As an eCommerce business owner, you want to have a presence where your target customers are. Regardless of what niche you are in, chances are that plenty of them are hanging out on Facebook, looking for digestible content that resonates with their interests.
In terms of sheer numbers, Facebook is a goliath. Every month, 2.9 billion people log in to interact with their friends and discover new products. This is a massive opportunity for you to get your attention to whatever it is that you’re offering, but you want to do so in a manner that won’t be perceived as “spammy”, “intrusive”, “salesy”, or any other potentially negative-sounding adjectives that can be used to describe a Facebook marketing approach that’s quite simply unrefined and thus ineffective.
What we want you to do instead is to focus on proven Facebook marketing strategies that work. With a little bit of creativity, you can adapt them to suit the needs of your business and maximize your ROI. But before we let you in on how to use Facebook for eCommerce in the most efficient manner possible, let’s make the introduction complete by getting the following out of the way:
Why choose Facebook for eCommerce in the first place over alternatives such as Etsy and Shopify?
If you’ve got limited time and resources on your hands, it’s important to focus on the most fitting platform. Compared to Etsy and Shopify, Facebook has quite a lot going for it.
Facebook shop vs Etsy
Did you know that Facebook sellers only pay a 5% fee per sale, which is minuscule compared to Etsy where it could go as high as 16% depending on the size of the store? Since Facebook already has the hungry buyers lurking around on the platform, they don’t need to spend that much more to attract them. At the same time, since Facebook is a newer player in the eCommerce space, the competition is not as hard as it is on Etsy.
Facebook shop vs Shopify
First of all, Facebook has a much wider audience. Furthermore, Facebook allows you to get in touch with your audience through all Facebook-owned channels, which includes WhatsApp and Instagram. Facebook allows you to import your entire product catalog in a single click. When a prospective customer clicks on a product listing, they will be taken straight to the store where they can complete the checkout process.
Now that you’re aware of the unique advantages Facebook has for eCommerce purposes, let’s go over how to make the most of it:
1. Know your target audience
If you don’t know the traits of your typical customer, how are you going to be able to create the kind of content that resonates with their interests and sell products that address the issues they’re struggling with? By knowing your customer persona, you will be able to adapt your offerings to match the exact thing they’re looking for, thereby increasing your sales.
Don’t worry about being too “niched-down” - Facebook is a massive pool of people with various different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, and interests, hence it’s much better to go after potentially smaller circles of people that will be that much more passionate about their “thing” and thus more likely to be interested in your shop.
To pinpoint your customer demographics, a good trick you can use is to take a look at your competition and utilize tools like Similarweb that will tell you the background of their visitors, so you will have a rough idea about their typical age, education, marital status and similar. This will become the customer persona you should tailor your offerings to.
2. Establish a partnership with the right influencers
Since influencers have the power to speak to a massive audience with laser-targeted interests, asking them to do a promotional post can go a long way towards making more sales and increasing brand awareness. You are free to build your own following on the side where you will be able to promote your products for free, but know that it will take a decent amount of time to grow your follower numbers.
Think of partnering with the right influencers as the shortcut to your eCommerce success on Facebook. However, you should take the time to study their audience demographics, whether they’ve done a promotional post before, and how well it was received by their followers. As a general rule of thumb, go after smaller influencers that operate in your niche; trying to work with big names is bound to cost a pretty penny and chances are their followers won’t be as targeted.
3. Promote your products with giveaways
People love freebies, whether it be on Facebook or anywhere else. Better yet, they’re very likely to share a giveaway with their friends, which means giveaways virtually tend to market themselves on their own. Even those that merely see your giveaway will get to know your brand, which means it’s going to be easier to sell to them later on.
By doing giveaways, you can count on getting a ton of likes along the way, so if you can absorb the costs and keep compliant with Facebook’s rules, it’s hard to fail with this Facebook marketing strategy. So what are Facebook giveaway rules for 2022? In short, you should be transparent regarding the terms and conditions that specify who is eligible to enter, the duration of the contest, as well as how you’ll pick the winner. Make it clear Facebook is not affiliated with the giveaway and stay compliant with its terms for promotions.
4. Set up a Facebook shop
Since people value convenience, you’d be wise to set up a Facebook shop and populate it with your product catalog. The reason is simple: if you reduce the steps it takes for someone to make a purchase, it’s going to be more likely they’ll arrive at the checkout and place an order. And vice-versa; by introducing extra steps they need to take, the likelihood of conversion decreases. Therefore, you should allow them to complete the process without having to leave Facebook.
At the same time, learn the differences between Facebook shop vs marketplace and how they compare. For starters, know that the users can’t buy products from the Facebook marketplace directly, whereas the reverse applies when visiting your Facebook shop. In short, the former is more like a product listing section, while the latter’s functionality can be described as interactive – a real online store that operates within Facebook itself.
So how to add a product to Facebook shop? It’s quite straightforward. After you’ve logged in to the Commerce Manager, start adding products – if you want to populate the name, description, and image fields manually, you can do so from here. Keep in mind that Facebook also allows you to import the entire product catalog automatically by uploading a properly formatted spreadsheet.
5. Get social proof
Nowadays, people are reluctant to buy without some form of social proof. This can be reviews, customer testimonials, likes, and other things that greatly influence the reputation of your eCommerce business. Without this crucial metric, how would they know they’re buying from a trustworthy merchant and that the goods are, well, any good?
