How to Sell on Social Media: Social Commerce for Your Ecommerce Brand

Chloe West
Chloe West
September 12, 2022
2 min read
How to Sell on Social Media: Social Commerce for Your Ecommerce Brand

In this article

Social commerce sales reached nearly $500 billion in 2021, and are expected to hit $1.2 trillion by 2025. That is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26%, meaning the social commerce phenomenon isn’t going away anytime soon.

With so much opportunity for ecommerce brands, teams should be scrambling to get their social media shops up and running as soon as possible. After all, which business doesn’t want to create an additional revenue stream?

Throughout this article, we’ll discuss more reasons why you need to implement social commerce tactics yesterday, as well as how you can get started selling on some of the more popular social commerce platforms.

Let’s get started.

Why should you sell on social media?

Selling on social media is a great way to further grow your business and increase your overall revenue. There are so many perks to social commerce, but we’ll just dig into a few of the most important.

1. It’s convenient

Social commerce is extremely easy and convenient for your customers. If you’ve set up an Instagram shop and you tag a product from your shop in a post or story, your customer can immediately tap to view the product and make a purchase within seconds, without ever having to leave the Instagram app.

2. It helps make purchasing easier for mobile users

While the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%, it jumps to 85.65% for mobile users. When shopping from a smaller screen on most store sites, it becomes more tedious to follow through with the entire checkout process. 

However, allowing users to make purchases from social media—especially when these apps have been optimized for smaller screens—gives those mobile users a much easier way to shop.

3. It helps you reach a wider customer base

There are 4.62 billion active social media users worldwide, allowing a wide range of people to reach your brand’s social media platforms. Take advantage of that by creating active social media profiles on each platform your target audience uses. Create consistent social media content, promote your products, and set up your social media shops.

4. It’s available on nearly all social media platforms

As you’ll see throughout this article, you can use nearly every social media platform to sell to your customers. We’re going to go through how to sell on each of these platforms:

  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • Facebook

And even if the platform doesn’t have specific social commerce features set up, there are still ways to leverage it to increase sales and revenue for your business.

How to sell on TikTok

Prior to the summer of 2021, TikTok’s social selling was all about creating organic videos and spreading awareness. However, they’ve now partnered with Shopify to allow brands to create a shoppable storefront to make direct purchasing possible.

We’re going to address all of the ways that you can sell on TikTok, whether directly or indirectly.

TikTok Made Me Buy It

“TikTok made me buy it” is a major trend on the platform, and involves creators purchasing items they’ve seen other creators rave about on the app. It’s such a widely seen trend that Buzzfeed even put together a roundup of 34 “TikTok made me buy it” products that are extra useful.

The roundup includes items from every product category you can imagine like:

You can also search for the keyphrase “TikTok made me buy it” or the hashtag “#tiktokmademebuyit” to see even more videos like this.

How can you make this work for your business? Start by showcasing use cases and product tutorials that make viewers realize how great your product is. Think of fun and unique ways to use your product that will make lives easier and get viewers saying, “I need this.”

And of course, use the hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit in your caption to get your videos to show up in these searches.

Build a Shoppable Storefront

If you have a Shopify store, you can easily connect it to create your own shoppable storefront right on your TikTok profile. Then you’ll have a tab appear between your video feed and your liked videos that promote your products, just like we see in this example from Nood below:

This is the most ideal way to get direct purchases from your TikTok profile—though you have to also do the hard work to create engaging content or set up TikTok ads that will entice potential customers to make a purchase.

How to sell on Instagram

Instagram is yet another platform that helps brands take advantage of social commerce. With two major ways to sell on Instagram, every ecommerce brand should utilize this platform.

Instagram Shopping

The first is your basic Instagram shopping—the ability to create an online shop right on your Instagram profile and tag products in your photos. To get started, you’ll need an Instagram business profile. If you haven’t created a business account yet, don’t worry—just tap the hamburger menu in the upper right corner of your profile, go to Settings, tap Account, then tap Switch to Professional Account.

From there, you’ll set up additional business fields, like ways to contact you, your business industry, and more. And this also gives you access to Instagram analytics and your very own Instagram shop.

To set up your shop, you’ll need to use the Meta Commerce Manager to create your catalog of products and organize your storefront. Then you’ll be able to create an Instagram shop that looks like this one by Parachute Home:

This appears right at the top of your Instagram profile under a button called View shop so that anyone who views your profile has the option to immediately start shopping without even leaving the Instagram app.

But more than that, you can also tag products in your Instagram photos, as Parachute Home did here:

Whether you promote a post like this as an ad or keep up with consistent organic content, someone who follows you is likely to see this, fall in love with one of the items in your photo, and immediately be able to make a purchase.

And when you have your payment portal connected to your Instagram shop, they can fully complete the transaction right inside Instagram within seconds.

Shoppable Reels

However, your Instagram posts are not the only content type that is shoppable. Instagram recently released the option to tag products in your Reels as well, which is a game-changer for Instagram commerce.

