Published by: Jameela Ghann
If you are looking to scale your Shopify sales, you may want to consider social selling and social commerce. This post will show you how to leverage social selling with
  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Influencer Marketing
We'll also tell you why it's worth your time to start social selling for Shopify (or any other eCommerce platform).

What is social selling?

What Is Social Selling

Social selling is different from both social media marketing and social media advertising. It belongs in its category because it's defined as the modern way to develop relationships with potential customers.

Social selling is about relationships

As a Shopify store owner, you primarily use social media to find and connect with sales prospects. A lot of media platforms already have 'social selling' built-in like
  • Facebook Business Page
  • LinkedIn's profiles
  • Professional Twitter accounts

The definition of social selling/social commerce

Social selling is roughly defined as:
"using your online network or social media connections to develop and build or create relationships with potential customers."
Social selling is a quicker and easier way to connect with your customer and sales prospects. However, even though it is a more natural way to sell, you have to be careful to ensure that you're not coming across as trying to force products or sales on people. If you come across as pushy, your customer won't want to engage with you.

How can Shopify stores take advantage of social selling?

Social Selling Shopify

There are a few ways that your Shopify store can take advantage of social selling.
  1. Leveraging Facebook
  2. Going all-in on Instagram
  3. Using influencer marketing

Social Selling with Facebook

Better than paid Facebook advertising

Social selling on Facebook is a better way to connect with shoppers compared to Facebook ads. Why? Because you aren't interrupting customer's feeds by trying to force products on them. When you engage in social selling, you are becoming a welcome part of their feed!

What role can Facebook play in social commerce?

You want to use your social platform to engage and educate customers. You can answer any questions customers usually have and share any relevant content that supports your brand. Posting helpful content helps you build a relationship with your consumers, and that eventually leads to sales! Sales for Life found that the average return on investment (ROI) for every dollar spent on social selling is $5. That means for every $1 you put in; you're getting $5 out of it!

How does using Facebook for social selling benefit my store?

Social Selling With Facebook

Connect with your audience

Social media is THE was human being connect in 2020. Being able to use a platform like Facebook can reduce your sales lead time. Rather than doing 10 or 15 dreaded cold calls, you can pop onto Facebook and send 20-40 quick messages in the same amount of time! Having such a fast and efficient connection to potential customers can reduce your overall sales cycle and help your brand gain revenue more quickly.

How is Facebook a good social selling platform?

Since Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms on Earth, you are guaranteed to have access to many leads for years to come. Facebook, as a platform, has something like 1.5 billion daily active users. Not only that, but Facebook users span a wide age range from young teens to young adults, adults, and even some seniors. With numbers and reach like that it's no wonder Facebook has such influence. The social platform's primary purpose is to connect you to friends, family, and even coworkers, but it has developed beyond that. Now Facebook includes games, groups, and even company pages/profiles. If you want to use Facebook for social selling try setting up a Facebook Business Page. Having a business page will allow you to connect with customers and provide relevant content. Once you have a business page, you can give your attention to those users that comment on your page or engage with your ads.  

Social Selling with Instagram

Social Selling Instagram

How does Instagram play a role in social selling?

Instagram has a vast audience and is the 6th most popular social network worldwide. Omnicore estimates that 500 million+ people are active on Instagram daily. The audience is
  • 30% between 18 and 24 years old
  • 35% are between 25 and 34
That's 65% of users in the 18-34 age range that you can target, and these users are looking to discover new brands. Many shoppers turn to Instagram for
  • product discovery
  • to find new things to buy
  • to check out what products their favorite influencers are talking about.
Many Instagram users rely on other's opinions to guide their purchase decisions (P.S. That is social proof). If your target audience is between 18 and 35, you are probably ready to get started with Instagram social selling.

How to use Instagram as a social commerce platform for Shopify

Instagram How To Create A Good Feed

Selling on Instagram

Rather than trying to move shoppers from Instagram to your eCommerce site, bring your eCommerce site to Instagram! Having a 'business account' for your brand online can bring many views to your products when you integrate Shopify and Instagram. If you aren't ready for a business profile, you can link to your website in the bio of your Instagram page. This allows potential browsers to head on over to your site and make purchases.

Use great product photos

Make sure you have fantastic photos of your products. You'll want bright and well-lit options that showcase your products clearly to catch the eyes on browsing shoppers. User-generated content (UGC) is another great way to showcase some fun and exciting photos of your products in use by fans. With UGC, fans and followers can share their images using hashtags or tagging your account. You can check out this content and repost it to your account while crediting the original creators. Doing so will help you build a community and a loyal following!

Instagram shopping

Instagram shopping is a new feature that was introduced in 2019. On Instagram, some profiles have a shopping bag icon that allows customers to purchase products directly from the page. This shopping tool integrates with your product catalog to create a seamless shopping experience for anyone browsing. As a merchant, you can tag items in a post so that when a shopper clicks on it, they see
  • a brief product description
  • price
  • product information
  • close-up images
From there, you can link to those specific items on your site from Instagram. Tapping on the shopping bag icon also lets shoppers see all the items that you currently have active on your Instagram feed. This feature lets users see a sort of grid layout of all the items at once, allowing them to favorite or look closer at any product.  

