers and community reviews and feedback is what really drives sales, so their posts and recommendations go a long way,” says Leslie Valdivia, co-founder of Vive Cosmetics. “Being able to now tag products, not just brands, will hopefully make it easier for others to discover the products their friends and family are recommending online.”
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“From an influencer perspective, working with brands directly, it’s really exciting to be able to link to a product directly within the app—it means the call to action is that much more direct,” says Ashley Buchanan, senior director of product at influencer marketing agency Obviously.
In the case of Vive Cosmetics, that means a fan or influencer could post a photo wearing Vive’s bestselling Amor Eterno liquid lipstick and tag the product. Then, someone who sees the post needs only to click the tag to be taken to a link to purchase it.
Instagram influencers are a great marketing tool because they’re able to highlight products in a real-world context—like a beauty product being applied or clothing being worn. Being able to link directly to the product lets customers find—and purchase—those products that much faster. Ashley says it’s a win for influencers, too, because it keeps their own fans on the platform rather than sending them away from the app to hunt down the product.
As an added benefit, Ashley says, more people, even those with small accounts or niche audiences, can act as influencers or micro-influencers and direct their networks to products.
The tags also create opportunities for influencers to be tied to not just the brand, but to a specific product that fits their niche. Instead of being a social ambassador for an organic skin care brand, an influencer may be an ambassador for its rosewater face mist, because that’s what’s most applicable to their target audience.
“Being able to open up the concept of ‘everyone is an influencer’ just means infinite opportunity,” Ashley says.
Learn more: How to Make Sales Through Instagram Live Video (2023)
How to tag products on Instagram: Your options
Though product tagging was originally rolled out on a limited basis, any brand with a checkout-enabled Instagram Shop in qualifying locations can now use the feature. Other users can also use your product tags on their own posts—but you can control how they do so.
You have the option to tag up to 20 different products or Instagram shops in a single image feed post, carousel post, or reel. You can also go back to old posts and add product tags—a good strategy if you notice old posts gaining traction. When it comes to Instagram Stories, you can add product stickers to your content.
If you want to know how to tag products in Instagram captions, you’ll have a tough time trying. While Instagram used to allow for this, it has since retired the functionality. So you can now only tag products in feed posts or stories.
Tag products on Instagram to boost sales and engagement
Instagram is constantly rolling out new features and updates to keep the platform fresh and engaging. Brands that stay apprised of the latest changes can set themselves apart as early adopters. Learning how to add product tags on Instagram is just one of many ways to remain competitive on the photo- and video-sharing social media channel.
If you’re ready to learn how to add a product on Instagram, check out How to Sell on Instagram: The Essential Guide to Success.