The social media we use today has traveled a long way from being just moment sharing platform with friends and family to a whole online marketplace selling goods worth millions and billions of dollars. If you are an entrepreneur looking to reach out to your potential customer both in your country and outside your borders, the social media marketplace has got everything you need to take your business to new heights. Here’s your complete guide on how to sell on social media without a website.
Why Sell on Social Media?
Opting for social media instead of a business website remains a question that intrigues many of us. Why sell on social media when you can do the same on your website? Here are some of the perks that selling on social media gives you over a personal business website.
The Cost Saviour
Setting up a website definitely cost more than setting up your Facebook or Instagram business account. Setting up a trustworthy eCommerce website can cost you as low as $2000 to a maximum of $8000. When you opt for a website it’s not only the website you got to work on. You need an SEO expert to boost its ranking, a copywriter for product and landing pages, a regular IT expert that maintain the website regular activities. While in the case of social media, there are plenty of tools that can help you do SEO, Copywriting and Account management which comes cheaper than actual human labour hired for a website.
Easy To Set-Up
Setting up a business on Facebook and Instagram is as easy as setting up your personal account. Unlike setting up a professional website, you just need to do a few minutes signup and you are ready to run your business through social media. Such easy steps not only saves you cost as we talked about earlier but also saves you time and effort which can later be used to attend more productive tasks. Compared to a website, you can upload and update your product and offering all by yourself using just your mobile phone.
Social media has more organic traffic due to its excessive use in our daily lives. Facebook alone has reported 2.6 billions monthly active users along with Instagram reaching 1.2 billion monthly active users. People visit their personal accounts to check on their friends and family and they come across your product anyway. While, in the case of a business website, they only visit your website or even type your product-related keyword when they need it and that can range from once in a week to once in a year depending upon what kind of product you are selling.
How To Sell On Social Media Without A Website?
Social media like Facebook and Instagram are well aware of the size of the market and the number of potential seller and customers they are catering on daily basis. Both these platforms have made major changes in their policies and the way they work to assist and promote more and more businesses to come and operate through them. The reason for such measures is simple, business operations benefit both the business owners and the platforms by bringing more and more attention.
So the question is where to get started in order to make the most out of these opportunities? It doesn’t matter that you are not a technological expert, in fact, that the whole point of using such social commerce platforms to enable a street business to reach the far corners of the world. So, here’s a simple guide to the social commerce of your business
PHASE-1 — CREATING A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
Both Facebook and Instagram give you an option of a personal account or a business account. The key features that a business account give you over a personal account on both these platform is what makes a difference. A business account let you access features like statistics on your stories and promoted posts. It also lets you see how your followers interact with your content in real-time so you can plan more strategic moves to place your business in the right place. It gives you a slot to let your customer know basic information about your business and its operations e.g. operating hours, contact information and location of your physical store if any. We’ll show you how to create a business page on Facebook and Instagram step-by-step
Creating A Facebook Business Page 4 Simple Steps
Sign up for Facebook. When you are on the timeline click on the “Menue” button and choose “Page” from the “Create” drop-down menu.
Once you click the “Page” button it’ll take you to the next screen which asks you to provide the name and category of your business. Fill in the details like name category and information about your business and hit the “Create” button. You are halfway done with your business page!
In this step add an Image or logo of your business. A picture or logo of your business helps your buyers identify and authenticate your business which also builds authority. Click the “Save” button.
The most important step is to add your phone and Whatsapp number where you can talk to your customer about the orders or any query. It acts as a customer care centre for your business and helps you connect with them.
Once these 4 steps are completed your business page is set up. The next step is to create an engaging post but first, let’s not forget the guide on how to create a business account on Instagram.
Creating An Instagram Business Account 3 Simple Steps
Once you sign up, which includes regular steps like adding an Image, phone number, email and a user name for your profile. You can also use your Facebook profile to create your Instagram profile by opting for the “Login with Facebook” option.
Go to your profile and tap the “Setting” icon on the top-right corner. In the setting menu, you’ll see the option below “Switch to Business Profile”. Click the option and I’ll take you to the Instagram Business Tool intro. Tap “Continue”.
