In today’s world of abundant social media sites, Facebook still continues to reign as the champ of the all. With more than 2.7 billion active users Facebook remains the #1 platform for users to connect with friends and share their content online. But Facebook has greatly evolved from its conceptual idea of a simple social networking website for college students to one of the biggest venues for businesses to market themselves through customer interaction and self-promotion.
Whether you’re a Multinational Corporation or a local small business, Facebook offers a great space to develop brand identity, keep customers informed, and broaden your reach.
But what makes Facebook such a great platform for Ecommerce Marketing and growing your online presence. The following reasons may shed some light on the subject:
- Has global coverage. As of Q3 2019, Facebook has over 1.6 billion active daily users. And about 2.3 billion users visit every month. There are over 70 million active companies that advertise their products/services to this massive audience.
- Highly targeted paid advertisements. Facebook allows you to tailor your promotions to a highly targeted or specific audience based on their age, gender, location, interests, job or any other behavioral or demographical data, all of which is willingly shared by users with Facebook.
- Organic Marketing. If your business is small and still growing, and you don’t have the adequate resources required for paid advertisements, Facebook also allows you to build organic relationships by sharing materials that add value to the people visiting your Facebook page. If these people follow your page, these posts will show up in their newsfeed. Bear in mind that this is a tough path with high levels of competition as compared to the one with paid marketing.
- Integration support with other marketing channels. Facebook isn’t an isolated system, You can integrate it with your other marketing channels, such as email marketing, search engine marketing, mobile marketing, and many others to develop an overall marketing strategy that increases your brand’s outreach.
So, how does one take the first step into this journey
Making the Most of Your Facebook Business Page
A Facebook Business page is unlike a personal facebook page in many ways, foremost of which is that a business page is a brilliant free marketing tool. It would allow a business to create their online presence – list their product and service offerings, share links, images, and videos as posts on a customizable page to give their customers a better sense of the brand’s personality and character. Facebook, as a platform offers your brand a space to loosen the corporate tie a little bit, show its human side and dare to be funny. A Facebook business page allows you to do the following
List your basic contact information.
A business’ Facebook page is a one-stop shop for displaying all of its basic contact information such as your phone number, website or email address, brick n mortar store address to their potential customers.
Engage with customers.
As a business it is in your best interest to keep your customers engaged with your brand on a (if possible) daily or atlast a regular basis. Not even your most loyal customers are going to be updated unless you regularly share elucidating, engaging and most importantly interactive social media content with them. A Facebook page is not just a great place to share adorable kitten videos, but also to post shots from inside your storefront or to launch new products, announce discounts and more.
Knowing your audience.
A Business page comes packed with tools such as Facebook Audience Insights, that can help you determine the demographics of your Facebook audience. This tool will give you information about the people that connected to your page and people from your custom audience. You can get to know about their likes, where they live and the language they speak, monitor their past purchasing activities, devices they use, etc. This data can be used to create a robust marketing strategy with a demographic targeted advertising campaign.
Reduce your marketing costs.
A Facebook business page is free, and many other marketing tools and analytical features of Facebook are either free or at a minimal cost. Growing your online presence and engaging with a vast audience using Facebook is a low-cost marketing strategy that is an almost guaranteed way to increase your business’ reach. Facebook puts your business in touch with a billion people, each of which can potentially be your customer.
Boosting your web traffic.
You can also use your Business’ Facebook page to drive more traffic to your own website, it can be done by simply linking to your company’s website on its Facebook page. People who jump from your Facebook business page to your website are most likely to read in-depth descriptions of your products and services, and the higher the number of people visiting your website, the better are your chances of converting them into a paying customer. Besides, Facebook pages aren’t just good for growing a social media presence; they’re also a boon for your SEO rankings.
Automate your actions
This is typically useful for advanced users or for big businesses. Initially, you can make do using softwares such as Hootsuite to schedule your posts but as the audience grows, you’d require rather sophisticated automation tools. Tools such as ecommerce automation systems can help marketers automate deploying strategies by specifying action criteria, leveraging cookies and using forms for contact information. Social listening tools can help craft spot-on marketing campaigns by eavesdropping on client and brand conversations through target keywords or phrases. And custom-made chatbots can help respond to thousands of questions, requests, and complaints in a day.
Types of Facebook Posts
Ultimate goal of a business to be on any social media platform is user engagement, and a good start to that end-goal is to conceptualise an ideal target audience and then put yourself in their shoes to consider what this audience would want to see. You can share content in the form of images, links, videos, or anything else that you desire, so long as it resonates with your business in some manner and it is something that your target audience would enjoy. Facebook Insights can help you better understand what type of content resonates most with your target audience. Consistently posting of relevant content can help you create a constant flow of communication with your existing users. When you publish quality content that offers users some kind of value, you increase your user base. Below is a practical example of how this tactic works.
