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.
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.
It’s easy to get stuck following the same tactics in social media marketing, particularly if one strategy has been lucrative or has grown your business exponentially. Amazingly, though, many social media “gurus” continue with campaigns that aren’t bringing in revenue.
While it’s important to keep up-to-date with new strategies and evolving techniques, it’s also important to ditch so-called “best practices” that aren’t delivering. Sometimes, it’s what you don’t do that contributes as much to your success as what you do do.
If you’ve been a copywriter for any length of time, you know the ongoing debate of what the ideal length of a sales letter should be. As long-time A-list copywriter Mark Ford notes, everyone purports to despise long copy, yet it has always consistently out-pulled and outsold short copy.
But what about social media posts? Is shorter copy is the ticket to higher sales?
Some say that copywriting has evolved—and social media is to thank (or blame) for it. But saying it has evolved is too broad a brush to paint this picture.
It’s more accurate to say that copywriting has expanded. Different media platforms may take center stage now, yet the same principles upon which advertising and marketing were built in the mid-20th century still apply.
So, in today’s social media-dominated world, how much is too much? Is it possible to optimize the length of a post to engage and convert readers? What’s the ideal length of a post to drive viral engagement that reaches as many people as possible?
As always, it’s up to you to find out what your unique audience wants and cares about. To know their pains and concerns so you can offer the best solution, service, or product for them.
Generally speaking, though, it depends on your forum. But to know for sure, you’re going to have to test and find out what works for you. Neither guessing nor being creative for the sake of it is going to cut it.
Strict business decisions often result from employing an either/or strategy. Either you will build a storefront location and sell online, or you won’t. Either you will accept returns or you won’t.
But when it comes to advertising online, consider an alternative here and ponder the wisdom of both. When ecommerce merchants decide where to direct their ad dollars, they tend to study their options and choose one of the top two sales platforms. Facebook and GoogleAds, behemoths in marketing, searching, and advertising combined, offer similar yet slightly different approaches. Regardless of your favored business model, there is no hard and fast rule requiring you to pick one over the other.
Search marketing firm WordStream has studied the relative efficacy of both platforms, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Recently it has reached the conclusion that using both in combination is your best bet.
We’ve all been there, right? Thinking we’ve crafted a great Facebook post only to see it linger, no comments, no reactions, no click-throughs. It’s not the best feeling, that’s for sure. And if you’re not getting results, it’s not very efficient—in terms of time or dollars.
So, what can we do to boost engagement on Facebook? Believe it or not, there are plenty of simple steps we can take to make sure our message is breaking through.
Boosting Sales with Facebook
As 2018 approaches, it’s hard to imagine that smart ecommerce merchants are not already present in the social media stratosphere. But it’s a fact. Building a business is time-consuming, and attention to more pressing matters such as inventory, payment processing, and other finite details come first.
Everybody gets that. But the social media revolution has flourished along with the pace of the internet in general, creating a remarkable opportunity for merchants to ingratiate themselves with potential customers who are socializing, sharing, and often living much of their lives in online communities. Facebook, especially, increasingly has dominated the average internet user’s time.
With more than 2 billion users, the social media behemoth is such a household name that it transcends family interactions, politics, hobbies, and other areas of life that once were segregated into groups accessed individually. With a single account, a Facebook user may keep up with relatives, recipes, fellow dog-lovers, news, and finally, consumer life.
If your business is not already established with a Facebook page of its own, you’ll need to launch one post-haste. The cost-free exposure to markets and buyers – and even vendors – is invaluable. More to the point, it’s a gargantuan negative to not have a presence on Facebook.
In less than a decade, social media’s marquee platform, Facebook, morphed from a fun way to pass time to a primary form of communication connecting friends, family members, and strangers alike. The company claims to have more than 1 billion users worldwide, a phenomenal statistic by any standard.
Facebook has been a material factor in launching careers, selling books, solving crimes, and forming significant, even lifelong partnerships. It’s life in a vacuum.
It also offers a genuine coup for merchants, who increasingly are finding big success through advertising there. As an online merchant, Facebook Ads may be your new best friend.