We know that the constant changing and updating of social media features, functionalities and algorithms can be frustrating and almost impossible to keep up with. But as often as they change, it is absolutely still worth keeping an eye on, as some of these changes (while most of the time irrelevant for many businesses) can really influence the way you should be running your social media, from the times that you post to how you manage your website and online bookings.
One of the latest features to be rolled out by Instagram can now help you get more bookings through the app itself – and we don’t just mean via exposure. The ‘Add an action button’ feature has been available in the US for some time now, but as we know, it often takes our merry old land of Oz a little longer to catch up.
Introducing the ‘Book Now’ button, which (finally!) allows Instagram profiles to offer a direct link to online third party booking services. This is huge news for businesses that generate most of their clientele and exposure through Instagram, and means the consumer journey that it would normally take to book direct through a website, will now be reduced tenfold.
The Book Now button will appear at the top of your profile under your bio, alongside with the Email, Call and/or Directions buttons. To implement, simply go to Edit Profile –> Contact Options –> Add an action button.
Aside from appointments timeslots, there are several options catering to all kinds of businesses including fast food delivery and events and ticket purchases. The sad news is, not every third party software is Instagram-compatible, meaning that only a select number of businesses currently using the participating software for their appointment schedules will be able to set up the button on their Instagram profile. If you’re currently utilising any of the following systems to make your bookings, you’re good to go:
- Fresha (Schedul)
- Acuity Scheduling
For those businesses currently engaging in Instagram advertising, there is also new functionality to allow for a ‘Book Now’ button (again, direct through your booking software) to appear on your ad. Up until now, most businesses would utilise this click-through opportunity with a ‘Learn More’ button that would link through the main business website. But again, reducing the client journey and taking potential clients straight to booking schedules will mean the world to those super-busy potential clients that prefer a one-step process as opposed to three or four.
This functionality is also likely reserved for Instagram-compatible third party software (as above) but you may want to check in with your current provider just in case!