May 26, 2021
5
 min read

Social commerce: How to successfully sell products on social media

Hannah Macready

Social commerce is currently an $89.4 billion market. That means if you want to make money online, this is the place to be.

If you’ve already put in the work growing your social media presence, or your eCommerce store, then social commerce is a smart next step.

That being said, selling products on social media means setting up a strong strategy and committing to the ongoing upkeep of your online store. 

Plus, if you really want to stand out, you need a serious social media strategy to guide you.

In this guide, we’ll show you where and how to sell your products on social media, plus give you some insider tips on creating a high-converting social media presence. 

What is social commerce?

Social commerce refers to the process of selling products directly on social media.

This means that your customers can view and purchase your products directly within their favourite social media apps.

Currently, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok all have integrations available for social commerce.

It’s important to note that social commerce is not the same as eCommerce. Social commerce refers to the ability to sell products within a social network experience, but eCommerce refers to a website or app that is created for the purpose of selling products.

As well, social selling refers to creating relationships on social media in order to promote products or sales.

As more brands and consumers dive into social commerce, we can expect to see even more opportunities for selling on social media in the near future. 

Why should you sell products on social media?

Globally, there are 3.96 billion people who use social media every day. What’s more, each of these users spends an average of 3 hours a day browsing their favourite social media sites.

If you want to be where your customers are, then social media is the place to be.

As well, modern consumers want efficiency. They want to be able to browse, shop, and buy products without having to navigate through complicated checkout processes or move through different landing pages.

Social commerce simplifies the buying process by allowing consumers to purchase products directly from the social app.

How to sell products on social media

If you want to sell products on social media, you’ll need to start with an eCommerce store.

Here are some of the most popular eCommerce platforms available today:

Next, connect your eCommerce store to your social media accounts. The way you do this will depend on your initial hosting platform and the social media app you want to sell on.

Some social apps only offer partnerships with certain eCommerce platforms. TikTok, for example, only allows you to sell products through Shopify

Before committing to an eCommerce platform, consider the social apps you may want to sell on and set your strategy from there. 

How to successfully sell products on Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, boasting more than 2.74 billion monthly active users. There are also over 200 million businesses around the world using Facebook to sell their products. While this might seem like a stiffly competitive market, it’s also a huge tell that the Facebook commerce system works.

Facebook Shops allow you to sell products on both Facebook and Instagram. Customers can browse, get to know, and purchase your products directly from the social media platforms themselves.

In order to set up a Facebook Shop, you first need to set up a Facebook Business Page and product catalog. Follow these steps to create your Facebook Shop and add a product catalog.

If you already have an eCommerce store established, you may be able to sync your product catalog from your store directly to Facebook. You can find more information on Facebook’s eCommerce integrations here.

example of facebook shop home page

Once you have your Shop set up, it’s time to get creative with your social commerce strategy!

Tips for Facebook selling

  1. Identify your target audience and tailor your strategy to their needs. This can include creating ads that target certain demographics or creating content that ignites their excitement.
  2. Make your Facebook Shop highly visual. Remember, social media is a visual medium! If you want your products and services to sell themselves, you need to use the platform the way it was designed.
  3. Use Facebook Live posts and video content to promote your products.  90% of consumers say that video content helps them make buying decisions, so be sure to feature your products in video ads, Live streams, and your Facebook Live posts often!
  4. Monitor and retarget your ads. Facebook ads are a great way to get your products out to qualified audiences, but they only work when they are well-optimized. If you want to see a strong return on investment in your Facebook ads, be sure to continually monitor and optimize your campaigns for improved conversions. 

How to successfully sell products on Instagram

Instagram Shopping lets your customers shop products directly from your shared content. This can be done through product tags in ads, photos, Live broadcasts, videos, or through a designated Instagram Shop.

woman selling face cream on instagram story

According to Instagram, over 130 million accounts tap on shopping posts every month. That means there is a huge demand for new products and content on this platform.

To sell products successfully on Instagram, you need to leverage every tactic that the app has available. This will ensure your brand captures as much attention as possible!

Instagram Shopping features to leverage:

  • Use Instagram Stories to create a buzz around your brand or product and let shoppers purchase directly from within.
  • Tag your products in any in-feed photos or videos to ensure users can shop direct
  • Encourage your customers to Save your product posts when they see something they like. If you have an Instagram Shop set up, these Saves can also be used as Wish Lists.
  • Use paid Instagram ads to promote products, sales, or events.
  • Use Collections to showcase curated product groups-- think of this as your digital storefront window. Customers love to see how your products work together!

How to successfully sell products on Pinterest

Pinterest has over 320 million monthly users and 71% of those users are female.  Pinterest calls this demographic The Deciders and they control more than 50% of the wealth in the United States.

This means that selling products on Pinterest has the potential to draw in ongoing conversions for your brand.

With the introduction of buyable product pins, Pinterest users can now purchase products directly from their feeds, creating a seamless social shopping experience for all.

How to make your products stand out on Pinterest:

  • Focus on the visuals. Pinterest is a visual platform, so your product images need to be eye-catching, creative, and exciting. Use high-quality photos, invest in graphic designs, and use motion or video graphics when possible.
  • Use Rich Pins.  Rich pins pull data from your website onto your Pinterest boards. In a social commerce situation, this is an easy way to sync your eCommerce store with your Pinterest account. Rich pins also tell users if a product is in stock or not, which can help build buyer trust and confidence. 
  • Remember your SEO. Pinterest is a visual search engine, so it’s important to keep SEO tactics in mind to help your products rank higher, more often. Use keywords in your descriptions and tags and be descriptive in all of your product descriptions.
  • Use Shop the Look Pins. These pins allow you to show several products in one pin. Images will feature a small right dot on the product which users can click, view, and buy directly within the app.
pinterest shop-the-look pins

How to successfully sell products on TikTok

TikTok is the most-downloaded social app worldwide and in 2020, it was ranked one of the world's top mobile apps, outperforming YouTtube, Tinder, and Netflix.

New integrations with Shopify have brought TikTok into the social commerce sphere. Now, users have the ability to view, shop, and purchase products directly from the TikTok app.

While TikTok commerce is still new, we can expect to see more shopping integrations in the future.

For now, here are a few ways to start selling products on TikTok:

  • Integrate TikTok with Shopify.
  • Use branded hashtags. Brands can now pay for branded hashtags to be promoted on TikTok. With these hashtags, fans can create videos and participate in contests that promote the brand’s interests. These hashtags can also be linked to products to allow direct shopping within the app.
  • Use Shoppable videos. TikTok’s Shopify partnership brought the introduction of shoppable videos. Shopify merchants can now connect their eCommerce shops to their TikTok accounts and sell products through videos and ads. 

Ready to get started?

There are so many ways to dive into the world of social commerce.

As more and more brands enter the scene, we can expect to see integrations and shopping options evolve. So keep your ears and eyes open for new features coming your way!

If you’d like to get started with social commerce but don’t know where to start, reach out to us. Our skilled social team would love to show you the ropes.


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