In this step, it’ll give you the option to connect your business profile to Facebook business pages or profile. If you already running your business on Facebook, connect it to save time. If not, you can fill in the detail of your business like the category of your business, email, phone number and your business address.
Your Profile is all set and you can proceed to the next phase of your business set up which is presenting products and offers
PHASE-2 — Uploading & Selling The Products
Everyone knows how to upload pictures and write captions on Facebook and Instagram. But things take a little turn when it comes down to uploading business posts. You’ll realize the difference between a personal profile and a business profile right away when you sign in as one. There are three different methods of posting your products and offering to present them to your potential customers. We’ll start from basics to advance in order
Selling Through DMs
Selling through direct message is the most simple and basic way which many businesses opt for. The process is as simple as you running a personal account. Your customer can simply enter into the shopping process by messaging you about the product on your feed. This type of selling works best for businesses that sell customizable products, for example, shirts with custom writing printed on them or with customer image from their private collections.
To sell this way on your profile on Facebook, Instagram or both, upload your products with full detail including, price, quality of stuff used in case of clothing brand, sizes or any additional information or offer about your product. Ask your customer to Message you through a build-in message on Facebook or Instagram. Selling through messages can sometimes be a hard job and actually repels customer if done inappropriately. The more you create resistance in the selling process the more it repels the customer. Before you offer your product through DMs here’s what you should always keep in mind to make your selling process a breeze for you customer rather than leaving them with tons of unanswered questions.
- Always provided every little detail of your product information to let your customer know its features, benefits, and quality. The lesser your first copy of the product creates questions the more likely it is that your customer will tend to buy it.
- Explain your offer clearly. It includes information about the price, value, and what exactly the customer should expect to arrive at their doorstep. For example, if you are selling a bundle of 6 pairs of wool socks, let your customer have a clear idea about they are going to receive the exact 6 pairs of socks for $50 at the time they’ll receive the package.
- Make it clear how to place the order. Messaging between you and your customer is a great way of communication but if done for longer or inappropriately can cause a lot of confusion between the two parties. Create a certain template of a message to place the order and make sure that your customer gets and follows the template when he or she is ready to place the order. It will make the ordering process easier and smooth which increases the conversion rate for your products.
Selling Through Comments
The process is the same as selling through direct messages. The basics for both these methods, but the process of placing an order gets a little advanced. You can receive orders through comment son in two different ways; conventionally replying to comments or using advanced tools for registered customers. Let’s take on these two ways one-by-one to help you get your sales going.
Manually Replying to Comments
This is the conventional way of selling your product in comments. In this method, while uploading your product picture sand captions, make sure to include an order placing phrase or word for your customer. For example, you have just uploaded your newly arrived braclet in the store. Ask your potential buyers to comment “#NewBarclet”. Once they’ve done it you can reach each one of them in DM yourself and confirm the order. You can even ask them to pay you before shipping but it takes a significant amount of trust. If you are new business still looking to make his way out to success then you have to trust your customer and arrange cash on delivery shipping serives for them.
Replying to comments is really about closing a sale, if your volume is low you should take control of this process. You, don’t want to outsource to a person who has trouble being responsive. If you chose to delegate this task to somebody, you have to monitor, that they are doing responding to DM in a timely manner.
Automatic Replying to Comment
Tools like Chatfuel, Google Shopping and many other like them can be way more helpful than manually replying to each comment in your sale process. But these technological bridges between you and your customers have a little catch. These auto replying tools use a specific keyword that you ask your buyers to write in the comment box. These tools identify the keyword and account and send them a detailed email of their order placement and also guide the customer to payment method or checkout to confirm the order. But they’ll only send your customer the email if your customers have registered themselves with you through their email addresses.
Choose any of the ways you want to proceed with your audience, but staying active to answer the queries of customers plays a key role in your business promotion and progress. Devote a time to your business that’s more important than any tools that technology has to offer. Automating this process may save you immense time.
However you may want to take culture into consideration, Muslims generally don’t want to talk to chatbots, they prefer a real person. A solution is for you to hire people with incentives with every sale they close.
Can You Sell Directly on Instagram?
