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Social Shopping: How to Sell Products Directly on Social Media

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Social shopping has been growing steadily since 2019. People want easy, accessible, and convenient shopping experiences on their mobile devices. They want to shop within the moment of discovery. Basically, they want to shop on social media.

But, have you ever asked yourself, what is social shopping? Why do I need it, and how do I do it?

In this article, you’ll learn what social shopping is and why you should make it a cornerstone of your ecommerce strategy. We’ll walk you through how your social shop works on different platforms and some tips to get you raking in sales.

Bonus: Learn how to sell more products on social media with our free Social Commerce 101 guide. Delight your customers and improve conversion rates.

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Social shopping refers to the selling and buying of products directly on social media. With social shopping, complete transactions take place without leaving the social network app.

There’s no doubt that the demand for easy and instant online shopping is growing. And, with that demand comes potential.

Statista reports that worldwide social commerce generated roughly 724 billion USD in revenue in 2022. They go on to say the expected annual growth is 30.8% from 2022 to 2030, so “revenues in this segment are forecast to reach approximately 6.2 trillion dollars in the latter year.”

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Most companies have grabbed a piece of this pie. They’ve taken advantage of consumers’ willingness to buy online by growing their ecommerce offerings.

A 2021 survey saw 29% of global respondents who purchased something they saw on a social media platform from the platform itself. That’s a lot of potential sales you’re missing out on if you’re not engaging customers and using social media in your ecommerce strategy.

Now, your social shops show up a little differently depending on the platform you’re using. Here’s what you need to know about the big four: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Instagram Shopping

Instagram Shopping is an ecommerce feature on Instagram’s platform that lets people social shop. It allows people to discover and purchase products through photo and video posts.

How it works:

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Setting up your Instagram shop is pretty easy. Once your storefront is live, and your product catalog is uploaded, you can add product tags to photos and videos.

Article Turoy Ivory chair shop

Source: Article

You can also engage with influencers and utilize user-generated content to promote your products for you. By allowing other people to tag your products, you can increase your reach and influence purchasing decisions.

True social shopping is only available to eligible US business and creator accounts. Right now, Instagram only allows certain accounts in the US to add in-app checkout features to their Instagram shops. Instagram Shops, however, is available across the globe, specifically for businesses in these markets.

Shopping features:

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Instagram Shop has a ton of great ecommerce features for your digital store, like:

  • Shops: Your customizable storefront allows people to shop on your profile.
  • Shopping tags: These tags feature products from your catalog. They let customers purchase directly from your website or on Instagram (if you’re eligible).
  • Shop in Explore: People can now browse posts with Shopping tags in the Explore section.
  • Collections: You can curate products into collections to help your customers find what they’re looking for.
  • Product detail page: This page tells the consumer what they need to know about the product, like pricing or descriptions. Instagram pulls these details from your product catalog, so make sure you fill that out properly.
  • Ads with product tags: You can now create ads from your shoppable posts!
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For businesses that are eligible to use Checkout, you also have access to:

  • Product launches: Announce your pending product launch on Instagram to build hype! Here, people can preview details about the launch and create purchase reminders.
  • Shopping partner permissions: You can give your Instagram partners permission to tag your products or link to your shop. This can help you to increase your reach.

Facebook Shopping

Facebook Shopping is an ecommerce feature on Facebook’s platform. It allows creators and businesses to engage in social shopping. It’s a lot like Instagram Shopping, which is no surprise since Meta owns both platforms.

How it works:

So long as you have a Facebook Page you want to sell from and a business account, you’re golden. Setting up your Facebook shop is simple. From there, you can update your product catalog and customize your Facebook shop.

Wairco Snap case for Apple AirTag

Source: Wairco

To use Facebook Shops, you need to comply with Facebook’s commerce eligibility requirements and be in a supported market. Luckily, these can be all over the globe; here’s a full list of Facebook-supported markets.

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To make the most of your Facebook Shopping experience, you’ll want to look into how your Facebook Commerce Manager account can work for you.

Shopping features:

  • Collections: You can customize your product collections to make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for.
  • Advertising: Add a Custom Audience to your ad campaigns to reach people who are already interested in your shop.
  • Insights: Commerce Manager will show you insight into your Facebook Shop’s performance. With it, you can better optimize your eCommerce offering.
  • Exposure: Your products may appear in popular shopping centers on Facebook like Marketplace.
  • Direct Messages across platforms: Shops can access Messenger, Instagram Direct, and soon WhatsApp. This way, your customers can access you in many different places.

Pinterest Shopping

Pinterest is the OG powerhouse of online shopping. It’s a visually-dominated, product-first platform. And, Pinterest’s organizational style and strong algorithm keep serving its fans. They report 80% more in sales per month compared to other social platforms.

Truly, Pinterest has some impressive stats. As an online seller, you don’t want to sleep on this app.

See also  LinkedIn Analytics: The Complete Guide for Marketers

How it works:

You’ll want to set up your Pinterest shopping account by joining the verified Merchant Program. From there, it’s a matter of uploading your products, setting up your Product Pins, and customizing your shop.

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Pinterest shopping is available in many countries; see the full list here.

