In an effort to both inform and educate, below you will find a list of the top 10 tips on how to effectively grow your online store using Facebook. The following was compiled in collaboration with Shift4Shop's SEM Team, a group of eCommerce experts dedicated to helping online store owners thrive in a competitive market.
Tip #1: Keep it Professional
You may already be using Facebook to share with family and friends, but your Facebook business page should never delve into personal matters. It's OK to let the world know how tired and overworked you feel on your private Facebook account, but that type of update should never appear on your business page. Keep posts professional and upbeat at all times. Build a welcome atmosphere and check your personal baggage at the login page.
In addition to maintaining a professional tone, your Facebook business profile should be visually inviting. In order to accomplish this, create stunning company cover photos, use pictures in status updates and upload your store's logo as a profile pic. You will also need to input business details like your company's bio, mission statement, information about your products and your e-store's URL.
Your Facebook fan page should be an extension of your brand by reflecting its core values and business philosophy. Yes, you can be creative when it comes to marketing your store on Facebook but no, you cannot treat your business page the same way you would your personal account.
Tip #2: Enable Social Sharing
Social share buttons should litter your eCommerce website, and every item you sell needs a product "Like" button. This allows customers to engage with merchandise and share it with friends.
It's also important to feature a Facebook "Like" button on all levels of your store. Doing so will let customers become a fan of your Facebook business page without leaving your website. And once a customer likes your page, he/she will regularly receive your company's status updates in their newsfeed.
To learn more, please visit: https://support.Shift4Shop.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/215
Tip #3: Market Promotions
If you run daily deals and special promotions, there's no better place to market them online than Facebook. Try creating discount codes and offer those codes exclusively to your Facebook community. This will entice consumers to frequent your fan page in search of discounts on the products they love.
Tip #4: Set a Posting Schedule
It's never a good idea to post only one type of status update to your company's Facebook timeline. Diversity is key, and in an effort to elaborate, we offer the following post-scheduling example.
- Monday – Try sharing third-party articles relevant to your industry. So if you sell video games in your online store, post the latest game review from an industry expert. Remember, after you paste a URL into the status field and remove it after it's been loaded to ensure a nice, clean-looking post.
- Tuesday – As an online store owner, part of your job is to become an authoritative figure in your industry, and there's no better way to do this than through the creation of stellar, original content. So when you write an awesome blog post -- which should be happening at least once per week -- share it with your Facebook fans.
- Wednesday – It's always a good idea to market special promotions and in-store discounts on Facebook, but this can't be the only type of post you make throughout the week. The end-goal for any effective business page is to build an engaged community of followers loyal to your brand. If you only use Facebook to announce special savings, your audience will soon become disinterested and disengaged.
- Thursday – Give your followers behind the scenes access to your company. Be fun, creative and come up with interesting ways to interact. Facebook has a certain human element to it, and at least once a week, you should let your followers know that you're more than a company focused on profits.
- Friday – Highlight media mentions or praise your company and its employees have recently received. Showcase accomplishments and wear them like a badge of honor.
We suggest that you create three status updates per day, and the above-mentioned schedule is simply an example of how you can diversify posts. When sharing updates, remember to mix it up. In other words, don't upload three third-party links in the same day, and always strive for new ways to actively engage your fans.
Tip #5: Engage
If a customer posts a reply to one of your updates, take the time to respond. Facebook is supposed to be interactive, and this is a two-way street that needs to be paved by you, the merchant. Also, if a customer sends you a private message, voices a complaint or simply has a question about an order, reply in a timely fashion. Failing to do so will only hurt your business' online reputation.
Tip #6: Use Facebook to Sell Products
Uploading your product library to Facebook is a good idea. This allows consumers to peruse your merchandise, add items to a shopping cart and complete purchases in your online store. Synching your inventory on Facebook also increases brand visibility, enhances SEO and creates a more robust shopping experience for your customers.
Tip #7: Sell Without Selling
Your Facebook followers don't want you to try and "sell" them. So rather than pushing products every chance you get, create and share helpful articles, behind-the-scenes videos and relevant customer testimonials. You can also try creating a Facebook poll, consumer competitions or even pose interesting questions and topics for debate. This will help make your business more authoritative and trustworthy.
Tip #8: Build Trust
One way to build trust is to respond to all comments and questions on your business page. Show a genuine willingness to help your community, and let them know that you're there for them anytime, both day and night.
In addition, if you sell garden supplies in your online store, try posting "How To" videos and online tutorials that can help customers complete their own gardening projects. These type of updates will show that you're an industry expert who cares more about customers than profit margins.
Tip #9: Facebook Connect
Facebook Connect allows users to login to your e-store using their existing Facebook account. This is a must-have ecommerce feature, and your conversion rates will skyrocket by making both registration and checkout streamlined and easy.
Tip #10: Customer Service Comes First
Facebook isn't just an extension of your company's marketing, it's also a customer service portal that needs to be monitored and manned around the clock. Use Facebook to reach out to customers, respond to questions and resolve complaints. Keep in mind that time is off the essence. Posts that go unresponded can lead to a PR nightmare from which recovery is never guaranteed.
To learn more, please visit: https://blog.shift4shop.com/ecommerce-success-starts-with-exceptional-customer-service/
What did you learn?
Rather than rehashing what's already been mentioned, let us leave you with these parting words. Social media is entrenched in our society, and in order to be successful in the ecommerce industry, you need to embrace that fact rather than shun it.
If you're involved in Facebook marketing - and there is no excuse not to be - take your time and do it right. Failing to heed this advice will send your business plummeting to the bottom of the eCommerce Ocean faster than you can ask "What happened?"
If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to post them in the appropriate field below. Thanks for taking the time to read and happy selling!