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Instagram Shopping 101: A Step-by-Step Guide for Marketers

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Forget the mall: these days, Instagram is the place to shop til you drop.

Sure, there’s no Orange Julius for a mid-spree snack sesh, but Instagram Shopping brings the retail experience to social media to reach an audience of more than 1 billion monthly users.

Rather than directing customers from your Instagram account to your website, Instagram Shopping allows them to select and purchase products easily from the app.

More than 130 million users tap on an Instagram Shopping post each month — foot traffic a brick-and-mortar shop owner could only dream of. So if you have products to sell, it’s time to set up your virtual storefront. Let’s get started.

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First, watch this video to find out how to set up your Instagram Shop:

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a fitness influencer used to grow from 0 to 600,000+ followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

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What is Instagram shopping?

Instagram Shopping is a feature that allows eCommerce brands to create a digital, shareable catalog of their products right on Instagram.

Users can learn more about products right in the app, and either purchase directly on Instagram (with Checkout) or click through to finish the transaction on the brand’s eCommerce site.

Sharing products or promoting sales on Instagram is nothing new. According to Instagram, 87% of users say influencers have inspired them to make a purchase, and 70% of avid shoppers turn to the platform to discover new products.

In the past, the only option for e-tail brands to directly drive sales traffic from a ‘gram was either through their bio link, or via clickable Instagram Stories.

With these new Instagram Shopping features, the whole process is streamlined. See it, like it, buy it, in a few clicks: the full Ariana Grande cycle.

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Here are a few key details and terms that every Instagram retailer should know before they get started:

An Instagram Shop is a brand’s customizable digital storefront, which allows customers to shop right from your Instagram profile. Think of it as a landing page where users can discover or browse all your products.

Spearmint Baby Instagram shop
Source:
Instagram

Product Detail Pages display all of the key product information, from the item description to the price to photography. The product detail page will also pull in any product-tagged images on Instagram.

Burberry product detail page
Source: Instagram

Collections are a way that Shops can present products in a curated group — basically, it’s like merchandising your digital front window. Think: “Cute Spring Outfits,” “Handmade Pottery,” or “Nike x Elmo Collab.”

Spearmint Baby curated collection

Source: Instagram

Use a Shopping Tag to tag products from your catalog in your Stories, Reels, or Instagram posts, so your audience can click through to learn more or buy. U.S. businesses who use Instagram’s limited Checkout feature can also tag products in post captions and bios. (You can also use Shopping Tags in ads! Yowza!)

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ASOS shopping tag
Source:
Instagram

With Checkout (currently only available in select regions), customers can purchase products directly in Instagram, without leaving the app. (For brands without Checkout functionality, customers will be directed to a checkout page on the brand’s own ecommerce site.)

Facebook Pay checkout option
Source: Instagram

The new Shop discovery tab on the Instagram app provides a discovery tool for non-followers, too. Scroll through goods from brands big and small, all around the world: it’s window-shopping 2.0.

Instagram Shop discovery tab
Source: Instagram

How to get approved for Instagram shopping

Before you can set up Instagram Shopping, you need to ensure your business checks a few boxes for eligibility.

How to set up Instagram shopping

Step 1: Convert to a Business or Creator Account

If you don’t already have a Business (or Creator) account on Instagram, it’s time to take the plunge.

Besides qualifying you for Instagram Shopping features, Business accounts also have access to all sorts of exciting analytics… and can use Hootsuite’s scheduling dashboard for posts, too.

Plus, it’s free. Get on it! Here’s our step-by-step guide to switching your personal account over (and 10 reasons why you should!).

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switch to professional account

Step 2: Use Commerce Manager to set up a shop

1. Use Commerce Manager or a supported platform to set up a shop.

2. To choose a checkout method, select where you want customers to complete their purchases.

Hot tip: Checkout on Instagram is recommended for businesses based in the US because it enables people to buy your products directly on Instagram. Get more information on setting up your Checkout functionality here!

3. To choose sales channels, select the Instagram business account you want to be associated with your shop.

4. If you have a Facebook Page, check the box next to your account to have a shop on both Facebook and Instagram.

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Step 3: Connect To a Facebook Page

If you have a Facebook Page, you’ll want to connect it to your Instagram Shop to make things flow smoothly. You’re no longer required to have a Facebook Page to set up an Instagram Shop, but if you want to, here’s how to set one up in seven easy steps. I’ll wait.

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Now, time to link the two!

1. On Instagram, go to Edit Profile.

2. Under Public Business Information, select Page.

connect to Facebook page

3. Choose your Facebook Business Page to connect.

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4. Ta-da!

Step 4: Upload your product catalog

Okay, this is the part where you actually upload all of your products. You’ve got a couple of different options here. You can either input every product manually into Commerce Manager, or integrate a pre-existing product database from a certified eCommerce platform (like Shopify or BigCommerce.)

Hot tip: Hootsuite has a Shopify integration now, so it’s super simple to manage your catalog right from your dashboard!

Let’s walk through each catalog creation option step-by-step.

Option A: Commerce Manager

1. Log into Commerce Manager.

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2. Click on Catalog.

3. Click on Add Products.

4. Select Add Manually.

5. Add a product image, name, and description.

6. If you have an SKU or unique identifier for your product, add it within the Content ID section.

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7. Add a link to the website where people can buy your product.

