Selling Jewellery Online in South Africa – Part 2: Social Media


Social media has become an integrated part of our lives. It’s how we communicate, share and find news and new content, and it’s a way to spend leisure time or connect with your friends and family. The average user dedicates around 2 hours of their day to sifting through content on their preferred platform, and that amount of time spent on one site makes it prime real estate for any business looking to reach new customers.

How to sell on social media:
In their formative years, social media sites like Facebook were a free-for-all and simply having a presence and consistently posting was enough to extract large swarms of traffic to your website and products. But as these platforms continue to find a balance between content and adverts, the days of massive organic reach on large social media sites are a thing of the past.

Posting daily may help if you have the audience to back it up, but organic reach could be anything between 2-5% on any given day. So from 1000 fans or followers, only around 20 – 50 users would see your posts. Should they act favourably towards your content, the social media algorithms may provide it with additional reach. The additional reach applies typically to video and blog content; it’s very well known that product posts are not the type of content that gets much traction in social media feeds.

So to effectively extract traffic from social media and convert them into customers in 2020 and beyond, paid advertising is the way to go. Social media ads are still some of the cheapest in terms of reach, and as you refine your messaging and audience, you can turn it into a good source for sales.

Facebook is by far the most popular and widely used social media site in South Africa. Millions of South Africans use it daily, and brands fighting for their attention are driving up the price per lead or sale, which makes performance marketing all the more critical for this channel.

Many businesses are still trying to use Facebook ads in a ‘spray and pray’ approach, boosting posts or targeting people based on certain assumptions such as page likes, region or job title. While these assumptions can help you with broad advertising, if you’re not going to narrow down your audience and campaign you’re never going to get the best out of Facebook.

The wealth of data it holds on its audiences makes Facebook the premier platform when it comes to social selling, and allows you to find the right people and present your products across multiple devices.

What you need to run Facebook shopping ads

  • A Facebook account & Facebook page
  • An eCommerce-enabled online store.
  • Your catalogue is active with your products.
  • Set up the Facebook Pixel
  • Set up the Facebook event tracking for eCommerce such as Page View, View Content, Add to Cart, Initiate Checkout, Add Payment Information and Purchases

Setting up a catalogue feed
Product catalogues can be set up manually, but I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s best to have a CMS like Shopify or WooCommerce that provides automated integration, or have a developer connect your site to Facebook. Once your product feeds are associated with Facebook, you can start advertising them to users.

Facebook Shopping Campaigns work best on a two-fold approach, using the option for prospective audiences is called “broad audience targeting.” Within this campaign type, Facebook will show products to people who have expressed an interest in similar products, and this will establish your initial step in the funnel.

As you collect data from the prospecting ads, you can set up complementary ads based on product views, products in their cart, abandoned baskets etc. You can then create custom messaging to draw these users back to your site and encourage them to complete their purchase.

Source: nichemarket

Instagram has to be the social platform of choice for Millennials and Gen Z consumers. The younger crowd prefer the visual medium of Instagram and the fact that it’s mobile-first and presents more uniform content than Facebook. Instagram’s visual feeds make it a great way to showcase your products not only on a white background but in a lifestyle setting that is more aspirational and appeals to the consumer culture of today.

Instagram Shopping Ads with product tags allow you to maximise the reach of your products by boosting shoppable posts or creating the ad from scratch via Ads Manager for more creative flexibility and targeting. I would recommend running all your Instagram ads via the Ad Manager instead of through Instagram, as it gives you greater control over how your ads are set up and who you’re targeting.

Note: If you’re targeting US-based customers, you can enable direct check out in Instagram and users can make in-app purchases with a credit card, Apple or Google Pay.

What you need to run Instagram shopping ads

  • An Instagram account, Instagram business page and Facebook Business account
  • An eCommerce-enabled online store.
  • Your catalogue is active with your products.
  • Set up the Facebook Pixel
  • Set up the Facebook event tracking for eCommerce such as Page View, View Content, Add to Cart, Initiate Checkout, Add Payment Information and Purchases
  • Since Instagram and Facebook run off the same advertising backend, you can choose to run ads on both platforms or exclusively on Instagram.