One thing to note, Pinterest’s social shopping is not available to most merchants and buyers. There are certain eligible US-based merchants that can check out in the Pinterest app. US buyers can find the Buy Button below a Pin (it’s blue!) if they’re eligible. For the most part, however, Pinterest will send you to the merchant’s ecommerce site to complete the purchase.

Pinterest Pinch long sleeved striped shirt

Source: Pinterest

Shopping features:

  • Product Pins: These pins stand out from regular, unshoppable pins because they have a price listed in the corner. They show off your product details, including a special title and description, price, and stock availability.
  • Shoppable Lens: This feature is a bit like Googling images. You take a photo of a physical product, then Pinterest shows you similar products.
  • Shopping List: When people save products to their boards, they are automatically added to that person’s Shopping List.
  • Shop in Search: Some eligible regions allow users to search in a Shop-specific category. Your shoppable products will automatically show up here.
  • Shop Spotlights: Spotlights can feature your product prominently, getting it in front of more viewers. Spotlights are chosen by fashion bloggers, writers, and editors, so keep optimizing your product page and hope for the best.
  • Shoppable ads: You can make shoppable ads and ads that feature an entire collection of your products.

TikTok Shopping

A TikTok Shop is an ecommerce feature integrated into TikTok’s platform. This feature makes selling products on TikTok possible. And, with 24 billion views and counting, the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt alone makes for a pretty good argument to get sellin’ on the app.

How it works:

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You can set up your own TikTok shop if you meet the app’s requirements. Once that’s done, it’s as easy as optimizing your product catalog and promoting your products.

TikTok shopping features:

  • Shopify integrated advertising: If you’re a Shopify merchant, you can run shoppable ads on TikTok all from your Shopify Dashboard
  • Video ads: You can create shoppable video ads that appear on users’ For You Page
  • TikTok Shopping API (coming soon!)
  • Third-party partner integration like Shopify, Square, Ecwid, and PrestaShop
  • You can include your product links on videos

Now that you’re a social shopping pro, it’s time to create or refresh and refine your social shopping strategy. Here are eight quick tips for selling your products!

Image is everything

Use high-quality images. People are visually oriented, so make sure your product photos are clear and attractive. Be sure to use bright, well-lit images that showcase your products in the best possible light.

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Answer ‘what is this and why do I want it?’ in your product description

Use engaging descriptions. In addition to listing the facts about your product, use language that will capture people’s attention and make them want to learn more. Clear and concise product descriptions with benefits over features should do the trick.

Don’t try to pack too much information into each description. Instead, focus on making it easy for potential customers to know what your product is and why they need it.

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Discounts and deals

Offer discounts and deals. Deals and discounts were a top motivation for online shoppers in 2021. 37% of people said discounts and deals were their deciding factors. Be sure to promote your deal on your page!

Make it easy to buy

Social shopping has a huge advantage with ease of use because users don’t have to leave the app to convert. Include links to your product pages on your posts and make sure buying is as streamlined as possible. You’ll want to test out your user journey yourself to see if there are any pain points your users may have.

Have competitive pricing

Make sure your pricing is in-line with the industry standards. Take a look at prices on similar social shopping sellers’ pages. Then, price your products accordingly.

Promote, promote, promote!

Stay active on social media. The more you post about your products, the more likely people are to see them and make a purchase. Keep your social media pages updated regularly for the best results.

If a customer posts a great review of your product or store, don’t miss reposting that social proof. You can schedule posts in advance with Hootsuite, making this step a breeze.

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Get a free 30-day Hootsuite trial

Use social media marketing tools for a leg up

Take advantage of social media marketing tools to reach a wider audience. Utilize hashtags, post updates regularly, and run promotional campaigns on social channels like Instagram and Facebook. Your analytics tools (try Hootsuite’s!) will help you to understand what’s working and what’s not.

Use a social media chatbot

Provide excellent customer service. Respond quickly to questions and concerns, and do everything you can to ensure that your customers are happy during the buying process. One life-saving hack for impeccable customer service? Get a social media chatbot like Heyday.

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Heyday is a conversational ai chatbot, that can automatically answer all your customer’s FAQs and queries, saving your team time and money.

Heyday order tracking support conversational AI

Source: Heyday

Engage with shoppers on social media and turn customer conversations into sales with Heyday, our dedicated conversational AI chatbot for social commerce retailers. Deliver 5-star customer experiences — at scale.

Get a free Heyday Demo

Turn customer service conversations into sales with Heyday. Improve response times and sell more products. See it in action.

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How This Underwear Brand Won with an Anti-Black-Friday Social Campaign

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Ah, Black Friday.

It’s no surprise that the official kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is responsible for a massive annual surge in consumer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is a yearly slam-dunk for big box retailers, Black Friday can bring more challenges than benefits for small businesses.

Slashing prices to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line — and with limited marketing budgets and resources, competing with big brands takes courage, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stand out during the holiday season are the ones that connect with the unique wants and needs of their customers, get bold with their marketing strategies, and create thumb-stopping content that’s sure to get people talking.

Last year, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Hootsuite customer Pantee won Black Friday with a campaign that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse buying. We interviewed Pantee’s founders, sisters Amanda and Katie McCourt, to learn how they did it, what the results were, and what they’ve learned for future campaigns.

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What is Pantee?

Pantee is an underwear brand making a difference: their products are made using “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold inventory that would otherwise end up in landfills. Designed by women, for women and the planet, Pantee’s products are created with comfort and style in mind, while helping prevent unused garments from going to waste.

