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How to turn your social media into a shopping platform

Posted on 21st June, 2019 by gregdoyle

Social Media

The impact of social media for helping to increase brand engagement is hard to ignore, but for retailers, there is also a more tangible benefit which is the ability to help you make more sales. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can start selling your products on social media and which channels are best for helping you turn your social media followers into customers.

Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are all incredibly popular platforms where people share content with their friends, follow celebrities and engage with brands. So, it should come as no surprise that these platforms are also allowing customers to shop online.

Let’s take a look at how you can use each of the social platforms to generate more sales.

Pinterest

Pinterest has a feature known as “Buyable Pins” but unfortunately this is not available for all UK accounts. However, there is another option for UK businesses that are looking to drive sales from their Pinterest account and that is “Rich Pins”. Setting up Rich Pins on your website means that when you or your customers share your products on Pinterest, additional information such as price and item availability will be shown with it.

While not quite the same as buyable pins, rich pins do help to showcase your products while highlighting the price and availability of these. What’s more, potential customers can click through to purchase these directly on your website.

 

Instagram

Much more than just a platform for celebrities and wannabees, Instagram gives businesses the option of tagging their products in their user feed and through the stories feature. Items that are tagged show up with a shopping bag icon in the user feed and also a shop section in the menu. When viewing a shoppable post, clicking on the shopping bag icon will display the products for sale complete with pricing.

Tapping on specific tagged products will open up a product information page on Instagram with the final click “View on website” taking them directly to the product on your website ready to complete the purchase. As with Pinterest, Instagram offers businesses an incredibly powerful way to reach their audience and potential customers and showcase products in a very effective way. This works especially well for clothing, fashion and beauty retailers.

 

 

 

Facebook

The daddy of the social networks, Facebook lets businesses set up shop on their platform with visitors able to use the shop tab to view available products for sale. When users click on your products, they will see a product information page as well as a link to take them to your website to complete their purchase.

Like the other platforms above businesses will need to set these accounts up with a product feed in order to take advantage of these features and there could be some development work involved. However, this is a small price to pay for the ability to not only raise your brand engagement on social media but to also actively sell your products using these channels.

 

 

Top tips for selling on social media

The above social media networks give you a great platform for reaching new customers and generating sales but only if done correctly. Without careful planning and the right assets, you could waste a lot of time and potentially money on setting up your online shops on social media so here are a few things to bear in mind.

Size of your audience – If you have a very small following on social media then you need to start thinking about growing this before focusing on selling your products. With a small audience, you just won’t generate the sales as your shoppable products won’t be seen by enough people. For those with a small following, it’s best to try and grow these organically as well as running paid campaigns to help grow your audience and reach more people.

Product imagery – Don’t just assume that the product images that you use on your website will be good enough when it comes to selling on social media. You need images that are designed to work well and look great on the grid layout of Pinterest or whole outfits on Instagram. Test to see what works for each network and don’t forget to look at the reporting tools to see which images are getting the most impressions and clicks.

Track everything – If your social media is driving sales to your website then you want to know about it. Tracking is a crucial part of working out what elements of your digital marketing campaigns generate the best return on investment so make sure you are able to track how your social media shoppable products are impacting your sales.

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