How to Sell on Social Media: A Guide for Ecommerce Businesses

E-commerce is a phenomenon that can’t be stopped! Today, there are an estimated 20 million e-commerce websites, raking in a total of about $710 billion in revenue every year! Of course, big-name e-commerce retailers like Amazon account for much of this, but small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses are doing well for themselves, too.

One way these smaller businesses compete with the behemoths is through social selling. So, do you want to learn how to sell on social media? In this blog, we’ll take a look at what social selling is and the various platforms you should be considering.

What is Social Selling?

Social selling, simply put, is selling products and/or services on social media. Now, you can monitor social sites to look for opportunities to promote your product to an individual or a network—this is called “social listening,” and it amounts to a form of virtual cold calling. Or, you can simply upload and sell your products on a social platform, which is what we’ll be focusing on.

When you upload your products to a social platform, such as Facebook, you use that platform to reach potential customers and sell to them through social media versus your web page. 

Why Should I Use Social Selling?

You may already be selling online through Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and the like. While that may be enough for you right now, when you decide you want to branch out and grow your business, you’ll want to sell products on social media.

Social media e-commerce makes it easier than ever for consumers to find, and purchase, your products! After all, the average American spends nearly 1.5 hours on social media every day, so imagine how much more attention your products could get if they could browse through them right on their favorite social platform. Recent studies have found that businesses that practice social selling generally see a $5 ROI for every $1 invested! So what are you waiting for?

How to Sell on Social Media

When you’re ready to sell on social media, you have a number of platforms at your disposal—it’s all about deciding which is right for your business. Are you trying to reach men or women? Millennials or boomers? Based on the demographics of the platform, you may be able to determine right away where your target audience is, or you may have to do some testing, trying them all out and identifying where the most engagement or sales are coming from.

SproutSocial has a great blog on demographics for each of the major platforms that is well worth a look. Here are some quick links:

Selling on Facebook and Instagram

Did you know that Facebook owns Instagram? This means that, by using Facebook’s Product Catalog, you can effectively sell on both platforms—it’s just a matter of deciding which is the best outlet for your product.

With the Product Catalog, you can link your ecommerce inventory to your Facebook or Instagram business profile and begin selling those same products directly on either social media platform. Because your online store and the platform are integrated, they can “talk” to each other as purchases are made, keeping your inventory current and the revenue rolling in.

If you’re using Facebook ads, you can also link the items in your Product Catalog directly to them to reach your audience in a highly targeted manner. 

Selling on Twitter

Twitter doesn’t have its own marketplace, so the best way to sell on Twitter is to post about your products. You’ll need to include the link to the product in your tweets (a link to your store in your bio is also a good idea).

Because tweets are limited to 280 characters, one way to get attention is to use sales and discounts. Promoting a coupon code can significantly increase the amount of traffic and sales your product gets. 

Selling on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is unique as it is most commonly used for B2B and B2C professionals to connect regarding careers and other opportunities. So, you won’t find ads for a new pair of shoes here. However, the social network does offer a service called Sales Navigator that helps e-commerce businesses and other companies build leads and their own sales pipeline. You can read more about LinkedIn Sales Navigator here.

Selling on Pinterest

Pinterest users, called “Pinners,” used to have to go on a wild goose chase to find a pinned item they liked. Thankfully, all that has changed with Product Pins, which allow Pinners to purchase an item through your website simply by clicking a buyable item. To get in on the action, all you need to do is connect your e-commerce platform to Pinterest. 

Selling on Snapchat

Snapchat is not geared toward sales unless you purchase Snapchat ads, but that doesn’t mean you should count it out. To gain customers through Snapchat, you’ll just have to make an engaging video and then link to your site where users can make a purchase. Video ideas that might lead to a purchase could include a “behind the scenes” look into how a product is made, ways to use a product, or the like. 

Selling on YouTube

YouTube is the most visited site in the world, so it’s a great place to sell, right? Well, it can be if you can cut through all the clutter. One of the best ways to sell, of course, is to show, and YouTube is all about showing via video.

Selling on YouTube is a lot different from other social sites, and isn’t as simple as listing an item for sale. So, if you have the ability to create videos and the patience to grow a following, we recommend you check out this blog on YouTube selling by the world’s leading online marketer, Neil Patel. 

Fulfilling Your Social Media Orders

Now that you have a better understanding of how to sell products on social media, you may be wondering how you’ll handle fulfillment of all  those orders. After all, if you decide to sell on social media, you’re likely to see a big uptick in business as you grow your customers, visibility, and revenue. At that point, you may not have time to fulfill your orders on your own—and you may want to begin customizing your packaging to begin truly building a brand.

Welcome to The Fulfillment Lab! At The Fulfillment Lab, we’re helping create and transform small business brands through customized packaging, delivering a customer experience that’s truly unique. You’ll have access to a unique portal that allows you to create custom shipping boxes, coupons, flyers, and inserts with quick turnaround time.

Then, our team gets to work picking, packing, and shipping your product from one of our 14 fulfillment centers. Have more questions about customized fulfillment? Check out our blog, 10 Reasons to Use a Fulfillment Center, or contact one of our experts.

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