@pantee_uk We launched a business in lockdown! Here’s how we did it ✨🩲 #smallbusinesslaunch #howtostartabusiness #smallbusinesscheck #whatididduringlockdown ♬ Bubble – Official Sound Studio

For Pantee, sustainability isn’t a buzzword or trend to jump on; the brand was founded with this purpose at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was browsing second-hand clothing stores in London and was blown away by the number of brand-new t-shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.

“It was crazy to me how many people had given away clothes before even wearing them once,” says Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many discarded clothes we can see, how much is there that we can’t see? Once I started researching, I knew that we could make a difference. It’s very difficult to get buying right in the fashion industry with trends and shopping cycles changing so frequently, and as a result, many companies overproduce. I became fixated on the idea of what we could do with deadstock clothing.”

The short answer to Amanda’s question on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion industry produces an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothes made are never even sold.

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With a bold passion to make a difference for our planet—and after realizing that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everyone loves would lend itself well to underwear and wireless bras—Amanda and Katie named the business Pantee (an abridged version of “pants made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the concept to life.

@pantee_uk Upcycling never felt so good ♻️ link in bio to learn more about how we make sustainable underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion ♬ luxurious – milo

Since initially launching their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised £11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has grown into a successful sustainable startup—upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for every order placed (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the Planet.

Flipping the script with a ‘Blackout Friday’ campaign

Leading up to the Black Friday pandemonium in 2021, Amanda and Katie had one thing on their minds: overconsumption. Already an issue in the fashion industry during the regular season, Black Friday was sure to encourage consumers to make unnecessary purchases—many of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, worse, in landfills.

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So, while many small businesses grappled with whether or not to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a different question: how could they create a successful campaign while staying true to their mission?

  • The solution: Reclaim Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative encouraging consumers to rethink their purchases and avoid impulse buying.
  • The message: Stop and think before you buy. Is it something you love? Is it something you need? If so, go ahead— buy and enjoy your new purchase. But if you weren’t already going to make that purchase, consider going without.

“Black Friday is the biggest impulse buying day of the year, and people get easily sucked into sales,” says Katie. “But the mentality should be: Is it really a bargain if you weren’t going to spend the money originally? Our campaign stance was not to encourage impulse buying, and we saw a lot of engagement because of the shared values and common ground it established with our audience.”

“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t necessarily don’t make a purchase, but if you’re going to, buy something you’ve wanted for a really long time.”

Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the campaign to life and put their words into action, the retailer turned off their website to all but their engaged customers, who were only able to access the website through a code they sent to their existing mailing list.

The results

The campaign was an overwhelming success, leading to a significant increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and new customer acquisition.

  • Engagement on social media doubled throughout the campaign (from 4 to 8%), and organic social impressions reached over 4x the total followers at the time.
  • The campaign organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 without any supported paid spend.
  • Pantee’s mailing list grew by 33% in the week leading up to Black Friday.
  • The success of the social campaign extended far beyond Pantee’s Instagram, with the initiative featured in top-tier press including The Observer, Drapers, Reuters, The Daily Mail, and more.
See also  How to Get Verified on Instagram in 2022 [6 Simple Steps]

“While we didn’t run a sale or any promotions last year, Black Friday was the biggest sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By simply taking a stand and leveraging social to get our message out, we drove a month’s worth of web traffic in a matter of hours and had loads of people signing up for our email list. We saw a ton of new, first-time customers just because they valued what we were doing.”

“Brands often think that you can have values, but they won’t convert to sales,” adds Amanda. “But we think that’s changing—and this campaign is a great example of that.”

Pantee is now launching the campaign for the second year and looking forward to even more impressive results.

4 lessons learned from one unconventional campaign

Whether you’re brainstorming future creative campaigns, building out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or already getting started on planning for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday campaign holds great lessons that every marketer should keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top four recommendations—here’s what they said.

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1. Hone in on your purpose

“We talk a lot about our values as a brand,” says Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we talk about an issue, our values, or something with substance behind it, our engagement is so much higher. That’s what people want to see: something that gets them thinking.”

Amanda adds: “I think at one point, we lost our way a bit and became more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we noticed that we weren’t getting the same reach. Pushing product works through email marketing and other areas of the business, but with social, we’ve seen a bigger opportunity to educate our audience and share useful information that they can walk away with.”

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2. An engaged community is everything

“There’s a huge difference between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it comes to social, what we’ve found is that people who engaged with us early on have become advocates for our brand. We see so much value in community and engaging with our customers beyond getting the sale. Many brands see social as a platform to get their message out, but for us, it’s a two-way street.”

3. Don’t be afraid to be bold

“We learned quite early on with our social that the highest peaks of engagement happened when we took a stand for something,” says Katie. “We’ve always been quite mission driven, but we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we’ve launched campaigns with our sustainability mission at the forefront, the engagement has been through the roof.”

4. Remember that there’s more to social than what you’re posting

“Social media isn’t just about what you post, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make people feel,” explains Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms connecting with others, building relationships and establishing an engaged community is invaluable. We use our social channels for two-way conversations with both customers and our community – there is so much you can learn when you talk with them instead of at them.”

