Sean Cook is CEO of ShopVisible LLC. With more than 11 years of experience in online marketing, management and new technology innovation, Cook translates ShopVisible’s premier e-commerce platform solution into bottom line results for clients.
Social ecommerce is becoming more and more important on networks like Facebook. More than another “new frontier,” it is attracting innovative marketers that are taking advantage of new technologies and responding to their consumers.
Working with fans to create unique shopping and sharing opportunities empowers the kind of viral experiences that were fundamental to Facebook’s own rapid growth and consumer engagement.
But how can you maximize the social network to close sales for your own business? Want to learn how to market on Facebook? Here are five tips to help you design a Facebook presence that makes buying your products more desirable and easy.
1. Make it Unique
Your Facebook store should be different from your main website. The key is offering fans an engaging experience that makes sense within the environment. You can’t just put a shopping cart in Facebook and expect people to use it. Give your consumers a reason to become fans and give your fans a reason to purchase on Facebook. Consider offering exclusive merchandise available only on Facebook or making products available before you can find them in stores.
2. Encourage Collaboration
Facebook is the perfect environment to create a compelling and collaborative buying experience. People love sharing on Facebook — it’s what the space is built for. Letting people share this information is a great example of how retailers can join the conversation in a relevant way.
Retailers who harness the potential of comments, likes and shares will empower messages to go viral. Facebook makes it easy for your fans to share deals and purchases. Offering incentives, loyalty programs, checkin capabilities and other word-of-mouth generators will not only spread your reach further but give your fans a reason to purchase on your Facebook Page. The retailers who offer wish lists, collaborative shopping experiences and incentivized sharing on Facebook will likely see a surge in traffic and sales.
3. Create an Exclusive VIP Experience
We know from the success of companies like Gilt Groupe that people like to be “in the know” and they like to invite others to join the club. Let your Facebook fans be first in line to access new merchandise, limited edition pieces and products that are only available to them through Facebook. Your fans are more apt to share their limited-access purchase with other fans. This builds buzz for hard-to-get products and prompts Facebook users to become fans to get involved.
4. Privacy and Security are Paramount
Facebook stores that immediately ask permission to access personal data are a major deterrent for all consumers, especially those who are simply looking to browse. Offer an experience that doesn’t require fans and consumers to install an application. Consumers are wary of their personal data being tracked, so if you do require an application installation, specify what information you are going to access and what you’re going to do with it.
People like familiarity, especially when it comes to their financial data. Offering familiar alternative payment methods like PayPal or Amazon checkout will extend greater buying confidence. Make sure that consumers know you maintain the highest security during the checkout process. Make sure you only use technology partners that maintain PCI Level 1 compliance — it’s the right thing to do.
5. Make it Easy to Navigate and Work
Don’t want to lose your customer? Make sure your Facebook store is easy and intuitive to navigate. Consumers shouldn’t endure more than two to three clicks to find the product they’re looking for. Facebook recently introduced customizable navigation links on the left side of the page. Retailers can use these links to provide their customers with quick links to their top product categories. It’s also crucial to offer search capability within your Facebook store. Implementing a search bar that also offers predictive text allows a customer to get directly to the item they’re searching for.
Your website is not the community, and Facebook is not your company site. Don’t just copy and paste between the two. There is a reason why Facebook is unique — it is a community for sharing, collaborating, being the first to know, and much more. Give your fans something of value and make it fun, and they’ll reward you by telling everyone they know.
Check out this video on How To Market On Facebook.