Social media and ecommerce are two peas in a pod. Ecommerce marketers are using social platforms to build brand awareness, connect with customers, and promote products through organic posts and targeted ads.
And these strategies work. Consider these stats from Hootsuite’s Global State of Digital 2022 report:
- 57.5% of internet users aged 16 to 64 buy a product or service online weekly
- 26.5% of social media users go to social platforms to find products to buy
In this article, we’ll walk through how to use social media ecommerce to grow your business.
Bonus: Learn how to sell more products on social media with our free Social Commerce 101 guide. Delight your customers and improve conversion rates.
Social media ecommerce marketing is the practice of using social media to promote an online store by generating brand awareness, interest in products or services, and sales.
Popular social media ecommerce tactics include:
- Promoting and driving traffic to an ecommerce website or branded app
- Selling products directly on social media
- Engaging with customers and prospects directly on social channels
- Providing pre- and post-sale support to customers
- Collecting insights about your industry and market
- Building an online social media community around your brand
Many brands use all of the above tactics to create a thriving social media ecommerce marketing strategy.
Social media ecommerce marketing vs. social selling vs. social commerce
You’ve likely heard the terms social media ecommerce marketing, social selling, and social commerce. They’re often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing.
Let’s take a look at how they’re different.
Social media ecommerce marketing
This is when ecommerce businesses use social media as a marketing channel to promote their brand, product, or service to drive more sales and connect with customers.
This is when brands use social media to identify, connect with, and nurture sales prospects. It’s a tactic that helps businesses reach and engage with sales targets via social media.
Think of social selling as modern relationship-building. The goal is to connect with potential customers, and offer support and guidance. Then, when that person is in buy mode, your product or service comes to mind first.
This is when brands sell products or services directly on social media using native solutions like Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops, Pinterest Product Pins, or TikTok Shop.
Social commerce lets customers shop, select, and complete purchases without leaving social media apps.
1. Build brand awareness
There’s no better marketing channel for generating buzz than social media. It’s the perfect place to promote your new store, products, services, events, or promotions. And it’s great for engaging in conversations with your target audience.
To successfully build brand awareness, create a consistent posting strategy with a unified voice and message. Publish on multiple channels, in multiple formats. Engage with hot topics, hashtags, and in direct conversations with users.
Building brand awareness is a process. It takes time. To help, follow these tips:
- Showcase your personality and values
- Be consistent in your messaging
- Speak to the right people
- Demonstrate your value
- Respond to feedback
Brand building example: tentree
Tentree is a clothing company that doesn’t shy away from their mission to promote sustainability. They lean into this message on social media. Take this tweet, for example, that showcases self-sustaining cabins in Finland. The post doesn’t directly promote Tentree’s products, but it’s inspiring and aesthetically pleasing, and it reinforces what the brand is all about.
There’s no more powerful advertising channel out there than social media. The global ad reach on social media is massive, and growing rapidly.
Here’s the ad reach by social media channel, according to Hootsuite’s reporting:
- 2.17 billion on Facebook Ads
- 1.44 billion on Instagram Ads
- 1.02 billion on TikTok Ads
- 849.6 million on LinkedIn Ads
The audiences are huge. Too huge, in fact. Which is why these social channels also have
powerful targeting and segmentation tools.
To advertise effectively on social media, make sure you:
- Identify your target market and audience
- Layer targeting parameters to zero in on that audience
- Create a compelling content strategy to speak to them
- Define your goals and KPIs for each channel
- Pick the ad types that align with your goals
- Specify the right conversion metrics
The goals you have for social media advertising will dictate the ad types, KPIs, and conversion metrics you choose. And the platforms you invest in.
A goal to drive brand awareness, for example, is best suited to:
- Image, video and carousel ads, that drive
- Store visits, ad impressions, and engagement
If you want to drive sales, you’d want to go with:
- Product, collection, or shopping ads, that drive
- Direct purchases, product page visits
To get started, select your goal. Then define the type of ads and targeting you need. And then define how you’ll track success.
You can learn more about ad objectives and formats across different platforms in our guide to social media advertising.
