Facebook Business pages promote customer engagement, track demographics, and act as online window displays.
E-commerce retailers have countless ways of promoting themselves online. And leaning on social media should be a top priority in their content marketing strategy.
Facebook, in particular, acts as an online business card and offers a Facebook Business page. Plus, it’s absolutely free to set up!
Of course, you can pay for added extras like ads. Even if your e-commerce retail business has just launched, at the very least, claim your name to a page. It’s an economical marketing strategy.
The primary benefits of a Facebook Business pageAvailable are many benefits of owning a Facebook Business page, but here are the three basic ingredients. Retailers can:
Actively engage with customers. Communicate with your customer base and make long-term relationships. Build an interactive platform, and even use the integrate Facebook Messenger, to provide general information about your products, and address questions or suggestions. Even promote sales via pinned post or boosted post.
Monitor analytics for demographics. Understand your customers’ demographics and turn it to your advantage with Page Insights. Knowing this can allow you to tweak each post’s tone and content to appeal to and target your ideal customer base. Facebook collects user data so why not use it?
Drive traffic to a site. Once you understand your target audience, you can funnel customers directly to your website in the “About” section or even set up a Shop and Catalog feature within the page.
How to make the most out of a Facebook Business pageLet’s dive deeper into each of the above ingredients and demonstrate specifics on how they apply to an e-commerce retailer.
Use Groups and Polls
When engaging with your customers, groups and polls are both underrated tools on Facebook. But they can provide a lot of information on your customer base and how they view products.
With a Facebook Group, retailers can build a community around a relevant topic that your fan base is interested in discussing. For instance, if you sell rugs, create a group surrounding styles of rugs, best cleaning methods, and other home decor tips.
And inside your Facebook Group, you can occasionally create a poll. Doing so can offer tons of insight and value to your community. For instance, you could ask “What’s your favorite home decor style?” The answer not only tells your community what’s trending, but also give a hint on what rug styles will sell well this season. Win-win.
Spy on your competitors for research
This one ties into the analytics mentioned above. Not only can you monitor your customer base, but with the “pages to watch” report, you can also spy on your competitors.
You can track things like their total page likes, posts, and engagement (reactions, comments, and shares). You can even track competitors’ ads to see how they market themselves and how well each ad performs.
Funnel traffic to your e-commerce siteDriving traffic can also provide sales funnels for your e-commerce business. Inbound marketing is still an excellent strategy.
Check out our post on Facebook Ads to discover how to optimize and find your target audience.
Parting words on Facebook Business pageIt seems like Facebook’s algorithm changes quite frequently. More recently, it has listened to its own consumer base and made a point to limit the number of ads that come across our feeds.
As an e-commerce retailer, this may seem challenging. But there are better ways to engage with consumers than simply placing direct sales or promotional content under their nose.
Instead, retailers should focus on entertaining and fun consumer experience using groups and polls along with their Facebook Business page.
Find the perfect ad campaign to target your market audience.
As an e-commerce retailer, to target consumers and funnel them to your Facebook business page or even your website, you need to understand how to use Facebook ads to your utmost advantage.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Facebook ad benefits, the types of campaigns best used for retailers, and talk about a few methods to display your product and more importantly—your brand.
Benefits of Facebook ads for e-commerce retailersFacebook ads are a powerful inbound marketing tool for driving traffic to your site. And it’s excellent for long-term growth.
Each ad campaign type uses cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) bidding, which offers a cost-effective way to attract new consumers for e-commerce retailers. Instead of paying for each click, retailers are charged per 1,000 views.
Marketing objectives: which campaign do you choose?When you decide to create a campaign and begin the setup process, expect to be asked: “What’s your marketing objective?”
Start by choosing one of the two available campaigns: Reach and Brand Awareness. The main difference between these two ads is this:
Reach ads essentially target the audience you need.
Because this type of ad is designed to reach the maximum viewers as possible, you get a “frequency cap” before it’s shown to the same person twice.
With this ad, you are also charged per impression—excellent for capturing the attention of a small audience.
Brand Awareness ads go a step further, casting a more widespread net.
If your brand is new, you may need to launch an ad campaign simply to get noticed. Facebook calls this a Brand Awareness ad.
It’s wise to go with Brand Awareness first. It grabs the attention of would-be consumers, who choose to “Follow” or “Like” your product, which will eventually help build demographics and drive more targeted—and profitable!—Reach ads.
Using ad recall lift optimization, your e-commerce business page will only present ads to users who are most likely to become customers (by maximizing reach and recall through impressions.)
You are also only charged per impression, not per click. And the bid is automatic.
