“Here’s the simple funnel that made me $X,000,000!” It’s a common statement made by internet marketers. I see these pieces all over the web and you know what I notice most of all? The “simple” funnel is anything but. They promote multi-stage funnels that only work with established audiences who trust the brand but because some people on the internet claim they made a few million off of it, you suspend that rational thought and think this is exactly what you need, which is BS.

Here’s the truth: If you’re selling to a cold audience there are two things you need:

  • A simple offer and call-to-action (CTA)
  • An offer that’s low risk

If the offer is too complex or expensive, a first-time buyer isn’t going to go for it. It’s why 92% of your website audience abandon their purchases and yet we still see people pushing funnels and tactics that aren’t suitable for the majority of small businesses who are just building their brands. But there’s one area where this is worse than others: Social media marketing.

Why Traditional Social Media Marketing is Flawed

Social media marketing is easy, right? Or at least that’s how many marketers portray it, which is dangerous because there are changes in the industry making this channel less effective with every passing year. For example:

Reach and Engagement

With decreased reach, an increasingly competitive social environment, and low conversion rates it’s becoming increasingly difficult to connect with your target audience.

In summary, it’s getting pretty tough for your social updates to stand out and with Zuckerberg trying to shift Facebook’s attention to providing a “more meaningful experience,” brands are going to have a tougher time moving forward.

The Reason People are on Social

Why do people use social media? Most of us head to social media when we’re waiting for our coffee to be made, are sitting in a doctor’s waiting room or are — dare I say it — sat on the throne. Very few people load up their social apps to shop.

You’ve probably seen those statistics social media marketing companies share around, like how a third of young customers use social for product research. It’s an important statistic, but the way some marketers talk about it would make you think it is the single greatest channel we could use. In these cases, consumers are more likely to research products after discovering them, not heading to social with the intent to find something new and buy it.

Social’s Conversion Rate is Low

The bigger issue with social media marketing comes when you look at the purchasing journey. After clicking on a Facebook ad you’re directing consumers to an online store to complete a multi-step purchasing journey and, with each step, you’re losing a huge number of potential customers. Optimizing a journey like this, however, is no easy feat — it takes a lot of time, resources, money, and manpower.

So, rather than try to optimize a very leaky funnel, why not leverage new tech like social media chatbots to reduce those leaks? According to ChatBotsLife, a chatbot funnel will outperform the normal email opt-in funnel most of us are using by 35x.

This has all been a very long-winded way of saying that it’s tough to make money through social media marketing. Reach, visibility, engagement, and conversions are low but there is a solution: Imagine that you could remove the complex purchasing journeys that poke holes in your sales funnel and instead, turn every social engagement into automated chatbot checkouts.

Welcome to the world of social commerce.

What is Social Commerce?

Social commerce gives your users the option to purchase a product directly from their social media feed. No redirects, no purchase journeys, just a simple click to buy. By keeping the user on the network they’re already engaged with, you’ll drastically increase conversion rates.

Social commerce is blowing up right now — you’ll find articles on it everywhere from big publishing companies like Forbes, advertising focused sites like AdWeek, and of course, large ecommerce blogs. And, with good reason.

Social commerce has changed the ecommerce marketing game because it’s reduced the purchase journey to two simple steps:

  • The user engages with a product in your social feed
  • They start the checkout process

So, how can you leverage this in your store?

5 Tools to Help You Sell Directly Through Social Media

To help you get your first (or next) social commerce campaign off to the very best start, I’m going to run through some of the best tools out there to help you sell directly through social media.

The Facebook Shop Page

Facebook is the biggest social network out there and this is their built-in social commerce solution. Before I run through how to set this up, you’re going to need to make sure you have a few things for this to work:

  • A Facebook business page
  • A supported page template (Shop Template is the obvious choice if you can’t see the Shop Tab)

Once that’s done, here’s how to set it up and get your first product listed: Head to your page and look in the left-hand side menu for the Shop Tab (if it’s not there, you might just need to change your theme).

Selling on Facebook

Once you’ve clicked on that, you’ll see the following message:

Facebook Commerce

Agree to the terms and click Continue. You’ll then be asked to choose your currency and a few other basic details.

The next step is super important: You’ll get to choose your checkout method.

