Online shoppers have become more comfortable buying products via social media platforms, and many give greater preference to products they see advertised on social media. In fact, recent data indicates that social media marketing is every bit as effective as traditional outbound marketing, and in some cases even more so. One study found customers were six times more likely to buy an item if its product page featured images from social media. With this in mind, it makes a lot of sense for ecommerce entrepreneurs to expand their social selling efforts.
Learn about the benefits of social selling and which platforms are available on Shopify.
Table of Contents
What is social selling?
Social selling is a strategy that focuses on directly engaging with potential customers online, particularly on social media platforms. A social selling strategy departs from traditional outbound advertising and the traditional sales process by creating a one-way channel from advertiser to customer. Social selling requires a series of social engagements designed to build trust and communicate with potential buyers about a product.
Most social selling efforts focus on leading social media networks such as LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. They also involve social-media-adjacent sites like YouTube, Reddit, and Pinterest.
Here’s how it works: Marketing teams establish a presence on these social selling platforms and post content designed to engage a target audience. After posting, the marketers remain active on social platforms, conversing in comment threads and replying to direct messages. The social seller’s goal is to create—through a mixture of posting and personal engagement—brand equity with potential buyers. This, in turn, produces lead generation and, through consistent engagement, sales.
What are the benefits of social selling?
When small businesses embrace a social sales strategy, they access three major benefits.
- Social selling opens new market opportunities. Some buyers, particularly those in younger generations, spend more time on social media, so they’re more likely to engage with content online. They’re also more likely to call social media an important factor in making a purchase. Social selling might be the most reliable sales funnel for sales teams hoping to reach these customers.
- It teaches you about your own customers. A key aspect of social selling is social listening, the process of monitoring social media threads to learn more about customer preferences and behaviors. Marketing teams can monitor which posts get the most engagement, and take notes about what customers are writing in comment threads. Sales reps can then report on the content of direct messages with customers—valuable information about customer wishes and interests. The customer data gleaned on social selling platforms might shape future marketing campaigns or inspire new product designs.
- It builds brand equity. Whether you’re promoting your company or your personal brand, social selling lets you play the long game and build relationships with your target audience. Both individuals and business-to-business (B2B) clients express a preference for sellers who seem to understand and have a relationship with them. Building brand equity is a long-term project. You can’t expect instant sales. Start by posting meaningful content and engaging in sincere discussions. In time, you’ll build up your reputation among your target audience.
What is a social selling platform?
A social selling platform is a social media site or any platform where people can post user-generated content and engage in comment threads. The most used social platforms in the US include TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. YouTube covers a variety of uses, but meets the criteria of allowing user-generated content and commenting. Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, and Twitter also count as potential social selling platforms, although their traffic is lighter on the aforementioned platforms. For B2B networking and social selling, LinkedIn dominates.
10 popular social selling tools available on Shopify
- Instagram Shop & Facebook Shop
- Facebook & Instagram Shopping
- Instagram Feeds - TikTok Video
- Facebook Instagram Tiktok Feed
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Facebook, Google Shopping Feed
- Instafeed ‑ Instagram Feed
- Instagram Feed+YouTube+Reviews
Reach customers everywhere they are with Shopify
Shopify comes with powerful tools that help you promote and sell products on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Google, and YouTube from one back office. Make sales on multiple channels and manage everything from Shopify.Explore Shopify’s sales channels
Social selling tools are digital products that enhance your ability to sell products on social media. Some of these tools are optimized for specific social platforms, and others function across many platforms. A number of them are available in the Shopify App Store and integrate seamlessly with an existing Shopify storefront, therefore letting you bring your ecommerce business to social media. Here are some social selling tools worthy of taking a closer look:
- Instagram Shop & Facebook Shop. Made by ThisCallButton and available in the Shopify App Store, Instagram Shop & Facebook Shop is a tool designed to let customers shop your store and pay within the Instagram and Facebook apps.
- TikShop. Also available in the Shopify App Store, TikShop brings your Shopify store to TikTok by creating shoppable video feeds that showcase your offerings.
- TikFeed. TikFeed is another strong option for selling on TikTok, and you can also install it via the Shopify App Store. It uses a slider and grid layout to capture the attention of TikTok users.
- Facebook & Instagram Shopping. This app from CedCommerce is among the most popular in the Shopify App Store. It syncs your Shopify store with both Facebook and Instagram, taking advantage of how Meta Platforms has increasingly unified these two services. The app lets you do everything from plan marketing campaigns to conduct sales to monitor inventory.
- Instagram Feeds - TikTok Video. If you want to hit TikTok and Instagram using a single tool, check out this app from Orichi. It integrates with Shopify via the App Store, and focuses on boosting website engagement—as opposed to landing sales on the social platforms themselves.
- Facebook Instagram Tiktok Feed. This app from WoolyTech can be found in the Shopify App Store, and helps you create and manage multiple feeds highlighting your wares. It’s mostly designed for Facebook and Instagram, but it can also aid your TikTok efforts.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This product is made by LinkedIn, which is the leading B2B social networking site. You might think of LinkedIn as a place for job listings and employee advocacy, but it’s a hotbed for B2B sales. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator provides you with a Social Selling Index, LinkedIn’s proprietary profiling tool.
- Facebook, Google Shopping Feed. Entrepreneurs who want to include Google Shopping in their sales portfolio can look to this product, available in the Shopify App Store, as a way to post listings on Google, Facebook, TikTok, and more. It will auto-sync up to 10,000 SKUs at a time.
- Instafeed ‑ Instagram Feed. This tool from Mintt Studio gives you many options for posting Shopify offerings on Instagram. You can use Instagram Reels, standard video, or still photos to create shoppable Instagram feeds.
- Instagram Feed+YouTube+Reviews. Instead of bringing your Shopify storefront to social media, you can bring social media to your Shopify storefront. This app from Tagembed makes that possible by letting you add various social media feeds and reviews to your existing Shopify store. It also cleanly integrates YouTube videos, which are another tool for establishing social capital.