Want to turn your social media accounts into a profitable e-commerce business? Or use Instagram, Facebook and other platforms to boost sales? With social media selling, anyone can become an online merchant without having to invest in a website or give online marketplaces a cut of their profits. Social media e-commerce is a big hit because it lets you turn your social media accounts into online stores — and your posts into sales. Here are 10 social media selling solutions to help you get started.
Let customers shop your Instagram posts. Olapic offers two solutions that aim to help you sell items and organize your social media marketing campaign. Olapic’s Tapshop turns your Instagram feed into an e-commerce storefront that links individual posts to product pages — you can even link to multiple products from a single photo. Additionally, Olapic’s Content Scheduler simplifies campaigns by letting you organize and schedule Instagram posts for maximum reach and engagement (this feature can also be used on Pinterest). An analytics tool is also available to track performance, conversions and ROI, so you can see what works and plan ahead for future campaigns.
Want to monetize both Instagram and Facebook? Soldsie can help. Its Instagram selling solution, have2have.it, lets followers shop your posts via a unique URL (have2have.it/yourstore). Just place the link in your bio to give customers easy access to a shoppable version of your Instagram feed. The Soldsie Facebook app, on the other hand, turns the social network’s comments section into an e-commerce powerhouse. Typically, customers make purchases on Facebook by messaging sellers or leaving their email address. Instead, Soldsie’s Comment Selling system eliminates all the back-and-forth communication by streamlining transactions. All customers have to do is comment under a photo to make a purchase, and Soldsie automatically adds the item to their shopping cart for fast, easy checkout. [See Related Story: Best E-Commerce Software for Small Business]
Expand your online store with Facebook and Pinterest storefronts. Shopial takes products from your online store and features them on your Facebook Page and Pinterest boards. Just install the Shopial Facebook app into a new tab on your Facebook Page and Shopial will import products into a customizable Facebook shop. Shopial also works with Pinterest by making your products available as optimized Pins, essentially turning your Pinterest into an online catalog. Shopial integrates with several major e-commerce platforms, including Etsy, Shopify, eBay, Magento, Amazon, Wix and TicTail, making it accessible to most online sellers. The company also offers Facebook Ads services, such as ad design and optimization to help you promote products and reach target audiences.
Even if you own an e-commerce website, cross-selling products on social media is a great strategy to boost sales. One service that makes this possible is Beetailer, which lets online merchants import their store into Facebook. After the initial migration, the system is basically hands-free — it requires no installation, configuration or maintenance, and products are automatically updated based on the website’s inventory data. Included in the service are marketing tools like campaigns and promotions, detailed analytics, and integration with existing checkout systems.
There’s more to hashtags than categorizing and finding similar posts. inSelly, an Instagram marketplace, facilitates the process by aggregating Instagram listings using hashtags, and then making them searchable to anyone around the world. Sellers can list items from their Instagram feed in three simple steps: upload a photo on Instagram, add the hashtag #inselly, and then log in to their inselly.com account to add product descriptions, prices and other details. inSelly also makes it easy for customers to make purchases. All they have to do is comment the hashtag #soldtome under the Instagram post containing the item they wish to buy. inSelly will then automatically send them a checkout link to complete the transaction.
Chirpify is another hashtag selling tool, but differentiates itself by connecting on- and offline channels with social media. It basically acts as the middleman that connects brands and consumers and instantly convert sales. It works by taking unique campaign hashtags — referred to as “actiontags” — and uses them to enable purchases across multiple social networks. Customers can find actiontags on social media, print, television and other marketing channels. All they have to do is post the actiontag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to activate a purchase, participate in a campaign or take advantage of promotional offers, such as giveaways.
Designing Facebook Page campaigns can seem like rocket science for people who aren’t tech savvy. Heyo simplifies the process with a drag-and-drop campaign builder that anyone can use. The service works a lot like do-it-yourself website builders: Start by choosing a template, and then edit or customize elements to fit your campaign and brand. Whether you’re running a contest, sweepstakes, special deals or other promotions, campaigns built on Heyo can then be easily plugged into your Facebook page — no coding necessary.
Although Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social selling platforms, there are niche marketplaces that also function as their own social networks. One such marketplace is Poshmark, a website and mobile app for buying and selling fashion. Like on Instagram, sellers first take a photo of each product and post it to Poshmark with the item description and pricing details. Customers can also like listings, as well as leave comments and follow sellers. Unlike Instagram, however, customers can make purchases directly through the service via the Buy button. Poshmark takes care of all the back-end processes, so the only thing sellers have to do is ship the item to get paid.
9. Facebook for Business
Facebook for Business is the one-stop shop for finding out which types of Facebook selling campaigns will work best for your business. The service lets you create Facebook Pages and purchase Facebook ads, as well as integrate Facebook into your website or mobile app. Facebook for Business helps merchants create buzz, raise brand awareness, find new customers and drive sales, using one centralized hub. The service also includes analytics tools that provide key insights and measure campaign performance. To learn more about how to use Facebook for Business, check out our guide Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know.
10. Pinterest for Business
There’s a saying that consumers don’t trust brands; they trust their friends. That’s essentially the principle behind Pinterest for Business, which lets businesses create Pinterest accounts as a brand. In addition to pinning items just as regular users can, businesses can add the Pin It button wherever their items appear on the Web. For example, e-commerce website Etsy added the Pin It button to each individual listing — when Pinterest users click on the Pin It button, the corresponding Etsy item will be added to their Pinterest boards for their followers to see. These pins include the seller’s shop name and pricing information, so viewers know the item is for sale. The idea is to drive traffic, grow followers and ultimately boost sales based on other Pinterest users’ recommendations.