Selling on Social Media for Ecommerce Businesses

You can redirect people to your store, however, then you’re just running a normal social media marketing campaign, right? If you let people checkout through Messenger they won’t have to leave the Facebook network, making this a simpler process.

When that’s done, you’re good to go. You’ll see the below page confirming setup, and a big button saying Add Product.

How to Sell on Social Commerce

Adding your products is something you should get super familiar with. I’d recommend starting with your top sellers to ensure a good first campaign.

Social Media Selling Tools

Now that’s set up, it’s time to start sharing and getting people to check out the shop element of your page.

Instagram Shoppable Posts

Instagram allows you to add product tags to your posts which, when tapped, give the user the option to buy right then and there. Before you’re able to add them to your posts, there are a few things you need to do:

  • Ensure you’re operating through a business page
  • Have a product catalog associated with a Facebook page
  • Apply and be approved for shoppable posts

If you hit all the requirements and your application is reviewed, you’ll be able to add 5 product tags to each shopping post.

Here’s how to set them up: Click the gear icon on your account and then head to the Shopping section. Then select the product catalog you want to use and that’s it! Pretty simple, right? Now you’ll be able to tag your products in your Instagram posts. Create a new post or story and tap Tag Products from the share screen. Pick the product you want to tag before sharing and you’ll have a post that looks something like this:

Instagram Social Commerce

Pinterest Product Pins

Pinterest is much like Instagram in that it’s great for visual-focused brands. They also offer a pretty neat solution to sell your products through the platform with product pins. The good news is, setting up Pinterest marketing product pins is super simple for most integrations, all you really need to do is copy over the URL from your Shopify or WooCommerce checkout page and Pinterest will do the rest.

Jumper

Now I’m going to move away from the services offered by the established networks and instead look at some third-party solutions you might want to try.

Jumper is new on the scene but making a huge impact thanks to partnerships with brands like Marvel and Ben and Jerry’s. In short, Jumper integrates with all the above-mentioned networks as well as allowing brands to sell directly through Youtube, Whatsapp, on your own website, or through a QR code to bridge the real world to the digital divide.

After a user engages with your post, an automated chatbot checkout takes over through Messenger or within a popup chat window to complete the purchase. It makes the purchasing journey a simple two-step process regardless of the platform.

Here’s how to get your first Jumper social commerce campaign underway: The first thing you need is a free account, then to fill out all the details you’ll see on the primary dashboard. Once you’ve filled out all your business information, you just need to link the social network you want to sell through in addition to Messenger and you’re ready to start selling. If the channel you want to sell with isn’t included in the left-hand side menu, you just need to skip that last step and head to adding a product.

Social Commerce Selling Methods

After adding a product to the platform, you just need to click the share icons to the right or, if you’re selling through one of the non-native integrations, go to the Edit Product page to find the product URL. Share that product URL on any site or network and it’ll kick off the automated checkout bot. Simple.

ManyChat

ManyChat’s name has become synonymous with Messenger marketing. It is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive and intuitive solution to sell products through Facebook Messenger.

What’s great about ManyChat is that there are options to integrate your account with Stripe, meaning you’ll be able to take payments directly through the Messenger sequences you set up.

Here’s a quick look at how to set up a product for sale in ManyChat: First things first, after setting up your account, be sure to link your ManyChat and Stripe accounts which you’ll find under Payments.

Social Commerce for Ecommerce Stores

With that done, the buy button will be unlocked for your campaigns.

Social Commerce Selling Tools

Now all you need to do is create a message and flow that leads users to that buy button. Of course, you’ll also need to link this to your Facebook page in the form of a post so when someone clicks on the post, the flow you’ve set up will trigger.

Conclusion

Social commerce is already making waves in the marketing world. Sure, it’s not exactly a new concept as networks like Facebook have been trying to get it to work for years, however, with recent developments in tech and some ambitious third-party solutions coming up, there’s never been an easier path to adding a social checkout to your updates and posts.

I’m positive it’s going to be the next big thing in marketing for a few reasons:

  • Early adopters of the strategies are already seeing incredible results
  • Chinese brands, who are around 5-10 years ahead of the west with mobile and social payments, are almost entirely dependent on social and mobile transactions
  • It’s what customers want, to be able to buy seamlessly from their favored channels

If you’ve not yet got a social commerce strategy underway, now is the time to start. With its current low adoption rate, you could quickly get ahead of your competitors and drive thousands in extra revenue with little effort.