Today’s shoppers spend upward of two hours on social media daily, interacting with influencer posts, brand content, and ads. Ecommerce businesses can use features on these social selling platforms to market and sell to these shoppers by meeting them where they are.
Here, learn the benefits of social selling—and which social selling platforms are available on Shopify.
What is social selling?
It departs from the traditional advertising and sales process by promoting direct interactions between businesses and customers. Social selling involves publishing posts, replying to comments, and live selling on livestreams to build trust with your potential buyers.
Most social selling takes place on leading social media networks such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Brands can also leverage social selling on social-media-adjacent sites like YouTube, Reddit, and Pinterest. For business-to-business (B2B) networking and social selling, LinkedIn dominates.
How does social selling work?
If you’re thinking about social selling for your business, start by setting up branded accounts on the biggest social media platforms—or consider partnering with social media influencers in your niche who already have an audience.
The key to successful social selling is to create content that resonates with a hyper-specific target audience. Your content should demonstrate that your business shares your customers’ perspectives and values. Remember, it’s not just about posting, but also about engaging—join conversations, follow trends, and respond to direct messages.
Your aim should be to build an ongoing relationship with potential buyers. Social selling isn’t just about making sales, but about lead generation and the wider growth of your brand.
What are the benefits of social selling?
There are three major benefits to embracing a social sales strategy:
1. Social selling opens new market opportunities
Buyers (particularly those in younger generations) who spend more time on social media are more likely to engage with content posted on platforms. They’re also more likely to call social media an important factor in making a purchase. That’s why social selling is a reliable sales funnel for brands hoping to reach these customers.
2. It teaches you about your customers
A key aspect of social selling is social listening, the process of monitoring social media to learn more about customer preferences and behaviors. Marketing teams monitor how consumers engage with social posts and what content gains traction in comment threads.
Sales teams can monitor public discussions about your products or services for opportunities to join the conversation. If users are reporting issues or have questions about your product, you may be able to offer live support.
Even if social media conversations don’t directly mention your business, active social listening provides a way to keep up with trending topics and gives you options for appearing in user timelines.
💡 If you have an engaged social media following, why not ask them directly for their opinions? Most social platforms have survey tools that you can use to gauge customer interest in potential product updates or new launches.
3. It builds your 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 B2B clients prefer retailers with whom they have an existing relationship. Start by posting meaningful content and engaging in sincere discussions. In time, you’ll build a positive reputation among your audience.
10 popular social selling platforms and tools available on Shopify
- Facebook & Instagram
- Social Connector
- Instagram Shop & Facebook Shop
- Google & YouTube
- Sales Navigator
- TikTok & Insta Feed
Social selling platforms offer tools for brands that engage in social commerce. They allow users to post and sell on social media sites. Many social selling platforms are optimized for specific social platforms and contain analytics features for tracking content performance. Here are 10 popular social selling platforms on the Shopify App Store.
1. Facebook & Instagram
The official Facebook & Instagram app for Shopify lets you connect your store to both social media platforms and manage orders from your Shopify admin dashboard. You can set up in-app shopping (including checkout), add data-tracking pixels, and create ads. The app also provides insights into your top-performing content and products to help you stay focused on your strengths.
2. Social Connector
Social Connector by CedCommerce is a popular third-party app in the Shopify App Store. It syncs your Shopify store with Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites, taking advantage of how Meta has unified selling across its two platforms. The app lets you do everything from planning marketing campaigns and collecting data to conducting sales and monitoring inventory.
3. Instagram Shop & Facebook Shop
Instagram Shop & Facebook Shop by Biobiogo is a third-party tool designed to let customers shop and pay without leaving Instagram and Facebook. When selling on Instagram, use this app to add a call-to-action to your posts, schedule content, and automate replies.
Pinterest’s official Shopify app lets you connect your Pinterest account with your Shopify store and post product pins—the platform’s integrated ads. You can sync your entire product catalog through the integration to make every product pinnable.
5. Google & YouTube
Google & YouTube by Google is a Shopify app designed to facilitate social selling across Google Search and YouTube videos. Using the app, products from your Shopify store are synced with the Google Merchant Center, so they can be featured on Google shopping listings and under relevant videos.
Target the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag with the TikTok app for Shopify, made by TikTok. Use the app to create and manage ads on the platform and sync your Shopify store with activity on TikTok Shop—the platform’s internal selling tool.
8. Sales Navigator
9. TikTok & Insta Feed
Also available in the App Store, TikTok & Insta Feed by CheckIt brings your Shopify store to TikTok through shoppable video feeds that showcase your products. A large call-to-action button persuades viewers to purchase items featured in your videos.
Instead of bringing your Shopify storefront to social media, add social content to your web store with TagEmbed. The app lets you embed social media feeds and Google customer reviews into your website to increase social proof.
Social selling platforms FAQ
What are examples of social selling?
Social selling is a form of online sales that occurs on social media and platforms that host user-generated content. When you sell products on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, you’re social selling. You can also use these platforms to build your brand’s reputation and steer potential customers to your website.
How does someone start social selling?
To start social selling, create business accounts on leading social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. Many platforms will let you sell products directly, but you can also choose to direct customers to your own website. Social selling tools integrate your online store with social sales channels, so you can manage everything from one place. Social selling involves consistently posting content that engages your target customer base. Participate in comment threads, reply to direct messages, and partner with influencers to promote your products.
What are the 5 C’s of social selling?
The 5 C’s of social selling are:
- Create: Create a brand that showcases the uniqueness of your products. This is the first step in attracting potential customers to your profile.
- Connect: Connect with the right audience. Use native or third-party social media analysis tools to find potential customers, influencers, and other relevant accounts to your industry.
- Content: Share valuable, relevant content. Creating high-quality content helps establish your authority in your field.
- Converse: Engage in conversations with your followers. Respond to comments, answer questions, and participate in discussions. This helps to build consumer trust.
- Convert: Convert your social media interactions into sales. Once you’ve built relationships and established trust, you can guide your prospects through your sales funnel.