In a recent webinar for SEMrush alongside friends & colleagues Jeff Sieh and Stephanie Liu, we talked extensively about Social Selling. Host Rebekah Radice did a terrific job of guiding the conversation around complex yet critically important concepts involved with getting your social media audience to actually buy from you.
The full recording is a perfect compliment to today’s article:
Because you see, while the webinar delved into the conceptual aspects of social selling, there are also key technical aspects to be implemented. If you want your social media audience to be able to buy from you, convincing them is just the first part of the battle. They have to be able to actually buy from you!
Yes, you can simply share links to external products and catalogues. But what if you could make it even easier for people already on Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram to make a purchase?
What if, during your next launch or sale campaign, instead of trying to drive your followers off their favorite platforms, you brought the products right to them, and their wallets.
How To Create A Facebook Shop
If you have a Facebook Page and products to sell, you need to create a Facebook Shop!
First, it’ll add a Shop tab to your Facebook Page which lets your fans and followers see what items you have for sale and buy from you.
But more important than that, with a Shop in place and one or more products set up, you can actually tag your products in relevant posts! Stephanie taught me this and it’s brilliant.
Suppose as part of your Campaign Plan you decide to host a Facebook Live and create some great video content and buzz around your product. You can edit that video post and tag your product so that every share of that video will display the tagged product(s) right underneath the video! That makes it super easy for your audience to see and buy your products.
Here’s how to get started if you have a WooCommerce cart within your WordPress installation like I do on Blogging Brute. If you have a different eCommerce solution like Shopify, the steps are similar:
- Go to Ads Manager then Catalogs.
- Click on Add Catalog.
- Select eCommerce and click Next.
- Select the Page which will own the catalog and select WooCommerce integration.
- Download the plugin.
- Open your WordPress installation and go to Plugins -> Add New.
- Upload the Zip file Facebook had you download and Activate it.
- Click on Get Started within the Integrations tab of your WooCommerce installation and go through a series of steps to select the Facebook Page you wish to connect and to install/select a Facebook Pixel.
Once that’s done, Facebook will automatically sync your existing products and display them in a Facebook Shop on your Page! It will look something like this:
How To Create Pinterest Product Pins
Similar to a Facebook Shop, setting up shoppable or buyable pins on Pinterest will help your Pinterest users and audience more easily buy from you. But unlike Facebook Shop products, you don’t have to add these to a special catalog.
All you have to do is create your products on your website as normal and make sure some additional Meta Tags are in place!
You will need to have validated or claimed your website’s URL in your Pinterest settings. If you’re using WordPress, you can navigate to Yoast SEO, click on the Pinterest tab, and click on the validate link. Unfortunately, Pinterest accounts can only claim one URL so if you have two or more blogs and websites, like I do, you’ll have to pick one or create multiple Pinterest accounts.
Product Pins are basically Rich Pins that also include product pricing and availability. Pinterest has directions here, along with a link to the validator you’ll need to use to authorize Product Pins.
One of the really cool features of Product Pins is the fact that pricing changes to your product within your eCommerce solution are automatically and dynamically reflected on all instances of that product’s pins!
Note that Buyable Pins no longer exist and were phased out. Pinterest is now pushing Product Pins, which is good in the sense that they work for all platforms and all countries. If you’re in the fashion industry, you may be able to take advantage of Shop The Look pins to get your products recommended alongside others. Thanks to Alisa Meredith for helping to clarify these developments.
How To Create Instagram Shopping Posts
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it’s not surprising that there’s a similar Shop feature on that platform. Called “Shopping on Instagram”, it allows businesses to tag up to 5 products on a post, as well as create shoppable stories and even a Shopping Channel in Explore.
One great benefit here is that Instagram will use the same Catalog that you already set up in the previous Facebook Shop section! The only caveat is that your Instagram business profile must be connected to the same Facebook Page and both must be set up within Business Manager to proceed.
- Open Ads Manager and click on Catalogs
- Click on the Catalog you wish to connect, or create a new one
- Click on Settings
- Connect your Instagram Profile
If you’ve recently connected your Instagram profile to your Business Manager, or just recently converted it to Business, Instagram will automatically review it and the products in your catalog before approving for Shopping Posts. So you may not yet be able to connect your Instagram profile. Just give it a few days.
Once you’ve been approved and you’ve enabled your catalog, you will be able to Tag Products on all new posts and stories!
How Will You Leverage These Social Selling Options?
Make sure that you incorporate a Facebook Shop, Buyable Pins and Instagram Shopping in your campaign plans. For more direction and campaign ideas, check out the Campaign Planner.
How else might you use these? Stephanie, for instance, has included products where she’s an affiliate in her catalog so that whenever she’s on a Facebook Live and mentions one of those products, she can tag it and earn commission. Personally, I create digital products that I sell through Blogging Brute to help my audience plan blog content or their own sale campaigns, and I tag those. So you don’t have to have a physical product to sell. Just an inventory of products of some kind, and creative ways to talk about them on social media.