8. Add the price of your product that is shown on your website.

9. Select the availability of your product.

10. Add categorization details about the product, like its condition, brand, and tax category.

11. Add shipping options and return policy information.

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12. Add options for any variants, like colors or sizes.

13. Once you’re done, click Add Product.

Option B: Integrate an Ecommerce Database

1. Go to Commerce Manager.

2. Open the Catalog tab and go to Data Sources.

3. Select Add Items, then Use a Partner Platform, then hit next.

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4. Select your platform of choice: Shopify, BigCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CommerceHub, Feedonomics, CedCommerce, adMixt, DataCaciques, Quipt or Zentail.

configure settings to connect ecommerce platform

5. Follow the link to the partner platform website and follow the steps there to connect your account with Facebook.

Hot tip: Remember to keep catalog maintenance top of mind. Once your catalog is set up, it’s important to maintain it. Always keep product photos updated and hide unavailable items.

Step 5: Submit your account for review

At this point, you’ll need to submit your account for review. These reviews usually take a couple of days, but sometimes it might run longer.

set up Instagram shopping

1. Go to your Instagram profile settings.

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2. Tap Sign Up for Instagram Shopping.

3. Follow the steps to submit your account for review.

4. Check the status of your application by visiting Shopping in your Settings.

Step 6: Turn on Instagram Shopping

Once you’ve passed the account review process, it’s time to connect your product catalog with your Instagram Shop.

1. Go to your Instagram profile settings.

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2. Tap Business, then Shopping.

3. Select the product catalog you’d like to connect with.

4. Tap Done.

How to create Instagram shopping posts

Your digital shop is shined up and gleaming. Your product inventory is bursting at the seams. You’re ready to start making that money — all you need is a customer or two.

Watch this video to find out how to tag your products in your Instagram posts, Reels, and Stories directly on Instagram:

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You can also create and schedule or auto-publish shoppable Instagram photos, videos, and carousel posts alongside all your other social media content using Hootsuite.

Creating a shoppable Instagram post using Hootsuite

To tag a product in an Instagram post in Hootsuite, follow these steps:

1. Open your Hootsuite dashboard and go to Composer.

2. Under Publish to, select an Instagram Business profile. 

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3. Upload your media (up to 10 images or videos) and type out your caption. 

4. In the preview on the right, select Tag products. The tagging process is slightly different for videos and images:

  • Images: Select a spot in the image, and then search for and select an item in your product catalog. Repeat for up to 5 tags in the same image. Select Done when you’re finished tagging.
  • Videos: A catalog search appears right away. Search for and select all the products you want to tag in the video.

5. Select Post now or Schedule for later. If you decide to schedule your post, you will see suggestions for the best times to publish your content for maximum engagement.

And that’s it! Your shoppable post will show up in the Hootsuite Planner, alongside all of your other scheduled content.

You can also boost your existing shoppable posts directly from Hootsuite to help more people discover your products.

Note: You’ll need an Instagram Business account and an Instagram shop to take advantage of product tagging in Hootsuite.

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Shoppable Instagram posts will feature a shopping bag icon in the bottom left corner. All the products your account has tagged will appear on your profile under the Shopping tab.

How to create Instagram Shopping Stories

Use the Stickers function to tag a product in your Instagram Story.

See also  How to Schedule Instagram Stories in 2022 [4 Simple Steps]

Upload or create your content for your story as usual, then hit the sticker icon in the top-right corner. Find the Product sticker, and from there, choose the applicable product from your catalog.

(Hot tip: You can customize your product sticker to match the colors of your Story.)

Nike Instagram Shopping story

How to create Instagram Shopping ads

Either boost a Shoppable post that you’ve already created, or build an ad from scratch in Ads Manager using the Instagram Product tags. Easy!

Ads with product tags can either drive to your eCommerce site or open up Instagram Checkout if you have that functionality.

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Check out our guide to Instagram advertising here for more information on Ads Manager.

instagram shopping ad
Source: Instagram

How to create an Instagram live shopping stream

In many parts of the world, live stream shopping is a regular part of eCommerce culture. With the introduction of Instagram Live Shopping, businesses in the US can now use Checkout on Instagram during Live broadcasts.

Basically, Instagram Live Shopping allows creators and brands to connect with shoppers live, host product demos and encourage purchases in real-time.

It’s a powerful tool, so it deserves its own in-depth blog post. Luckily, we wrote one. Get the 4-1-1- on Live Shopping on Instagram here.

live shopping stream
Source: Instagram

How to create Instagram Shopping Guides

One of the latest features on the app, Instagram Guides are like mini blogs that live right on the platform.

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For users with an Instagram Shop, this can be a great way to promote products with a bit of an editorial angle: think gift guides or trend reports.

ankle boot shopping guide

1. From your profile, click the plus symbol in the upper right corner.

2. Select Guide.

3. Tap Products.

4. Search by account for the product listing you’d like to include. If you’ve saved the product to your wishlist, you can find it there also.

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5. Select the product you’d like to add and tap Next. You can choose to include multiple posts for a single entry if available. They will be displayed like a carousel.

6. Add your guide title and description. If you would like to use a different cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo.

7. Double check the pre-populated place name, and edit as needed. If you wish, add a description.

8. Tap Add Products and repeat steps 4–8 until your guide is complete.

9. Tap Next in the upper right corner.

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10. Tap Share.