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If there’s one takeaway that rises above all the others, it’s that social is one of the most powerful tools that brands can use to ignite their business, turning bystanders into loyal brand advocates, awareness into sales, and your mission into positive, tangible change. Just ask Pantee.

Find out about the biggest trends shaping social media so you can stay ahead of the game—and make sure your next social campaign is a winner. 

Discover the Trends

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

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How To Find and Use Business-Friendly TikTok Sounds

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TikTok is many things to many, many people — a daily vlog, a place to get news and an incredibly popular search engine. Still, it’s important to remember that TikTok started as a place for sounds.

Yes, before it was the all-consuming social media beast it is today, TikTok was mostly known for music. In fact, it merged with a lip-synching service called Musical.ly in 2018 to become the app we know and love today.

Whether it’s a song, a movie clip, a lip-synch or something else, sounds make TikTok special. In fact, 88% of users say sound is vital to the TikTok experience.

Whether you’re promoting your personal page or your business profile, mastering TikTok sounds is always in your best interest.

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Read our handy guide to learn how to find sounds on TikTok that work for your business.

Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.

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How to find trending sounds on TikTok

In a way, TikTok sounds work like hashtags do on other social media apps. Add a trending TikTok sound to your video, and you’ll enter into a larger conversation happening around that sound.

If you choose the right sound and do something special with it, you could make a lot of waves. Here’s how to find TikTok sounds that will click with your audience.

Your own FYP

The beauty of trending content on TikTok is that it’s easily presented to you right on your For You Page. Unless you’ve royally messed up your algorithm with weird browsing habits, chances are you’ll have viral content on your FYP when you open the app.

And if you notice a sound that’s been used more than once on a cursory scroll, you might have a trending sound on your hands. Tap on the song (at the bottom right) and take a look at what else is happening.

A video on TikTok's FYP with an arrow indicating the sound in the bottom right

The song’s landing page allows you to add the song to your favorites, share with friends, or use the audio right away.

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But this is also a great place to see if an audio trend has really gone mainstream. Check out how many other videos on TikTok use that sound and you’ll have a pretty good sense of whether a song is truly viral.

A TikTok sound's landing page with an arrow indicating the number of times a song has been used in a TikTok

Meghan Trainor’s “Made You Look” has been used in 1.5 million TikToks, so it’s safe to say that it’s a pretty popular audio.

TikTok’s search bar

In addition to its timeline, TikTok has a powerful search function. You can find plenty of great trending content just by hitting the search bar. Even something as obvious as “viral sounds” will bring up, well, plenty of viral sounds.

You can hit the Hashtags tab of the search results for another set of popular options. Users often hijack trending songs with content unrelated to the trend, but you should strike gold without too much effort.

The hashtags tab on TikTok's search

TikTok’s sound library

It’s obvious, for sure, but still worth noting that the best place to find trending TikTok sounds is, well, the TikTok sound library.

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The sound tab makes it easy to find a list of recommended playlists with trending sounds. Be sure to look at the “Featured” and “TikTok Viral” playlists for more inspiration.

The sound tab on TikTok's search allows you to search by song, artist, or curated playlists

TikTok’s Creative Center

TikTok has made it even easier than searching for sounds yourself, however, thanks to their Creative Center.

This resource lets you see real-time stats about specific songs and sounds on the app. You can see how well a sound is doing based on specific regions too. This is super helpful if you’re targeting a part of the world that you’re not currently in.

@tiktokforbusinesssea 💥 Visit TikTok Creative Center at our bio for all the inspo you need to bring your #creative A-game. #tiktokforbusiness #tiktoktips ♬ original sound – TikTok for Business SEA

You can view limited info on the Creative Center without logging in, but you’ll need to create a free TikTok Business Account if you want to dive deeper.

See also  How To Search on TikTok for Just About Anything

External TikTok trackers

You don’t have to stay within TikTok to find the best trending sounds.

In fact, a small cottage industry of third-party trackers has emerged, and sites like TokChart and TokBoard have become super helpful.

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You can use these sites to view stats like which TikTok songs are charting and where. You can even see which hashtags are associated with the song.

Music industry resources

If a song is trending on TikTok, it’s likely trending worldwide too. TikTok is inherently tied to the modern music industry, so it’s wise to keep an eye on trends at large. If a song is incredibly popular on Spotify or YouTube, it will likely do well on TikTok too.

You can even put on your music industry hat and start watching the Billboard Hot 100 chart to see which songs might be future trends. You could even follow Billboard on TikTok.

@billboard Here’s a breakdown of @Taylor Swift’s big week on the Billboard #Hot100. 💯 #taylorswift #billboard #swifties #midnights #theerastour #antihero #taylornation #billboardcharts #tsmidnights #tsmidnightsts #tsmidnightsalbum ♬ smiles & sunsets – ultmt.

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How to use TikTok sounds as a brand

You’ve learned how to find trending songs, so now all you have to do is add a new Taylor Swift song to your latest video, right? That’s technically the case for influencers, but it’s not so straightforward for business accounts.

Business accounts do not have access to major pop songs — or really, songs by any well-known artists. That’s because potential copyright issues could arise if they use them in an ad.

If your business account tries to use a copyrighted sound, you’ll see the following disclaimer:

The TikTok landing page for the Beyonce song CUFF IT, showing the song is not licensed for commercial use

Fortunately, there are still plenty of options for using TikTok sounds as a brand.

