Facebook for ecommerce: The basics

Facebook for ecommerce: The basics

Facebook. Everyone’s on it – from your grandmother to your boss to your best friend’s cat (yes, people really do create profiles for their pets!). So how can you connect with your customers on this popular social media platform? In this blog post, we’ll cover how to use Facebook to support your ecommerce marketing efforts, including how to build brand awareness and increase customer engagement.

Create a social media strategy
A social media strategy is a fancy way of saying: make a plan. Brainstorm all of the possible things you could share on your page, such as images, videos, blog posts and product links. Then create a social media calendar, penciling in a date to share each post. You should also pop any major events in the calendar, such as public holidays. It’s a good idea to plan at least a month in advance, or longer if you have enough content. When your content ideas start to get low, repeat the brainstorm process.

+ Tip: How often should you post? The honest answer is, it depends. This excellent article from Hubspot will point you in the right direction.

Find your Facebook voice
Businesses that are successful on social media all have one thing in common; they have a recognisable ‘voice’ that aligns with their brand. For example, Netflix is fun, relaxed and a little bit cheeky, while Dove is inspiring and uplifting. What’s your voice? Are you humorous and light-hearted, or slightly serious and educational? No matter what voice you decide on, aim to be professional, warm and approachable in all of your communications. You want your followers to feel like they’re interacting with a real person, not a robot.

+ Tip: Follow brands you admire and take note of what they do – this is the best way to stay on top of new trends.

Use images and videos
People scroll through Facebook very quickly, so if you don’t use eye-catching images or videos, they will likely keep scrolling right on past you. Hopefully you already have some stunning product images that you can share. If you’re a bit low on images, you might want to consider hiring a photographer – or, even better, take some Instagram-worthy snaps on your smartphone. To help with the constant demand for fresh images, some companies use photos taken by their customers. If you have photogenic products, encourage your customers to tag you in their photos or upload them to your wall (just make sure to check that your customers are happy for you to use their images for marketing purposes).

+ Tip: You can design gorgeous social media graphics yourself using free apps such as Canva.

Offer Facebook-only discounts
Nothing gets a Facebook community quite as excited as discounts or giveaways. If you have the budget, offer special checkout codes for your Facebook users, so they can receive 10 per cent off (or similar). These small gestures can go a long way to building a loyal fanbase. You could also give away a product to a random winner, selected from whoever ‘liked’ or ‘commented’ on your post.

+ Tip: Be sure to read Facebook’s promotion rules before running a competition.

Schedule posts in advance
When you post is almost as important as what you post. Choose a time that you know your customers will be online and schedule posts in advance. You can do this within Facebook, or you can use a scheduling app such as Buffer or Hootsuite. Popular times are often outside of business hours, such as after dinner or during lunch breaks.

+ Tip: Set a calendar remind to check the post after it’s been published, just in case anything ‘broke’ during the scheduling process.

Check your page frequently to monitor engagement
Remember to log in to your account every day, multiple times a day to check for customer engagement and respond to any questions or comments. You want to show your customers that if they ask a question, they’ll get a quick and friendly response. Many people use social media as their primary form of contact with a business, as it’s much more convenient for them to send an instant message than to pick up the phone.

+ Tip: The Facebook ‘inbox’ for businesses resembles that of a normal email inbox, allowing you to filter messages by labels, mark messages as spam and lots more.

Add a call to action
Last but not least, don’t forget to add a call to action to your Facebook cover photo. You can find this option right next to the ‘Like’ button. There are several call to actions to choose from, including ‘Book Now’, ‘Call Now’ and ‘Shop Now’. When customers click on this, they will be directed to the URL of your choice, so this is an ideal place to put a link to your online shop.

+ Tip: Update your cover photo regularly to draw attention to these buttons.

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