So you’ve got your social media looking good, and have grown your following… but what about your $ales?? First let’s ask the obvious question… why should you be selling on social media?

Meet the Millennials

Millennials remain the key age demographic for online shopping spending more money online in a given year than any other age group. They spend around $2,000 annually on e-commerce despite having lower incomes than older adults.

Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers by nearly 10%, surpassing them as the nation’s largest living generation in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and that’s not all. They’re estimated to reach $1.4 trillion in annual spending by 2020 – roughly one-third of all retail spending!

Boomers Shop Socially

Do you have an older demographic for your products/services? Not to worry! Boomers and seniors have adopted mobile commerce too.

There is plenty of money to be made online selling to this older age group. One in four mobile shoppers in the U.S. is over the age of 55 and Boomers control 70% of the disposable income in the U.S.! How Do You Do It?

There are MANY options and 3rd party tools for social selling, you have to pick what works for you!

We are going to go over some of the ways you can go about it and give you pros and cons for each. It is up to you to decide which way makes the most sense for your business.


Hashtags

There are lots of people out there selling on Instagram simply by adding a hashtag to their posts. Shoppers can search for appropriate hashtags and see what is available. This is a difficult way to sell online if you have many inventory to manage. We don’t recommend it to small businesses as it is not very professional. Most users that sell this way are doing it personally. For example, to sell clothes from their closet. See hashtags below that can be used for this purpose:

#Product/Brand

#Location

#ForSale

#InstaShop

#InstaSale


Comments

Selling via comments is another way that some are using. Although, without using a 3rd party to manage your feed, this can be difficult to stay on top of as well. For example, if you post something for sale and only have 3 in stock, you have to be aware if more than three people comment sold. This can be a nightmare to fulfill as well because you have to do all of the follow up to get shipping information. For these reasons, we don’t recommend this option to small business owners unless you are using a 3rd party application to run it. Wondering which 3rd party option to use? We’ll go over those next…


InSelly

Inselly is a 3rd party service that lets you use your profile link to sell from a branded Inselly page and also allows Instagram users to buy with the Inselly hashtag. Then the payment processing, inventory and invoicing are taken care of.

Purchases are processed through PayPal, and buyers can contact you through a message either on the app or via the Inselly website.

The service is free (for now) which we love. It is an easy way to get your feet wet and see if social selling makes sense. See http://inselly.com/how_to_sell for more.


Soldsie/Have2Have.it

Soldsie is one of our favorites and offers lots of ways to use the service. First of all you can sell directly from the comments on Instagram and Facebook. Buyers do have to integrate Soldsie with their social media but in this day and age that is not much of a barrier.

All you have to do is upload your products through the Soldsie dashboard to turn the product images into shoppable Instagram posts. Buyers can make purchases by commenting “sold” directly on the post and including any necessary size/ color/selection information then Soldsie sends them an email invoice. It’s that easy! Soldsie even offers a pre-order feature that will allow you to sell products/services via comments before they are ever launched. There are lots of pricing options starting at $49/month plus 5% of sales, check out their website to see which works best for you! See http://new.soldsie.com/how-it-works/ for deets. Soldsie also works if you have an existing Shopify or e-commerce website with their service Have2Have.It. It creates a shopable link that you put on your profile similar to InSelly. The difference is, the gallery clicks through directly to your website so users can shop and check out on your site instead of on a 3rd party site. The benefit to this over simply linking to your website from Instagram is that you can directly link to each product you post on Instagram rather than sending them to your home page each time. If they go from Instagram to your home page, they will then have to hunt and search for the specific product they were interested in. This may lead the user to lose interest and you to lose the sale. It is free for 0-49 clicks, then plans start at $5/mo and go up quickly from there. See  https://have2have.it/ for more info.


Shopify

Our last tool for social selling is Shopify. We REALLY love Shopify because it allows you to have an e-commerce site, PLUS it integrates for selling on all social platforms – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Pricing ranges from $10179/mo. See https://www.shopify.com/ to learn more.


This article originally appeared in the July issue of WORK//BOOK™, our monthly e-magazine for WORK//SHOP™ members. WORK//SHOPAHOLICS™ can read the entire edition in the members’ area of www.retailerworkshop.com.

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