Social Shop Strategy For Businesses

Social media has changed the way people shop online. If you operate an ecommerce business, you should be using Instagram and Facebook shopping to promote and sell your products. With millions of active users, social commerce enhances the customer shopping experience by allowing them to seamlessly, scroll, discover, click, and purchase products right from their favorite platforms.

Social shopping through Facebook and Instagram lets people conveniently shop available products from the brands they love and already follow. Users can click “tagged” products that are in posts or located in the dedicated shopping tabs of the channels. For brands, social shopping posts are a great way to show off your products, generate interest, and drive more sales for your online store.

Rather than focusing on how you can funnel your social audiences from your pages to your website to take action, social commerce helps you sell from your Facebook Page shop, on Instagram with Instagram Shopping, Pinterest shopping, and on Facebook Marketplace, all through onsite purchasing with checkout, or directly sending them to product pages to add to cart and checkout.

By following a few simple steps, you can set up Instagram and Facebook Shopping and create an easy, creative shopping experience for your customers and also keep your online store going and revenue growing.

What Are Social Shopping Posts?

Social shopping, or social commerce, allows you to integrate your eCommerce product catalog with your Facebook and Instagram brand pages to promote your products directly to users through your organic posts, your Stories, the Explore tab, and in the dedicated Shop tabs.

Once your shop has been created and approved by the Facebook powers that be, you can then tag your products in your posts in the same way you would tag a friend. As your posts are published, users will know that the post is “shoppable” thanks to a little shopping bag icon added to your image.

Then, when users tap the photo, they can view the names and prices of the products featured and tap the product labels to view product pages. Users can then be directed to your website to add the product to a cart and check out on the website, or users can add to cart and checkout directly from each platform they are on.

You can tag up to five items per image or twenty items per carousel. Every time you tag an image with your products, that content will appear in an exclusive shopping feed on your Instagram business profile, similar to a catalog or collection page viewers can scan right from your profile.

Benefits of Social Commerce

Social commerce benefits both the buyer and seller. The platforms offer fantastic tools to handle payment methods, add your products, amplify product listings with ads, and even get analytic data on how people are interacting with your product posts. If you’re wondering if social shopping makes sense to your business, here are a few important reasons you need to act now and set up shop.

More eyes are focused on your product

Instagram and Facebook are both great channels to connect with your target audience and strengthen your relationships with your customers and prospective customers. There are also tools and features with each platform that allow you to expand your reach and impressions to get more eyes on your products and attract more users to your pages.

Drive Authentic Engagement

Showing users what you offer is a way to bring brands closer to customers and helps them connect on a more personal level. When users take an interest in your products they begin to engage more with your content. The more users engage with content, the more that content regularly shows up in their  newsfeeds, so you can be sure that users are seeing your products, and also interacting with it by liking, commenting, tagging their friends, or sharing it among their circles.

Build Deeper Trust & Loyalty

More than 50% of users on Instagram and Facebook follow at least one of their favorite brands on the channel. If you have a steady stream of satisfied customers leaving good reviews and comments about your business on your social media pages, then potential customers are more likely to trust you and buy your products. Your existing satisfied customers are also much more likely to make repeat purchases or become a loyal advocate for your brand and promote your products unprompted. Even if they aren’t loyal customers yet, these users are offering brands an opportunity to develop deeper trust and better relationships with them, ultimately winning their loyalty.

Enhance Customer Experience

Some social networks like Facebook and Pinterest let people buy directly through the platform, instead of redirecting them to a website where they have to sign up or fill out forms, or sign into accounts in order to checkout or view products. With social shopping, you browse the platform, see something you like, and make your purchase right then and there. Shopping is seamless and stress free and can greatly enhance the customer experience. Especially when compared to the traditional e-commerce checkout process where users are led through several steps before they can complete a purchase.

The Power of Social Commerce

This is the age of ‘instant gratification’. People want it and they don’t want to wait or jump through hoops. This is the biggest selling point for social commerce. I can accomplish major tasks, like shopping, and simply go on about my day, often right from the palm of my hand. The ability to have users see a product, add to cart, and check out without ever leaving the Instagram or Facebook platform means most ecommerce becomes concentrated on social media platforms. So for popular ecommerce providers like Shopify, Woocommerce, or even Amazon, this could be a sign that change is on the horizon.

This doesn’t mean that ecommerce store owners should abandon ship and only focus on social commerce. You still need to keep your website active, as other marketing mediums, like Google search or advertising, drive people to your store as well. 

There is room for both mediums to shine. Shopify has carved its space in the market as a one-stop-shop for large and small businesses to sell their products online with tremendous flexibility and a lot of simple, easy to use features. Facebook shines to allow those businesses to grow through its vast reach through paid and organic traffic. Shop owners can also leverage rich data and insights that can of course prove to be beneficial for facebook and Instagram ads, as your customer data is all in one place.