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Here are some options for what you can do.

Use royalty-free audio

TikTok feels your pain and knows you wish you could put Blink-182 on your ad. But they’ve done the next best thing and created a Commercial Music Library full of royalty-free audio.

The home screen for TikTok's Commercial Sound Library

There are over 150,000 pre-cleared tracks from just about any genre. You won’t have any shortage of options that are suitable for your content.

You can search for songs by genre, hashtag, mood or song title, and there are even playlists you can browse for inspo. It’s an easy solution for branded content.

@nfl that fake out tho 😮‍💨 @49ers #rayraymccloud #sanfrancisco ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral – WZ Beat

The track “Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Vira” by WZ Beat is an example of a royalty-free sound that has gone superviral on the app.

Work with Sound Partners

If your marketing budget has room for audio production, consider using TikTok’s in-house sound marketing partners. Last year, TikTok expanded its Marketing Partner Program to include Sound Partners.

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The program now boasts offerings from international music companies like Butter, 411 Music Group, Sonhouse, AEYL MUSIC and many, many more.

See also  What is Conversational Commerce and Why Does it Matter for Brands?

The home screen for TikTok's Sound Partners program

The cost will vary depending on the scope of your campaign. Some of the production houses also offer subscription services in addition to per-project fees. You could even work with them to strategize the sounds of your entire brand TikTok page.

Make your own sounds

If you’d rather not use some stock music as your audio track, there are plenty of other options available to you if you opt to make your own sounds. Depending on how ambitious you feel, they can be as complicated or simple as you want.

For one thing, you could make or hire someone to make original music for your TikTok page. That could look like messing around in Garageband or collaborating with an audio composer and musician.

This option isn’t necessarily ideal if you have no musical knowledge whatsoever, but it could pay off in major ways. After all, a branded audio sting or TikTok-ready jingle could travel far if other users want to use it in their videos.

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That last point is also why you could do just as well to create an official sound that is just, well, you talking. If you say something memorable enough that others will want to quote, you might find your sound being reused in other videos.

If you’ve named the sound and included mention of your brand somewhere, that could pay off for your project in the long run.

@elfyeah Poof! 💨 Poreless putty can make anything disappear! Show us your #elfvanishingact ✨ @rominagafur #porelessputty #elfyeah #elfcosmetics ♬ Vanishing Act e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer – elfyeah

The cosmetic brand e.l.f. works with agencies to create original songs that go viral and launch TikTok trends.

Ask for user-generated audio

If you’ve had some luck with Duets or noticed you’ve developed a bit of a following on TikTok, you could straight up request user-generated content from your fanbase. Framed correctly, a user-generated campaign could pay off very well.

Think of ways your specific demographic would want to participate in your campaign. You can try asking for a testimonial or tutorial about your product or even something more creative like a joke or a jingle. If it applies to you, you could encourage fans to react to your work or have them come up with a comedy sketch. You could even incorporate the user-generated content into a contest of some kind.

Another great way to inspire user-generated content is to encourage Duets. If your branded video is the kind of thing that users will want to collaborate with, it will likely make some waves throughout TikTok. Think about what kind of Duet someone might want to create with your content and go from there.

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@yoleendadong #duet with @vessi wow no more wet socks pretty cool kinda freaky deaky ✨ #nomorewetsocks #vessi #waterproof #waterproofshoes #ketchup ♬ December (April Remix) – The Young Ebenezers

The shoe company Vessi encourages Duets with contests, call-outs and, well, extremely weird videos that are begging for live reactions.

If you post anything made by someone else, you should always credit them in the caption. This will keep you safe from any issues should the users choose to copyright their audio later on.

You should also avoid reposting audio that includes copyrighted music, even if it’s in the background.

See also  How to Get Verified on Instagram in 2022 [6 Simple Steps]

Obtain a licence

Okay, we get it: you absolutely need to use a Carly Rae Jepsen song in your TikTok brand campaign. There’s simply no replacement for her uniquely crafted, emotive pop music.

In that case, you could license a song to use in your video. This might get expensive, but it is technically possible. Start by seeking legal advice from a copyright or music licensing lawyer — and let us know how it goes!

Frequently asked questions about TikTok Sounds

Still confused? Here’s a breakdown of some frequently asked questions about TikTok Sounds.

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Can businesses use TikTok sounds?

Yes. Businesses can use TikTok sounds in their videos so long as they are cleared for commercial use. The best ways to incorporate sounds into business posts are to use TikTok’s pre-cleared commercial audio, make your own original sounds or use user-generated content (and credit the creators).

What does “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” mean?

If you receive this error, it most likely means that you are trying to access a “mainstream” song while using a business account on TikTok.

TikTok users with personal accounts can use any sound they like — including the world’s most popular pop songs — but TikTok does not allow businesses to use mainstream music in their videos.

They implemented this policy in 2020, at which point they introduced the royalty-free music available in their Commercial Music Library.

@timmycobbsfitness #moda #problemsolved #fyp #business ♬ Meet Me At Our Spot – THE ANXIETY & WILLOW & Tyler Cole

How do you access TikTok’s commercial music library?

TikTok’s commercial sound library is available on both the app and your desktop browser.