12 tips for selling more products with Instagram shopping

Now that your virtual shelves are stocked, it’s time to catch a potential buyer’s eye.

Here are some best practices for encouraging users to shop ‘til they drop. (Or should that be “‘Gram til they… blam?” Hmmm, still workshopping that one.)

1. Use striking visuals

Instagram is a visual medium, so your products better be looking good out there in the grid! Prioritize high-quality photos and videos to keep your wares looking professional and appealing.

Just take a look at the playful way fashion brand Lisa Says Gah displays its tote bags: dangling from an arm that’s holding a bottle of wine.

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fashion brand Lisa Says Gah tote bags

Make sure you’re up-to-date with the most recent image and video specs (Instagram sometimes changes things up), and that photos and videos are high-resolution whenever possible.

If you can, give your product shots an exciting, editorial vibe, showcasing your goods in action or in a real-world setting. Sharing beautiful details shots can be an eye-catching option too. For more Instagram post inspiration, watch this episode of Fridge-worthy, where our two social media experts break down why, exactly, this one furniture store is SO GOOD at selling us rugs:

Pro Tip: Get experimental with these photo editing tools to really stand out from the crowd.

2. Add hashtags

Using relevant Instagram hashtags is a smart strategy for all posts, including shopping content.

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They’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll be discovered by someone new, opening up a whole new opportunity for potential engagement.

Searching the #shoplocal tag, for instance, brings up a plethora of small businesses — like epoxy artist Dar Rossetti — that I can buy from right on the spot.

shop local hashtag

Using the right hashtags can also help you land on the Explore page, which has a special “Shop” tab and is visited by more than 50% of Instagram users each month (that’s more than half a billion people).

3. Share a sale or promotional code

Everyone loves a good deal, and running a promotional campaign is a surefire way to drive sales.

Leisurewear brand Paper Label is promoting a sale on its essentials in the caption. Interested users can just click through to take advantage of the deal, and be decked out in spandex in no time.

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Paper Label promotional code

When you promote the code directly in your shoppable Instagram posts, it’s even easier for customers to act.

4. Show your product in action

The most popular type of video content on Instagram is the tutorial or how-to video. And this format is ideal for shopping posts because it offers viewers product education and proof-of-concept.

See also  The Perfect Social Media Style Guide for Your Brand in 2022

Here, Woodlot shows one of its essential oil-based soaps in action, lathered right up to transport you right to bathtime.

Woodlot essential oil soap

5. Be authentic

The principles of social media engagement all apply to product posts, too… and that includes the golden rule of authenticity.

There’s no need to stick to product copy. Your personality and voice should shine through here! Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with your audience with a thoughtful caption that offers surprising insight or an emotional connection. What inspired the piece? How was it made? Storytelling is a sales tool as old as time.

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Postpartum care company One Tough Mother backs up all of its product posts with empathetic, often funny insights about new motherhood.

One Tough Mother authentic content

6. Play with color

Color is always eye-catching, so don’t be afraid to embrace a vibrant hue as a background for your product shot.

Artist Jackie Lee shares her graphic prints on a neon-colored background for maximum impact.

graphic print of Halifax by Jackie Lee

If you’re noticing a particular color palette trending among influencers, swerve to something that contrasts to stop scrollers in their tracks.

7. Establish a signature style

Having a consistent aesthetic on Instagram will help you improve your brand recognition and establish your identity.

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It also helps customers scrolling through their feed or browsing the Explore tab to recognize your posts at a glance.

Did you know? There are a striking 37% more sales on average made by businesses who tag products in their feed posts.

Sebastian Sochan makes hand-tufted rugs in London, and shoots all of his pieces in displayed in unique ways throughout his studio. The color palette and lighting remain the same in every scene.

rugs consistent aesthetic style

Your signature style on Instagram should be consistent with your brand visuals elsewhere. Your website, ads, and product packaging should all fit together, with complementary images.

8. Be inclusive

If you want your brand to reach a wide audience, you need to ensure your images are meaningfully representative.

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With over a billion users, it’s safe to say that Instagram users are a diverse group.

But too often, the people in Instagram promotions and images look the same: white, able-bodied, slim. Embrace all your potential customers with models who showcase all the different body types that are out there.

Period-product brand Aisle uses models of all genders, sizes, and races in the promotion of its products.

Period-product brand Aisle inclusive approach

Another inclusivity tip: Caption your images descriptively so that visually impaired users can still learn all about your amazing product.

9. Share user-generated content

User-generated content (UGM) refers to any posts or Stories from Instagram users that feature your products.

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Not only do these posts provide new, real images of your photos in action, but they also boost your credibility. That’s because posts from real users are considered more authentic, and that authenticity translates to higher trust. They’re like visual testimonials.

Mother Funk boutique in Toronto regularly re-posts photos of locals wearing their clothing.

Mother Funk boutique user-generated content

10. Create a captivating carousel

Show off your range with a carousel that showcases a variety of products. It’s a quick way for users to get a broader look at your latest collection, without having to tap allll the wayyyy to your Instagram Shop.

11. Collaborate with tastemakers

Team up with a tastemaker to help spread your product posts further. Invite an influencer or person you admire to curate a special Collection of their favorite goods from your catalog.

One example: Linens brand Droplet teamed up with Canadian influencer Jillian Harris to create a special line of products. The cross-promotion helped expose its products to a whole new set of eyes.