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to learn how to get reviews on Facebook. But first, you should check the ones you’ve already received thus far. To do that, simply append “/reviews” to the end of your personal profile link and you’ll see where you stand in a second. If there’s less than you’d like to see (or none whatever), it means you should be more proactive in asking your customers to leave a review after they’ve purchased something from you. It can truly be as simple as that.
Pro tip: ethically “bribe” them with a discount they can use on their next purchase. Bear in mind that you shouldn’t instruct them what exactly to write, so don’t say “give us 5 stars”. However, you won’t be breaking any rules by simply asking them to leave an honest review.
6. Optimize your Facebook product feed
To get the most out of your marketing campaigns, take some time to learn how to optimize product feeds on Facebook shop and Google shopping. Above all else, you should know how to come up with a title that catches people’s attention. Since you have limited space to convey your message, don’t worry about cramming your brand in it – focus on the key selling points instead.
Don’t forget about creating custom labels. If you’re running a sale right now, that’s a great way to let it be known. Finally, make sure that the product feed displays up-to-date pricing. Luckily, there’s a way to incorporate dynamic pricing, so you won’t have to keep doing manual work all the time. Remember that, in order to outcompete the other sellers on the platform, you should aim to give your customers the best prices so as to give them a reason to buy the product from you and not somewhere else.
7. Post in Facebook groups
On Facebook, you’ll find a dedicated group for virtually anything you can think of, whether it be golfing, dog grooming, and even marble collecting. Day after day, people are passionately discussing topics related to their hobbies or interests, and it’s your job to identify (and join) the ones that are in some way or another related to your niche.
Can you see where we’re going with this? That’s right – you’re going to want to start engaging with them. But don’t start spamming links to your products just yet! Blasting out promotional content without giving any value to your audience is the quickest way to get banned from the group. So before posting anything remotely promotional in nature, you should mingle with the group, see what they’re about, and share helpful tips. If you’re interesting enough, others will organically check out your profile at some point.
8. Nail the right time to post
Why post your content in the middle of the night if you can do so at a time when your audience tends to be the most active? By doing so, you turn the odds of your content getting seen in your favor. Couple this with the fact that Facebook’s algorithms tend to prioritize content that’s fresh, and you’ll be riding the waves of success in no time.
So what’s the recommended time to post on Facebook in 2022? In most niches, it tends to be anywhere between 1pm and 3pm (it should be during a weekday). That’s when people are usually the most active and ready to consume the content that you put out.
Keep in mind this can vary from niche to niche, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Facebook Audience Insights will tell you everything you need to know; once you’ve identified the best time of the day to post, get behind that keyboard and let it roll!
But what should you do if you don’t have the time to post at these opportune moments? Luckily, you don’t need to hire a social media manager if you don’t have the budget for one. We’ll show you how you can use Ocoya to schedule your Facebook posts in advance for them to go out at any time of your choosing.
First, navigate to the main menu and click the Posts section you'll find to your far left.
Either create a new Facebook post or edit one of the previous ones you've made. For this example, we'll be creating a new post.
Enter the body of your post just as you would on Facebook.
Select the social media network you'd like Ocoya to post to. For this example, we'll be selecting the Facebook icon.
Pick the date and time of when you'd like your Facebook post to go live by clicking the Schedule button in the top right.
Pick the desired time and date.
Confirm your selection and let Ocoya schedule your post. It truly is as simple as that.
9. Remove any obstacles that stand in the way of someone making a purchase
As stated before, people may have doubts before deciding to open their wallet and place an order on your Facebook shop. Even if you’ve done everything correctly on your end, that still may be the case and there’s nothing you can do beyond that. However, before you get to that point, it’s crucial to exhaust the list of possibilities and go through every possible reason why someone may have second doubts about your shop.
Are the photos not looking professional enough? See if there’s a way to take better photos or get them directly from the manufacturer. Has your store not earned enough reviews and other forms of social proof? See if you can convince your customers to help you out in this regard. The decision whether to buy from you or not could even be made on the basis of something as trivial as you offering the payment method they prefer, so be sure to read up on Facebook’s official checkout method eligibility requirements.
So how to change the checkout method on Facebook shop? Open Facebook Commerce Manager, select the shop you want to change your checkout settings for, and select the checkout method in the settings section. Find the gear wheel icon next to the payment method you want to support and take it from there. Note that Facebook might require you to provide certain information about your business before letting you proceed.
10. Tap into the power of paid advertising
Although it’s possible to succeed on Facebook without investing a dime, at some point, you’re going to want to consider running Facebook ads for eCommerce to speed things along. To maximize your ROI, you can do a simple Facebook split test through which you’ll gather performance data on each and every one of your ad variations (also known as A/B testing). Then, all you need to do is keep the winning one – a simple yet powerful concept.
Another thing you can try is Facebook retargeting strategy. In essence, you’ll be targeting people who have previously engaged with your brand; since they already know what you’re all about, they tend to be easier to sell to. Facebook can help you identify them by placing a special tracking pixel on their device.
Last but not least, learn what Facebook audience network is and how to use it to your advantage. Facebook has an advertising network through which they serve ads to their mobile users. It’s another marketing channel you can tap in to extend your reach. Since the CPC tends to be much lower than on Facebook’s native ad network, you could be staring at an opportunity to lower your costs while still running effective ad campaigns.
To market your eCommerce business on Facebook, there is much to learn and success won’t come overnight. With the help of these tips, you should now have a solid idea on what you should be focusing on.