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.
How it Starts
Building a page on Facebook is a snap. The app walks new users through each step, offering guidelines along the way. Your page should be branded; it should reflect your personality, vision, and style. Adding images that complement inventory, or even just set moods, brings an alluring quality that will garner more “likes” and “follows.” It should highlight provocative content as is appropriate, and showcase products that are likely to sell well.
Offering gift cards, running contests, and advertising free shipping are all ways to draw interest among curious and devoted shoppers. The possibilities with Facebook are nearly endless.
Once your biz is a Facebook fixture, you will want to take advantage of the incredibly low-cost marketing it offers. Realizing that your page is only visible to users who have “liked” it in the past, you know the way to gain more users and to increase sales is to do what businesses have always done: advertise. But unlike traditional media ad buys, Facebook’s are almost laughably inexpensive. For $5 you can create an ad that will reach up to 1000 people. Up the ante to $50 and reach thousands more. Using the platform’s ability to target recipients will boost the odds that the ad will be well received.
The best thing about Facebook ads is that Facebook acts as the most enthusiastic ad rep around. Its finely tuned, algorithm-based technology is one step in a solid partnership that begins with ad creation and proceeds through tracking engagement and delivering useful statistics on how your choice of audience has worked for you.
Facebook itself has an easy-to-follow, well-presented primer to start you on your way.
Pitfalls to avoid in Facebook? There are a few, and they should be noted. Try not to promote products that are too pricey. It may lead to an impression that your store is out of reach. Another don’t-do? Count on a wide general audience as targets. Unless your merchandise mix mirrors the aisles of Target, you’ll want to use Facebook’s strategic system of lining out certain demographics by age, location, and more.
Remember that for hundreds of millions of people, Facebook is not just a hobby, but a way of life. If you expect to harness its power, you’ll need to adapt that mindset with your business. Make a goal to update your page frequently, both with product announcements and with general feel-good content that makes buyers feel at home. Photos of your dog’s recent foray in an agility course are automatic hits with a huge cross-section of users, and if you can tie it in with a promotional campaign that generates interest, all the better.
Want to get a good grip on how to make Facebook marketing work for you? Try Mashable’s inexpensive online course on Facebook ads. A $15 investment could turn a hefty profit.
Acknowledging that social interaction trends evolve online more and more each year, you’ll come to appreciate the value and ROI you’ll reap by jumping in with robust enthusiasm. Start rebranding your business as a community of sorts, and reaching out to members in a meaningful way.