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How to Set Up Instagram Shopping

Instagram’s shopping feature picked up a lot of hype towards the end of March as the shopping tool was made available for online stores based in:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • France
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Australia

According to Instagram:

Shopping on Instagram gives your business an immersive storefront for people to explore your best products with a single tap.

In other words, life just got a whole lot better for online retailers.

We’re not retailers, but while we’re talking about Instagram, let’s connect on our favorite platform 😊 Click here, give us a follow, let us know you came from the blog and we’ll give you a follow back.

At the moment, shopping on Instagram is only available for businesses selling physical goods in select product categories that fit Instagram’s Privacy Policy.

If that’s you, or if that’s going to be you soon, let’s talk about how to set up Instagram Shopping.

Why Can’t I Tag Products On Instagram?

A lot of people are concerned about their current inability to tag products so let’s go ahead and address that right now.

First things first, it just may be that the shopping feature hasn’t hit you yet. To find out if this is the case or not, determine if you can enable the ability to tag your products on Instagram.

To do this, your Instagram business profile must first be associated with a shop on Facebook or a catalog in Business Manager. To do this properly, run through this checklist:

  • Is your Instagram app up-to-date?
  • Is your Instagram account a business profile?
  • Are you an admin on a page or business manager account?
  • Do you have a shop on Facebook or a product catalog with Business Manager?

Once you’ve confirmed your accounts are linked properly, this is how to enable the ability to tag your products on Instagram if the feature is available to you:

  • Go to your Instagram business profile
  • Tap Get Started at the top of your profile
  • If you don’t see Get Started tap the settings icon
  • Tap products
  • Tap continue
  • Select a product catalog to connect to your Instagram business profile
  • Tap done

Boom. You’re all set up to tag products on your Instagram posts!

Don’t panic if you don’t see these options yet though. Your account may still be under review and it just hasn’t been approved yet. Give it some time.

Once you’ve got the green-light, Instagram has some tips for using the shopping feature we highly suggest paying attention to / doing. They include:

  • Create at least 9 shopping posts to activate the Shop tab for your audience
  • Tag multiple products to help your audience explore and browse your inventory
  • Use stories to show your audience they can now shop right from your Instagram page
  • Mix it up — tag a single image or a carousel
  • Make sure each tag touches the correct product so nobody gets confused about which product a tag is referring to

Tagging Instagram Product Posts the Right Way

Tagging Instagram Product Posts the Right Way

Instagram has made it super easy to provide a user friendly shopping experience via your business profile. As long as you follow the rules and pay attention to the tips Instagram offers, you’re going to see some positive results.

Review the tips above, most importantly:

Make sure each tag touches the correct product so nobody gets confused about which product a tag is referring to.

With that tip in mind, here’s how to tag products on Instagram:

  • Select a photo, add a caption/effects/filters
  • Tap the product(s) in the photo that you want to tag
  • Enter the names of the products you want to tag and select them when they appear in the search box
  • Tap Done
  • Tap share

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Instagram allows users to tag products in posts both new and old from your business profile. It’s exceptional to say the least because if you’ve been promoting your products on Instagram for a while now, you already got a ton of posts you can get tagged up before rolling out even more awesome stuff.

Note: single image posts have a 5 product tag limit and multi-image posts have a 20 product tag limit.

Also keep in mind that product info from your tags and product details on your page will display in the language and currency of your catalog to a global audience. It’s recommended you pay a visit to your Insights to get a feel for your audience, and use the catalog containing the most relevant language/currency for your audience.

Why Instagram Shopping is Generating So Much Buzz

Instagram has been the go-to platform for visual storytelling since it debuted back in 2010.

But why?

We think it comes down to four things:

  • Mobile Friendliness — Instagram is easy to use no matter where you are or what you’re doing. In fact, that’s the whole point. The ability to edit and post images “in-the-moment” is what attracts people to the app. Plus, it’s just so easy to use.
  • Functionality — Instagram is a unique app that caters to a wide audience. That ain’t easy to do but Instagram does it well. They haven’t limited themselves to just one social function, which makes them more approachable and more appealing to a wider group of people than say Twitter or LinkedIn.
  • Visibility — Human beings are visual creatures. A good chunk of us know and understand this by now. Instagram caters to our visual nature. Of course it’s going to be popular.
  • Novelty — What sets Instagram apart the most is its simplicity. It does a great job of attracting younger audiences and is only gaining momentum (unlike other social media brands who have gained and plateaued).

