In this 7-minute read:
- Why sell on social media?
- How to add your products to Facebook and Instagram
- How to start selling on Facebook and Instagram
- Compatible 3rd-party eCommerce platforms
Smarter small business owners have been moving more aspects of their businesses online over the last few years. The world is strongly transitioning to a more digital commerce space, and even local businesses are having to compete with the likes of Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and other online stores.
Local brick-and-mortar stores still have lots of appeal and unique benefits, primarily in a personalized customer experience and great service. But you should have a strong online presence, and ideally be selling in a “unified commerce” model where your products and services are available in multiple sales channels.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has only sped that process up for many businesses across the globe, and more options are starting to open up to help businesses start selling online.
Through your business Facebook page, you can now set up an eCommerce store that allows you to get more visibility for your products from your social media audiences on Facebook and Instagram. You’ll even be able to advertise your products easily to reach your target customer.
Why sell on Facebook and Instagram?
Now is the time for your business to take advantage of the number of people using these two social media giants. With over 2.5 billion active users on Facebook and 1 billion active users on Instagram worldwide, you have a lot of opportunity to reach new customers.
With more people opting to order online pickup from grocery stores, do their shopping on Amazon, and spend hours each day on social media, it’s more important than ever for your store to be selling online. Facebook and Instagram are the perfect place to get started if you aren’t already there, and if you have an online store, it might be easier to start a social media shop than you think.
How does a Facebook store work for small businesses?
Setting up a Facebook shop will allow you to sell products directly from your business Facebook page. You’ll have two main options for getting your page set up: upload your products directly to Facebook or import your products through a third-party eCommerce system. We’ll go more in-depth on each of these options below.
Set up a your business Facebook page if you don’t already have one.
Once your products are loaded onto your Facebook page, visitors can click on your “shop” tab in the menu on your page and start purchasing from you like any other eCommerce site. Make sure that you continue to grow your Facebook audience in order to gain more opportunities to get new customers.
How does shopping on Instagram work?
Most companies that have a Facebook page also have an Instagram account because the two are so closely connected (Facebook owns Instagram and many of the features and demographics interconnect between platforms). You can link your Facebook page to Instagram and easily cross-post content without having to heavily manage each platform individually.
Set up your business Instagram account if you don’t already have one.
With the eCommerce options on Instagram, there is a little bit of this integration with Facebook as well. In order to set up an Instagram store, you’ll need to have your Instagram profile connected to a Facebook catalog, which comes back to those two options we mentioned previously: uploading directly to Facebook or using a third-party eCommerce system.
Once your page is connected, you can share posts and stories that tag your individual products and link back to them on Facebook to allow followers to complete their purchases.
How to add your products to Facebook and Instagram
Let’s go over how to get this started. Before you can ever sell anything, you need to get your products uploaded properly to each of your accounts.
How to start selling on Facebook
The first step is to upload your products to your Facebook page. Now’s the time to dive deeper into the two ways to do this.
Option 1: Add your products manually
- Go to your Facebook business page and click on Shop in the menu bar. If you don’t see this, follow these instructions to change your page template.
- Click “Go to Commerce Manager” where you’ll be redirected to Facebook’s Commerce Manager to add your products and manage your store.
- Next, follow the prompts to link your business accounts, set your shipping and return options, and set up payouts.
- Once the shop is set up you can add a catalog of your products. Select “Create Catalog” in the eCommerce manager. If you don’t see this option, go to https://www.facebook.com/products.
- Select the category that best describes your business: ecommerce, travel, real estate, or auto. For most businesses, you’ll likely select ecommerce.
- Click next and then select “Upload Product Info.” Under “Who owns this catalog?” make sure that the correct Facebook business page is selected. And then name your catalog. Click “Create” and then “View Catalog.”
- In the menu on the left, select “Products” to start adding products to your new catalog.
- Follow the prompts to add your products. Click “Add products.” From here you will have the option to add each product manually or to create a Google sheet to bulk upload your products (recommended if you have a large inventory that regularly changes). We’re going to walk you through the individual product loading in this guide. Select “Add Manually” and click “Next.”
- Upload an image for your product and add the following information: name, description, content ID or SKU (if you have it), link to product on your website, and price. Repeat this process for each product.
- Once your products are uploaded, click “Use Cases” on the left menu bar.
- Select “Get Started with Page Shops” and connect a Facebook Business page to your shop. Once your page is connected, your shop items will automatically be generated in the “Shop” section of your page.
Option 2: Use a third-party ecommerce platform
Several third-party ecommerce sites are partnering with Facebook to help their customers easily add their products to their business pages on Facebook. If you are currently using a third-party service to sell your products on your website, find out if your provider is offering Facebook integrations that will allow you to automatically add each of your products to your page.
Here are some of the ecommerce sites that are working with Facebook on this:
- Channel Advisor
- Tienda Nube
Make sure your Facebook page has a shop section and follow the instructions from your individual ecommerce solution to upload your products to your Facebook page.
How to start selling on Instagram
In order to sell and advertise your products on Instagram, you’ll need to get your products added to a Facebook account that is connected to your Instagram account. Follow the instructions above for adding your products to Facebook.
Once you have your products added to Facebook, go to your Commerce Manager and click “Use Cases” in the left menu bar. Click “Get Started with Instagram Shopping” and connect your Instagram account to your Commerce Manager.
When that is done, you’ll be able to tag products from your Facebook catalog on your Instagram posts and stories for users to easily click over to your Facebook store or website to make their purchase.
Don’t wait to get started. It can take a little time to get everything verified on your Instagram and Facebook accounts, so get the process started as soon as possible so you can reach your customers with this new method of shopping online.
Continue your marketing efforts and manage your online reputation
As you begin selling on Facebook and Instagram, these pages are going to become online extensions of your business, much like your website.
It’s important to make sure every facet of your business is well-represented and one way you can do that on Facebook is by helping ensure a steady reply of online reviews and recommendations.
Womply’s reputation management software can help you remind customers how much you appreciate their feedback online after they’ve made a purchase. That way, the next time a new customer visits your website, social media profiles, or review site pages, they’ll see that you know what you’re doing and will trust you as they shop online.