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Droplet Home Goods cross-promotion

You’ll tag them in all of your posts; they’ll share with their own audience (and get a warm fuzzy feeling that you admire their sense of style). Win-win!

12. Craft compelling CTAs

Nothing pairs better with a beautiful photo than a compelling call to action. A call to action is an instructive phrase that pushes the reader to take action — whether that’s “Buy now!” or “Share with a friend!” or “Get it before it’s gone!”

Eyewear brand Warby Parker, for example, gives followers the exact instruction they need to shop right away: “Tap the [shopping bag icon] to get yours!”

Warby Parker compelling call to action

Brush up on your CTAs over here on the blog, and wield your new power responsibly.

Shopping on Instagram is only going to grow in popularity, and it’s just a matter of time until features like Instagram Checkout is global. So there’s no time like the present to dive in and find out how much it can benefit your business, as part of your overall social media strategy. Let the digital shopping sprees begin!

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Save time managing your Instagram presence using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can integrate your social networks with your Shopify store, add products to any social media post, respond to comments with product suggestions. Try it free today.

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With files from Michelle Cyca.

Easily create, analyze, and schedule Instagram posts, Stories, and Reels with Hootsuite. Save time and get results.

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How Brands Can Support Indigenous Communities on Social—the Right Way

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There is a growing interest among businesses, large and small, to add their voices to the nationwide acknowledgment of the trauma inflicted upon Indigenous children at Canada’s Indian Residential Schools.

This was amplified in 2021 with the location of nearly a thousand unmarked graves at sites of the now-shuttered institutions—and we know thousands more have yet to be discovered.

On National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, it’s important for Indigenous people (and, frankly, for non-Indigenous people) to see businesses and brands honour those who lost their lives through the 165-year program of assimilation.

It’s also important for us as Indigenous people to see them pay tribute to those who survived their years at the notorious schools.

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But deploying the hashtag #TruthAndReconciliation or #EveryChildMatters can be a risky undertaking. There are many ways to make a well-meaning blunder that will prompt eye rolls throughout Indigenous Canada or, worse, to accidentally post something that’s outright offensive.

That’s why I wrote this blog post. I’m a Métis woman and lawyer who has been the CEO of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), the largest organization representing Indigenous women in Canada, since 2017.

I, and other Indigenous women who follow social media, brace ourselves as September 30 rolls around, waiting for the inevitable ham-fisted attempt by non-Indigenous actors to be part of the commemoration.

Please don’t misunderstand. We want you to be there with us as we grieve and as we remember and as we honour. We just want you to do so respectfully. So here are some guidelines.

What is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation? How is it different from Orange Shirt Day? And what should we call it on social media?

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was declared by the Canadian government in 2021, after the graves were found at Indian Residential Schools.

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(Please note: “Indian Residential Schools” is the official name for the schools and a construct of the colonial mindset of 19th Century Canada. In any other context, the word Indian is extremely offensive when used to refer to the Indigenous people of Turtle Island.)

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day for honouring the victims and celebrating the survivors of the schools. And it’s a federal statutory holiday, so it applies to all federally regulated workplaces. But it’s been left to provinces and territories to choose whether it is marked within their own jurisdictions.

We note that it took Canada’s federal Liberal government (which came to power in 2015 promising to act on all 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission) nearly seven years to meet the relatively simple Call Number 80. It urged the creation of the holiday “to ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

There is no doubt that the discovery of the graves—which the Truth and Reconciliation report said would be found if an effort was made to look for them—bolstered public support for such a day.

September 30 should be thought of as our Remembrance Day, and it should be referred to by its official name: the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Any other name fails to communicate the sombreness of the occasion, just as it minimizes Remembrance Day to call it Poppy Day.

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September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, reminding us of the day in 1973 when six-year-old Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation arrived at the St. Joseph Mission Residential School, just outside Williams Lake, B.C.

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She was wearing a vibrant orange shirt her grandmother bought her to match her excitement for her first day of school. But the shirt was immediately taken from her by school authorities and never returned—an event that marked the beginning of the year of atrocities and torment she experienced at the institution.

We wear orange shirts on September 30 as a reminder of the traumas inflicted by residential schools. If you’re specifically referring to Phyllis’ story on social media, then it is appropriate to call it Orange Shirt Day.

But the holiday is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and should be referred to as such.

What terms should you use when you refer to Indigenous people? (Terminology 101)

Speaking of terminology, when is it appropriate to refer to someone as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit, and when is it appropriate to refer to someone as Indigenous?

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First up, here’s what those different terms actually mean:

  • First Nations: The largest Indigenous group in Canada, these are members of the 634 First Nations spread across the country
  • Métis: A distinct group of people who have an ancestral connection to a group of French Canadian traders and Indigenous women who settled in the Red River Valley of Manitoba and the Prairies
  • Inuit: The Indigenous people of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions
  • Indigenous: The First Peoples of North America whose ancestors were here before the arrival of the Europeans

Next, where to use them: It’s always best to be as specific as you possibly can when describing us on social media.

Here’s a quick reference on the best way to refer to Indigenous individuals:

  1. Reference the person’s specific first nation and its location
  2. Reference the person’s nation and ethno-cultural group
  3. Reference their ethno-cultural group
  4. Refer to them as First Nations, Mètis, or Inuit
  5. Refer to the person as Indigenous

So, if someone is a Cree from the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi, say that. Second best would be to call them a Waswanipi Cree. Third best would be to call them a Cree. Fourth best would be to call them a First Nations member.