Mix all of those things into a pot with the ability to shop sprinkled in and you’ve got a winning recipe. Think about this:

As of September 2017, Instagram boasts 800 million monthly active users and it’s projected that number will reach 111.9 million by the time 2020 roll around. Instagram is especially popular in the United States with 48.4% of the US social networking population on the app.

And think about what we know regarding the online shopping landscape:

  • 54% of millenials make purchases online and 49% of non-millenials make purchases online [Pulse of the Online Shopper]
  • 40% of US males and 33% of US females age 18-34 would “ideally buy everything online” [Forbes]
  • 85% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations [BrightLocal]
  • 34% of online shoppers said that social media influences their purchases [Pulse of the Online Shopper]
  • 23% of online shoppers purchased products on a social media network [Pulse of the Online Shopper]
  • Referrals from Instagram spend the longest time on eCommerce sites, with an average session duration of 3.12 minutes — almost double Facebook [Smart Insights]

It will be fun to see how those last three stats change over the next 12-18 months with the introduction of Instagram shopping. Why? Because with shoppable posts, consumers have an amazing opportunity to connect with brands they love at a whole new level.

Instagram is simplifying online shopping by helping you meet consumers where they’re browsing for products and reviews. They’re also empowering you with the ability to provide relevant information with the tap of a finger without anyone ever needing to leave the app.

It’s convenient for you as an online retailer, it’s convenient for your customers, and it’s a great way for Instagram to stay on top as the engagement leader of social media platforms. Win-win-win

Honestly, if you think about it, the only risk you have here has nothing to do with using the shopping feature and everything to do with not using it. For example, if somebody sees an item they like in their feed, but they can’t buy the item or find a link to your site, you risk losing that money.

How many times do you reckon this happened before Instagram rolled out the shopping feature? It’s scary to think about.

Track Your Instagram Shopping Success

Once you start tagging posts and promoting your products on Instagram with the shopping feature, be vigilant about tracking your stats.

To be successful you need to know how your shopping tags are performing. Lucky for you, Instagram provides insights on the click-thru on Instagram Shopping to your site. Use those insights to continuously build and grow your shopping strategy.

With Instagram Insights, you can track the following stats for your business profile:

  • Weekly Impressions
  • Weekly Reach
  • Profile Visits

And you can track the following stats for individual posts:

  • Views
  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Comments
  • Profile visits

You can even view insights for stories you’ve posted by doing the following:

  • Click the stats symbol (the bar graph looking image) in the top right of your business profile
  • Scroll down to stories

You can view insights on your current story or tap “older stories” to view insights on Instagram stories that you’ve posted in the last 14 days. You can’t watch a story again once it’s expired (after 24 hours) but the stats are good for 2-weeks post story share.

Do us a favor though and don’t forget that shopping on Instagram isn’t an advertising thing. It’s about building an engaged audience and providing them with a better shopping experience. Don’t let any increase you see go to your head.

Keep your posts genuine and don’t make it all about selling. Instagram users need a personal reason to connect and engage with your business. The moment you turn into a money-hungry salesman on your Instagram account is exactly when you’re going to see a dip in your stats.

Build Your Instagram Powerhouse

Build Your Powerhouse

Instagram is a powerhouse for you to tell a story that showcases an experience. Instagram Shopping isn’t about marketing your product; it’s about marketing the experience that comes with owning your product.

If you’re an online retailer (or any brand honestly) Instagram is the place you could build your powerhouse of a brand. Don’t be afraid to give this a shot. It’s a free tool that can potentially help your business explode.

And don’t forget, we’re more than willing to help you put together a strategy that builds the experience you want your customers to have when shopping with your brand.

You can always reach us via contact [at] zcoastmedia [dot] com.

