The days of brands using social platforms for only top-of-funnel hype are long gone. On Instagram, for example, every new feature brings another layer of commerce capability to the grid, which was once solely about aesthetic.  Here’s how the platform and its gang of features are becoming some of the most powerful tools of persuasion around.

To begin with, 67% of social media users purchased directly from posts at least once in the past year, according to Gartner L2’s insight report on the topic. As such, 65% of brands tracked in the study have adopted at least one commerce feature on Facebook or Instagram. However, leader brands meet customers at their fingertips by facilitating transactions on social platforms with a simple click, tap or swipe, as found on Instagram.

Of all its features, Instagram’s most effective feature is also its simplest: swiping up to link to different landing pages. Its popularity is undeniable, as 79% of analyzed brands consistently use the swipe-up function. From June to July 2018, 18% of stories posted by brands incorporated the swipe-up feature, with the majority of these posts linking to commerce—77% to the brand site and 4% to an e-tailer. By linking stories to these commerce-enabled pages, brands are able to establish a direct connection between social content and commerce.

Though linking to commerce is the most common option, not all brands are using swipe up in this way. Some brands cater to customers who might not be convinced to buy a product after seeing a few stories. 37% of brands linking stories to their sites send customers to guided selling features, such as articles or tutorials, boosting brand site content that may otherwise be hard to find, while other brands get even more creative by linking stories to a landing page offering free samples in exchange for user information.

With new features rolling out every week, it doesn’t look like Instagram will be slowing its roll any time soon. Brands should pay attention to the burgeoning platform and its plethora of features, which when used properly, can turn a like into a swipe into a buy in seconds.



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