And fifth best would be to call them Indigenous, which is a catch-all phrase that includes all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. But it also includes all Indigenous people around the world. The Māori of New Zealand are Indigenous.

Saying someone is Indigenous is like calling a Chinese person Asian. It’s true. But it misses a lot of detail.

If you don’t know how best to describe someone, ask us. Preferences vary from individual to individual.

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But please, despite the fact that my organization is called the Native Women’s Association of Canada, which is a holdover from a much earlier time (NWAC was formed in 1974), please do not call Indigenous people ‘native.’

What role should brands play on social media on September 30?

At NWAC, our hashtag for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is #RememberHonourAct. We think those are good guidelines for everyone—individuals and businesses alike—on September 30 and, indeed, year-round.

Remember the survivors of the residential schools, honour them, and act to strengthen the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

If yours is a local business, pay tribute to the Indigenous people in your area. Acknowledge their traditional territory. Recognize that your operations are taking place on the land that they have shared with you, and that you and your employees are benefitting from that.

If you are a national brand, turn the spotlight back on the First Nations communities. Highlight the achievements and the contributions that First Nations people have made to Canadian prosperity.

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Yes, September 30 is a sombre day of remembrance. But we don’t want pity. We want acknowledgments of past wrongs and promises that they will not be repeated, but we also want to embrace the promise of a better future in which Indigenous people can enjoy prosperous and happy lives free of historical trauma.

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Are there other notable days for brands to keep in mind for Indigenous people?

Yes.

There are other sombre days.

Less than a week after the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous women across Canada will gather at Sisters in Spirit Vigils to honour the women, girls, and gender-diverse people who have lost their lives in the ongoing genocide that targets us for violence. This is an annual event created to give support and comfort to the families and friends who have been left to mourn their loved ones.

On February 14, Valentine’s Day, annual Women’s Memorial Marches are held in cities and towns across Canada and the United States. They too are meant to honour Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or who have gone missing.

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And on May 5, we mark Red Dress Day, a day on which red dresses are hung in windows and in public spaces around Canada, again to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

But there are also joyous occasions.

Although there is not a specific date set aside, summer is the time for gathering. It is powwow season. Fall is the time that we traditionally rejoice in the bounty of the hunt.

On June 21, the Summer Solstice, we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for rejoicing in our heritage, our diverse cultures, and the contributions that Indigenous people are making to the complex fabric of Canadian life.

What social media mistakes do brands make on September 30?

The most egregious examples of brand behaviour around the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation are attempts to monetize our pain for financial gain.

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If you own a clothing company, please don’t print a batch of orange shirts and sell them for profit. And don’t promote the sales of your shirts on social media. This happens every year and it is offensive in the extreme.

On the other hand, printing and selling orange shirts and then turning the profits over to Indigenous causes is a wonderful gesture of support.

And it’s not just the small brands that are doing this. Walmart, for instance, promises to donate 100% of the profits from its Every Child Matters t-shirts, which have been designed by an Indigenous artist, to the Orange Shirt Society.

screenshot of a post about Orange Shirt Day from Walmart Canada

Be the brand that does something like that.

In all of your social media posts, be mindful that this is our history. Every Indigenous person in Canada has been touched by the residential school experience, whether or not we or our ancestors attended one of the institutions. Be mindful of the traumas that can be brought to the fore with a thoughtless twist of words.

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And again, Indigenous people are at a place where we don’t need or want pity. We need people to celebrate our accomplishments. We need to feel part of a society that is eager to include us.

What opportunities are there for intersections between Indigenous people and other social movements?

In a simple word: lots.

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If there is a social justice issue being championed—whether that is Pride in the gender-diverse community, or climate justice, or prisoners’ rights, or racial equality—you’ll find Indigenous people at the forefront.

My organization is an example of that. We have whole units of staff working on all of those things.

Reach out to us, or other national Indigenous organizations (we list a few later on), to ask about ways you can get involved, projects you can promote, and causes you can stand behind.

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This is a prime opportunity to collaborate with Indigenous creators who are passionate about the larger social issue at hand.

How can brands work with Indigenous content creators?

Find them and ask them. There are plenty out there. Any search engine will quickly turn up hundreds of names of Indigenous content creators and influencers, and many will be eager to collaborate with you.

Here are some examples of places to look:

What Indigenous organizations can brands support or partner with?

Most of the National Indigenous Organizations are looking for partners. We, at NWAC, have terrific partnerships with brands like Sephora, Hootsuite, and TikTok.

@tiktokcanada

Applications for the TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators are now open! Indigenous creators, apply by September 15 💫

♬ original sound – TikTok Canada

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But there are also smaller groups out there who would be delighted to hear from you.

One example that immediately springs to mind is Project Forest in Alberta which is working in partnership with Indigenous communities to restore sacred lands so that medicinal plants and native species will thrive again in First Nations communities.

There is also a range of organizations that are working tirelessly to improve the lives of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

I would point to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Susan Aglukark’s Arctic Rose Foundation, The Martin Family Initiative, or the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

Those are just a few. And of course, there is NWAC—we work tirelessly for the well-being of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people.

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What are some examples of brands that are supporting and/or highlighting Indigenous communities the right way?

