Social Selling on Facebook and Instagram

Social surfaces have transformed product discovery and selling. For digital native brands, storytelling is selling. Surface interactions -  likes, comments, sharing, direct messaging, events, payments - have unified marketing and sales pipelines for millions of startups and small businesses.

What does the future of social selling require? How can interactions on social surfaces become more meaningful and drive great impact? As a member of the Facebook Pages and Instagram Shopping teams, I designed new experiences for the business owners eager to connect with an audience of 2 billion people.

Small businesses and Social sales funnels

I can’t discuss the feature I designed (under NDA) BUT I can delve into my user research for Checkout, which shipped to Instagram in March of 2019.

Engaging the business strategy, product marketing, and data science teams, I researched sales funnel behavior and gained insight into direct-to-consumer brand shopping strategies.  

Small businesses are incredibly creative and leverage a wide variety of features to create a robust marketing and sales strategy. Small business product feedback loops can take place across multiple interactions such as a comment on a photo or a direct message to a small business. This 1:1 connection is invaluable and is one of the early steps in the funnel to drive users to convert.

Humans, Data, Insight….Let’s Build!

Through strong collaboration with the data team, I was able to gain empathy for businesses owners selling and building brand loyalty through Instagram. (It also didn’t hurt that they were incredible at making sense of the most complex math I have ever seen).

By requesting specific metrics I formed a hypothesis of why business owners turn to Instagram to drive sales using tactics to unify the marketing and sales funnel.

Data laid the foundation for all my design work while on the team, and heavily influenced the way that I worked on the research script for user testing.

Designing Research Sessions For Testing

I collaborated with product marketing and research to lead sessions with current small business users of shopping features on Instagram. I focused on creating an environment where small business owners could share their experiences and talk through the ways they leverage Instagram to engage their audience and connect with potential customers. Specifically, my areas of interest concerned storytelling across interactions and selling.

I ran sessions with both open ended and guided questions — creating a healthy balance between discussing strategy and walking through a prototype. During the sessions, I recorded and synthesized feedback from participants, specifically quotes that would support the team’s product thinking and design decisions.  

The research was synthesized, distilled, and handed off to the larger product team which consisted of data scientists, product managers, product marketing, designers, engineers, and leadership to have insight into the way that small and medium sized businesses navigate through the product.

My key takeaways:

Data Science + Design = Happy Dance!

I gained a deep understanding of how a solid partnership between data science and design can drive product impacts. The amazing humans of the data team facilitated my ability to turn numbers into a hypothesis to explore, research and test. In the process, I learned that a single piece of data can truly pivot your design work.

Next case study:

Designing For 90 million
on Facebook Pages✨