Advertising example: The Bay
The Bay is a major Canadian department store that uses Instagram advertising for brand building and product sales. In the ad below, they combine their unique visual flare with shoppable catalog ads.
3. Sell products directly on social media
Social commerce has never been easier. Currently, there are four social media apps with native built-in social selling capabilities:
Twitter and Snapchat have also both partnered with Shopify to create social commerce tools of their own.
This is where social media ecommerce marketing overlaps with social commerce. Where the reach and brand-building power of social media can lead to direct business.
The benefits of using social commerce solutions include:
- They’re free to set up
- They create memorable, interactive online shopping experiences
- They streamline the sales process
- They extend the places in which sales can happen
- They enable headless commerce
- They give you the ability to create live shopping experiences
If you’d like to give social commerce a try, check out these guides to setting up:
Shoppable ads example: CCM
CCM’s Instagram is a direct blend of lifestyle marketing and shoppable product placements. They showcase the professional hockey lifestyle, and make the gear that NHLers use available in just a few clicks.
4. Increase sales with an ecommerce chatbot
To paraphrase Uncle Ben, with great scale (and sales) comes great responsibility. Brands who expand their footprint and sales capacity on social media need to make sure they scale customer support as well.
Ecommerce chatbots are the most effective way to do that. By leveraging an AI-powered chatbot like Heyday by Hootsuite, brands can:
- Easily connect and interact with consumers 1:1 across multiple channels
- Offer pre- and post-sale support at any time
- Offer discounts, suggest products, and highlight promotions automatically
- Answer FAQs
- Guide users through the buying process
And they can do all that at scale for a fraction of the cost of a support team.
Ecommerce chatbot example: DeSerres
Arts and crafts supply store DeSerres saw significant sales growth during the pandemic. To keep up with demand, they installed an AI chatbot on their website. One of its main jobs is to make product suggestions to help answer user queries and drive sales.
5. Customer support
No social media ecommerce strategy is complete without taking customer support into account. Social platforms are ideal for nurturing and supporting existing customers. Because of that, they’ve become a de facto customer support channel for most major brands.
Customers may come to your profile to:
- Find information
- Ask questions
- Give feedback
- Engage with your content
- Offer insights into what they want
Brands—and social media managers—must be prepared to handle those incoming comments and DMs. If you can’t, then an ecommerce chatbot may be able to help.
Apart from providing a good customer experience, social proof is another reason to make sure your social profiles are interactive. Prospects will see public interactions with customers. This will impact whether or not they want to make a purchase. How you handle complaints publicly speaks volumes about how you handle them privately.
Customer support example: Ray-Ban
Being on social media opens brands to feedback—positive and negative. Here, Ray-Ban responds to a particularly hostile comment directly, and immediately tries to find a remedy.
6. Social listening
With the right tools, social media can be a data goldmine for your brand. Social listening is the process of scanning social media for mentions of your brand or relevant conversations.
67% of marketers say social listening is a useful way to track and understand their customer needs. Not only that, it offers invaluable insights like:
- What products people love most
- Where recurring problems or issues might lie
- The public’s sentiment toward your brand
This allows you to address issues, seize opportunities, and refine your message to meet market demands.
At this point, you’ve probably got a solid idea of where you’ll focus your social media efforts. But tips like “build brand awareness” are sometimes easier said than done.
Need some actionable next steps? Here are some bonus tips to help steer you in the right direction.
1. Showcase your personality
Buyers want to make a connection with brands. How do you do that? By being yourself. And not being afraid to show some personality.
Social media is the perfect tool to craft your brand personality. You can use humor, engage in a social cause, be the most responsive brand in the market, and more. Whatever you do, the goal is to make it easy for potential buys to remember and recognize you.
Let’s look at the king of brand personality on Twitter: Wendy’s.
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) October 7, 2022
Wendy’s pulls no punches when it comes to their social profiles. They make jokes, they roast people, and they engage in banter with competitors. As a result, they’ve grown a cult following of online fans.
2. Collaborate with others
Collaboration is the key to success on social media. Engaging influencers and partnering with other brands are two ways to turn collaboration profitable.
Influencer marketing is worth $16.4 billion in 2022. And it’s not hard to see why. It’s become one of the most popular social ecommerce marketing tactics to expand reach, social proof products, and win new followers.
