We asked our friends over at Kabbage for their 5 do's and don'ts with social selling. Kabbage is redefining the way businesses are funded through fully-automated online business loans. Thanks again to Madie Hodges and the team at Kabbage for sharing this great content with us!


eCommerce and social media overlap in many ways. Their primary function beyond transactional sales and telling stories is the emotional connection between consumers and a product or a client and yourself as the business owner.

Social selling is quickly emerging as a new tactic for businesses and companies that might not have an enormous outbound sales force. Instead, they rely on their social media and marketing content to forge these relationships.

Social selling works like this:

Step One: Post an item or product with a photo and description on social media. 

Step Two: A consumer sees the photo and description and wants the item.

Step Three: The buyer posts SOLD in the comment thread, along with an email address.

Step Four: The social selling platform sends the buyer an invoice with payment and shipping information. (You must have a social selling platform enabled for this to work).

Step Five: The sale is completed and shipped.

Big brands are really leading the way in regards to social selling. Hilton International’s ultra-luxurious Conrad Hotels line launched a social selling reservations option this February, and big-time retailer Nordstrom’s uses on their Instagram photos too, allowing their followers to purchase the items they post.

Although big brands have the power of large advertising dollars, small businesses could see the highest potential returns. The key to selling on social being social first.

Christina Battle is one of the early adopters in the fashion boutique space. She uses Soldsie, an online social selling platform to integrate her social media marketing into eCommerce. Always quick to catch a developing trend, she latched on to social selling. Christina loves how it allows her to connect immediately and directly with the people she knows are as passionate about fashion as she is.

After a year of research and experience, supported by her education in fashion merchandising and her experimentation across more than a decade, Christina has identified a few golden rules of social selling success:

1. Do Know Your Audience

Age old advice that seems repetitive, but it couldn't be more applicable for social selling. Businesses and marketers alike have more access to information about prospects than ever before. Use this information to your advantage.

Christina recommends online resources like Iconosquare, and Google Analytics to gather statistics and information about your core audience. A few of the most important include buying habits, typical times online using different social media platforms, language usage, and current trends of conversation or engagement.

2. Don't Delay Communication

Social media is a medium of instant gratification. Trends on social media literally change daily.

As our attention span shortens on social media, responses to inquiries need to be proactive and immediate. If you wait to respond to a comment or question, the potential buyer may have already stepped away from the screen.

Christina advises that social selling is the perfect marriage of impulse buying and online shopping. 

3. Do Build Relationships

Building trust in your online relationships is an essential aspect of gaining credibility with your audience. “Customers need to trust that it is a legitimate form of shopping.”

Besides driving social selling, building relationships are a key component to web marketing for small businesses. Although digital media is among the easiest forms of ROI to track, it is far from perfect. There are some less tangible forms of ROI you can attribute to a successful social presence. 

4. Don’t Use Low-Quality Images

With so many touch points from a digital perspective, excellence is required across the board.

Lack of high resolution images presents a wayward perception of your brand integrity. The images should be excellent, creative, and colorful…and large enough to still look great when the buyer zooms in for a closer look. Pixilation loses sales every day.

5. Do Switch Things Up

“People like social shopping because it’s a little more non-traditional than going to someone’s web store where you can see the same four angles of an item against a white-ish background.” Customers who want that experience just nip over to Amazon or Etsy.

The early adopters who embrace social selling like to be different, and will be drawn to images that reflect that difference. Some of your photos should be classic product photos, but most should be unique, interesting, and relatable.

Combine these actionable tips on social selling with our free ebook "The 10 Commandments of Content Creation" and you will be unstoppable! Get your copy today!

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