If you’re using the app:

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  • Open the camera and tap Add sound
  • Then tap Sounds and search Commercial sounds.

TikTok's sound search showing the commercial sound library

This will bring you to the Commercial Music Library, where you can browse your options.

TikTok's Commercial Sound Library

How do you download TikTok sounds?

There’s no direct way to download a sound from TikTok onto your device.

If you want to save your favorite sound on TikTok, tap the bookmark icon to add a sound to your favorites. This will save it within the app, so you can easily use it later.

How to save a TikTok sound for later: tap the bookmark icon or Add to favorites

If you really want a TikTok sound for use outside of the app, you could consider screen recording or downloading a TikTok video with a third-party app or website.

How do you find saved sounds on TikTok?

Once you’ve added a TikTok sound to your favorites, it’s as easy as tapping the Favorites tab when you’re making a post.

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.The popup that appears when you've successfully added a TikTok sound to your favorites

When you add sound to a new TikTok, just tap the Favorites tab. All of your previously saved sounds will show up under that banner.

Where to find saved sound on TikTok

Can you add more than one sound to a TikTok?

You can’t add multiple sounds to the same TikTok within the app. If you’re looking to stitch together more than one sound, you’ll have to use a third-party video editor to create your video, then upload it to the app.

If you do this, however, you will likely miss out on having your video associated with that particular sound in TikTok’s database.

Grow your TikTok presence alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts for the best times, engage your audience, and measure performance — all from one easy-to-use dashboard. Try it free today.

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What Is a UGC Creator? Follow These 5 Steps To Become One

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what-is-a-ugc-creator?-follow-these-5-steps-to-become-one

Have you ever dreamed about becoming an influencer and getting paid to create social media content without needing a big audience? Well, a new wave of people is doing just that: UGC creators.

If you’ve spent time on TikTok or Instagram in the last 6-12 months, chances are you’ve come across UGC creators. Even if you don’t recognize the term, you’ve probably seen content made by these creators on your favorite brands’ accounts.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know the exact steps needed to become a UGC content creator.

Bonus: Unlock our free, customizable pitch deck template to successfully reach out to brands and lock down the influencer partnership of your dreams.

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What is a UGC creator?

A UGC creator is someone who creates sponsored content that appears authentic but is designed to showcase a specific business or product.

The most common format for UGC creators is video, especially on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Creators usually film and narrate the content from their perspective, which gives it an authentic feel.

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The main difference between UGC creators and influencers is that UGC creators create and deliver to businesses without the obligation to post it on their channels (although some UGC deals may add this for an extra fee). With influencers, the company usually pays for both content and exposure to the influencer’s audiences.

@itstarachristina

Replying to @ROY KANYI What is UGC? Quick summary of what UGC content is, what UGC content creators do, and how you can become a UGC creator! #ugccreator #whatisugc #ugc #whatisugc? #ukugc #ukugccreator #ugccreatoruk #startugc #ugchelp #ugctips2022

♬ original sound – TaraChristina🍒Content Creator

UGC content also tends to appear less polished and professional than influencer content, which helps to preserve the authenticity of UGC.

Why is UGC so valuable?

While being a UGC creator is a new concept, traditional user-generated content (UGC) is not. It’s become a proven tool in social media strategies for building communities, increasing brand awareness, and driving sales.

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Despite the name, UGC creators are not creating traditional organic UGC. Normally, UGC is created organically by customers in the form of photos, videos, testimonials, product reviews, and blog posts and shared spontaneously. Businesses can choose to re-share a customer’s UGC, but no payment or contracts are involved.

UGC creators create content that emulates traditional UGC, using the same unpolished and authentic filming style that an everyday creator might use when sharing a review of their favorite product.

As driving awareness and sales are valuable results for any business, it’s no surprise that brands are willing to pay UGC creators. Understanding the reasons why can help you better pitch yourself for UGC jobs.

It feels authentic

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic versus content created by brands. UGC is the social media equivalent of product reviews and word-of-mouth.

User-created content will always have an organic feel that can’t be matched by brands, no matter how “cool” they are. As such, UGC tends to be more eye-catching and engaging, which is invaluable to brands.

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@rebel.socials

✨You always ask to post UGC examples for new beginners or UGC video examples with no voice. This is an organic UGC example, aesthetic/ Asmr skin care. What is UGC? It stands for user generated content. If you wondering how to become a UGC creator, I post best content creator tips and tricks on my page. #ugcvideoexample #ugcvideoexamples #wheretofindbranddeals #howtougc #ugcforbeginners #ugcfornewbies #ugcnewbie #ugcnewbies #howtoworkwithbrands #skincareugc #ugcskincare #ugccreators #howtoworkwithbrands

♬ original sound – 🤓Kate // Creator coach

It’s cheaper than influencer content

When working with influencers, brands need to pay for both the content and the posts on the influencer’s channels. The more reach and engagement an influencer has, the more a brand has to pay — which can be in the millions for celebrities!

With UGC content, brands only need to pay for the content itself, which often can be the same quality (or better) than the content from influencers. It also gives them complete control over the distribution and positioning of the content.

It can influence purchase decisions

Many brands pay to get UGC to use in social media ads because it influences purchase decisions. UGC acts as social proof, showing that real people are buying and using a product, which can drive more sales.

