The Right Way To Monetize Your Facebook Following and Boost Product Sales
With more than 1.28 billion registered users and almost 760 million daily active users from around the globe, Facebook is the largest and one of the most engaging social networks on the internet. The average daily duration of a Facebook visitor is around 17 minutes, which is much longer than any other social media platform.
For businesses, in general, and small businesses, in particular, this offers an extremely cost effective and lucrative opportunity to enhance their brand’s reputation and use the strength of their followers to maximize their product sales.
However, over the last few years, selling on Facebook has been a matter of debate among marketers. Some believe that it has been a disappointment in terms of ROI (return on investment) when you consider the time that it requires for brands to engage their customer on Facebook. While others believe that most companies do not use this platform as effectively as they could.
I tend to agree with the latter.
Facebook is a social networking platform that demands active user engagement that is not overly focused on selling. Unfortunately, most companies lack the patience that is required to build a vibrant Facebook following. But those who get it right, reap the rewards as well. For example, The New York Times recently covered that The Polkadot Alley company switch from e-Commerce to f-Commerce (Facebook-Commerce) increased the company’s sales from $400K to $1.5M over the period of one year. Similarly, a Scandinavian fashion brand OnePiece, sold over 1,000 items in 24 hours offering a group deal inside their Facebook store. In addition, this brand increased its Facebook community by 4,000 fans in those 24 hours.
The secret to selling on Facebook is not in continuously pushing your products to customer timelines. Instead, it requires you to build trust with them over a sustained period by sharing industry knowledge, holding competitions, creating special offers and listening to what they’re saying about your company.
2 Cost Effective Ways to Sell Directly On Facebook
The long term approach that I’ve mentioned, has to be combined with a smart selling method if you’re to successfully generate sales from Facebook. There are 2 main ways you do that.
i) Promoting Your Website Through Posts
Most businesses that own ecommerce websites, tend to promote their product pages directly on their Facebook timelines. They use different tactics like using high quality images, videos, animations and other forms of multimedia, and link it up with their website’s product pages. This approach is effective because of 2 reasons.
- It brings traffic to your website and gives you an opportunity to sign up users to your mailing list and route them to other pages of your website where they can make additional purchases.
- It does not require any additional costs since you’re routing users to your own website.
However, a possible disadvantage with this approach is the additional barrier of routing users from Facebook to your website. Many users are hesitant in clicking website links. This additional step will cause a certain percentage of users to go away without taking action.
ii) Using a Fully Functional Facebook Store
The other, more effective, option is to create a dedicated Facebook store and sell directly from there. Many companies use digital selling services like E-Junkie and Shopify to create their Facebook stores. Selz is another service that can help you set up a Facebook store in just a few minutes.
The advantage with this approach is that the users are not routed to any other page, the products are shown directly on your Facebook store and the whole purchase cycle can be completed in the same window. All this leads to higher conversions and more sales as compared to the first approach.
I mentioned Selz separately because it is free to sign up and has a free Facebook Store app. So you can try it yourself. Plus it has been endorsed by some of the most successful entrepreneurs and digital marketing experts that I follow, including Jeff Bullas, Gary Korisko, Kristi Hines and many others.
You can use it’s free Facebook App to start selling in just a couple of minutes. Once activated, this app will add new tab to your Facebook page. Your complete online store including products, images and checkout and payment procedures will be accessible directly on Facebook. So your users will not need to visit any other website in order to make the purchase.
Summing It Up
I personally recommend the 2nd approach since it has a much greater chance of driving action from your customers. However, irrespective of the method you select, you’ll need to combine it with a careful social networking strategy and keep your customers engaged with your brand. You can’t continuously push sales offer all the time. Your Facebook following has the potential to massively boost your sales numbers. But to make it work effectively, you’ll need to focus on a long term approach of engaging your customer and building rapport with them. Once they start trusting you, making sales will not be a problem.