How to Convert Followers to Customers Through your Facebook and Instagram Shops
Last week, we wrote about how to drive traffic to your website’s online store. But many of you may not have your own eCommerce website. For a lot of independent contractors, building and maintaining your own website can be time-consuming and expensive. And if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, there can be a huge learning curve to it as well. Of course, you could hire someone to do it for you but that’s even more costly.
Have no fear! There are other ways to sell your products online. That’s right, we’re talking about social media. If you already use Facebook and Instagram to promote your business, you’ll be happy to know you can use both platforms to sell your goods and services by adding an online shop directly to your already-existing business account. If you are in direct sales and don’t use social media, you need to rethink your business strategy because, in this day and age, it’s a must if you want your business to be prosperous. Essential reading: 3 Surefire Ways to Gain More Customers.
In this post, we’ll not only guide you in the process of setting up your Facebook or Instagram store but we’ll offer you tips on how to drive traffic to them as well.
Set up your store.
Assuming you already have business accounts for Facebook and/or Instagram, the steps for setting up your store on each platform is relatively simple.
For Facebook users, follow these steps:
- Go to your business account page on a desktop or laptop computer.
- Go to the left hand column underneath your profile picture that lists the different features offered, and scroll down.
- Click on Shop.
- A banner will appear in the middle of your screen that says, “Set Up Shop.”
- From there, Facebook will guide you through the process.
You can, of course, find more details on Facebook.
For Instagram, before you do anything, make sure your account is approved for shopping. Be aware that it could take a few days to get approved. Once that’s done follow these steps:
- On your profile page, tap the menu icon (three short, horizontal lines going down)
- Tap the settings icon.
- Then tap Business.
- Tap Shopping (this will appear only if you’ve been approved for Instagram shopping).
- Tap Continue.
- Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile (if you’ve already got a Facebook shop, then you can connect to that one, or create a new one).
- Finally, tap Done.
There is more to do but for brevity’s sake, we’ll direct you to this page. As you do this, you’ll notice Facebook’s branding is combined with Instagram’s. That’s because Facebook bought the photo-centric social media brand in 2012. This is important to know going forward, as some info we provide you for both Facebook and Instagram will be found in Facebook Business pages.
Target your audience.
Now that you’re all set up to sell merchandise and services on Facebook and Instagram, you need to know who is using both of these platforms so you can target your audience accordingly. Sprout Social has a great breakdown of both Facebook and Instagram demographics in 2019. Facebook Business also provides tools for both platforms to determine and target the audience demographics you’re trying to reach. This will come in handy later when we talk about buying ads.
Post professional-quality images.
In social media, first impressions are everything. According to a 2015 Time article, humans have an attention span of eight seconds. But as we know in social media, that time is often less. That means you need to capture your audience’s attention as quickly as possible with eye-catching, professional-quality images. However, this doesn’t mean your photos need to be pulled from a random stock photo archive online. People crave authenticity so it’s important to make your photos natural at the same time, with a bit of your own personality. After all, every photo you post is an extension of your brand. Here’s a great tutorial to guide you in the art of taking social-media-worthy photos.