Many brands are doing things right. I will again mention beauty company Sephora partnered with the NWAC to run a roundtable on Indigenous beauty to find out where they could improve. And they’ve acted on their learnings.

TikTok, likewise, has taken the time to reach out to us to ask for guidance on how to get engaged with Indigenous people and communities. And, over the past few years, we have worked closely with Hootsuite, providing advice and information.

But others are also making great strides.

I would point to the National Hockey League which has been unreservedly vocal in denouncing the racism directed at Indigenous hockey players. The Calgary Flames opened their season with a land acknowledgement.

Ahead of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the #Flames wore orange jerseys for the morning skate and the day will be recognized prior to puck drop tonight 🧡 pic.twitter.com/appz0sN7c9

— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 29, 2021

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This would not have happened 10, or maybe even five, years ago. But society is changing, corporate behaviour is changing, the world is changing. And social media has had, and will have, much to do with that.

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How To Win at TikTok (According to TikTok)

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That’s how Khartoon Weiss, TikTok’s Global Head of Agency & Accounts, described the world’s most downloaded app at The Gathering, an annual business and marketing summit held in Banff, Canada.

What’s the distinction?

People don’t “check” Tiktok. They watch it. And, Weiss says, “that small pivot in behavior is everything.”

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Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.

So what does it mean for marketers?

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In this post, we’ll share key takeaways from Weiss’s on-stage presentation. But that’s not all!

Weiss shared more detailed insights at one of The Gathering’s intimate “inner sanctums”. And we’ve got the scoop for you below.

Embrace the shift from Me to We

TikTok is not a platform for YOLO, FOMO, and selfies. Instead, it’s familial and inclusive.

You see into everyone else’s living room. And they see into yours.

It’s a collaborative space that rewards optimism. “Microcommunities” crystalize around hashtags like #crafttok, #planttok, and #DIYtok.

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The experts within these communities share “complex information boiled down so usefully”. This in turn creates even more experts and more knowledge to share.

@housetohomediy

#learnontiktok #diytiktok #diytok #painterstape #oddlysatisfying #painting

♬ Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man

As a brand, this means you need to focus on providing entertainment or edutainment.

Find your place in these existing communities and contribute value that’s uniquely yours. Turn your assets into multiple TikToks and learn as you go what works for your brand.

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And leave the comments on your content open – the community will tell you what they think. Use their insights to guide your ongoing TikTok strategy.

Be real, not retouched

You know who’s not big on TIkTok? The Kardashians. “We keep it real on TikTok,” Weiss said. “They are not accepted at the scale of a Jessia.”

So who’s Jessia? A Vancouver-based singer who went from this:

@jessiamusic

TikTok is too beautiful 😂 #Welcome2021 #RareAesthetic #belly #🍑 #pretty #fun #fyp #neverseentwoprettybestfriends #wtf #bop #trash #newyear #new

♬ original sound – JESSIA

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To this:

@jessiamusic

Tour with @OneRepublic was a dream 💙 #nexttime #onerepublic #tour #pov #tour #tourlife #fyp

♬ Next Time by Jessia – JESSIA

After her song caught fire as a body positivity anthem that spawned countless TikTok duets.

On TikTok, it’s all about “the language of the next generation and the new digital media behaviors.”

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“It’s challenging if you want it to be great, but the community doesn’t have a problem with accepting whatever it is you want to put out there,” Weiss said.

And that community acceptance is critical. TikTok’s algorithm focuses on a content graph, not a social graph. That means what you see in your feed is what the community brings to the surface, rather than who you follow.

On this front, #smallbusinesstiktok is leading the way. How? You guessed it: by telling real behind-the-scenes and product-creation stories.

“Small businesses have taken their creativity and turned it into content and now it’s automatically commerce,” Weiss said.

@frolic_creations

Guess what scent they will be? 😋 #smallbusiness #ZFlipClackdown #halloween #spooktember #spookyseason #slimemonster #cute #newproductalert #cutesoaps #foryou #froliccreations

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♬ original sound – Meg ✌

Real, genuine stories create that visibility in the content graph. And the best people to tell those genuine stories about your brand may not (yet) work for or with you.

Understand the power of creators

“We’ve redefined what celebrity means,” Weiss said. “And we’re the driving force behind the migration from the attention economy to the creator economy.”

A key example? Just like Jessia, 7 of the 10 nominees for Best New Artist at the 2022 Grammys gained at least some of their momentum from TikTok.

Creators fuel discovery. And discovery creates demand.

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“We consume things, and we convert on product, because it embodies the communities and the people we want to emulate,” Weiss said.

For marketers, this means empowering and learning from creators who understand the platform.

@andrea.animates

#ad made a new level on @candycrushsaga 🍬

♬ original sound – Andrea Love

Unlearn everything you’ve learned,” Weiss said in her inner sanctum. “It’s not how the next generation speaks. You’ve always had agencies consult you – why wouldn’t you let creators? Creators will help you unpack your brand and think about ways to connect with your audience.”

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View discovery as lower funnel (aka #tiktokmademebuyit)

“When every touchpoint becomes an opportunity to buy, every strategy becomes a commerce strategy,” Weiss said. “It’s a brave new world where media and entertainment have found their way to content, creator, and commerce.”

Rather than social commerce, TikTok likes to think of this as “community commerce.”

