Use Social Media E-Commerce to Boost Your Business

Written by: Danielle Gazda

E-commerce in social media apps has come a long way in the last couple of years. Online shopping in this form was inevitable, but it developed much more quickly than most people expected. The pandemic forced people to stay in their homes and created a demand for more ways to shop online — it also opened a range of possibilities for retailers.

Based on Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends of recent years, online shopping is becoming more and more popular. Making purchases is even easier now that people can shop directly in commonly used social media apps.

Meta’s apps, Instagram and Facebook, have been at the forefront of e-commerce. Facebook even had a leg up with its Marketplace feature, which allowed any individual to sell products or resell items. Instagram and Facebook Shops, however, are more geared toward businesses. Thanks to algorithms that look at what customers are interested in, these shops have helped small businesses gain followers and sales, with or without paid advertising.

Your business can create e-commerce shops today!

Instagram & Facebook

Since these apps are both part of Meta, their commerce policies, community guidelines, and fees are the same. Setting up a shop on either platform is free and done primarily through the Commerce Manager on your company’s Facebook page. 

When you set up your e-commerce shop, you will choose whether your customers will check out through the apps or if they will be sent to your website. There are pros and cons to both.

The major pro to in-app checkout is that customers will be more likely to complete a purchase. As people are pulled to websites outside of an app, often they stop and don’t buy. Even if they do browse the website, they are less likely to complete a purchase than if they could just buy through Instagram or Facebook.

The con is that there are fees involved with choosing to do checkout through Facebook and Instagram. While the fees are not ridiculously high, you may want to reduce any money loss if you have a small business. Whichever app a purchase is made in, Meta gets 5% of the total purchase per shipment. There is also an established flat fee of 40 cents if a purchase is $8 or less. (These fees are being waived through June 30, 2022, to help small businesses post-pandemic. It is unknown if this will be extended.)

It is also important to know Meta’s Commerce Policies and Community Guidelines about what businesses are permitted to sell through the apps. There are some restrictions. As an example, companies that sell CBD or marijuana-related products will not be able to sell through the apps.

TikTok & Pinterest

TikTok is in the e-commerce game with its shopping feature now available in most countries. It also presents the option of in-app checkout or website checkout. Fees of 1% to 5% could apply, which seems to be based on where the buyer is located. It would be safe to assume that the standard is 5%, as it is with Instagram and Facebook. If you choose not to create a shop on TikTok, you can still provide a link to your website in your bio.T

Pinterest does not have in-app purchases but is still extremely popular with shoppers. You can link to items or your website directly in the Pins you make. Many people peruse Pinterest for inspiration, and with a business account, you can tag up to 25 items in a single Pin. This is extremely popular for fashion and furniture/homeware sites because you can tag each individual item that you think customers can buy.

The Takeaway

Choosing to set up e-commerce shops in popular social media apps is a great idea. It generates more exposure, allows you to tag products directly in your posts, and provides an in-app catalog for potential customers to browse without leaving the app. Whether you choose to do checkout within the apps or through your website, you’ll still be on the right track. You can also pair shops with paid advertising or boosted organic content. This may be beneficial to help garner that early exposure — but do it sparingly so you don’t spread your budget too thin.

E-commerce is the way of the future. So get your foot in the door now.


Contact us to help you get started on your e-commerce journey.

Tips for the Best Social Media Community Management

By: Stephanie Albert

Community management is an essential part of growing an online following that is connected to your brand. It is the process of interacting and engaging with current followers and the actions you take to attract new followers. 

Here are five important practices to consider if you want to gain followers and keep the ones you already have.

1.Engage with content your brand is tagged in: Frequently, brands will be tagged in content from happy customers who want to tell their friends about their experiences. When customers tag your brand in their social media posts, be sure to thank them for their support, and let them know you’re glad they enjoyed your product or service. There is also the possibility that your brand will be tagged in negative reviews. Be ready for this. Have a plan that is aligned with your brand identity for responding to these comments, and try to resolve issues whenever you can.

2. Respond to Direct Messages (DMs): Check your messages as frequently as possible — once a day at the very least. While you should think of all DMs from your customers as being important, there are two types of DMs that are particularly useful in helping to build an online brand. DMs received when your brand is tagged in a user’s story can be used to gain user-generated content that can be reposted to show consumers enjoying your product or service. Also valuable are DMs that contain questions about your business or products. You can earn loyal customers by interacting with people and giving them the answers they are looking for.

3. Like and respond to comments: In conjunction with responding to DMs, engage with followers by liking and responding to comments they leave on your posts. Users generally enjoy being recognized by the brands/products they like, and this type of engagement is a great way to increase the positive feelings customers already have about your business.

4. Follow relevant accounts: Follow accounts relevant to your industry, and engage with the content they post. By interacting with this content, the name of your business will appear in the likes and comments on the post, so consumers will have another way to find you.

5. Follow relevant hashtags: While you’re looking for relevant accounts to follow, try following relevant hashtags, too. They can help you find out what kind of content is popular in your industry, and discover new consumers who might be interested in your product.

By paying attention to what’s popular through other relevant content and connecting with current and prospective followers, community management has the potential to greatly increase the engagement your content receives. When it comes to growing your brand’s following online, engaging through community management is key to your success.

Advice from an Agency: How to Create a Strong Social Media Image

By Annie O’Rourke 

Incorporating a positive social media image drives high levels of user engagement and allows your brand to market its services. 

Start utilizing social media for your small business 

Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are just a few of the many social media channels that are most important to incorporate for your small business. 

It is important for your business to become a highly active user on all social media channels. Social media allows your business and brand to eventually be more visible and searchable. Research the different social media channels to understand which would be best for your brand, and create accounts on the channels that are most fitting. For example, if your products are photogenic, utilize Instagram because its feed is focused on visuals. Incorporating this technique allows your business to develop a platform of their own to further market their product and services. If you’re not sure where to start, 270M can help! 

 

Keep up with current events and social media trends

Show your followers you know what you’re talking about.

Social media is all about sharing different ideas and content. By incorporating current news and events, people will feel that your brand is a credible source. Post the latest coverage and news about your product or brand to your stories and feed. For example, if you’re a beauty agency, remember to not only post your product but also post the latest information and breaking news about the entire beauty industry itself. This allows your followers to engage and connect with your page. 

 

Create a consistent image across all social media platforms 

All of the social channels your brand uses should reflect a similar style throughout to keep your brand coherent.

For example, keep your color tones, brand voice, and brand messaging consistent throughout all of your brand touchpoints. Having brand consistency is essential because it ensures that your brand is recognizable wherever a consumer interacts with it. A strong social media image is not just a recommendation, but a necessity for your small business. 270M is here to guide you through the next steps regarding all aspects of creating an impactful social media image.

Our services at 270M will help you move in the right direction in order to reach high levels of user engagement.