Build out and direct ad viewers to a Product CatalogOne optimal way e-commerce retailers can take advantage of their Facebook business page is by launching “product catalog sales” campaigns.
Offering products for sale on a Facebook catalog is just a start. But when retailers set a “product catalog sales” campaign objective, it returns people to products in which they’ve shown previous interest.
Use Carousels to display products Available are several ways to capture the attention of your audience:
Out of the four, Carousels offer an excellent way to dangle products in front of potential consumers. This interactive ad format prompts Facebook users to swipe “cards” to view more products.
But what makes this style perfect for e-commerce retailers is that it allows you to display up to ten images or videos, optimizing your ad campaign! And on each “card,” you can highlight product details, create Call-to-Actions, and even link to different landing pages.
Let’s also assume for a second that you’re not a direct to consumer brand and instead sell directly to designers and other businesses. Even if you lack a product catalog on your Facebook business page, Carousels can provide a product story instead.
If you sell tableware, imagine each card featuring an image of a dining table as it’s prepared for guests. And the final card as everyone gathered around the table enjoying themselves.
Final thoughts on Facebook adsFacebook ads offer numerous ways to promote your brand to 2.32 billion monthly active users (MAU) worldwide. That’s an enormous amount of people.
But to reach the right people, it’s important to understand your brand and your target market audience. Fortunately, Facebook allows you to do both, tracking analytics and demographics. You might be surprised who your target audience is or who they become! So it’s also important to continuously monitor your analytics as you push those campaigns.
Now, what are you waiting for? Create your first Facebook ad!
Even if you are sworn to avoid being swallowed by the social media craze that consumes an inordinate amount of time and energy from a growing number of everyday people, you are a de facto participant if you run an ecommerce business. At the outset of Facebook’s transition from strictly a college kids’ platform to a worldwide social gathering place, few took it seriously enough to consider investing in marketing there. After all, it’s primarily for catching up with high school friends, developing a love life, and commiserating with fellow NFL fans when your team is on a downslide. Right?
Not anymore. Like any other viral entity, Facebook and other social media venues have fine-tuned the art of pitching to businesses. Meet Facebook Analytics, a handy tool provided by the social media platform that crunches data to specifically introduce you to interested parties by way of measuring visitor activity on your page.
The bad news first. Recently Facebook began limiting its “Audience Insight” feature with a new algorithm that restricts this data to users who have liked your page. It’s an unfortunate move in that it delineates potential followers and customers. This privacy-driven decision goes hand in hand with the company’s response to regulatory and consumer discontent. Rolling out Facebook Ads was a big step for the company, albeit to the dismay of many users hoping to escape incessant commercial advertising. But like you, they need revenues, and business owners should look seriously into the unique opportunity they present.
The ability to narrow ad targets to an appropriate audience is huge. You sell a line of hipster cosmetics for young’ns, so why waste your time placing ads on the news feeds of men in their 60s? Unless your role is to advertise jobs or housing, and you were caught up in the very recent debacle in which Facebook is facing charges by Federal authorities for suborning discrimination through demographic targeting (another story altogether), you’re free to select an audience most likely to warm to your goods.
Yet aside from advertising—or rather to supplement it—your Facebook page itself can yield important information that helps refine product offerings, gauge interest, and stay atop of a marketing plan that works.
Just when you thought social media was on the verge of being tapped out on its aptitude for ecommerce vendors, Google is out with a fabulous new feature that makes shopping fun for consumers and fruitful for those of you who hawk wares online.
The “Shoppable Ads” feature is linked to search results from Google. In a Pinterest-style formatting feature, the commerce giant is rolling out a shoppable screen that allows sellers to tag multiple products on each ad. Mousing over a product reveals its price and brand.
Not intrigued yet? You should be. Young shoppers, especially, are keen on the Pinteresting layout of Pinterest, and the ability to move quickly from a visual image to information on what the product is, where to buy it, and how much it costs.
Recently, we were talking to a colleague and everything was about driving traffic to their site. And all I could think as we had this conversation was that traffic isn't everything. It's great, don't get me wrong, but if traffic doesn't lead to sales, is it really worthwhile?
Nope. Not really.
And it got me thinking about how to turn traffic into conversions. And as I was trying to put together a post about exactly that, I came across an article on Search Engine Watch that is precisely what I was looking to convey. So instead of rewriting, I'm going to send you all to their site to read more about the small things we can do to turn traffic into sales.
How to Increase Conversions: Ideas, Tools, Examples
I think there's a lot here that we can put into use almost right away to create an uptick in conversions -- which is really the whole point, right?
