With more than 1.2 billion users, Facebook is one social network where holiday shopping will likely be a favorite topic of conversation.
While Facebook, like other social media, may not substantially affect overall ecommerce sales this holiday season, it can support other efforts and drive additional traffic and incremental revenue.
With that in mind, here are ten ways to use Facebook for holiday ecommerce marketing.
1. Host Contests and Sweepstakes
Contests and sweepstakes are useful to stimulate interest and foster engagement. More significantly, they enable you to capture new email addresses to which you can market year-round.
Several third-party providers offer easy-to-deploy contest and sweepstakes apps. Some of the more popular include Antavo, Offerpop, TabSite, Wishpond, and Woobox.
A recent Practical Ecommerce article, “Creating a Facebook Sweepstakes for Ecommerce Shoppers,” provides step-by-step instructions for running a successful sweepstakes using Woobox.
2. Emphasize Mobile
Tech blog The Verge reports that Facebook has one billion users accessing the site via mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). So ensure your campaigns are mobile enabled.
Facebook offers a mobile news feed option for ads (be sure to select it), but it’s wise to optimize your page timeline posts for mobile by using eye-catching photos and videos, keeping text short (160 characters or less is best), and including calls to action.
3. Offer Coupons
People love getting discounts, especially during the holiday season, so utilize coupons to drive Facebook users to your store instead of a competitor’s.
Rather than dilute your brand, coupons can build customer loyalty. Also, by posting coupons to Facebook, you take advantage of sharing capabilities inherent within the platform.
If you use a coupon app that requires the person to take action — such as giving his or her email address — you not only benefit from the potential purchase, but generate a new lead, as well.
4. Run Multiple Campaigns
In 2013, Offerpop looked at more than 1,700 Facebook campaigns launched during the holiday season, tracking both the number of campaigns and fan participation, and found that running multiple campaigns increases participation, particularly if you promote specific gifts to niche audiences.
Both Facebook ads and page timeline posts let you segment audiences based on a variety of criteria, which means that you can run several campaigns at one time, each targeted to different audiences. Also, use Custom and Lookalike Audiences to reach current customers and those like them.
5. Focus on News Feed
If you plan to advertise on Facebook, choose the News Feed option. Even with the redesign of right-hand column ads (they are larger, and there are fewer of them), it’s in News Feed that your ads stand a better chance of getting seen. That’s especially true with mobile devices, which only show News Feed.
6. Insert Call-to-action Buttons
Facebook now gives you the opportunity to insert call-to-action buttons to your ads, one of which is “Shop Now.” These are especially useful if your objective is to increase clicks to your ecommerce site or create sales conversions.
7. Foster Holiday Spirit
Don’t just post product information on your Facebook page; use it to foster the holiday spirit and create a sense of nostalgia. Include posts such as tree decorating tips, favorite recipes, holiday trivia questions, inspirational quotes, clips from old Christmas movies, and other warm messages.
Another idea is to ask customers to submit their favorite holiday photos, which you turn into a Facebook photo album. One way to do this is to ask them to upload photos to Instagram with a unique hashtag that you specify, and then use the Instagram feed Facebook app to host the pictures on your page.
8. Create a Pop-up Shop
Facebook stores have not proven to be significant sales drivers, but a temporary single-page pop-up shop may be worth trying, especially when tied to any new products you introduce during the holidays. Sites like Ecwid and Shoptab offer affordable options.
9. Give Customers More Than They Expect
When you ship merchandise, add a little something extra such as a discount coupon, thank you letter, or free item. It’s a gesture that customers will both thank you for and remember for some time to come. They may even share it with friends in their Facebook timeline.
10. Produce a ‘Happy Holidays’ Video Card
Here’s a fun idea. Get your employees together and produce a short video where each person expresses a heartfelt sentiment about the holidays, which you then post to your Facebook page. If you don’t have employees, record yourself sharing what the holidays mean to you. Customers will appreciate the human touch.