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Moreover, UGC doesn’t look like a blatant ad, which can make it more engaging when used in ad campaigns.

It’s faster than producing content from scratch

By sourcing content from UGC creators, a brand can get way more pieces than if it created them in-house. Brands can distribute a UGC brief to multiple creators, who will produce and deliver the content back to the brand by the same deadline.

Here are 6 more reasons why UGC is so important for businesses.

How to become a UGC creator

Anyone with a decent smartphone or camera can become a UGC creator. You don’t need a bunch of followers or professional video editing skills.

That’s the beauty of UGC — the more authentic and natural the content is, the better.

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@itstarachristina

The absolute beauty that UGC content creation is 🧁 #ugc #whatisugc #ugccontentcreator #becomeaugccreator #ugccreatorlife #ugccreatoruk #ukugccreator #ukugc #ugccontentcreation #ugccreatorhelp #ugccreator2022

♬ original sound – TaraChristina🍒Content Creator

We’ve put together five steps to get you started as a UGC creator.

Step 1: Figure out your filming setup

You can shoot UGC almost anywhere — at home, outside, or in a store (as long as there isn’t too much background noise). Many UGC creators create content in the comforts of their homes, where they can perfect their filming setup.

In terms of equipment, you only need a phone with a decent camera and a tripod to stabilize your phone for product shots.

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Some optional upgrades:

  • Ring light. Useful for closeups of your face and filming at night or in darker rooms.
  • Lavalier mic. Plugs into your phone’s audio jack and improves the quality of your recorded audio. Alternatively, you can also use the mic on a pair of wired headphones.
  • Backdrops. You can get creative here – paper, fabric, and construction materials all can serve as backdrops.
  • Props. Varies depending on the product, but find props that match the lifestyle or use cases of the product you’re showcasing.
@haleybauler

Episode 1 | WFH with me 📸💕 #ugccreator #ugccontentcreator #ugctips #ugcwork #ugchowto #sahmlife #wfhlife #sahmwfhm #contentcreators #contentcreatortips #wfh #momsoftiktok #ugccommunity

♬ Law – Yo Gotti

@jenahfir

The 5 things every ugc creator or content creator should have (aka my ugc starter kit). PS: they all count as a business expense so feel free to splurge on better quality items (I’m not a CPA, please consult an actual tax professional for advice 🤪) #ugcstarterkit #ugcmusthaves #contentcreatormusthaves #contentcreatorbusiness #ugccreatorsoftiktok #ugctipsforbeginners

♬ original sound – agatha apologist

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Pro tip: Don’t let the quality of your equipment or filming setup hold you back. Many UGC creators produce great content with just a phone, the product, and themselves. Once you get more experienced and start receiving feedback from brands, you can upgrade your equipment and setup.

Step 2: Build your UGC portfolio

Ah, the old chicken-and-egg dilemma: To create UGC content, you need products. However, brands will only send you products once you have a portfolio. So, how do you get started?

The answer: Make content for free featuring your favorite products. You don’t need permission from brands as long as you don’t portray it as a paid deal/sponsored content if you choose to post it.

There are several common types of UGC content:

  • Unboxing. Opening a new product’s packaging and revealing all the contents. You can narrate the functions of the included pieces and how to use them.
  • Review/testimonial. Giving your honest opinion on a product and how it works. UGC testimonials are different from other product reviews in that they should be short and not as in-depth, perhaps only focusing on one aspect instead of the whole product.
  • How to/use cases. Demonstrating how you use the product. These can be more lifestyle-focused videos, showing how you naturally use the product during your daily life, or more tutorial-style videos.

Pro tip: When you’re just starting your portfolio, we suggest focusing on videos, as this is the most common format for UGC requests. Aim to have at least one example from all UGC types above.

@maritza.artola

Replying to @theresatetty #CapCut here’s what my what ugc portfolio looks like! Your portfolio can make the biggest difference when it comes getting ugc gigs! Things that will help with creating your portfolio: ✨️ Knowing what to include in your ugc portfolio ✨️ Including high quality (not just talking about aesthetics) ugc examples ✨️ Knowing how to optimize your portfolio so you’re seen as a professional Hope that helps! #FomotionalFinds #CapCut #ugccreator #ugcportfolio

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♬ Rainbow City – Aves

Step 3: Practice your editing skills

Once you’ve recorded your clip(s), the next step is to edit them. The typical length for UGC videos is 15-60 seconds.

Editing videos can be tricky to learn, but luckily there are many apps to make it easier. Two of the most popular apps are CapCut and InShot. The in-app editors within TikTok and Instagram are also quite user-friendly and have many of the same features as third-party apps.

If you’re creating UGC for TikTok, here are 15 tips on how to edit your videos.

Pro tip: Practice, practice, practice! There is no shortcut to becoming good at video editing. The more you get used to the tools, the quicker you’ll get. We recommend incorporating TikTok trends into your UGC videos to make them more engaging.

