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How small businesses can start selling gift cards through Facebook and Instagram

2-minute read

How small businesses can start selling gift cards through Facebook and Instagram
Lucy McNeill

Lucy McNeill

14 May 2020

Facebook has launched an easy way for small businesses to sell digital gift cards on both their Facebook and Instagram platforms.

The move is part of a wider strategy to support small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic, helping to provide a platform for businesses to better promote themselves in difficult circumstances.

Should you sell gift cards?

Gift cards are a great way to make sales, even if your business has had to close temporarily. Not only do they keep cash coming in, they secure sales from customers further down the line. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this isn’t a free service ー the partner that you sell your gift cards through will take a cut of your earnings.

Once you’ve set up your gift card, people in your area will be able to discover it through Facebook and you’ll also be able to share on Instagram. Users who click on your gift card link will then be able to buy one through one of Facebook’s partners.

How to start selling gift cards on Facebook and Instagram

Firstly, make sure you have either a Facebook for Business or an Instagram Business account set up, depending on where you want to sell your gift cards.

To start selling your gift cards, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. Visit either the Facebook or Instagram gift cards page.
  2. Choose the partner you want to sell your gift cards through. Make sure you choose a partner that’s available in the UK, such as SumUp.
  3. Set up your gift card scheme on the partner site. You’ll need to create an account on the partner site if you don’t have one already, or you may need to download their app.
  4. Activate your gift card link, then share it on Facebook and Instagram. You can do this by sharing your gift card as a sticker in a post, live stream, or story.
  5. When a customer buys a gift card, the partner will deposit the money in your chosen bank account. You’ll also be able to keep track of sales on either the partner website or via their app.

It's worth noting that the partner may charge you commission. For example, SumUp will automatically take a small percentage (around 2.5 per cent) of each gift card you sell.

What else are Facebook and Instagram doing to support small businesses?

Facebook and Instagram are rolling out a number of other features to help small businesses reach new customers while staying connected with old ones.

Facebook will be promoting their #SupportSmallBusinesses hashtag, and encouraging users to post about their favourite small businesses.

Instagram have created a Support Small Businesses sticker that can be used in Instagram Stories. This lets users create a customised sticker which tags a local business of their choice.

Businesses Nearby is a new section on Facebook which allows users to see the latest posts from businesses within a certain geographical area. This can also include important information like opening hours and takeaway options.

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