This means you can create engaging short-form video content to share on your Instagram Reels, with the option to immediately lead viewers to your Instagram shop.

Take a look at how Nailboo did this:

They’ve tagged their shop in the Reel so that viewers can tap View products at the bottom and immediately be taken to the products available for purchase.

How to sell on Pinterest 

Pinterest is another popular social media platform for ecommerce brands due to the vast amount of online shopping its users do. 80% of their users have discovered a new brand or product on the platform, and the vast majority have actually bought something because of Pinterest.

So how can you get a piece of that pie? There are two main tactics: First, take advantage of Pinterest’s business tools, and second, utilize product pins.

Pinterest for Business

First, make sure you’ve created a Pinterest business account. As with every social media platform, it’s easy to switch back and forth if you mistakenly started with a personal account or if you want to turn your personal account into your business account.

By opting for a Pinterest business account, you get access to more tools that make managing your profile, making sales, and seeing success on Pinterest even easier.

Some of the advanced features you’ll get access to include:

  • More fields to fill out on your profile
  • A verified website URL
  • Pinterest analytics
  • Pinterest ads
  • Product and shopping pins

Take a look below at Ellis Home Interiors’ Pinterest page as a verified merchant:

They’re able to immediately tell viewers and potential customers what they do, their verification provides social proof, and they can lead interested buyers to their website or their product pins.

Product Pins

A more direct way to sell on Pinterest is through product pins. This helps your pins show up in the “Shopping” tab of Pinterest, ready with product and pricing information for pinners that are ready to buy:

To create your own product pins, you can either upload your product catalog or create rich pins—a specific type of pin that cannot be promoted but includes all important product information by pulling it from the URL.

Start selling by applying to be a Verified Merchant on Pinterest. Once approved, you’ll be able to add a Shop tab to your Pinterest profile and add products to the site that have the potential to show up in shopping search results.

How to sell on Snapchat

Snapchat has long been recognized as a messaging app, and its Stories feature was the original inspiration for Instagram Stories. However, as they continue to evolve in their efforts to stay relevant, they’ve created some really unique social commerce options.

AR Shopping

The first one is AR (augmented reality) shopping. Ninety-two percent of Gen Z consumers want to use augmented reality tools for ecommerce, according to Snapchat’s survey of 16,000 users in 16 markets, conducted by Global Crowd DNA. AR can be done by allowing businesses to create a filter that lets users try on or learn more about products right on their phone screen, just by moving it around or interacting with it. 

Here’s an example from Honda, where one of their new vehicles takes up the entire screen and the viewer can tap on it to view the inside, then learn more about all of the bells and whistles the car offers:

Other examples include The North Face, where they promoted shoes that users could actually “try on” by holding the camera over their feet. Wal-Mart also gave this a try by sharing a few pieces of furniture for users to test out in different areas of their homes. Brilliant Earth also lets users “try on” their zodiac necklaces by using the selfie camera.

If a user finds something they love, they can then tap on the product or the Shop Now button to load the product page and immediately make a purchase.

Snapchat Ads

Snapchat ads are another way to get your brand in front of potential buyers. These ads show up in the “Discover” tab as well as in between stories that you’re watching.

Take a look at this example from Away:

Use a simple but effective photo like Away did, or create a video that shows off your product. Accompanied by the Shop Now call-to-action, these ads can easily grab attention and make sales.

How to sell on Facebook

And of course, the pioneer of social commerce: Facebook. While other platforms have taken social commerce above and beyond, Facebook is still relying on its good old Facebook Shops.

Facebook Shops

Facebook Business Pages exist almost as a second website, so it only makes sense that ecommerce and retail brands can now add products to their page for customers to browse through and buy.

You’ll set your Facebook shop up the exact same way you’ll set your Instagram shop up—and if you plan to sell on both, you’re in luck, because you only have to set your catalog up once!

As soon as you get your products uploaded to the Meta Commerce Manager and you’ve connected your payment portal, you can start selling. Viewers can visit your page, click on the Shop tab, and immediately be taken to your Facebook shop to start buying.

Here’s a great example of what this might look like from ettitude:

And just like on Instagram, users can click a product they’re interested in and immediately make a purchase without ever leaving their Facebook app.

Conclusion

Ramp up your sales goals by taking advantage of social commerce strategies. It’s one of the biggest ecommerce trends of the year, and for good reason. We’ve shared a couple of the more popular social commerce platforms in our article but that’s not all. In fact, Shopify has been working on partnering with Twitter, to help brands unlock opportunities to reach shoppers. We’ll definitely be seeing more of such partnerships in the coming months. 

To make sure you’re staying ahead of the curve, keep an eye on some of our other top ecommerce trend predictions.

And if you’re looking for more ways to grow your business, here are some resources:

Chloe West
Chloe West

Chloe West is a digital marketer and freelance writer, focusing on topics surrounding social media, content, and digital marketing. She's based in Charleston, SC, and when she's not writing, you'll find her at brunch or playing board games with her family.

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