Using Facebook has never been more effective with all their enhancements over the years. You can do so much more than just post a status update, tag a local page or create a Facebook event page. And, with about 17 percent of all time spent online via a personal computer in the U.S. is on Facebook*, it’s hard to deny marketing your store and products there. Here’s three ways to ensure more sells by promoting your store and products using Facebook.
1. A picture is worth a thousand words. As you may know, Facebook uses an algorithm known as EdgeRank that display the most relevant stories in each of your fan’s Newsfeed based off of things like how often the user interacts with your page, what kind of post it is you’re publishing, , how long it took for someone to interact with it, if it became popular, etc. It’s proven that posts that include a photo or a video will gain the highest amount of exposure and interactions (likes/comments/shares).
With that being said, I suggest having 90% of all your Facebook posts to be photos because they get the highest engagement on Facebook. Including a photo will not only increase engagement and the number of people who see the photo, but it can better display the products you’re selling.
Two tools to turn a product picture into a fancy, professional picture (and maybe even an advertisement), especially if you’re not a graphic designer, are PicMonkey.com and Pinstamatic.com. With PicMonkey options seem endless on what you can do to your photos. You can add a photo filter (like Instagram), add text on top of the image, add a border, crop and resize and give it a theme (great for holidays). Try using PicMonkey to create a photo collage of top accessory items that would make a great gift this Valentine ’s Day using the Sweethearts theme.
Pinstamatic has a lot of great and easy features too. By selecting the picture icon, you can upload a product picture; add a top and/or bottom caption and then use that for Facebook, Pinterest, an email or even an ad featured in your store.
2. Extend your reach. You might have noticed that only a percentage of your Facebook Likes see your posts each day. Since Facebook’s algorithm EdgeRank decides who sees what in their Newsfeed, on average about 12-16% of Likes see posts and only about an average of 2% interact with them. To ensure more people see your posts, especially ones about new product arrivals or sales, trying using the Promoted Post platform.
Before you can start promoting posts on your Facebook page, you must first have 400 Likes. If you already have over 400 Likes, promoting is easy. You’ll find the “Promote” button at the bottom right of your Timeline when you’re adding a new post. You can only promote a post that is three days old or less. I suggest posting a status update, and after 24 hours promote that exact same post to extend the reach and exposure.
Also be sure to include the price, and for an even better conversion rate (people who buy) include a special offer or discount. You could also give away an accessory item with a purchase of $50 or more. For an even higher engagement rate, ask people to Like/Comment/Share.
The cost to promote a post will depend on how many Likes you have and how many people you want to reach. For a page that has about 500 Likes it will cost about $5-$10. For one with around 5,000 Likes targeting only your current Likes, it will cost anywhere from $5-$30. You can also promote to people who like your page and all of their friends, but since you’re reaching more people, this will cost you more money (anywhere from $50-$500+).
Your promoted post will display as “Sponsored” in user’s Newsfeed and will remain sponsored for three days or until you stop it. You can easy stop promoting by going to the post, click on where it says “Promoted for $X”, click the Settings icon and then clic“Stop Promotion”. Finally, to see how many people your post reached click on the number of people and you’ll be able to see who saw it organically, virally or through the paid promotion. Chances are majority will be from paid and viral (viral only if you target Likes and their friends.)
Let’s make a deal. Another way to create some viral exposure for a special deal, coupon or free merchandise is through the Facebook Offers platform. You may have seen other businesses do this, where a “coupon” is displayed in your Newsfeed that you can “Get Offer”. After you claim the offer, you’ll get a Facebook message of the offer, and the offer will automatically display on your personal profile, which gives even more exposure to that deal and creates a viral marketing effect. Using an Offer to gain exposure to items such as accessories is a great way to almost create an impulse buy on Facebook.
Setting up an offer is extremely easy to do and can be found from the same place where you add an update to your page’s Timeline. It looks like a yellow ticket and says Offer, Event +. First you must choose if it can be redeemed in store only, in store and online or online only (for all the eCommerce stores).
You’ll want to include a strong headline, an eye catching photo and set the number of claims by clicking Unlimited and selecting a number from the dropdown. You’ll need a budget for the Offer because you will be promoting it (just like Promoting a Post mentioned above). Note: the more people you reach the more you’ll spend. To learn more about what an offer is, how it can go viral, setting up an offer or managing your offer, check out this page and video by Facebook found here.
Crystal Vilkaitis has been using social media to marketing businesses since 2007 producing results like tripling web sales, increased blog traffic by over 2700% and received coverage in Entrepreneur Magazine and USAToday. Crystal was featured in Fast Company’s 2010 Most Influential Person Online campaign, ranking in the top 2% and took third place out of over 1,400 nominations for the Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages of 2011 by Social Media Examiner. She is currently the owner of Crystal Media, a company dedicated to helping retailers integrate proven social media and mobile marketing strategies into their businesses to increase exposure and growth. For more information visit crystalmedia.co.
*Source: InsideFacebook, Nielsen Report