Make Facebook Work for Your Small Business

Apr 17, 2015 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team
Posted Apr 17, 2015 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team

Whether you employ half the city or you’re just starting out, you can operate your very own Facebook Business page. In short, the biggest reason to set up shop on Facebook is because it’s where your customers are. It’s one thing to draw your customers to your brand, but it’s another to show up where they are already hanging out.

Let’s face it. Seems like most people check Facebook whenever they have a spare minute. If your business is already there, users can easily make a purchase from you while they wait to get their oil changed. Or when they’re on a lunch break. Or waiting in line to place their overly specific coffee order. Whatever. This kind of instant retail accessibility is not to be missed.

How can businesses like yours understand an audience to make better product posts and skyrocket their marketing success on Facebook? Read some practical and inspiring advice about content, advertising and managing your Facebook page.

Content

Here are some brilliant ideas on how to generate engaging product updates that resonate and are liked, shared and commented on by potential consumers.

Questions: product preferences

A product preference question asks your Fans to choose which of your products they like the best.

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Brew Thru online store

Similar to this is a “fill in the blank” post. These types of posts are generally one sentence, with a blank line for your Fans to complete.

Like vs. Share

A “like vs. share” post is a fairly straightforward way to engage your consumer, and get a lot of likes and shares. Create an image of two of your products, and make a “like vs. share” icon. Ask your Fans to choose their favorite product by either liking or sharing your post.

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Bookoo

Product Specific Days

There’s a lot of little known, pretty obscure international days of celebration. If you find some of these that relate to your product, use them! Hey, you never know, your market niche just might like to learn about them — and you can have a bit of fun promoting your niche product to them.

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Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream

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Frito-Lay

Lookbook Photo Albums

Facebook’s photo album feature lets you upload up to 1,000 photos per album. As a business, you would want to keep that to a more digestible number. But you can use photo albums to show a theme of your products. For example, if you’ve just received a new line of a certain product for the season — show cool photos of them in a lookbook-style album.

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Royal Bakery

Photos That Show a Product’s Value or Feature

Not every post has to be something outlandish. Some posts can simply show a unique or interesting aspect about a new products you have to offer.

Consumers like to be informed about products. Posting interesting facts related to and about your product can be a great way to get your product known. Make videos or pictures to show how your product is made, and do so in a very visually appealing manner.

Advertising

To hit the ground running with your Facebook store, you’ll need to consider is your advertisement strategy. There are two kinds of ads that you can use on Facebook: 1) Sponsored Ads, which appear in the sidebar of personal Facebook pages; and 2) the ads which you post on your own Facebook store.

Think of them as Outside and Inside Sales; sponsored ads are shown to a targeted demographic, and are designed to draw in new traffic to your store, while ads posted on your Facebook store are geared towards the customers you’ve already earned. The most effective marketing will be a result of how your brand uses both types of ads to reach your customers.

Sponsored Ads

Don’t worry, you won’t need a degree in Marketing to venture here. In fact, you won’t need very much at all. Here’s the list:

  • Graphics. An event photo, your company logo, or even a thumbnail of your product.
  • Destination URL. Ideally, the web address of your Facebook store. You may also use external links (if your band has a new gig in town, you can link to the venue’s ticket counter, for example)
  • Demographic data. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. If you sell beard trimmers, for example, you may be wise to target the hipster audience of males 18-35 years old. And if you’re watching your shipping costs, limit your geographic reach to nearby areas. You can even get more granular by layering anyone who has interest in beards or mustaches.
  • Know your budget. Sponsored ads have a variable cost associated with them. You can choose Pay Per Click or Pay Per Impression. (More info on those can be found here.) Keep an eye on the effectiveness of your ads, and adjust according to your budget.

When you’re ready to create your ad, go to your Ecwid store on Facebook. On the right sidebar, click on “Create an Ad” in the Sponsored section. The instructions provided from there are clear and easy to follow.

Promoted Posts

These ads have a much wider potential, but are limited to the customers who have already Liked your page. Here are a few pointers for making the best posts:

  • Use images. Did you show up at a local event? Take a selfie of you in your logo-emblazoned t-shirt. Or whip up a “All Snuggies on sale this Thursday afternoon!” graphic. Graphics catch the eye more than plain text.

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Source: designschool.canva.com

  • Keep it short. While graphics are essential, they are usually not enough. Use descriptive text to elaborate on what you’re trying to say, but limit yourself to a sentence or three. Something like: “Live in your world, play in ours. Visit (insert website URL) to learn about the latest in role-playing board games.”
  • Keep it light. It is never good to alienate your customers. Steer clear from political and religious bias, and from excessive disrespect for your competition.
  • Diversify. If your customer sees you post the same thing over and over, they will develop a mental filter. Keep it lively. Advertise your special sales, your attendance at local events, your media releases, and occasionally third party sites such as relevant blogs and news articles.
  • Use special offers. Who doesn’t like a great deal? When you run coupons and group deals on your Facebook Page, you can generate a lot of interactions with your posts about it. Include images of your products that you are offering your deals on. If you offer a group deal, you encourage sharing, as you can set up the number of entrants needed for the group deal to happen. If your deal is a good one, your Fans will be eager to share this with their friends.

Pro Tips: Go from Simple to Savvy

Call-to-action Buttons

Once you’ve locked down some of the basic tactics of using Facebook for you business, test out other functions that are now available like a “buy” button, or any one of the seven other “call-to-action” buttons that enable people to take direct action right from your Facebook page, including:

  1. Book Now
  2. Contact Us
  3. Use App
  4. Play Game
  5. Shop Now
  6. Sign Up
  7. Watch Video

Here’s an example from our own Ecwid Facebook page, where we include the “Sign Up” button:

Ecwid2

You too can set this up on your Facebook business page and select which call-to-action button makes the most sense for you:

Facebook_blog_1

As a note, the button will direct customers to a different website location, so be sure that you’re directing people to a site that works and looks good. And, don’t forget that with Ecwid, you can embed your store directly into Facebook (while managing it from your central control panel).

And always remember

  • Add value. Your advertisements (and more importantly, your posts) should always add value to your product and to the user experience. Save the kitten photos for your personal page. Use the photos of your Company Softball Team and the Office Mishaps very sparingly, if at all.
  • Narrow your bandwidth. The two biggest mistakes made by businesses on Facebook are lengthy posts, and lengthy absences. Be brief, and be frequent. When people comment on a post, whether it is positive or negative in spirit, you have an opportunity. Positive comments can generate customer enthusiasm, especially when coupled with your responses. Criticism can be an chance to demonstrate your commitment to your customer’s satisfaction. The window of opportunity for both of these is brief.
  • Use all your tools. Reward your customers for Likes, Shares, and Comments on your products. Promote special features of your Ecwid store, like the Buy Now button, drag-and drop functionality, and any special CSS design elements. These can all help boost how your brand is perceived, which in turn generates customer loyalty.

Keep these basic principles in mind as you develop your Ecwid store on Facebook.

And as always, our forums and Knowledge Base are available whenever you’d like to dig a little deeper.

Happy selling!

***

Read more cool stuff about marketing on Facebook:

The Anatomy of Facebook Ads: How to Increase Traffic for $3
 — Key Reasons You Need to Advertise on Facebook

About The Author
Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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