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Check out these clips for editing inspiration:

@theugcgirly

Another oldie, but goody for my September UGC Example Challenge! Can you tell I love @pacificabeauty products? #ugc #ugccontentcreator #ugccreators #ugcexamplevideo

♬ original sound – erin • UGC creator

@shanmy_c

Example of a UGC video I created for my portfolio! 🙈#ugc #ugccreator #ugcconcept #ugccreators #ugcportfolio #ugcexample #ugcexamples #ugccommunity #contentcreator #makeup #skincare

♬ Stunnin’ (feat. Harm Franklin) – Curtis Waters

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@alliemcguffin

the best glow you could ask for @btan.rocks available now @ultabeauty #selftanner #glowyskin #protectyourskin #dailyspf #girlygirlaesthetic

♬ original sound – carneyval

Step 4: Post your UGC (optional)

This step is optional, as posting your content isn’t generally required as part of UGC contracts. However, it is an excellent way to practice and get feedback on how to improve your content. Even with a small audience, you can learn what works and what doesn’t work by checking the analytics for your posts.

Posting your UGC on your account also allows brands to see your content, after which they may reach out to you to offer UGC gigs.

Pro tips: If you want to increase the chances of brands discovering your UGC, don’t use hashtags like #UGC or #UGCcreator — these will signal the algorithm to serve your content to other UGC creators. Instead, use industry- and product-related hashtags.

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Secondly, add your email (or another way to contact you) to your bio to make it easy for brands to reach out to you.

@zoewu_

How to get inbound leads as a UGC creator #ugc #ugccreator #ugccontentcreator

♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

Step 5: Get paid

Now you’re ready for the next stage: Getting paid for your UGC! Once you have a portfolio, you can start applying for UGC gigs. We know this is easier said than done, so we’ve expanded our tips into a whole section below.

4 tips for getting paid as a UGC creator

1. Use platforms to find brand deals

With UGC’s rise, there are new platforms dedicated to facilitating UGC brand deals. Some post opportunities for creators to apply, while others require you to create a listing for your content creation services.

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Here are some platforms to search for UGC opportunities:

@rebel.socials

✨Content creators tips for beginners. If you’ve been searching for brands that work with small creators and how to make money as a content creator on Titkok, start with these apps. Super easy to apply, you don’t have to search for brands that work for creators, or brands contact info. Just apply! #howtomakemoneyontiktok #howtoworkwithbrands #brandsthatworkwithsmallcreators #sahmjobs #sahmlife #momprenuer #howtougc #ugcpitchtips #contentcreatortips #ugcforbeginners #ugcfornewbies #ugcnewbies #ugcnewbie #brandsthatworkwithmicroinfluencers #beginnercontentcreator

♬ GASLIGHT – INJI

2. Network with brands and business owners

If you want to be more proactive and work with specific brands, then your best bet is to network via platforms like Linkedin, Twitter, and TikTok.

You can use these platforms for networking in several ways:

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  • Personal branding. Post updates on your account sharing your journey as a UGC creator, and add a CTA for brands to contact you for UGC
  • Cold outreach. Think about brands you genuinely like and for which you would enjoy creating content, and reach out to folks who work at those companies

Pro tip: Smaller companies like startups and small businesses just starting to build their social media presence are more likely to need UGC.

3. Perfect your pitch

Pitching yourself to a brand for a UGC opportunity is like applying for a job. As more and more people become UGC creators, it’ll become more competitive. That means you need to make your pitch stand out.

Keep your pitches focused on the brand (not yourself) and the value you’ll provide for them through your UGC.

Pro tip: Tailor your pitch for each opportunity you apply to. In your portfolio, curate examples that are relevant to each brand’s industry and will appeal to that brand’s target audience.

@rebel.socials

✅How to pitch UGC content in 2022? Until you fix your brand outreach strategy you will not be able to scale as a content creator. No responses from brands = no brand deals = no money. Everyone keep searching where to find brands to work with, or best platform to pitch UGC, but until you fix your pitching strategy no need to even search for those brands. #howtoworkwithbrands #wheretofindbranddeals #ugcnewbie #ugcnewbie #howtougc #ugcpitchtips #ugcguide #contentcreatortips

♬ Spooky, quiet, scary atmosphere piano songs – Skittlegirl Sound

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4. Know your worth

As with influencer marketing, payment rates for UGC creation vary widely. The brand or platform usually sets the rate for brand deals. Nonetheless, staying up-to-date with market rates will empower you to choose deals that pay fairly. This benefits you and ensures equitable compensation for other UGC creators.

Pro tip: Follow UGC creators on TikTok and Instagram, as they often post content sharing behind-the-scenes details on how they negotiate brand deals and how much they get paid.

@itstarachristina

Replying to @lauracaitlinv How to set your prices as a UGC Content Creator as a beginner! #ugccontentcreator #ugccreatortips #ugccreatoruk #ugcforbeginners #ugcforbrands #itstarachristina #ugcprices

♬ original sound – TaraChristina🍒Content Creator

Frequently asked questions about UGC creators

How many followers do I need to get paid as a UGC creator?

You don’t need a certain number of followers to become a UGC creator. Many UGC brand deals are content-only, meaning you only have to create and deliver content, with no requirement to post it on your own channels.

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How do I find brands to work with?

The easiest way to know if a brand is looking for UGC creators is to use platforms that curate UGC brand deals. Brands may also advertise call-outs for UGC creators in their feed posts or Stories. You can also DM brands with your pitch in case they’re open to working with UGC creators.

How do I create a UGC portfolio?

You can use a free tool like Canva or Google Slides to create your portfolio. If you need help getting started, check out our free brand pitch deck template.

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