Tell the truth. As a new ecommerce vendor, or even a somewhat seasoned hat, were you in awe of the way you have picked up the essentials of running a business that’s essentially global in some respects? Paying attention to strategies such as marketing, budgeting, and developing ways to maximize revenues with a minimum of investment?
It’s a constant challenge, and as you shape your philosophy and brand, you’ll settle on a policy, if only internally, for striking a balance between luring customers with discounts and giving away the store.
The concept of discounting involves variables, for sure. The brick-and-mortar “sale” is far easier to generate on the fly, while an online shop that necessitates a physical and time-centered distance between you and your clientele involves far better planning.
It also begs the question you may not want to answer. Are you willing to take daunting risks just to gain customers?
Mid- to large-size businesses operate in a universe you can barely see through a telescope. They focus on margins, set-asides, long-term marketing plans, and ROIs at a degree you may realize one day. In the interim, a wholly different strategy applies to the average ecommerce biz.
There are always those sad stories. You know the ones: they involve nefarious intent aimed at ripping off a business. As an ecommerce vendor, you’ve employed best practices with respect to having your ducks in a row and have taken steps to avoid fraudulent chargebacks, return scams, and everything you’ve learned about in Online Selling 101.
But there’s another danger in the loop, and it’s a bit more stealth. It’s called “click fraud,” and though it’s been around since the advent of internet advertising, it’s becoming more pernicious. It’s not cheap, either —a click-fraud monitoring site estimates that the seedy practice did more than $7 billion in damage over a recent two-year period.
Vendors who advertise on third-party websites have discovered a diamond in the rough; a way to gain visibility, and hopefully new customers, at a very reasonable cost. Predicated on the concept that interested viewers will click on your link to learn more about you, publishing hosts will charge you only on a per-click basis. Great deal.
Here’s the problem. Not all clicks are equal. Someone mousing around that link may be one of several untenable parties, from a sector competitor who drives up click rates to cost you more money, to an ally of a web page host trying to rake in more ad revenues for his buddy. It can be a competitor of the published page who’d like to set that page up as a shady self-clicker. It can also be unrelated to profit or competition, but rather a political protest statement, or even someone with a personal vendetta.
We’re not talking bankruptcy here. It’s rarely disabling. But it’s a host of other adjectives, including annoying, frustrating, and ultimately perhaps viral.
As brick-and-mortar stores continue to collapse into bankruptcy, leaving blighted, empty buildings, there is a lesson to be learned from each.
Their customers trusted them.
Big-time retailers Kmart and Sears, now jointly owned, still has loyal fans who are eagerly following the roller coaster ride of their dismal-yet-uncertain fate.
If you are an ecommerce vendor, it’s imperative that you study and reflect on the way these conventional stores captured trust and converted it into continuing revenues. Mirroring their marketing tactics, which usually include special sales, coupons, and notable customer service policies, can set you up to become an internet fave – if you play your cards right.
In the ecommerce universe, that means generating “micro-conversions,” or turning initial signs of interest into an established consumer relationship.
Focus first on these obvious, easily implemented strategies:
Seeing a path to better revenues, and being a better business
By now every growing e-commerce entity has figured out the critical role social media plays in their business. It’s become a household pastime; a venue for people from all demographics who are connecting with the world through computers and devices.
The opportunities for marketing and branding are rich. And increasingly, the picture has become much rosier. Research conducted in 2018 showed that social media users made their most recent purchase directly through Facebook and their eBay Daily Deals. Facebook ran away with the biggest share of the pie, with Instagram coming in a close second.
Yet there is a demographic often left in the dust; one thought to be unable – disabled, as it were – to use social media.
That has changed. With technological developments in connectivity have come celebrated advances in bringing the Internet to people with varying degrees and types of disabilities. There are nearly 60 million of them in the U.S., and that number will grow as they age. They are players. They are shoppers. And they can be your best customers if given the chance.
Seeing Progress and Profits: Instagram Adds Feature to Aid the Visually ImpaireD
Accessibility. It’s not just an accommodation. It’s an underrated boon for business.
Social media app Instagram is keenly aware, and on the job. With the introduction of new features that simplify their site for visually impaired users, they join other big players in social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, in expanding inclusivity.
How does this impact ecommerce merchants? The shopping public is reflective of overall demographics. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), at least 3 percent of all Americans aged 16 to 75 experience some level of significant visual impairment. That’s more than 7 million people.
Wouldn’t you like to make sure your goods and services are available to as many potential buyers as possible? Instagram thinks so.
Here’s how it works: Programmers employ object recognition technology to produce descriptions of images for screen readers, making it possible to actually hear lists of items contained in photos as you scroll through them. The feature operates when Feed, Explore, and Profile pages are accessed.