In addition to posting an adorable puppy video jumping into a swimming pool, a store specializing in swimwear might also post an article about the new swimwear trends of 2021, what kind of swimwear are worn by olympic swimmers, etc. A nice mix of humor, glamour, educational resources, and posts about your product/service/store updates is ideal.
Below, are the 4 types of posts that can be utilized to add value to your users through Facebook marketing (both paid and free)
Posting an image can increase your engagement numbers by 2.3 times!
It is a good practice to always pair your copy or blogpost with a relevant image, preferably a picture of the best quality or a graphic created by a professional designer. If your budget is low, initially you can make do by utilizing stock images or free softwares such as Canva to create graphics, but, as your audience grows, creatively designed images by a designer or high quality photographs by a professional photographer can offer a huge positive impact on your engagement numbers.
As mentioned above, facebook is a great platform to drive traffic to your own website. One such tactic to do so is by posting blog links on your Facebook Business page. You simply copy+paste the link of your article or blog post in the text box of your Facebook marketing page attached with a compelling and an intriguing copy.
The idea behind it is that you have already utilised your time and money on content marketing, might as well offer the piece another avenue to improve your outreach. Your Facebook audience will not only visit your blog but they may even re-share it to their friends and followers. And the chain continues.
Looking to engage your audience for a considerable amount of time through Facebook marketing?
A video post is your best choice, because videos can showcase or narrate a story and users are more inclined towards watching a story than reading it. That said, Don’t just dive in and start making videos left right and center. Wait, plan, ideate the video and create measurable goals you wish to achieve with the said videopost. For instance, lead generation or increased sharing of content to boost user engagement figures. It can be a useful tool to deliver educational material offering value to your users. You can also utilize influencer marketing to increase brand value and trust.
Don’t forget to add proper title, tags, copy(caption), and the right thumbnail.
Facebook live is a tool similar to video posts, However, it offers some additional benefits. Marketers use this feature to connect with the audience in real-time.
You can use this feature to pick up a trending or engaging topic and start talking to your audience. For example, a company offering education-related services can talk about reopening of schools or offer some valuable tips to students on how they can use the business’ services to lend themselves an edge or address queries of students live.
Inform your audience in advance, so that they can explore the topic and keep their questions handy.
Other avenues for Posting
The past decade has seen many new additions to Facebook. These new features and functionalities can help you increase your Business’ outreach and audience. Most of these are geared towards marketing and designed to help ecommerce.
This section discusses two of the most robust and frequently used of the above-mentioned functionalities.
As the name suggests, Marketplace makes it possible to sell almost anything on this platform. The functionality of this Marketplace is quite similar to that of Craigslist with the exception that it is directly built into the social networking platform. So, this virtual marketplace is a good place for businesses to offer their services and advertise their products. Setting up is quite similar to opening a shop. Your products will go online and be catalogued and categorized on the marketing platform. Everyone can see and search for these products. All you have to do is to offer the correct description and pricing of these catalogued products.
Marketing on Facebook groups is a major strategy for many eCommerce industries, especially wholesalers. But now, Facebook allows you to create a custom group based on your brand name with a relevant user base.
But How is this useful?
Having a brand-specific group lets you control various aspects of it corresponding to your brand’s marketing strategy and the brand’s values. You can also have discussion forums in your groups where your users can discuss relevant topics, post the problems they face with your product/service, general queries regarding usage, and you can get indulged in the conversation and also offer customer support to make an impact. Standalone Discussion forums are neither easy nor cost-effective to create on Facebook.
But the best part of these groups (that can also be used as discussion forums) is that they are totally free.
You can also easily monitor questions, discussions and answers in these groups, thus giving you a lot of analytical data for improvement of your marketing strategy.
Facebook, like any powerful marketing tool, is flexible and scalable. It supports and accommodates you in your initial stages of marketing by allowing you to market organically supplemented with a few targeted ads. And as the scale of your marketing campaigns and your outreach increases, Facebook offers further functionalities and opens doors to several opportunities. The opportunities are virtually endless.
Samveg is an engineer turned writer who strongly agrees with Professor Dumbeldore that words are the most inexhaustible source of magic. He is currently working with Orderhive. When he’s not working you can find him exploring the city using his forever hungry stomach as a compass, fixing his 1982 Yezdi, or running away from the routine on a solo trip.