Category : Facebook Ads
Social shopping, otherwise known as social commerce, is all about replicating those feelings of discovery and inspiration on social media platforms and making it easy for users to act on those feelings. Let’s take a closer look at why social shopping matters and how you can incorporate it into your strategies on Facebook and Instagram.
What is social shopping? Why does it matter?
Social shopping enables you to sell more effectively through social media.
Take Instagram, for example. Back in the day, an ecommerce brand couldn’t do much more than share awesome photos of their products and direct users to the link in their bio—a link to take those users to an external landing page, that is. In other words, marketing your ecommerce brand on Instagram involved asking users to leave the Instagram app and navigate your website. The vast majority of Instagram users are completely unwilling to do such a thing.
A link like this one used to be the only way to get Instagram users to your site.
There’s a term for what you’re creating when you ask Instagram users to leave the app and go to your website: friction. It helps to think of the sales funnel—which refers to the process of turning a prospective customer into a paying customer—as a highway. Ideally, you want that highway to be a straight shot from Prospect City to Customer Village.
(I’m so sorry, but I can’t stop now.)
Every time you create friction, you add an exit ramp to the highway and draw drivers’ attention to it with a giant, neon sign that reads “FEEL FREE TO TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LEAVE.”
At the risk of uttering the most obvious statement of all time, I must point out: You don’t want your prospective customers to take their money and leave. You want the journey from their first interaction with your brand to the moment they click “Buy Now” to be as seamless as possible.
That’s what social shopping is all about: engaging online shoppers on social media platforms and making it easy for them to convert from followers into customers.
Social shopping on Facebook
If there’s one platform on the cutting edge of social shopping, it’s Instagram. Nonetheless, we’ll begin with its parent company, Facebook, for practical reasons: You need to be a Facebook advertiser if you want to share shoppable content on Instagram.
What it looks like
Although you may not have realized it, if you’re a Facebook user yourself, you’ve likely encountered shoppable content while scrolling through your News Feed and swiping through your friends’ Stories.
(I added the red squares.)
So—you’re scrolling through Facebook on your laptop and you come across this organic post shared by Nike. You stop, of course, because that dude looks awesome and you, too, want to look awesome. And then you realize—Nike’s tagged a whole slew of products in this picture.
Because you like the sneakers in particular, you click through to Nike’s website to learn more. Maybe you buy them on the spot. Although most consumers don’t convert that quickly, it’s certainly not unheard of. More realistically, maybe you decide to sleep on it. When you check Facebook in the morning, you’re served an even more compelling ad for the same pair of sneakers—Nike’s remarketed to you. Their tactic works, and you buy the sneakers.
What happened here is simple: Nike make it easy for you to learn more about the products featured in the picture. You didn’t need to open a new tab, go to their website, and hunt for the pair of sneakers. Instead, you simply needed to click. There was no friction.
How to get started
If your business already has a Facebook page, great. If not, you’ll need to make one. Once that’s taken care of, make sure your page is using the Shopping template. To do this, click Settings in the top right corner and select Templates and Tabs from the left-hand menu.
Then, click the Edit button to the right of your current template and select Shopping.
Now that your page is using the Shopping template, you’ll see a tab labeled Shopon the left-hand side. Click on that.
From here, Facebook will ask you for some basic details about your ecommerce business: where you’re based, what you sell, how you’d like to be paid, and so on. This will only take you a few minutes, and once you click Finish, you’ll officially have a Facebook shop! It will go live for users to browse once you’ve added at least one product and Facebook has approved it.
Luckily, adding a product couldn’t be simpler. A title, an image, a couple product details, an inventory count, and some shipping options are all you need to get a listing up and running.
The last thing you’ll need to do to establish your shoppable Facebook presence is tag your products in your organic posts. Simply pull up an image or video that features your products, click the Tag Products icon (shown below), and tag your products with their titles to connect them to your Facebook shop.
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