Many small retailers struggle with using Facebook to grow their business. Some have created Facebook pages, but are not seeing results. However, Facebook can work effectively for your business if it’s used properly. Here are five pointers.
1. Make Sure Your Customers Use Facebook
If your customers use Facebook, then it makes sense to establish a Facebook presence. Best Buy was one of the first businesses to place its products — the actual transaction is completed on BestBuy.com — on Facebook to target its younger customer base there. The Fans on its page can also ask their friends about a product, or a share a product with their friends, potentially leading to increased sales at BestBuy.com.
You can do a similar thing by setting up a page for your customers, if you believe they use Facebook. Once you have the page, you can, for example, encourage your Fans to post photos and videos that show them using your products. This will further influence their friends to make a purchase on your site
2. Consider ‘Word-of-Mouth’ Marketing
If your site sells products that can benefit from word-of-mouth marketing, then Facebook is a great tool to use. You can put specials on Facebook to generate buzz. Posting pictures of your products can start conversations as your Fans start “Liking” your products.
Many retailers use this very effectively on Facebook. One Kings Lane, a provider of home decor items, is a good example. It either talks about its products or a theme — such as decorating a kitchen — to start a conversation among its Fans. This activity is posted on the Wall of their Fans and lets their friends know about One Kings Lane’s products.
This additional traffic through word-of-mouth marketing will, in turn, lead to greater online sales. This also works well to promote the new products.
3. Remember Frequent Deals and Promotions
If you have frequent deals and promotions on your site, you can leverage the users on Facebook to advertise them. You can also post them on your Facebook Wall to have your Fans Like them or share them with their friends. Gap uses this strategy very effectively, as shown below
4. Post Store Events
Facebook can also be a very effective way to bring traffic to your physical store by promoting your store events. Barnes & Noble does that well, by promoting its store events on the Facebook page and driving traffic to its physical stores.
As a small retailer, you can do the same for your local Fans and also encourage your Fans to share updates and pictures from the event.
5. Consider the Price Point of Your Products
If your online products are priced at thousands of dollars or more, it’s unlikely that setting up a Facebook presence will directly produce sales. However, you can create a page for providing information about your products — to interact with your Fans. Several luxury retailers use this strategy effectively, such as luxury carmakers Bentley and Maserati, and luxury watchmakers like Patek Philippe and Piaget.