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9 ways to sell on social media
From Facebook's Marketplace to Yotpo and Chirpify, columnist Jordan Kasteler suggests 9 platforms that can help you put your products in front of your customers on social media.
Struggling to bring your fans and followers to your online store? Why not bring your online store to them instead?
Selling on social media is not a new concept. What is new? The way companies are reaching fans and followers to gain traction and build revenues. That’s what you’ll learn here.
Here are nine of the best ways to sell on social media using the most popular platforms today.
1. Facebook’s Marketplace
In October, Facebook unveiled Marketplace, its new Craigslist-style shopping experience. This was designed after Facebook noticed many people were using the platform to buy and sell items, much like an online yard sale.
The purpose of the Marketplace is to keep transactions local. Users can log in to find items for sale in their immediate area.
Here’s how it works.
- In the Facebook app, click the Marketplace icon.
- Then, click “Sell.” Here you’ll have the option of taking a picture of the item you want to sell or choosing one from your camera roll.
- Once in, enter the name, description and price of the item for sale.
- Confirm your location and choose a category.
Once your item is posted, Facebook shoppers in your area can see what you have for sale. This is ideal for people who:
- sell crafts or homemade goods locally.
- have a consignment shop or thrift store with ever-changing inventory.
- have a local business that’s having a sale.
In essence, if you want to boost sales in your immediate geographic area, posting on the Facebook Marketplace can help.
Service providers are constantly looking for ways to “productize” their offerings. Although you can advertise your services on social media, there’s a better way to tap into the people who are plugged in online and sell to them — creating digital products.
Kajabi has made it possible to turn content and ideas into a sellable product. There are several types of digital products you can create and sell via Kajabi’s platform. These include (but are not limited to):
- online courses
- membership sites
- online coaching groups
- live event replays
Kajabi makes marketing easy.
First, you can set up your own website using one of the themes available to you.
Then, you can create landing pages for specific products you’re selling. Those come with another set of theme ideas designed for marketing campaigns.
Kajabi makes sure to help you spread the word about your products through integrations with other marketing channels. This includes an area to add your Facebook pixel so you can retarget your customers via social media after they’ve checked out your product.
All you have to do is plug in your content and start selling.
Once your product is created, you can interact with your customers directly on the Kajabi website. This is a refreshing break from the traditionally distracting social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Your buyers are able to engage with you directly, increasing loyalty and decreasing interruptions.
You can see exactly what’s working well for your digital product sales with the in-depth reporting Kajabi offers. See sales, comments, members, opt-ins, affiliate sales and more.
If you already sell your products via a website — whether it’s your own or you have a store on a site like Etsy or eBay — and are looking to branch out into selling via social media, Shopial could be your answer.
Shopial gives your customers and potential buyers another way to find you by advertising your products on Facebook or Pinterest.
Here’s how to get started.
- Install the app on your Facebook page or connect your Pinterest account.
- Once installed, Shopial will start importing your products.
- With your products imported, you can start promoting them independently with ads. Shopial designs, targets and optimizes these ads, freeing you from navigating the social selling waters.
You’ll be able to keep a close eye on what’s happening and how well Shopial is working through the reporting they offer. You can also create a variety of ads and compare the results.
This platform is ideal for busy business owners who know the importance of social selling but don’t have the time to learn how to advertise on each platform.
Let’s face it. It’s hard to sell on social media if you don’t have a website to show off your products and talents. WiseIntro is a super-easy tool to help you create a website where you can sell your products.
Creating a web page is free and requires no technical expertise. Click the button on the home page to create your free web page, and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can essentially plug in your information and watch the web page come to life.
If you want more design functionality, such as the ability to use video backgrounds or add any social icon you’d like, you can upgrade for less than $10 per month.
On the WiseIntro page, you’re able to connect your online store from Etsy, making it even easier to sell your products.
Once your page is set up, you can present your portfolio or web page on social media using the integrated apps for YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. This is an effective way to show off the quality of your work on social media and generate more sales.
5. Instagram’s “Shop Now” button
One of the best parts about Instagram is how visual it is. It’s easier to sell when people can visualize your product in use. When you’ve painted a picture of what your product looks like in real life, your followers are more likely to buy.
Now, with Instagram’s “Show Now” button, they can.
If you sell a physical product and want to get people who like your pictures buying your items, it’s worthwhile to add the Shop Now functionality to your posts.
Here’s what a sponsored product looks like with the Shop Now button attached to it:
When you click that button, you’re taken to the website to buy it. There’s just one problem with this: buyers can’t get more information before they buy, which could negatively impact sales.