Or, if you’re more comfortable reaching out on social media you can connect with us

Hit us up on any of those platforms/give us a follow, let us know you came from the blog and we’ll follow back and tell you something nice because we believe kindness goes a long way too when it comes to building an engaging social media community.

Xx Paige & Nick xX

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How We Increased Blog Traffic With a Two-Week Twitter Trial

Do you have any goals for 2017?

Of course you do! And so do we.

In fact, one of our biggest goals for 2017 is to:

Establish Z Coast Media as the premier web design agency for businesses and teams in Atlanta with a focus on branding, content, and community.

Pretty broad and a bit lofty, right? It’s okay to say so. We know it is. But we like to dream big around here. We also like to ask questions.

And one of the questions we asked ourselves right around the beginning of the new year was how can social media help us achieve our vision?

Get your own Social Media Test Worksheet.

The awesome thing about social media is that there a lot of ways to measure your success. Whether you’re growing your community by acquiring new followers or boosting website traffic, the possibilities are endless.

Our Goals

All that possibility can be overwhelming at times. That’s okay! We understand the struggle. It’s not always easy to stay on track and focused. That’s why we decided to run a little test on Twitter over the last two weeks with some goals in place:

  • Drive traffic to our site/blog and generate leads
  • Grow brand awareness around Z Coast Media
  • Build our community

While there was some planning involved, this test was run on what can basically be chalked up to a “Hey y’all, watch this” moment. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the Southeast, that means it was spur of the moment because we got an idea and got excited.

Sometimes, you just have let yourself have fun and go for it when you get an idea and that’s what we did. Our test started on January 8th and ended on January 21st.

Just for fun, we took a look at analytics from December 8th through December 21st compared to our test dates in January.

Before & After

December 8th, 2016 through December 21st, 2016 our Twitter efforts resulted in an average 797 impressions per day as you can see here thanks to Twitter Analytics:

 


That works out to a total of 11.2k impressions over the 14 day period. Not bad, but we want more people to know who we are.

Now look at this graph but for the January 8th through January 21st dates:

 

 


Comparing the two-week spans, our Tweets earned 1.2k more impressions in January than in December.

It’s not a huge jump or anything but you don’t have to be clearing canyons every other week to say you’re being successful. During our test, we saw an increase in impressions, engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, likes and replies.

Were any of these numbers huge? No. Did they increase from the numbers we were seeing in December? Yes. And that’s what’s important here! We weren’t dipping and we weren’t remaining stagnant. We improved.

One of our goals was to grow brand awareness with our little test and that’s what we did. Our follower base is growing, more people are seeing and engaging with our tweets, and more people are starting to mention Z Coast Media on Twitter.

Another one of our goals for this test was to increase traffic to our website/blog. Let’s turn to Google Analytics and look at what our network referrals looked like December 8th through December 21st, 2016:

 

 


In case you’re blind, that graph is trending down. Not something we really want to see. Here’s the rest of the December Social Referrals report:

Not great. This is exactly why something had to change. So we ran our test (we’re going to tell you what we did, we promise!). Here’s the January Social Referrals graph:

 

 


Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Much better. That graph is going up, baby! And we’re pumped about it.  And the rest:

Again, these numbers aren’t massive but the point of this post is to help you (and us) remember that just because you aren’t seeing “I went viral” numbers doesn’t mean you aren’t being successful. As long as you aren’t going backwards or frozen in place, you’re doing something right.

If you look at the December Twitter numbers:

  • 16 sessions
  • 34 pageviews
  • 2.12 pages per session

Vs. the January Twitter numbers:

  • 26 sessions
  • 321 pageviews
  • 12.35 pages per session

There’s a big difference in those numbers. A Good difference. We’ve seen a large increase in the number of pageviews and time spent on the Z Coast blog.  In December, specifically December 8th through December 21st we saw these numbers:

  • 143 pageviews
  • 34 unique views
  • Average time of 1 minute 11 seconds

But during our January test dates, January 8th through January 21st, we’ve seen those numbers increase to:

  • 556 pageviews
  • 47 unique views
  • Average time of 2 minutes 4 seconds  

We’re improving our ability to get the right information in front of the right people at the right time on social media. How are we doing it?

