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Converting Instagram into a booking engine

 

 

Did you know that 71% of business owners in the US use Instagram to grow their business?

When most people think of using Instagram as a medium to grow their business, they almost instinctively think about a huge follower base, an eye-catchy feed, or daily promotional posts.

 

But that is only half the picture.

 

The core value that Instagram offers for business growth isn’t followers, likes, or shares. Rather, it’s the ability to get discovered by potential customers every second.

 

Let me explain this with an example:

 

Imagine that you own a salon. One of your customers is very happy about her latest haircut and just can’t stop clicking selfies. To flaunt her new look, she posts a picture on Instagram and tags your salon. Her friends like her picture and are curious about where she got her hair cut. And that’s how new people will land on your Insta profile.

 

This is how Instagram helps you get discovered by people who could be potential customers.

 

Instagram is the number one platform where people share and discover new places, products, and experiences. In fact, research suggests that 60% of users learn about new products or services on Instagram.

 

It’s easy to use and #trending. Above everything, it is quite addictive too.

 

With over 1 billion active accounts, the trend and popularity of Instagram make it perfect for you to showcase your business and attract new customers.

 

In the example above, we saw that you can get your business discovered on Instagram.

 

What if I told you that you could leverage this discovery to get new customers and earn money, all on Instagram?!

 

Introducing…Bookings via Instagram!

 

What is it?

The Bookings feature of Instagram allows you to put a ‘Book’ Call-to-action button on your Instagram profile page. It appears right above your account’s feed and redirects users to your Booking page.

How can it help you get paying customers?

 
Earlier, you could make users only discover and love your brand on Instagram through an eye-catching feed. Your feed could even intrigue them to try out your services. But, to book any service with you, they had to go to your website, outside Insta.

 

But things have changed now…

 

With the ‘Book’ button, people can now book you when they’re in the ‘mood’. Allowing users to book directly within Instagram shortens the buying cycle and gets more people to complete it.

 

The reason why “Book” feature on Instagram is effective is that it makes the process of booking quick and easy for your customers. Customers buy more when you make it easy for them to do so. And customers convert when you tell them how! A clear call-to-action button will prompt your customers to take the action.

 

Can you even recall how many times you were window shopping online, loved a dress and ended up buying it? Why did you buy it? Remember the button that said ‘Buy Now!’? That very button prompted you into buying the dress then itself!

 

According to recent statistics, 75% of users take action if prompted.

 

So, now you know why it is important to tell your clients what to do!

Additional benefits for your business

 
Taking online bookings via Instagram doesn’t only have benefits for your customers, it has added perks for you and your business as well. Let me tell you more about it. 

 

24/7 bookings: 

Clients want to book anytime. But you cannot stay up at 2 AM taking bookings, can you? Does this mean you will miss out on clients who wish to book then? 

Studies reveal that 40% of online bookings happen outside business hours!

Can you afford to lose that many clients? No right! So, let them book on Instagram, even when you’re lost in sleep at 2 in the night!

 

Virtual receptionist:

How many times does your receptionist throw tantrums? Or wants to leave early?

Too many times, right?

Instagram bookings eliminate the need for a receptionist. It acts as a virtual receptionist. And you only have to pay the costs of the scheduling software. It’s much less than what you pay your receptionist!

 

Completion of the buying process:

The longer it takes for a user so reach checkout and complete their booking, the more likely a potential customer is to leave.

Researches suggest that 64% of shoppers desire simplicity in the purchase process.

Allowing users to book directly within Instagram gives them a friction-free, seamless way to book a service they see and like right in the moment! It shortens the buying process and hence, gets more users to complete it.

 

Decreased no-shows:

When was the last time a client booked with you and ‘forgot’ to show up? Not too long back, probably.

Let them book online on Insta through a scheduling software (such as Appointy). They will get reminders via email or SMS, and not forget to show up again (or at least won’t have that excuse again)!

 

Valuable customer feedback:

Not all the new customers return to you after the first time, do they?

Did they have a bad experience? Or something was missing? You never found out!

Online Insta bookings will let you ask feedback from customers which can help you improve what went wrong. It helps you improve customer experience and make your clients feel valued.

 

Why your customers will love it too?

With the routines getting busier day by day, customers prefer booking online.

It has been found that 70% of customers prefer booking online!

Booking online is easy for clients, but booking via Instagram will be preferred by your customers because:

 

Popularity and ease of booking:

Everyone is on Instagram, literally everyone! You, your friends, your neighbor, and even his dog might have an Insta profile (Haha)!

It is easy for people to find you, like you and book you, all through Instagram! Sweet!

 

24/7 accessibility from anywhere:

Everyone is busy today. Always! People have their breakfast on the go, take naps in the cab, how can you expect them to have time to book during business hours?!

Give them the freedom to find you and book at their convenience, on the go, in their bed, or even in the toilet, through Insta bookings!

 

Reduced human error:

How many times have you lost a client because your receptionist heard 7’o clock instead of 11? I’m sure you’ve even lost count of that!

Booking via Insta requires no other person but the client. So it rules out the possibility of communication errors that might occur, say, on a call or email. That will save you a lot of customers!

 

Empowered customers:

Did you ever have to deal with choosy clients? You’d say, “Yes, almost always!”, right?

That’s because customers like taking charge of their orders. Scheduling through your Insta profile allows customers to take charge of their own booking and handpick the services and service providers of their choice at their preferred date and time.

 

Customers have faith:

When do you go to a new store? When the dress on display stole your attention! Or when your friend got a gorgeous dress from there. Correct?

That’s exactly how your customers will come to your profile – if they like what they see or through a friend!

When they can see what they’re choosing, they’ll have faith in your services. And if they find a “Book” button right there…Bonus! It will encourage clients to book right away!

 

Can it get any better?
 

Ready to start getting bookings from Instagram?

You are now aware that there are many benefits of taking bookings via Instagram to be overlooked. After all, you do not want to miss out on using a platform that your audience loves (as much as you do)!

You would not want to be left behind because you didn’t use this feature while your competitors move ahead of you by using it, do you?

Of course not!

Now that you know why you should opt for bookings through Instagram, you would also want to know how to get the “Book” button on your profile. Let’s get to it!

How to get the Book button on your profile?

All you need is an Instagram business profile and an Appointy account. And you can add the “Book” button on your profile and start taking appointments via Instagram.

Follow these steps to add the “Book” button on your profile:

  • Go to your business profile on Instagram.
  • Tap Edit Profile.

  • Select Contact options under Business information.

  • Select Add an action button and choose Appointy.

  • Add the URL to your booking page (https://booking.appointy.com/username) and click Done.

 

 

 

You will find that the “Book” option starts to appear on your profile. Now you’re all set to use Instagram for bookings!

Go ahead and make the most of it! Don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comments…