While social media is a fantastic tool for building an audience and increasing your brand or business awareness, it can also be a fantastic way to sell your product or service directly to your customers.
How you sell on social media depends on the platform you use and your goals. Before thinking about how you want to sell on social media, it is worth spending some time thinking about where your target customer can be found and what platforms they can be found on.
Top social media marketing agencies suggest that you choose your platforms first and then set specific goals for each, as the metrics and success traits will differ slightly depending on the channel you choose.
To get you started, let’s take a look at some of the most popular social media platforms and how to get started selling each one.
Sell on Facebook
Facebook has the largest audience of any social media network available today. With nearly 2.45 billion monthly active users, the opportunities for businesses, brands and individuals to sell on the platform have never been better.
Here are some of the different ways you can sell on Facebook:
In response to more and more businesses and brands moving to selling online, Facebook launched Facebook Shops, a shopping experience where businesses can easily create an online store on Facebook and Instagram for free.
You can select the items you want to sell through Facebook stores and connect to your customers through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct Messaging. These features give you a lot of flexibility in how you interact and interact with your customers.
To activate Facebook Shops you need to:
- Set up an account with Facebook’s Commerce Manager
- Create a collection
- Customize your storefront
- Publish your shop
For detailed guidance on each of these steps, see this comprehensive guide from Website Builder Expert.
If you’ve ever promoted your business online, you’ve probably come across Facebook ads before. You can use Facebook’s advertising platform to identify exactly the type of customer you want.
Facebook allows you to create:
- Core audience based on a user’s age, interests, geography, and more
- Custom audiences that you can use to target your advertising to those who have already dealt with your business online or offline
- Lookalike audiences so you can reach new people whose interests are similar or overlap with your best customers.
For more information about the different types of Facebook audiences and how to get started with Facebook advertising, see the Facebook Business support pages and this Hootsuite guide.
Sell on Instagram
With a billion monthly users, Instagram is not far behind Facebook in terms of popularity, and its growth shows no signs of slowing. This gives brands and companies a great opportunity to sell their products and services through the platform.
In order to start selling products on Instagram, you need to make sure that you have set up an Instagram business profile. Once you’ve set up a company profile, you can:
- Track how many new followers your profile receives per week
- Detailed demographic information about your followers such as location, age and gender
In addition to these demographics, a company profile on Instagram gives you access to Instagram purchases. Similar to Facebook Shopping, you can use Instagram Shopping to create a comprehensive storefront that presents your best products to your customers.
Instagram Shopping allows you to share your featured products through your organic posts and stories so your customers can discover and discover your products in Instagram’s search and explore functionality.
When someone taps your product in your story, they will be taken to a product description page where the user will see:
- A picture of the product from your post
- The product description
- The cost of the product
- A link that takes the user straight to your website where they can buy your product
You can find more instructions on setting up your Instagram shop on Facebook’s business pages.
Sell on Twitter
While selling on Twitter may not be as important as selling on Facebook or Instagram, it is still a great platform to sell products or services on Twitter and increase your business or brand awareness.
There are several different ways you can make money on Twitter in 2020, including:
Ads and Sponsored Tweets
When you start out with Twitter advertising, you have the option to choose between promoting your own Tweets or showing Twitter ads.
When you promote your Tweets, the Tweets you selected will reappear in certain users’ Twitter streams or Twitter search results. These tweets can contain direct links to product pages on your website, a landing page that your audience can sign in to learn more about a product you are selling.
Twitter ads are more holistic and allow you to use multiple groups of tweets to achieve a single goal for your brand. By placing Twitter ads, you can set up a campaign to increase your follower account, increase your website clicks or conversions, collect emails from people who are interested in your business, and much more.
For more tutorials on Twitter, check out this guide from Hubspot.
Twitter is a great platform to not only sell your own products or services, but also to sell and promote the products of other brands in your niche or industry.
If you’ve ever signed up as an affiliate to sell a company’s services or products, you can use Twitter to connect with other people in your target market and promote relevant products or services that may be beneficial to them. This approach works especially well if you’ve built good relationships with other people or brands in your target market and have already built a strong following on Twitter.
It is important not to unnecessarily spam affiliate links on Twitter. Focus on building authentic connections with your audience, finding others in your industry to potentially work with, and sharing useful products and services that your followers would be interested in.
Sell your own product or service
In addition to promoting other brands’ products and services, you can use Twitter to sell your own. If you have a large Twitter audience, you can tweet links about your products and services. This is especially effective when you’ve carefully curated your audience and your followers are interested in your niche and brand.
Be careful not to post too many links about your own products or services, post useful content, respond to customer queries, and post links to your products when appropriate. This is a far better long-term approach than posting links to your products or services in every tweet.
Choose the right platform for your business
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter aren’t the only social media platforms you can sell on. Take the time to decide which social media platform is best for your business or brand, then decide which products or services to sell and what strategy to pursue.