Two-Weeks of Trial & Error

Everything we do is trial and error. You’re never going to learn what works for your business and what doesn’t if you’re too afraid to try out your ideas.

To put it bluntly, you just have to suck it up and go for it if you want to be successful. It’s a success if something you try fails because now you know you need to try something else.

That’s what our little two-week social media test is all about. We said whatever happened, whether we saw results or not, we were going to consider the test successful because it would show us one of two things:

  • The idea was good and showed us positive results
  • The idea didn’t work

No matter what happened, we’d know what move to make going forward.  If you’d like to run two-weeks of trial and error for yourself on Twitter, you’re welcome to give our method a try, it’s all laid out for you in this Two-Week Twitter Trial & Error Cheat Sheet.

If you do give it a try, we’d love to hear about the results of your test and what it did (or didn’t do) for your business. Call us, message us, Tweet us, Instagram us, whatever. We just want to know if you try it.

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17 Of The Best Marketers & Agencies To Follow On Instagram

Instagram has more than 400 million monthly users, making it an unparalleled visual platform for marketers and agencies to show off company culture, finished products and what all  goes on behind-the-scenes. It’s also a great place to troll for inspiration.

Instagram is an excellent platform for attracting new customers and new talent. And it’s a place where you can set yourself and your agency apart. Here are 17 of the best digital marketers and agencies we suggest you go follow right now.

  1. @st8mnt

    ST8MNT BRAND AGENCY is based out of Nashville, TN. They boast some serious design skills and a laid-back company culture we seriously admire. Their Instagram is full of cool company events and the awesome projects they get to work on.

    A photo posted by ST8MNT BRAND AGENCY (@st8mnt) on

  2. @adam.the.creator

    ADAM PADILLA, the dude behind the account, is the president of BrandFire. If you don’t know who BrandFire is we have just one question for you: has it been comfy living under that rock all these years? Why is this account worth following? Padilla draws a new sketch and posts it to Instagram every single day.

  3. @hzdg

    HZDG  specializes in branding and digital marketing. Their Instagram account is a frickin’ treasure trove of design inspiration. The agency shares photos from their own work and the work of other designers and artists they think rock.

    A photo posted by @hzdg on

  4. @safatopia

    MAANI SAFA’S Instagram account is exotic, elegant, and mesmerizing. The Co-Founder and managing partner of Etch, Safa has had a hand in pioneering brands like News Corp, The Dow Jones, and The Wall Street Journal.

    A photo posted by Maani Safa (@safatopia) on

  5. @rpa_advertising

    RPA ADVERTISING makes going to the office every day look fun. Like, really fun. They take a people-first approach and have put Santa Monica on our bucket list of places to hang out soon. If you ever need some office culture inspiration, just  browse RPA’s Instagram.

  6. @eyesores

    This is the Instagram of XAVIER GALLEGO, Creative Director at R/GA (an advertising agency in New York). All of the cartoons on Gallego’s account are originals. They’re also super cute, exhibit A:

    A photo posted by Xavier Gallego (@eyesores) on

  7. @talkshopmedia

    TALK SHOP MEDIA is a digital marketing agency that specializes in influencer relations. Following their Instagram account is like having a free pass to all of the amazing events they go to. It’s hard not to be a little jealous sometimes.

  8. @mildenhall

    JONATHAN MILDENHALL is the CMO of AirBnb and his Instagram account is a must follow for one important reason: he reminds us that there’s a life outside of work to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest.

  9. @saltedstone

    Another California agency, SALTED STONE INC., just posts good quality visuals to their Instagram account. If you’ve just started your own business Instagram, they’re a good role model to look to if you want to see how it’s done (right).

  10. @ollyis

    OLLY COURTNEY is an advertising creative director and photographer from across the pond (London, to be exact). Courtney is on this list because he has a knack for taking the seriously boring and turning it into something truly beautiful.

    A photo posted by Olly Courtney (@ollyis) on

  11. @fredfaridparis

    The Paris-based agency (FRED & FARID) takes a super personal approach to Instagram. They share photos of everyday life and their team being real people just like you and us, on and off the clock.

