According to a recent study conducted by AdWeek, Facebook is the leading social media network for total revenue driven to online businesses. Of revenue generated from social media networks, Facebook has, on average, been responsible for over 70%!
With that in mind, as an eCommerce seller, you’ve got to not only focus on driving traffic from Facebook to your store, but to also try to sell to your customers directly on Facebook. We want to help you understand how to use Facebook as a sales generator so grab your pen and paper. Let’s get to it.
Sell on Facebook and Win at eCommerce
1. Legendary Customer Service
The rules of selling on Facebook are no different than any other place on the internet. You’ve got to be able to provide top customer service, which should be just as good as the service that you provide on your web store.
If you want to super-charge your customer service skills, then pay close attention to these three tips.
I. Respond Quickly
Quickly does not necessarily have to translate to an answer given within the first minute, however it does mean prioritizing customer issues on Facebook. Prioritizing customers means that you are on top of your page, using the Facebook Page Manager app to get instant notifications for customer inquiries.
In addition to staying notified on what questions are being asked on your page, you need to be able to send a first response in a timely manner. In order to do that, and make sure the response is fitting, we highly recommend creating templates ahead of time. The last thing you want is to not respond to a 4th time customer during a busy/bad day.
Pro Tip: Facebook knows that you may not be available 24/7. In your Facebook message center, you can set your status to “away”. Customers sending you messages will be aware and hence not surprised when they don’t get an immediate response.
II. Manage Negative Comments
Notice that we used the word “manage” and not delete or block. You have a few options when it comes to negative comments: delete, ignore, or respond. Which option looks like the best one? If you guessed the last one, “respond” then you are correct.
Here are our guidelines for responding to negative comments: respond directly to the complaint, use a respectful and courteous tone, try to be personable, acknowledge your mistake (if you made one), and always double check your grammar and spelling.
Pro Tip: Lead the conversation by swinging it into a positive light. Use positive words and remember what Bill Gates said very wisely, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”.
III.Know How to Respond to Compliments
Responding to the negative comments requires one artform. Responding to positive feedback is much more simple and fun. Your happy fans deserve your attention just as much as the sour customers. Be thankful, but also don’t overdo the “thankfulness”. The most important thing is to be authentic.
Pro Tip: Providing highly valuable customer service does not entail just answering messages. High-quality customer service is a package of different details. For more insights on these customer service tips, and a few others, take a look at some of our recommended tips to improve your customer service on Facebook.
2. Share User Generated Content
How can you remind your Facebook fans how awesome your products are without being too pushy? The answer to that question is none other than user generated content. The Facebook pages of Angelus Direct and Fit Girls are just two brands getting this marketing strategy down right. Their pages are full of interactions, because they make it a habit to share their customers’ content.
Sales don’t happen like love at first sight (for the most part). As such, just as you would go on many dates to “nurture” your relationship with your significant other, the same needs to be done with your Facebook fans.
You must engage them with the right type of content. The engaging content drives the customer closer to making a purchase.
Engaging content however can be divided into two: that which sell and that which doesn’t. There is content that can get likes and comments, but not have any effect on your sales. This tends to happen with content that is not related to your niche. Then, there is the content that can help you “nurture” Facebook fans and push them one step further into your sales funnel. User generated content falls into this category.
Pro Tip: Do you need user generated content? Start getting more by adding a call to action in your order confirmation emails asking them to either tag your brand or send you the images. Also, feel free to run a contest for anyone that shares their UGC (can be a great method to get some PR).
3. Use the Right Apps on Your Page
No one likes seeing too many options. When there are too many options, something ends up going unnoticed. With Facebook being one of the most valuable channels for your business, trying to put every bit of information and content in front of the customers’ eyes may seem tempting, but be warned that it can lead to less than stellar results.
This is information overload. Can you remember a time when you went to buy something specific, but ended up not buying that product/service because there were too many options? I sure do remember multiple instances.
Your Facebook page is the window to your online store. You can either offer a cluttered window full of different messages, from A-Z or you can selectively choose what information you want to add to your window.
You don’t want that kind of look on your customers’ faces
Yes, there are tons of options when it comes to picking what apps to add to your page, but what you may not know is that adding one too many apps could cause customers to overlook the important ones. In this case, you want to go for quality and not quantity. How many people do you think actually click “more”?
Your Facebook page can rock sales with just a few apps: Facebook Shop, Email signups, another social network (Pinterest or Instagram). Add that to your photos and videos.
Pro Tip: There is no need to add a YouTube tab if you are uploading the videos or converting them into Facebook native videos. Just add a link in the text. The same could be true for the “newsletter” app. Instead of adding a tab, you can always create a status to the newsletter signup page on your site (if you have one). Pick the apps and tabs that contribute to sales and conversations and not those that are just “popular”.