A few years earlier, if someone told you that you could not only sell stuff on Instagram but can also accept payment right then and there, you would ignore the information and call it a bluff. Nowadays, a past imagination has become a present reality. Instagram has introduced shoppable posts where your customer can engage as well as buy your product online without even leaving Instagram and go on a separate website. In fact, you don’t even need a website to create a shoppable post. Here’s how it works.
How Do I Accept Payment on Instagram?
Since social media along with social commerce started to make their mark on our selling and buying behavior, some people around the world came up with ideas of tools like Ecwid and Woocomerece and many others like these plugins. These plugins allow a seller to sync their already functional website along with the products on them with Instagram and let buyers make a complete purchase without leaving Instagram. These also allow you to accept payments right on Instagram and Facebook. Even if you don’t have an already established website you can still be put these tools to good use to make your purchase and setting up these tools is as easy as two simple steps
Register yourself with these tools on the website. Fill in all your credentials. For some features of platforms to access, they might ask you to buy a premium plan, owing to importance and assistance you can easily make a decision whether a premium plan would worth it or not.
Once you are registered and have paid plan for these plugins, they give you the option to connect your Facebook pages or Instagram business account with them. After completing the process, you can upload shoppable posts along with the payment receiving methods all on Instagram and Facebook pages and accounts.
PHASE-3 — MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
Purchasing tools and full filling the social media platforms’ requirements will not do any good to your business until you don’t learn how to market your products at the right place to the right audience. Starting a business is one thing, making progress in another. Now that you have a well-established business set-up on social media, it’s time that you leap some real barriers to get it going. These are some of the tips and tricks to convert your audience into your customers.
Organic Posts Regarding Sales & Offers
This is the cheapest yet far most important factor to market your business. According to an Instagram report, it says that their 60% of users discover new products on daily basis ( https://business.instagram.com/getting-started ) Businesses posting regularly on their pages – regarding products and events seem to attract more profitable attention than those posting only when their new arrivals come in stores. Organic posting about sales, new offers and your customers’ surrounding i.e. events and holidays keep them more engage and interested. By taking such measure your business tends to create a bond of values with its customer that forces them to stay loyal for a longer-term.
Use Hashtag to Get Traffic
You can not possibly be on social media for business and ignore the power of a simple hashtag. Every now and then we see dynamic trends about events around us. Some of these trends are even international and contain a live audience of Billions who are actively posting about a single hashtag all across the world. A trending hashtag is a perfect time to slip your product into your customer’s sight. Do hashtag research to find the best hashtag that relates to your business. For example, you can post your shoppable post or updates a new post of your clothing brand under a hashtag of a new season coming ahead; Summer or Winter. This way your product and account can double and triple the amount of traffic it would get in normal circumstances.
Paid Ads & Campaigns
If for some reason, you feel your business not getting enough attention that it deserves or it should be, you can feast on paid ads and campaigns. Paid ads and campaigns can make a real difference. What you basically do is to pay Facebook and Instagram to boost your business by running your ads or different videos and timelines of people or under trending hashtags. By taking such measure, it boosts the traffic by ten folds which creates more opportunities for you products to land in front of right buyers.
Turning to Infuencers
You must have heard about the big gun that many brands have been using to get their newer products or older products going sky-high with the short periods, “Celebrity Endorsement”. Since social media has created a marketplace of its own, it has also produced some celebrities that don’t show up on a regular TV show yet have their influence on millions of people through their posting on social media. These social media celebrities can run a paid campaign for you if you offer them a reasonable deal.
They can boost your traffic by posting about your products on their personal accounts and recommending it to their followers. Influencer can be of different categories i.e. fashion, fitness, content creators etc. Make sure you pick the one that best fits your business type.
Risk of Selling on Social Media
Since the platform is run there is a risk that your account can be banned or block because of complaints genuine or otherwise. So you should diversify, you should own your customers. The last thing you want is being lockout of your account and have no way of connecting with your customers. This can happen and has happened to a number of people.
So what you should do is to keep collect data about your customers , their phone numbers, emails so you can still sell to them even if you don’t have access to your social media.
Ali Haider Shah is a business graduate with specialization in market research. He holds 4 years of experience in business writing where he served renowned online publications like “Digital Diplomacy”. Currently working as a business writer and a market researcher.