  12. @alexandreholder

    ALEX HOLDER is the acting Content Director at ELLE UK and has openly admitted to using her kid for likes. She’s hilarious, motivational, and a little edgy. What more do you want?

    A photo posted by Alex Holder (@alexandreholder) on

  13. @sparkbrand

    SPARK takes you on a journey of unforgettable behind-the-scenes moments when working on ads for brands like Visit Florida and Hilton. They share good design work and illustrations on a regular basis as well.

    A photo posted by SPARK (@sparkbrand) on

  14. @sherylsandberg

    Why should you follow SHERYL SANDBERG on Instagram? Because you get an inside look into what it’s like being the most powerful woman at Facebook. Why aren’t you following her already?

  15. @agencyvcph

    AGENCY V is an international PR and event agency. If you’re ever in search of sleek, sexy, minimalistic inspiration, this is the Instagram account to follow. They’re also pretty awesome if you’re into fashion, lifestyle, and beauty. Just sayin’.

    A photo posted by Agency V CPH (@agencyvcph) on

  16. @fintangillespie

    FINTAN GILLESPIE has had quite the impressive career with the likes of Google and Snap Inc. finding a place on his resume. But we’re not suggesting you follow his Instagram because of his resume. We’re suggesting you follow for all the sick travel shots he posts.

  17. @redantler

    RED ANTLER is so cool, man. This agency embodies New York Charm and it shines through in everything they post. We’re not going to mislead you. Red Antler’s Instagram is a magical account to follow.

    A photo posted by Red Antler (@redantler) on

And there you have it, folks!

Seventeen of the best marketers and digital marketing agencies you should be following on Instagram. This list could have been so much longer so if you feel like there’s an agency out there who deserves a slot, send us a nomination.
Don’t forget: you can follow Z Coast Media on Instagram too!

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How Important Are Emojis in Subject Lines?

If you check your email regularly, you’ve probably noticed emojis showing up in the subject lines of the email you receive more frequently. Why do you suppose that is?

Fun fact: 92% of the online population use emojis to help them more accurately express their thoughts and to make it easier for people to understand them. Emojis help us create personal relationships and engage with each other on a more emotional level.

Emojis come with some 💣 benefits

According to a report by Experian, 56% of brands that use emojis in their subject lines saw a 45% increase in their open rates. If that’s not motivation to try using a 😊 or two the next time you send out an email campaign we don’t know what is.

Not only do emojis have a positive effect on your open rates but they’re great space saving tools as well. And every email marketer knows space is at a premium when it comes to your subject lines.

This is especially true when you’re attempting to craft a mobile friendly subject line where you only have about 30-40 characters to work with. Emojis help email marketers say a lot with a significantly small amount of space.

Speaking of space, inboxes are crowded and emojis are excellent resources for helping you stand out. Check out these two (example) subject lines:

Falcons Fans – Gameday Grub Specials

Tailgate the right way 🍗 🙌 🍺

Which one was your eye drawn to? The one with the emojis right?

🤔 Which emojis should you use in your subject lines?

Which emojis you use in your subject lines really comes down to your audience. Even though the majority of people are pleased to see emojis in the subject lines of the emails they receive, you have to use them wisely.

You should only use emojis when they make sense, when it’s logical to do so, and when they can be used to support your message.

MailChimp tells us that 31% of email marketers using emojis utilize more than one in their subject lines. Emojis add a playful touch to most of the email subject lines that utilize them but it’s important to remember not to overload your messages unless you want your recipients to get bored.

If you want to use emojis successfully in your subject line, MailChimp also suggests the following:

  • Use emojis from the same category together (smileys, food, activities, etc.)
  • Take advantage of 😎, he’s pretty popular
  • Learn which emojis connect small groups together. For example, ✈️can be used to connect earth, travel, and transportation

Don’t forget: it’s okay to be creative! As email marketers, emojis give us creative freedom. Make the most of it.

Popular emojis you can test in your next subject line 😉

Before you start using emojis regularly in your subject lines you should try running some A/B tests first. In your test, send one group of recipients an email with your subject line + an emoji and send another group the same email without the emoji.

Do this a couple of times and analyze your open rates. This should give you a good indication of whether or not your audience engages well with emojis.