“Thousands of creators are jumping in, and they are delivering product efficacy and product advocacy,” Weiss said.

Witness the case of 54-year-old Trinidad Sandoval:

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She created a nearly 3-minute TikTok showing her go-to eye cream in action. Trinidad thought only her 70 followers would see it. Nope.

She went viral and led the 10-year-old product to sell out virtually everywhere within a week.

@trinidad1967

♬ original sound – user3761092853451

This wasn’t a paid partnership – it was brand loyalty and advocacy in action.

This all adds up to one important lesson for brands: TikTok is not like other platforms, and it’s impossible to fake your way to success.

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Above all: Be real and put the community first. Create a great product. Build that loyalty. And the community will fuel the discovery of your brand.

Want to learn more about how to get the most from TikTok? Check out the resources below!

Grow your TikTok presence alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts for the best times, engage your audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.

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Schedule posts, learn from analytics, and respond to comments all in one place.

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Meta for Business: How To Get the Best Results From Each Platform

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During the second quarter of 2022, 3.65 billion people were using at least one Meta product each month. That’s nearly half of the world’s population. Arguably, no other brand has a larger reach, which makes using Meta for business an absolute must.

Part of the reason why Meta changed its name from Facebook was to better represent the multiple products under its umbrella. Meta has several core products including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

While there’s a large audience, not every platform will have the same impact on your business. Each social network or app requires different marketing tools and strategies to get noticed by customers. Let’s dive into how to get the best results for each!

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Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.

Meta for Business

The various Meta platforms have an incredibly large and diverse audience for businesses to reach. Just take a look at the number of people on each platform:

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  • Facebook: 2.9 billion
  • Messenger: 988 million
  • Instagram: 1.4 billion
  • WhatsApp: 2 billion

Let’s review each app in the Meta business suite, who uses it, and what you need to succeed on it.

Facebook for business

Creating a Facebook business page is the first step to connecting with an audience on Facebook.

A business page lets you post updates, share contact information, and promote events or products.

While Facebook marketing is completely free, you could also opt to create and post Facebook ads.

Facebook user statistics

With almost 3 billion users, your target audience is probably using it. Here’s a brief overview of the Facebook audience:

  • Females aged 35-54 and males aged 25-44 are most likely to say Facebook is their favorite social media platform
  • The average time spent on Facebook is 19.6 hours per month for Android users

Facebook business tools

No matter what your business is, Facebook has a business tool to help you grow online. Let’s explore some of the features available on a Facebook business page that you may want to use:

  • Appointments: Have your customers book an appointment directly on Facebook.
  • Events: If you’re playing a concert or launching a new product, the Events tool can promote interest in your audience and remind them of the event.
  • Jobs: Hiring talented employees is tough. But you can reach more potential candidates by posting jobs on Facebook.
  • Shops: Product-based businesses will benefit from enabling the Shops tool. It lets you share your inventory, and customers can buy directly on Facebook.
  • Facebook Groups: Groups can be private or public communities for audiences with shared interests. It’s a more intimate way of connecting with your followers.

Still stuck on how to promote your business on Facebook? Check out our VERY complete guide on Facebook marketing.

Facebook examples

Let’s take a look at real-life examples of how businesses used Facebook to meet their business goals.

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Pink Tag used Facebook Shops and Live Shopping to make over $40,000 in sales in a nearly 5-month period. By displaying products and making them available to purchase all within Facebook, it made it easy to boost their sales.

See also  How to Get More Views on TikTok: 15 Essential Strategies

Interested in doing the same? Check out our guide on setting up a Facebook shop.

Pink Tag Boutique women's fashion

Tonal created a Facebook group to motivate customers to use its strength training system. It hosted events and community chats to encourage interaction.

This led to 95% of the most active Facebook group members saying they would be very disappointed if they could no longer use Tonal.

Is a Facebook Group the right strategy for you? Read on to learn how Facebook Groups can grow your business.

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Official Tonal Community Facebook group

Instagram for business

Instagram started as a platform to share photos and has grown to incorporate features like Stories, Reels, and Shopping. This makes it a great platform to create an influencer marketing strategy.

Instagram user statistics

With over 1.4 billion users Instagram is the fourth most popular social media platform. Let’s explore the Instagram audience:

  • Females aged 16-34 and males aged 16-24 are most likely to say Instagram is their favorite social media platform
  • The average time spent on Instagram is 11.2 hours per month for Android users

Instagram business tools

Here are some tools you can consider incorporating into your Instagram strategy:

  • Action Buttons: A call-to-action is an important part of any strategy. Action buttons on your profile make it easier to book an appointment, make a restaurant reservation, or order food delivery.
  • Collab Posts: Instagram features Collab posts on both the brand’s and creator’s Instagram feed. Collab posts can easily boost the effectiveness of influencer and brand partnerships.
  • Shopping: With Instagram Checkout, followers can find a product and purchase it without ever leaving the app.
  • Story Highlights: You can choose your most important Stories and save them in a highlights section. New followers can see more content, and current followers can reference it to follow products, menus, or services.

Instagram examples

Besides static ads in an Instagram feed, consider branching out into video and Stories. Chobani used video ads in Instagram Stories to successfully boost awareness of a product launch.

Need help creating effective Instagram Story ads? We got you covered.

Chobani

e.l.f. Cosmetics is using Story Highlights and a pinning feature to promote specific products.