Setting up a catalogue feed
Product catalogues can be set up manually, which is fine for most Instagram ads since they’re normally singularly focused (these work best on the platform). If you do want to run catalogue ads, it’s best to have a CMS like Shopify or WooCommerce that provides automated integration, or have a developer connect your site to Instagram. Once your product feeds are associated with Instagram, you can start advertising them to users.

Twitter is well known for disseminating news or the latest Trump Tweets, and very few advertisers look to its “buy button” shopping adverts as a way to generate eCommerce sales. This lack of competition could be for a good reason, or it could be an opportunity that plays into your advantage. If the vast majority of your competitors ignore Twitter, then it’s a place where you can pick up all the traffic without being continuously outbid like you would be on the likes of Facebook or Instagram.

What you need to run Twitter buy ads

  • A Twitter account
  • An eCommerce-enabled site
  • A Twitter Pixel
  • Twitter event tracking

Twitter has several ad formats, but for eCommerce sales, I would recommend the website clicks campaign. A website clicks or conversions campaign allows you to use a website card or an app card with your promoted tweets. While you can use a product image, research shows that lifestyle images perform better in Twitter feeds.

Since there is so much noise on Twitter, it’s best to keep your ad singularly focused, pick one product, your hero, with a lifestyle image and use it as a vehicle to drive traffic. What you’re looking for on Twitter is not to sell directly, but influence users to come to your site and browse around. If they see an interesting product, they’ll click through and visit a few pages.

You can then use that data to refine retargeting segments and then go after those users with the specific product they have looked at, added to their wish list or basket and try to convert them into a sale.

Pinterest may be a decade old, but it is still seen as the new kid on the block in the social media space. Its audience is heavily slanted towards the female demographic, and with over 300 million people now using the platform; it’s becoming a serious consideration for many businesses. Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social media sites in terms of percentage increase in users annually, and it’s also starting to expand into new countries with monetisation support. It’s a social media site that works more like a visual search engine: users search for topics and are presented with a host of image-based suggestions.

Pinterest currently has two forms of ads:

  • The single image shopping ads that promote one product to people with relevant interests.
  • Personalised collection ads: a multi-image advert that displays a lifestyle image that’s followed by products or product variants.

Like Facebook, Pinterest also has a tracking pixel to connect your site with your social media account. This allows you to tap into dynamic retargeting and reach people on Pinterest who have already visited your website or have items sitting in their shopping cart.

What you need to advertise on Pinterest

  • A Pinterest account
  • A verified web domain connected with Pinterest
  • An eCommerce-enabled online store.
  • Your catalogue is active with your products.
  • You’ve set up the Pinterest tag on your website and are tracking the following conversion events: Checkout, AddToCart and Page Visit
  • Your events are passing back the product ID event data, and the product IDs being passed back are the same as the product IDs in your catalogue.
  • You’ve met the necessary number of PageVisit and AddToCart events in the last seven days.

Note: South Africa is currently not available for geolocation-based ad targeting yet, but if you do sell internationally, Pinterest is an excellent option for reaching new customers.


Performance not posting
Social media selling is no longer about posting memes or exciting information when you’re trying to sell. It’s about placing your products in front of the right audience at the right time with the right frequency to get them interested and then push them through your conversion funnel. Social media performance marketing does not start from day one and takes time to refine your messaging and audiences as well as collecting the correct data.

As you continue to work with those three points, you’ll find out what your optimum cost per sale is per channel, and then you can decide if it’s worthwhile for your business.

Ready to go digital?
This article was contributed by nichemarket. We believe in South African entrepreneurs and hope to be a part of their success stories by providing a free digital platform for local business owners to advertise their goods and services as well as a host of digital support services. Our goal is to help local businesses take advantage of online marketing and create a strong online presence.

Our marketing agency division provides web development, business and eCommerce consultation and digital marketing support for local and international SME’s and start-ups. Should you wish to explore eCommerce or digital marketing solutions for your business, feel free to contact us at or complete our contact form, and we’ll get back to you.



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