Influencer Marketing for Social Selling

Social Selling Influencer Marketing

Using influencers in your social selling and social commerce strategy is so important. Influencers will be sharing content to help build awareness for your brand. This is essential for the customer journey so that you keep your target market engaged until they're ready to buy. You can follow these steps to grow your Shopify store with influencer social selling.
  1. Find the right influencers
  2. Make sure your values align
  3. Work with micro-influencers
  4. Share influencer content

Why you need influencer marketing

It's hard to build up your social media following to the point that you can post something and have millions of likes, saves, or shares. There aren't any shortcuts to this building a following besides buying followers. But that tactic won't help your sales! If you have a large, following that doesn't buy, you aren't any further ahead. If you can't create a following on social media platforms, you can always look to users who have a big audience. These are what we call influencers.

Find the right influencers

Influencer marketing is an excellent strategy for social selling. Usually, you partner with an influencer (who has larger social reach than your brand) and ask them to showcase your products on their social channels. You'll want to find an influencer
  •  with an audience that matches your target market and
  •  that has high engagement with their audience
Finding the right kind of influencer can ensure you get the best return on your investment.

Make sure your values align

It's useful to find someone who's message aligns with your own brand's message. When your values align, their followers are more likely to try out your product. Remember, social selling is all about relationships! All messaging needs to be authentic and genuine. If it isn't a lot of people won't trust it, and it can hurt your brand. The best way to avoid this problem is to choose an influencer who has the same values as your brand. Make sure to take a look back at their posts and Google them to see if they have a track record that you are happy aligning your brand with. This will help you in the long-run and avoid any consumer backlash!

Tap into a new audience with micro-influencers!

If you're a newer Shopify store brand trying social selling, start or join groups on social media. It is useful to take part in groups that have people who are interested in the thing you're trying to sell. For example, if you run a natural beauty company, it might be useful to start groups surrounding 'clean' brands or all-natural makeup products. Starting or participating in groups allows you to
  • reach a wider audience
  • get your products out there
  • tap into 'micro-influencers'.
Finding micro-influencers in these groups is a great way to build genuine, cult-like engagement for your brand and reach a diverse group of people.

Share influencer content on your social media

Make sure you're using your social media channels to share content that you're proud of. Be sure you tag influencers in all your social media posts. Doing this makes influencers feel appreciated and helps new people discover your brand! When you tag influencers, your products are searchable in their 'tagged photos' feed, and this can help you make more sales!  

Why social commerce is worth your time!

Take Advantage Of Social Selling

Social selling is essential as it helps you connect with your potential business prospects and remain relevant and engaging through the creation of these relationships. Showing your knowledge and sharing helpful opinions and advice can build trust between yourself and your clients. Through social media avenues, you can connect with clients easily and quickly.

Shoppers are already engaged in social buying - why not join?

We all know we're living in a social media world. So it's no surprise that on the flip side, clients are already engaging in social buying. They're using their connections and their media accounts as part of their purchase processes.

Your competition is already social selling!

With a lot of younger consumers entering the workforce, we're seeing an upsurge in the use of technology and social media. This means your younger competition is already ahead of the game and using social selling tactics to build relationships and gain client trust.

Your team can help to build real relationships with social listening

A lot of the old sales tactics just don't work anymore. Have you ever personally enjoyed a cold call? Probably not. Using your social media can help your brand to identify any new leads in your target market. It allows you to see who's talking about your business and your industry so you can figure out how to reach out to them with the information they need at the right time. Having these easy leads can significantly reduce the amount of time your team needs to research accounts and contacts, so this can free the team up for other important work. Social media has a lot of information that its users share freely, and this can help you build personalized and relevant connections to these potential clients. You also have the ability to use your already strong networks to seek out introductions to new sales prospects through those mutual connections.

You can create a story around your brand

As we've probably mentioned before, you want to create a story around your brand and products. You want to come across as genuine and trustworthy, not like you're just trying to sell your products. Explore your mission and your vision and see how this aligns with what kinds of content you want to produce for your social channels.

Wrapping it all up

Social Selling Wrapping It All Up

As business changes and evolves, we see new technology and social media platforms crop up every day. However, this doesn't change the need to build genuine relationships to make more sales. As a growing business, you need to understand the value of social commerce and how you can adapt to use it to the best of your abilities. Fostering new social relationships online is a great way to build trust between your brand and its products and potential customers.

Creating more sales opportunities

Generating more social selling opportunities is incredibly useful for your business. Social selling can increase leads that are generated from specific social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You want to take advantage of this and make it seamless for people to see, interact with, and buy your products online.   Leave some comments below and let us know if you're interested in starting social selling or if you have any helpful tips and tricks to share!  
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