Tagging products on Instagram

You can sell your products on Instagram by tagging them in posts and stories. As a part of the Facebook ecosystem, Instagram uses a Facebook Shop catalog to find and tag products. Once your products are tagged, customers can see a bag icon and tap a link to view the item’s name, pricing, description, extra photos, and a direct link to your storefront product page to purchase a product.

You can sync and connect your Facebook Shop with your Instagram business profile in a couple of clicks. As a result, you’ll have multiple sales channels — your product catalog will appear on your website, Facebook Page and Instagram – and you can manage catalog and orders from one place, your store admin.

Requirements for selling on Instagram

To sell on Instagram, you need to approve your store to the Instagram/Facebook team. To get the approval, your business must meet the following requirements:

  • You need to have an online store.
  • Your products need to meet the product requirements for selling on the Facebook channel. It needs to be eligible according to Facebook’s Commerce Policy and comply with the merchant agreement.
  • Your Facebook account and page and your Instagram professional account must meet the Commerce Eligibility Requirements (this may include having a sufficient follower base).
  • You need to set up a Facebook Shop and get Facebook approval. Your Facebook page can’t have any age or country restrictions. (Instagram uses your Facebook Shop catalog to find and tag products.)
  • Verify your domain to confirm that you own and represent your domain.
  • Your business must be located in a country or region that is supported by Instagram.
  • You must convert your Instagram profile to a Professional Account. You can choose either a Creator or Business account to tag your products.
  • You should update your Instagram app to the latest version.

Verifying your domain

As a part of the Facebook ecosystem, Instagram uses your Facebook Shop catalog to find and tag products. To ensure that only verified owners can edit the way their content appears on Facebook and Instagram, Facebook needs to verify the domain in which you intend to sell from. Before setting up Instagram Shopping, you need to verify your domain, so Instagram marks your business as eligible for selling on its platform.

You can verify your website domain either by adding a record to your domain settings, or by adding a tag code to the source code of your website, or by uploading a file to your web server.

Depending on what site builder you use for a website where your store is added, select the more suitable verification option:

If you use a free Instant Site subdomain or have your own domain connected to Instant Site, you can use a meta tag to verify your domain.

  1. From your Facebook Business Manager, go to Settings → More Business Settings → Brand Safety → Domains.
  2. Click Add New Domains, type the address of your site and click Add Domain. The domain will be added to your assets.
  3. Click on the domain you want to verify and choose Meta Tag Verification tab and copy your meta tag code.
  4. From your Store admin, go to Website → SEO.
  5. In the Header meta tags and site verification block, click Add code and paste your meta tag code.
  6. Save the changes.
  7. Return to Facebook Business Manager and click Verify.

Setting up Shopping on Instagram

Shopping on Instagram provides access to Instagram’s platform through Facebook, as Instagram uses your Facebook Shop catalog to find and tag your products. You can connect your Facebook Store and Instagram account at once to run your business on different sales channels.

Before setting up Shopping on Instagram, make sure you verified your domain and your store meets all the requirements.

To connect your Instagram Business page along with your Facebook page to your store:

  1. From your Store admin, go to Facebook and click + Connect Facebook page.
  2. In the popup, log into your account or continue with your account if you are already logged in.
  3. Choose what checkboxes to tick:
    • (optional) tick Facebook Ads to run ads on Facebook and Instagram;
    • tick Facebook Shop so your products are shown on your Facebook Shop page. You need Facebook Shop as a digital storefront to display and sell items from your catalog on Facebook and Instagram.
    • tick Instagram Shopping to be able to tag your products on Instagram.
  4. Click Get Started.
  5. Follow the wizard to complete the Instagram Shopping setup.

That’s it! Once complete, Instagram will automatically begin the review process for access to product tagging. According to Instagram, processing time varies from a few days to a few weeks.

As soon as your account is approved, you’ll receive a notification in your Instagram app that you can turn on the product tagging feature in your Instagram account.

Checking account approval status in Catalog Manager

Catalog Manager is Facebook’s inventory platform, where you can manage your product catalog. From Catalog Manager, you can create ads to promote your products, enable Instagram Shopping or (if all set up) check out the review status for your Facebook and Instagram connected accounts.