Collaborations are equally important. More and more brands are partnering with other companies who have similar audiences. When they do, may create high-value bundle giveaways or promotions that each brand co-markets to their respective followers.
In both cases, brands amplify and validate their products and services to enormous social media audiences.
Glamnetic is one example. This Shopify customer uses an extensive network of influences to promote their products. They provide influencers with free products, and ask them to demonstrate them on their channels. In return, the influencers get an affiliate link that gives them a kickback on sales generated.
3. Use video as much as possible
Video has quickly become the most popular—and influential—content type of social media. 88% of people say they want to see more video content from brands. And the same amount said they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video.
It’s no coincidence that TikTok and Instagram Stories are two of the most popular channels in the social media game. Both offer invaluable opportunities for brands to post paid and organic video content to engage users.
Video doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t need high production value or glossy effects. All it has to do is demonstrate value, showcase your personality, and speak to your customer.
Take Vessi, for example. They use Instagram Stories to promote products, share brand and career stories, and generally create a more engaging experience.
4. Post user-generated content
User-generated content packs an enormous punch on social media. This includes content like user reviews, product unboxings, or anything in which a customer uses or discusses an item they purchase.
This type of content ties back to the importance of positive reviews, social proof, and influencers. It’s real-world people providing commentary about your product. That’s a goldmine for brands to leverage on social media.
Encourage your customers to share pictures and videos featuring your products on social media. Ask them to tag your brand. When they do, reshare the content to your own profile.
Bam. Now you have free content that’s social proofed and shows your product in action.
This tactic also has the added benefit of making customers feel connected with your brand. It creates engagement, and shows that you hear and value your customers. Wins all around.
Here’s another example from Vessi where they share an unboxing video from a customer.
5. Work smart (and use social media management tools)
51% of social marketers find managing all messages and posting schedules in one place to be their biggest challenge. Any ecommerce social media manager reading this is nodding their head furiously right now.
To make scaling and managing their social media presence easier, most leading brands turn to tools like Hootsuite.
Social media management tools let you:
- Manage multiple social media accounts at the same time
- Ensure content and messaging is unified across all channels
- Track and organize conversation with your audience
- Schedule posts ahead of time
- Monitor social mentions and relevant conversations
- Track and analyze performance
Social media management tools are non-negotiable for ecommerce brands that want to scale multiple content streams across multiple channels. If you haven’t onboarded one yet, you’ll thank us when you do.
6. Post often
Post early, and post often. That should be a mantra for any ecommerce brand starting out on social media.
Posting often helps you gain traction, test what works, and build a following. Having a regular posting schedule, likewise, ensures that you are consistent with your social media strategy.
This is how you keep your brand top of mind and build an online community.
It’s tough to work smart when you don’t have the right tools. Here are two essential social media ecommerce tools you can start using today.
Heyday: conversation AI chatbot
Heyday is an AI-driven chatbot that connects your ecommerce website with social channels like Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp.
Leading ecommerce brands use Heyday to:
- Answer FAQs
- Assist with package tracking
- Provide product recommendations to customers and prospects
- Offer post-sale support
- Gather feedback on user needs
- Provide multilingual support
Even better, Heyday seamlessly integrates with Shopify stores. Simply download the app and install it on your store — and you can start offering automated FAQs on Shopify in less than 10 minutes.
Hootsuite: social media management dashboard
Hootsuite helps ecommerce businesses of all sizes (including solopreneurs!) schedule and publish posts, engage with your followers, and track your success across platforms from a single, easy to use, interactive dashboard.
Here are some Hootsuite features that ecommerce brands find particularly useful:
- Create Instagram posts with shoppable product tags in Composer (and schedule them to go live at recommended times when your audience is the most active online)
- Answer comments and DMs from all your social accounts in one place
- Set up a social listening stream to track what people are saying about your brand and your competitors
Still not convinced to give social media ecommerce marketing a try? We’ll let hard data do some talking.
In 2022, sales through social media platforms hit an estimated $992 billion. That’s expected to hit $2.9 trillion by 2026. Needless to say, social media is the place to be for ecommerce brands.
