Selling through Instagram Stories

There are two ways you can create shoppable Instagram Stories with comment selling capabilities- manual linking and autolinking. These work similarly to manual linking and autolinking for regular Instagram posts.

 

In This Article:

Before You Begin

Before you begin, confirm that your Instagram account is properly connected to CommentSold with the Connecting to Social Media Accounts article. To learn more about creating shoppable Instagram posts and view the Instagram checkout flow, read Posting Items to Instagram.

Other important considerations to note before getting started are:

  • Currently, CommentSold is unable to support crossposting shoppable Stories from Instagram to Facebook.
  • If you choose to create and schedule Instagram Stories through Facebook Business Suite or other third-party social media scheduling tools, it is necessary to manually link them after they’ve been published. 
  • To sell through Stories to a select group of followers, you can do so through the "Close Friends" feature. That said, it will require a special setup. Skip to the Sharing Shoppable Stories with "Close Friends" section to learn how this works and how to set it up.

 Autolinking Instagram Stories to CommentSold

To create a story using autolinking, follow these steps:

  1. Open Instagram and create a new Story by clicking the %2B.png plus icon at the top of the screen.

    Or, if you’d like, you can share a post to your Story by visiting the post and clicking theinstagram_share_button.PNGshare button. Click Add post to your Story when prompted.

  2. If you’re sharing a post to your Story with theinstagram_share_button.PNGshare button, you can start drafting your Story right away.

    If you’ve created a new Story by clicking the %2B.pngplus icon, you will see a menu at the bottom of the screen. Choose STORY from the menu. From here, you have the option to record a video or snap a photo.

    Create_Story.png

    On the left of the screen, you can add text and experiment with various formats. 

  3. While you are drafting your Instagram Story, click on the IG_Stories_Text_Tool_small.png text tool, then type # followed by the product’s SKU. You can keep the #SKU visible or hide it by overlaying your image or video on top of it. 

    Add_sku_to_Story.png

    Note: If your Story runs longer than 15 seconds, Instagram will split it into multiple segments. As long as the first segment contains the product’s #SKU, the following segments in that Story will also be linked to that product.

    Don't forget to include clear instructions on how your customers can order the product in your Story such as “Reply with ‘Sold’ + your size to order.” You can add additional text to include these details or use audio to explain.

  4. When you’re ready, publish the Story. After, shoppers will be able to make a purchase from your Instagram Story!

    If you'd like to double-check that your Story is successfully linked and ready to shop from, CommentSold offers a few ways to verify this. Skip to the section on How to Verify if Your Instagram Story is Linked to learn more about this.

Manually Linking Instagram Stories to CommentSold

To create a story using manual linking, follow these steps:

  1. Create your Story and start drafting the contents. Include clear instructions on how customers can order the product in your Story like “Respond with ‘Sold’ + your size to order.” 

  2. When you’re happy with your creation, schedule or publish the Story.

  3. Once the Story has been published, return to the Products tab of the CommentSold dashboard. Click the three dots next to the item that was featured in your Story, then select Link to Post.

    link_to_post.png

  4. Click the Instagram Stories tab from the popup that appears. Find the Instagram Story you published and click the Link button next to it.

    Manual-Linking-to-IG-Story-annotated.png 

    Once this is successful, you will be returned to the Products tab where you will see a blue banner confirming that your Story has been linked.

    CommentSold will also provide other ways to verify that a Story is linked, so there's no room for second-guessing. Skip to the section on How to Verify if Your Instagram Story is Linked to learn more about this.

 

How to Verify if Your Instagram Story Is Linked

To view all published Stories in CommentSold, click the Posts tab then click Instagram Stories. Here you can view all of your Stories’ details, including time posted and whether or not they are properly linked.

Note: It can take up to one minute since you posted your Story for it to show up here. If you don't see it after one minute, you may have to refresh the page for it to appear.

 

To check if your Stories are linked, look at the Product SKU column. If a SKU appears, the Story is linked. If not, a red label will appear showing “Not Linked”. 

Linked_and_Not_Linked.png

 

If any new Instagram Stories have been made since the last time you’ve visited this page, a banner will appear to remind you to link it. CommentSold will also send you an email alert if a shopper comments “Sold” on a Story that is not yet linked so you can quickly correct it. This email reminder will only be sent out a maximum of one time per post or Story for a 24 hour period.

 

Sharing Shoppable Stories with the "Close Friends" List

Instagram's "Close Friends" feature enables you to create curated Stories that will only appear for an exclusive group of pre-selected Instagram followers. This gives you a tremendous advantage when you want to sell through Stories to a highly targeted audience, such as your biggest spenders (VIPs) and top engagers.

close_friends.png

Disclaimer: Close Friends Stories do not work the same as Stories posted through traditional methods (as described in the sections above). CommentSold can only manually link products to close friends content, and manual linking can only be done once someone has replied "Sold" on the Story. Once linked, CommentSold will capture all of that Story's "Sold" comments and add the item into the commenters' carts.

For this reason, you will need to use a personal Instagram account in addition to your shop's Business account to create shoppable Stories that you can share with Close Friends. This personal account will be used to comment "Sold" so that you can then proceed to manually link it. Here's how it's done.

1. While you are signed into your shop's Business Account, follow Facebook's instructions to create your close friends list.  Add all desired followers and make sure to add your designated personal account to it as well.

2.  Next, use the Instagram app to create your Story as usual.

3. When you're ready to share, tap Close Friends in the bottom left.

When this is done, your Story will be posted for all followers on your Close Friends list to see and reply to. That said, it is not yet linked to a product so items will not cart until then. Remember, until the first "Sold" comment is submitted by a personal account, you will not be able to manually link it.

4. To remedy this, log in as your designated personal account and make a "sold" comment on the Story.

5.  Go to your CommentSold dashboard and navigate to Posts > Instagram Stories. After no more than a minute after commenting "Sold", your Story should now appear here.

6. Click the three dots next to it and click Link to manually link a product to it.

When you've successfully linked the product, CommentSold will capture all present and future "Sold" comments and cart the item for each commenter.

 

 

 

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