To check on your account approval:

  1. Open Facebook’s Catalog Manager.
  2. Click Settings in the left menu, then Business Assets.
  3. In the Ad and Sales Channels, click the Instagram tab and check out the status.

If your products were disapproved, please make sure your store meets all the requirements for selling on Instagram. If you are still having trouble, you can contact the Facebook Commerce support team.

Enabling product tagging on Instagram app

Once your account is approved for product tagging, you may enable the feature in Instagram:

  1. From your Instagram app, go to your business profile options, then go to Settings.
  2. Tap Shopping, and then confirm your Facebook account.
  3. Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile.
  4. Tap Done.

If you don’t see the Shopping section, your account is probably still under review. If your account hasn’t been approved for the product tagging feature, please make sure you have fulfilled all the requirements for getting access to the product tagging and wait a bit more. You can check out the approval process in Facebook’s Catalog Manager.

Tagging products on Instagram

After you’ve been approved and completed setup in Shopping in Settings, you can start tagging products in both new and existing posts and stories. You can tag up to 5 products per single-image post or 20 products per carousel.

If your products have variations like sizes or colors, Instagram counts each product variation (e.g., size or color options) as a separate item. Don’t be alarmed if the total number of products in your Instagram catalog exceeds the number of products in your Facebook Shop.

To tag a product:

  1. From your Instagram app, select a photo for the post, add filters, and a caption.
  2. Tap the products in the photo that you want to tag.
  3. Enter the names of the products you want to tag.
  4. Select them as they appear in the search box.
  5. Tap Done and Share your post.

Instagram will review your product tags to ensure they comply with Instagram’s commerce policies. The review process usually takes a few seconds, but sometimes Instagram takes more time to check the product in detail.

Tags under review are marked as Pending. These tags will be visible as soon as they are approved by Instagram.

If you delete a product from your catalog or the product runs out of stock, the associated tag will be removed from all posts where it was featured. Note, this product tag won’t reappear when the product comes back in stock.

Tapping the product tag from your post provides the following information for your customers:

  • The product’s image from your site
  • The product’s description
  • The product’s price
  • A link to purchase the product on your website

After publishing nine shopping posts, businesses receive a persistent Shop tab on their Instagram business profile. This allows customers to view all posts with tags from your account easily.

See the How do I move or delete products I’ve tagged on Instagram? article in the Instagram Help Center to learn how to move or delete product tags on Instagram.

Best practices: Preparing your business account for a review

Follow tips below for your store’s Instagram account to be faster approved for tagging products.

  1. Get a business profile for your store’s account. If you already have a personal Instagram account with brand-appropriate content and an established following, you might want to simply convert it to an Instagram business account.
    You could also choose to create a brand-new Instagram business account. This is the right choice if you don’t have an existing personal account, or if your personal account does not accurately represent your business.
  2. Tweak your bio. Нere are some quick tips:
    • Explain in 140-160 characters what your brand is all about.
    • Utilize business terms like “Store company”, “Official shop”, etc.
    • Be sure to include a clickable link to your website.
    • Include a branded hashtag to curate images and videos.
  3. Make sure you add variable details such as a business address, contact phone, and email using a button area displayed underneath the initial information.
  4. Assign the right category. Check the category assigned to the Facebook page your Instagram account is connected to. If it’s blank, update it to the appropriate business category. Again, this makes it easy for Instagram to recognize you as a business.
  5. Use your store logo or mascot in a profile image. This helps people (and Instagram team) who visit your page to recognize your brand the quickest.
  6. Post brand-specific content. Here are some tips what business should post on Instagram:
    • Create high-quality product photos
    • Use video to showcase your product
    • Reveal behind-the-scenes of creating products
    • Educate your audience on using your products
    • Entertain and engage your audience: run contests or do a fun quiz
    • Showcase your products as part of a lifestyle
    • Curate user-generated content
  7. Post consistently. This can help you maximize engagement without hitting any lulls or stretches without updates. Any Instagram strategy should clearly outline a target post frequency to help keep you on track.
  8. Add more products to your catalog. If you have a limited catalog (under ten products or so), consider extending. You can enhance your offerings with services or product accessories.
  9. Consider setting up Facebook Business Manager for your business.
  10. Make sure your business meets Instagram’s requirements to be approved for product tagging.

It might take a while to get access to product tagging. We get it. We hope this information helps get your store closer to leverage the Instagram sales channel.