By putting its in-demand products at the top of its feed and profile, followers are going to have a hard time missing what it is selling.

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Don’t forget to read our post on some of the best tips and tricks on using Instagram Stories.

e.l.f. Cosmetics story highlights and pinning feature on Instagram

Messenger for business

Meta Messenger lets you send texts, photos, videos, and audio. It also includes features such as live group video calls and payments.

It allows you to connect with followers and provide the information they need.

Messenger user statistics

Messenger is a key component of an overall Facebook marketing strategy. A live chat function can answer questions and secure sales.

To capitalize on this, learning about the demographics of people who use Messenger will help your messaging:

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  • The average time spent on Messenger is 3 hours per month for Android users
  • The largest advertising demographic (19%) are males between the ages of 25-34 years
  • 82% of US adults say Messenger is their most regularly used messaging app
See also  Writing for Social Media in 2022: Tips and Tools

Messenger business tools

Messenger is more than exchanging texts with your audience. It can support the entire customer journey from discovery to purchase.

Here are a few of the Messenger business tools you can implement to create a strong marketing campaign:

  • Chatbots: Automate FAQs with chatbots. It provides a 24/7 resource for your followers and can answer questions, provide recommendations, or complete a sales process. If you need the human touch though, a chatbot can connect a person to your live customer support team.
  • Connect with Instagram: Messenger also connects to your Instagram account. When someone sends a direct message to your Instagram profile, Messenger will be there to help them.
  • Customer Feedback: Surveys help you learn about your customers. Messenger has a Customer Feedback tool to make it easy to ask your audience if they are happy with your service.
  • Showcase Products: You can turn your Messenger into a mini-catalog to help your customers find products and purchase them.
  • Accept Payments: Speaking of purchases, you can accept payments by integrating Webview. It will also send a receipt and post-purchase messages.

Messenger examples

BetterHelp uses chatbots to help followers learn how it works, answer questions, and get in touch with customer support if needed.

Not having any response to Messenger is poor etiquette. Learn 9 other tips to interact with your customers on Messenger.

BetterHelp Therapy

Dii Supplements used its ad campaigns to encourage people to send a message on Instagram (which is connected to Messenger). With a specialist on the other side, people were able to learn about the company’s products. Below is an example from one of their clients, Lucky Shrub.

example of a Messenger add from Dii using Meta for Business

WhatsApp for Business

WhatsApp Business helps you stay connected by automating, organizing, and quickly responding to messages.

It is a great place to connect with your customers, provide excellent customer support, and share updates.

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WhatsApp user statistics

WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps on the planet with over 2 billion users. Here is a quick breakdown of who is using WhatsApp:

  • 15.7% of Internet users aged 16 to 64 say WhatsApp is their favorite social media platform
  • Females aged 55-64 and males aged 45-64 are most likely to say WhatsApp is their favorite social media platform
  • The average time spent on Whatsapp is 18.6 hours per month for Android users

WhatsApp business tools

WhatsApp can function similarly to Messenger. Here are a few business tools it includes:

  • Catalog: Create an online storefront with WhatsApp. This tool lets you add your products and services to your profile and allows followers to browse the catalog.
  • Status: Similar to Instagram and Facebook Stories, WhatsApp Status disappears after 24 hours. You can post text, videos, images, or GIFs to stay connected with your audience.
  • Profile: WhatsApp lets business accounts create profiles. It contains a description, address, business hours, website, and social media links. This makes it easier to identify your business on WhatsApp.
  • Automated messages: You can set up messages on WhatsApp to send greetings, away messages, and quick replies. If you’re looking for a fully developed chatbot feature, you’ll need a third-party vendor.
See also  How To Set Up an Instagram Business Profile + 4 Benefits

WhatsApp examples

It’s important to meet customers with the apps they already use. If your audience prefers WhatsApp over Messenger, then create an exceptional WhatsApp experience.

Omay Foods connected its WhatsApp business account to its website, Facebook page, and Instagram profile. This led to a 5x increase in customer inquiries.

Omay Foods

Take a look at our guide to learn more about how to use WhatsApp for Business. You may also want to read our tips on using WhatsApp for customer service.

Facebook Metaverse for business

While the Metaverse is still a work in progress, it’s expected to combine the real world with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

Metaverse user statistics

To get an idea of who might use the Metaverse, let’s take a look at the demographics of current virtual universes like Roblox. Here is a look at who uses online gaming currently:

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Metaverse business tools

Creators and businesses will become a huge part of making the Metaverse. Until then, there are ways to currently get involved with AR or digital products. Here are a few business tools to think about:

  • Filters: Augmented reality filters are responsible for turning your face into a dog or trying out new make-up looks.
  • Digital Items: Selling digital merchandise on Fortnite led to $1.8 billion in sales. NFTs are also a popular digital item making the market worth $22 billion.
  • Advertising: AR is available on Facebook advertising. It’s an interactive way for consumers to try out your products or brand.

Metaverse examples

You can already use AR for ads. Take a look at what MADE did. It used ads to encourage people to use AR to see how furniture would look in their homes. The campaign had a 2.5x conversion rate.

MADE.COM

Creating your own Instagram AR filter is another way to encourage followers to share your brand. Disney created a filter to celebrate the launch of the TV series, Loki. The filter adds Loki’s Horned Helmet.

Loki person wearing a crown

(Source)

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