What’s driving that growth? A few things.
According to Hootsuite’s Global State of Digital 2022 report:
- There are 4.7 billion social media users worldwide
- 47 million new social users are added each month
- Users spend 2 hour 29 minutes per day, on average, on social media
- And they use an average of 7.4 different social platforms each month
Social media is popular (duh). And it’s getting exponentially more popular globally.
At the same time, social commerce is also exploding. 30% of internet users in the United States make purchases directly on social media. And they’re only in second place. China is the clearcut leader for social commerce. Almost half of Chinese internet users shop through social platforms.
Facebook was the most popular social channel for purchases in 2022 (likely propped up by Marketplace). Hot on its heels are Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.
The main growth story in social ecommerce, however, is TikTok. It has seen explosive growth in the last few years, surpassing 1 billion active users in 2021.
This translates into a monster opportunity for ecommerce marketers. According to Hootsuite’s reporting, TikTok ads have a potential reach of 1.02 billion. And, according to TikTok itself, 39% of users have used the platform to discover a product or brand. And 47% say they’ve bought something on TikTok.
Instagram, for its part, is no sleeper either. With a total potential ad reach of 1.44 billion, Instagram is a social commerce channel that can’t be ignored.
Brands have more social commerce tools and larger audiences at their disposal than ever before.
Which social media is best for ecommerce?
It depends on your marketing and sales goals. TikTok is a game-changer for brand awareness. Instagram and Facebook are the leaders in social commerce and direct sales. Pinterest is perfect for lifestyle marketing. Together, all social platforms create an unbeatable web of opportunities for sales and marketing.
What is the role of social media in ecommerce?
The role of social media in ecommerce is to build brand awareness, advertise to target user segments, sell products, improve and extend customer support, and engage in conversation and community building.
What are the advantages of using social media for ecommerce?
The advantages of using social media for ecommerce include extending your marketing to new channels, growing an engaged audience, distributing valuable content and promotions to your target market, interacting with customers and prospects, and driving new sales.
What is the impact of using social media for ecommerce?
Social media helps develop stronger and more meaningful relationships between brands and customers. Social accounts double as customer support and direct communications channels. This helps grow stronger brand affinity and relationships with customers. Once that’s achieved, social commerce enables direct, frictionless selling to engaged and loyal audiences.
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.
How This Underwear Brand Won with an Anti-Black-Friday Social Campaign
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
“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.
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.”
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.”
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.
How To Find and Use Business-Friendly TikTok Sounds
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.
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.
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.
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.
The song’s landing page allows you to add the song to your favorites, share with friends, or use the audio right away.
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.
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.
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.
It’s obvious, for sure, but still worth noting that the best place to find trending TikTok sounds is, well, the TikTok sound library.
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.
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.
You don’t have to stay within TikTok to find the best trending sounds.
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.
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.
Get better at TikTok — with Hootsuite.
Access exclusive, weekly social media bootcamps hosted by TikTok experts as soon as you sign up, with insider tips on how to:
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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:
Fortunately, there are still plenty of options for using TikTok sounds as a brand.
Here are some options for what you can do.
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.
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.
The program now boasts offerings from international music companies like Butter, 411 Music Group, Sonhouse, AEYL MUSIC and many, many more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
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!
Still confused? Here’s a breakdown of some frequently asked questions about 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).
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
TikTok’s commercial sound library is available on both the app and your desktop browser.
If you’re using the app:
- Open the camera and tap Add sound
- Then tap Sounds and search Commercial sounds.
This will bring you to the Commercial Music Library, where you can browse your options.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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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.
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
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.
Check out these clips for editing inspiration:
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.
Secondly, add your email (or another way to contact you) to your bio to make it easy for brands to reach out to you.
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.
Here are some platforms to search for UGC opportunities:
- Fiverr. Create a listing with your UGC services (such as this) and wait for brands to book you.
- Upwork. You can apply to UGC creator jobs or list your UGC services.
- Billo. US-based creators only.
- Insense. You join via an app and choose opportunities to apply to.
- Brands Meet Creators. They send UGC opportunities via email.
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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:
- 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.
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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.
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.
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?
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