4. Enable Checkout on Facebook
If you can make buying easier, you are going to sell more. It’s as simple as that. This is not quantum physics.
If you make buying complicated, or unclear, you are going to sell less. Why do some eCommerce businesses have extremely high abandoned cart rates while others have low rates? It all comes down to how complicated or unclear the checkout process is.
When providing fans direct exposure to products, enabling them to do all the shopping from your Facebook page creates a frictionless process that benefits your brand’s eCommerce experience and your overall sales.
Where people buy their products from (source)
That’s the current behavior trend of consumers. However, that is not how consumers would like to make their purchases. According to ConversionXL, 88% of respondents would rather make their purchases directly from the brand via their web store and not via third-party sites.
That should prove to you that there is value in sending customers straight to the checkout process. No one likes complicated. Aren’t simplicity and comfort two traits that enabled eCommerce to become so popular?
Pro Tip: Pin to the top of your page’s statuses an image introducing to your customers your Facebook Shop. Even better, create a video and tell customers why you are selling to them directly on Facebook.
5. Add Video to Your About (and complete all the information)
As we previously noted in regards to the importance of video marketing, consumers are more likely to make a purchase after seeing a branded product explanation video. How much more likely are they to make a purchase? 73% more likely!
It’s pretty clear that Samsung takes the cake here. We are all familiar with these brands so there is no major harm to Motorola. However, if you are not a global brand, if you have an about tab that looks similar to the one on the left (Motorola) you need to fix this fast.
This looks like a Facebook page I’d be interested in making purchases on. Ignore that it’s Samsung. If you came across a page that gave off a great first view, reviews, and high-quality user generated content you’d understand that this company is the real deal!
Pro Tip: Notice that Samsung’s CTA is “Watch Video”. Samsung’s interest is that you visit their site (or so it seems), so this might be an odd move, but if you are trying to increase sales directly on Facebook, that could be a brilliant move. Instead of pushing people into purchases, you are “pushing” them into content.
Up until now we’ve covered the basic stepping stones of turning your active Facebook page into not only a traffic channel for your web store, but also a money maker all on its own. Let’s review the steps:
(1) Provide awesome customer service. Don’t tell people to send you an email to info or support unless it’s beneficial for both you and the customer;
(2) Share high-quality user generated. This is more powerful than a post you share and acts simultaneously as a review;
(3) Use only the apps that you must have and don’t add ones that don’t forward customers into the next step of the sales funnel;
(4) Send customers directly to checkout. I know you have worked hard on your site, but if someone has already selected products to purchase, why send them back into the store and not to checkout?;
(5) Add video to your about section. First impressions are everything. Video is one step in the right direction to creating an impression that sticks in a positive light.
If you do all of the above, you are going to see awesome results! If you are serious about turning your Facebook page into another profitable store, then you should also take a look at some of the most common Facebook marketing mistakes that page managers make. Then act accordingly to fix those mistakes.
Oh, and by the way, if you don’t start doing this now, you will fall behind the rest of the pack. Selling on Facebook is not completely new, but is definitely a hot trend in 2016 that will be even more relevant in 2017 and beyond.
Find more statistics at Statista
2 Bonus Tips for the Serious Sellers
1. Personalize Icons for Apps Tabs (especially for your store)
Did you know that you can add your own icon to many of the apps that you feature on your Facebook page? On the one hand you can keep the image that comes with the app, but on the other hand, why not make your page more personal and customized for fans?
If you are using the StoreYa Facebook Store solution, there is a simple guide to help you walk through this.
2. Link Photos to Products Sold on Facebook
First of all, if the image or video is of a certain product or a new line, then there should be a link to the product or something relevant. The question you might have is if it is better to add a link to your site or to the store in your Facebook page.
The best route is to do some split testing on what converts better (sending visitors to your site or keeping them on Facebook). Are shoppers more likely to complete the purchase while on Facebook or while on your site?
That’s All Folks
This post has come to an end, but it is just the beginning for your and your store. You have the keys to increased Facebook sales in your hand. The next step is to use these keys – all of them. Start with your community service, work your way toward more user generated content, enable checkout on your Facebook page, and create a video for your page.
If you are currently selling on Facebook, we’d love for you to share your experience. Have you been selling like a boss, or does it look like no one wants to buy from your Facebook page? Will you work to use all of these tips?
P.S. If you are not yet selling on Facebook, be sure to take a look at our solution, “Facebook Shop”, which comes with two other apps to help you generated sales: “Group Deal” and “Scratch & Win”!
Ty is a digital marketing enthusiast that can't get enough social media marketing and content marketing. He is the inbound marketing manager at StoreYa where he spends his days searching for the newest social marketing scoop and creating amazingly awesome content. If you’d like to chat with him, feel free to connect with him on any social platform.
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