To help, Instagram has recently ratcheted up its efforts to educate consumers and boost conversions. Right now, the updates are in test mode. Only 20 major retailers, including Macy’s, Kate Spade, JackThreads and Warby Parker, are testing the new version of the Shop Now button.
In this improved Shop Now experience, buyers will be able to see several products in one picture and click on the one they like. They will then be shown the product details and can make a decision about whether or not they want to buy.
It looks like this is just the beginning for the social platform. Instagram recently put together a team of e-commerce experts to continue building out shopping capabilities in the app.
More is coming from Instagram, but in the meantime, it’s still a solid place to sell your products via social media.
If you’re eager to boost sales on Instagram and don’t want to wait for what the new e-commerce team will develop, you’ll want to check out Yotpo.
Yotpo transforms your Instagram pictures into an online store. Here’s how it works.
- When you sign up with Yotpo, you’ll get a unique link back to an online shop built around your Instagram feed pictures.
- You’ll put this link in your bio on Instagram or on your website.
- When customers go to the link, they’ll see your Instagram pictures along with the star rating of the product and an option to add the product to their shopping cart. In one click, they can buy the exact item they were attracted to from your picture.
The difference with Yotpo is it uses social proof to sell your products and simplifies the buying experience. Some of the big differentiators with Yotpo is that you can show:
- star ratings
- recommended products
- number of products sold
- customer photos
You can also customize how your posting looks with various color palettes, descriptions and additional photos.
Although robust, the buyer’s journey is relatively simple. Your follower sees a picture she likes and a product she wants to have. She also sees that other people have bought the product recently and that it got high ratings. She clicks over to your Yotpo store, which looks and feels like Instagram. Then she starts shopping.
7. Buyable Pins
Pinterest is another highly visual platform. If you sell physical products, this social network is a good one to use to sell.
Pinterest last year introduced Buyable Pins. These are pins that consumers can click on directly to go a website and purchase the products. In the past, they’d have to hunt them down based on the pin, which often led to frustration and lost sales.
Pinners are cued to buy because the price of the item appears in blue.
Buyable pins are slowly being developed. Right now they’re only available to retailers who have websites via:
- IBM Commerce
If you have a shop on one of these platforms, you can integrate and start selling on Pinterest now. If not, you can sign up on their waitlist to be notified when functionality is available for your e-commerce store.
No matter what you sell — whether it’s a physical product or digital product — engaging your followers is a surefire way to sell more on social media. Chirpify helps increase engagement through social media loyalty programs.
Chirpify gives your followers a reason to post about and engage with your brand. By rewarding followers for talking about your brand, you make it easier to spark conversation on social media about what you offer.
This is a common practice by major brands. Here’s an example of how Marriott is using Chirpify to promote people talking about their stay.
When you first sign up, you’ll set up triggers, such as hashtags used or photos posted.
Then, you’ll define the rules of engagement. What happens when someone posts with that trigger? Do they get a coupon for their next visit?
For example, you could reward every customer who posts with a hashtag while in your store with a 10-percent-off coupon. To do this, ask your buyers to use a specific hashtag when posting about their shopping experience. Chirpify will “hear” that customer on social media and instantly send back a coupon for 10 percent off.
There are a few ways you can use Chirpify to boost sales immediately:
- Encourage someone to post on social media with your brand’s hashtag, then instantly send them a coupon in exchange for their efforts.
- Instantly give your followers more points toward their loyalty program when they post about your brand.
- Reward your buyers who post with coupons to bring them back into your store.
Chirpify offers in-depth analytics so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. It takes the guesswork out of your social media ROI.
What happens when you catch something moving out of the corner of your eye? You stop.
That’s precisely why video is so powerful on social media. It gets your audience to stop scrolling and start paying attention.
In the past, it took a production crew to create a video. With Rendrfx, you can create attractive videos to share on social media. They offer plug-and-play graphics to make your videos come to life — no videographer experience required.
Here’s how it works. After registering with your Facebook account (or creating a login), you’ll be met with a variety of templates to choose from.
In these, you can have your logo, text or imagery put to music and with motion in the background.
Once you’ve chosen the template, name your video.
Select your colors and media.
Upload an optional soundtrack.
Then create your video. The first one is free.
The social selling landscape has changed. Instead of setting up a profile on a social network and hoping to get noticed by customers, you must take a more active role in putting your products and services in front of your buyers. These platforms make that job easier while helping you boost your conversions.
What have you used to amplify your voice on social media and boost conversions?
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.