Are You Making the Most of Social Selling?



Have you noticed your Facebook feed change at all over the past year?


Think about some of the new features they’ve added, like buy buttons and the “Facebook Marketplace.”


Doesn’t seem to be a platform about social sharing anymore, does it?




Facebook is changing its trajectory. Social selling is growing in popularity. It’s becoming one of Facebook’s largest streams of income.


In fact, Facebook could care very little about organic reach anymore. Think about it: what does Facebook gain from successful, organic posts?


Very little, compared to what they earn from ad revenue and social selling commissions.


This pattern isn’t exclusive to Facebook. Twitter and other social media platforms are also focusing on making direct sales rather than improving organic reach.  


So, what does this mean for your Shopify eCommerce store?


Firstly, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your organic traffic. Organic traffic is still important, and it does work.


But it does mean you shouldn’t use organic reach as your sole marketing tactic on social media. You have to change your marketing strategy to succeed with Facebook’s, Twitter’s, and Pinterest’s new ecosystem, and we’re going to walk you through a few things you’ll want to be aware of as you redefine your social media marketing strategy.


Facebook Shops and Buy Buttons


Have you scrolled through your Facebook feed lately?


You’ve probably seen an advertisement boasting a “Buy” button at some point, if you’ve been on Facebook at all since 2014.


This new call-to-action might be small, but it’s changing the world of eCommerce.


In addition to the buy buttons, Facebook also added new Shops for retailers to list their products. According to recent studies, Facebook Shops have increased revenue for sellers by up to 10%.


There’s real potential for you as an eCommerce store owner by making the most of Facebook’s new buying features. But how can you make them work for you?


  • Choose the right products to feature. You won’t present your entire store on your Facebook page, only a few items. The most obviously displayed products will typically make up most of your revenue, so feature products your customers want to buy.


  • Make shopping on Facebook an exclusive experience for your customers. Offer flash sales or products not yet available on your store. Create a sense of urgency and uniqueness with your Facebook store to convert more page visitors into buyers.


  • Be social. Engage with your fans. Build a trusting, natural relationship with them. Answer their questions promptly. The more personable you are, the more sales you will make.


Twitter Buy Buttons


Once Facebook introduced buy buttons, Twitter decided to introduce their own native selling feature.


Twitter’s buy buttons work similarly to Facebook’s. Advertisers can feature a product, craft a tweet around it, promote the tweet, and make sales directly from Twitter. Users can save their payment information on their Twitter account and make purchases without ever navigating away from their timeline.


Pretty convenient, huh?


Twitter and Facebook might share similar looking buy buttons, but you’ll want to use a different strategy for both. Facebook is about building long-term connections with your customers, while Twitter is about impressing shoppers quickly to garner a sale.


Many companies succeed by selling time-sensitive products on Twitter. Information spreads like wildfire on Twitter, so you can make incredible revenue by selling products relevant to current events.


Case in point: Recently, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship. The team promoted special t-shirts on Twitter to celebrate. The t-shirts were featured on a singular advertised tweet, and the tweet’s buy button earn roughly $125,000 in merchandise sales for the team.


Pretty incredible.


This selling potential is available to you. Sure, making over $100,000 from a single tweet is a stretch goal, but you can use the same strategies to make Twitter selling work for you.


Current events and trending topics are always changing, so you’ll need to stay on your toes and be prepared for major events when they happen.


Predictable time-sensitive events, such as holidays, sporting events, and elections are great places to start. Is the Super Bowl coming up? Create two different shirts ahead of time, each commemorating one of the teams as the winner. When the event is over, advertise the product featuring the winning team.


Of course, creating time-sensitive products isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are other strategies you can implement to succeed by selling on Twitter.


Twitter offers some of the most highly-advanced advertising features of any platform. You can make your ads reach exactly who you want them to.


How can you use this to your advantage?


You’ve heard it before, and you’re going to hear it again: buyer personas.


Who follows your Twitter? What are they interested in buying? What can you advertise on your Twitter which will appeal to their tastes and make sales?


Analyze your Twitter demographics and get to work. Come up with a plan to connect better with your followers. Pick the right products to advertise, and advertise them only to people who have a high chance of buying them.


By crafting your advertising strategy just right, you can find wild success selling natively on Twitter.


Pinterest Buyable Pins


Pinterest has a reputation as the forgotten social media platform.


It doesn’t make much sense. Pinterest is an incredibly powerful tool for reaching new audiences and making sales. And with the introduction of Buyable Pins, it just got even better.


Firstly, Pinterest has always had one of the best social media advertising programs.




Because you don’t pay for an advertisement until someone clicks on it. You pay by the click, not the view, which saves you money and earns you traffic.


Pinterest also has a reputation for influencing purchases. In fact, Pinterest drives more shoppers to Shopify eCommerce stores than almost any other social media platform (excluding Facebook).


Now shoppers can buy products directly from your ads. They don’t even have to navigate to your store anymore.


Trust us when we say Buyable Pins have a lot to offer your store.


But why is Pinterest such a selling powerhouse?


Think about your last tweet. How long did it take to earn most of its engagement? Probably not longer than a day.


The half-life of a tweet is very short. Most tweets reach their half-life at just 24 minutes. Facebook posts have a similarly short half-life, at just 90 minutes.


Not Pinterest. It takes over 3 months for a pin to reach its half-life. This means your pin has over 90 days to reach half of its audience.


Your pins stay relevant long after they’ve been posted.


Pinterest also drives sales because of its audience. New reports show 9 out of 10 Pinterest users are first-time buyers.


There are over 60 million Buyable Pins on Pinterest. How can you make yours stand out?


Firstly, you need to plan and design your pin accordingly:


  • Use beautiful, eye-catching images relevant to your brand and product.


  • Create an emotional connection with your buyer.


  • Target your ad to their shopping needs. Are they sure about what they want to buy? Are they looking? Are they stuck on a decision?


After you’ve created the perfect pin, advertise it to the right demographics. Men, women, and teens all use Pinterest, so don’t shy away from the platform because you don’t think your target audience is using it.


Native selling on social media is the future of eCommerce. Sure, you still want to direct customers back to your own website for sales, but there’s unlimited potential to be had by selling directly from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, too.


Are you selling on social media? What are your strategies? How have your sales improved because of buy buttons and social media shops? Let us know in the comments below!


Special thanks to Aaron Orendorff from for the inspiration to this post!
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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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