Ready to get started? Here are 15 of the most popular emojis to appear in subject lines: 😃 😍 😉 😎 👍 💪 👏 ☀️ ❤️ 🔥 🎁 ✈️ ⭐ ™️ 💨

What are some of your favorite emojis? Leave them for us in the comments!

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How to Use Musical.ly In 5 Easy Steps

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 2 years, you’ve probably heard of Musical.ly and their live-streaming video app, Live.ly by now. If you have been living under a rock, let’s get you caught up.

 
what-is-musical-ly

What’s Musical.ly?

Musical.ly, at its core, is a lip syncing app. But honestly, there’s more to it than that. It’s a full-blown social network full of talented video creators and it comes with powerful tools so you can create your own music infused videos too.

The app is free to download so we’ve been messing around with it for about a week now. There are no in-app purchases available (at the time this post was published) but there are a few features within Musical.ly that can only be unlocked after you share a video to another platform (like Instagram), but most users are probably going to do that anyway.

It’s a lot like Vine since you can record multiple clips and splice them together for excellent jump cuts that really make an impact on your 15-second video. You turn your videos into musical masterpieces after shooting or uploading them to the app.

 
how-to-use-musical-ly

How to Use Musical.ly

Musical.ly is stupid easy to use. Literally. But if you want a step-by-step guide to follow after you’ve created your account here’s how to create a Musical.ly video:

  1. Pick your music. Preferably, pick something with a good beat to it like “Say So,” by Terror Jr for example. You can search for a song in Musical.ly’s online library or browse 30+ categories from Comedy to NFL. Okay, so you’ve picked your song..
  2. Now you’ll tap the little scissors icon to cut your music and choose the 15-seconds of whatever song you’re using to make your video epic.  You’ll also have 5 options displayed on your screen to determine the speed of the song: epic, slow, norm, fast, and lapse. I like norm because I (personally) feel like the other options distort a little too much. But that’s just me.
  3. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE HAVE GOOD LIGHTING.
  4. Figure out what you’re going to do or whoever you’re filming is going to do during your 15-seconds of lip syncing  fame. Once you’ve worked this out, hit the countdown button (it looks like a power symbol with a 5 next to it) and shoot your video.
  5. After shooting the video you can add filters, title your video with a #tag and @friend, save to private, or post it for other people to see. Congrats! You just made a Musical.ly video. Hopefully it’s worth watching…
  6. There’s a lot of other cool editing features you can use too like a reverse mode that makes for some pretty hilarious shots and a time trap to repeat epic moments. Musical.ly also offers a lot of awesome challenges and contests for video creators to compete in.
  7. You can always choose from the list of rotating trending topics in addition to the official Musical.ly challenges that revolve around a featured topic. Right now, there’s a #WhenAllUrFriendsCanSingBut challenge happening that I think would be most appropriate for us to participate in so you might see a Z Coast Musical.ly pop up there soon.

All Aboard the Live.ly Train

Musical.ly has been around since 2014 (really!) but it didn’t explode until last summer, now boasting 100+ million users. Three months ago, Musical.ly launched Live.ly, the live-streaming version of the music video app, and has captured nearly 4.6 million active users on iOS since.  Live.ly just launched the Android version of the app on Septemeber 12th.

According to this Variety.com article, Of apps released in the past six months on both iOS and Android, only Pokemon Go has garnered more monthly active users — with more than 31 million — than Live.ly in the U.S., according to Survey Monkey Intelligence. Besides steering Musical.ly fans to the app, Live.ly has been helped by early adopters including Jason Derulo, Cameron Dallas and Musical.ly star Jacob Sartorius.”

Live.ly still has room to grow beyond their “teen-girl segment” where it’s curently most popular. Only 33% of all Musical.ly users currently utilize Live.ly. We think it will be interesting to see if Live.ly can keep up the rapid rate of growth and really give other live-streaming apps like Periscope and YouNow a run for their money.

Your turn!

Have you been using Musical.ly and/or Live.ly? Would you like to see some Z Coast Media Musical.ly/Live.ly videos in the future?  Tell us about your experience and what you think  in the comments below!