Facebook Shops also offers a unique way for new businesses just breaking into ecommerce to start selling online quickly, by listing and promoting their products to users on either owned platform, in this regard, Facebook doesn’t compete with 3rd-party ecommerce platforms, but more so advertising giants like Google shopping or Amazon which relies heavily on sponsored product listings.

Tools to Help You Sell Directly Through Social Media

To sell through social media you first need a presence on the platform and of course, an audience. When looking to get your social commerce experience started, there are a number of native platform tools to get on board with.

Facebook Shop Page: Facebook is the biggest network in the social realm, and the platform has their own built-in social commerce solution. Brands are able to add the shop page to their profile so that users can not only shop the tagged product posts, but shop a dedicated page that lists all of the available products for the brand. Users can click, add to cart and checkout right from the site.

Instagram Shoppable Posts: Also owned by Facebook, Instagram allows you to upload your inventory and add product tags to your posts which, when tapped, give the user the option to buy right then and there.Depending on your shop features users can checkout in-app, or leave the app to your product pages to add to cart and checkout quickly on your website. 

Pinterest Product Pins: Pinterest is still the middle man between a social network and a search engine, but Pinterest’s product pins are still very effective for generating sales for ecommerce.

Much like Instagram, Pinterest is a visually-focused channel and they offer solutions to add your products with tap and shop features that send users directly to product pages to add to cart and checkout.

Best Practices to Maximize Your Social Commerce Strategy

Follow these best practices to keep your shop thriving and growing.

  • Keep your inventory updated in your catalog. Avoid customer complaints and confusion, by adding and editing products that are up to date. If something is out of stock or no long on a marked down price, make sure it is updated so that customers don’t purchase these items.
  • Be sure to include detailed and engaging product descriptions to encourage customers to buy from you. Provide detailed descriptions of the products and include any important education or information that customers should know in order to make an informed purchase decision.
  • Keep customers updated on their orders. From shipping promptly, to offering tracking numbers you want to make sure your customer feels informed and confident with their expectation of their order.
  • Make sure your business information is updated and accurate. Your money goes to the bank account you provided in Commerce Manager so be sure you are receiving your payouts by having your business information be accurate and updated.
  • Respond within 48-72 hours for all customer service inquiries. If you cannot handle the volume of customer support inquiries in your direct messages, be sure to have your phone number or customer support email listed clearly in your profile information so customers can reach you in case of issues. Communication with customers is the best way to build trust and show customers that you value them.

Best Practices for Promoting & Selling Through Social

Keep your photos high-quality and on-brand

The quality of your visuals play a big part in the success of your product posts. Make sure that the images you pick as your shopping posts are in line with your overall brand aesthetic that your audience has come to love. That means applying the same tone, editing style, content, or filter to your shopping posts so they can seamlessly fit in with your feed. You also want to make sure your images are high quality so that users can get the best view of your products possible. Remember, with ecommerce users can’t physically pick up or try on products. They must rely on your images and descriptions to make informed purchase decisions.

Tag your products clearly

As we mentioned previously, you can take up to 5 products on a single image and up to 20 products when using a 10 image carousel. As you are tagging your images, keep the tags spaced out so that they don’t obstruct the view of the name and price of another item. Also be sure to make creative use of the space on the image.

Use User-Generated Content

User-generated content, UGC, is a great way to add authenticity to your images. People love to see real people wearing or using products as it gives them a genuine look into what the product looks like or how to best use it if they were to purchase it. Ask your customers to share their images of your products and repurpose them for your brand channels to add tagged products on. Let your customers, influencers and brand advocacy be the spokespeople for your brand.

Track and Measure Your Instagram Shopping Posts

Keep a close eye on how your audience reacts and engage with your product posts as this fata gives you insight into which products you should amplify through ads or more product focused content. You can also see which products are converting more users into customers and if the content type relates to your audience’s interest. Based on the data you collect you can optimize your shopping strategy to increase your sales. 

Selling your products on social media platforms makes it easy for customers to discover your business and even complete their purchases in just a few clicks. Ecommerce brands can also better manage these transactions from start to finish. There is also the very real opportunity to create a community of loyal brand advocates and nurture customers, leads and prospects by using creative content and product posts on Facebook and Instagram. Social commerce is a trend that’s not going to stop growing anytime soon, and businesses have started to realize the importance of integrating it with their existing channels.

People are changing the way they shop online, and you need to make the most of it before it’s too late. To keep up with the trends, you need to implement a solid social commerce strategy. Idealgrowth can make sure you have the tools and strategy to create a winning social commerce strategy for your brand.