How to sell through social networks?

4 min read
24 April 2020

Social networks can sell – it is an indisputable fact. And you should bear it in mind because it has been proved by thousands of businesses that were built on social networks, and by millions of businesses, for which social networks are the main source of income.

Major selling formats

Targeted advertising

Primarily, it is advertising on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and VKontakte. Targeted advertising is shown to a particular audience, then potential customers are either redirected to a website for a purchase, or they buy on social networks. With the help of targeted advertising, you can lead your audience to make a purchase decision.

Advantages of targeted advertising: - social networks try to choose the right audience; - social networks show the cost of a performed action. On Facebook, you will be shown how many people clicked through to the website, left an application, or paid by card. You will also be shown the cost of a click or purchase.

Selling posts

As soon as a user starts following your page, you get access to them. The user reads your posts, and posts are one of the main sales tools for the audience you already have.

Also, with the help of advertising tools, you can give the impetus to other people, who are not following you, to see your posts.

There are some specific things here: to benefit, the post should either be an interesting offer, for example, with a lower price than expected, have more features, or represent the interests of the audience.

Selling interface

Each social network has its features that sell. For example, Instagram has InstaLanding.

InstaLanding is a tool for styling your profile the way photos on Instagram make a unified picture. It is often used as a landing page: a person views a profile and sees a big poster showing particular offers.

VKontakte has its Services section - it is also an interface element that sells.

Services is a conventional name, the section can contain services, goods, info products, and other things. Users go there, choose what they want, and make an order. On Facebook, it is Marketplace that has the same functions.

On Instagram, there is a new feature now that is called shopping tags. It is a part of the interface that allows making every element of the photo a product that one can be purchase. That is why the interface should be styled in a certain way and follow particular algorithms to get good sales.

Selling apps

There are different formats for selling through an app on social media:

  • a full-fledged shop with a cart and making payments by card;
  • making appointments: for example, a person comes across a hairdresser’s account on Facebook, presses the Make a request button, adds personal data, and makes an appointment to visit the hairdresser. A person leaves contact details, agrees to the terms and conditions by ticking the box, and now you can get in touch with them.
  • an application form for real estate developers: through the interface, you apply for visiting an apartment or a sales office, having expert advice, and choosing many other options.
  • an individual offer: there are services that allow you addressing a person who visits your page. The user sees their picture, a message like this: “Alexander, good afternoon, we have prepared a special offer for you”, and a link to the offer page. Such methods allow you cross-selling successfully.

Selling via mail-outs

Say, a user visited your page and subscribed to weekly newsletters with the best offers or daily discounts. Now, daily, the user will receive a special mail-out. When using such mail-outs, considerably boost your reach: from 80% to 85% of people read their inbox letters.


A recommendation is a situation when a purchase decision is taken thanks to the influencer who advised to buy that particular product or service. A person visited your page, bought clothes, food, or home appliances from you and wrote about it.

A critical moment: the recommendation should be true because the hidden marketing format is no longer popular or up-to-date. It should be an open, fair recommendation. And in this case, it will increase purchases, especially if the customer is an influencer for their audience.