You’ve probably seen the multitude of ads, promotional pages, and general product-pushing that pop up all over the place on Facebook. It makes good marketing sense. People aren’t necessarily looking to shop but they’re cruising Facebook in search of distraction, and your products could be just the distraction they need. With that in mind, Facebook programmers decided to take it a step further.
Drum roll, please . . . . Introducing: the Facebook store.
The crazy thing is that Facebook stores, known as F-commerce, have been around since 2011 or earlier. If you’re new to the entrepreneurship gig, the existence of these stores is probably news to you. Many people know very little about creating a Facebook store or the major selling points, so here’s a bit of information that might help you get started with creating your own Facebook store and getting into the business of F-commerce and social selling.
Why a Facebook store?
Before we get into the how, it’s probably best to address the why. No doubt you’ve already set up a banging website for your business that has all the bells and whistles and will provide you with a great source for online sales and ecommerce. Go you.
And that is definitely a great foundation—ecommerce is the lifeblood of modern sales—but Facebook stores have the added advantage of being plugged directly into social media. They are great extensions of a strong marketing and growth plan and can help your business reach millions more customers than you could with a website and basic marketing promotions alone. Facebook stores also connect to:
- Google Plus
Whether small or large, your business can get benefit from social selling via a Facebook shop, through simple exposure and access to a convenient payment portal. The more convenient, the more likely Facebook perusers are to make that quick, must-have purchase.
How to get started?
- Pick a creation app or website. There are several to choose from online and basically these sites act as creation/support platforms and will help you connect your site to basic payment processors such as Paypal, etc. Depending on your current payment processor for ecommerce, you may want to ask their advice for a Facebook store creation site/app that supports their payment system.
- Organize, load product images and descriptions—and make it pretty. Remember that Facebook is a social media site and many people are drawn to attractive images more readily than blocks of text. Also be sure to load up all the important details, like shipping options, and to familiarize yourself with the analytics tools. Managing your orders and analytics are key for ensuring success with your social selling experience.
- Promote, promote, promote. While your Facebook store will be contained and easily accessible within the social media site, you have to put yourself out there and make it interesting. Consider a funny or interesting social media approach, either with strange or fascinating bits of information or very good graphics/memes. Blogs are also a good way to go when trying to drum up business in a social media setting.
The presence of a Facebook store, a place for commerce with social media, is a beautiful thing for small and medium businesses. Your business, which is probably not a major conglomerate, now has a chance to attract business in an environment that is essentially an equalizer—as long as you’re creative and active in promoting your store.
So get out there and check into your options. You have little to lose and a lot to gain by making social media work for your business in this new world of social commerce, where the most interesting and most persistent business usually wins.
About the Author - Ashley Choate is a native of Jacksonville, FL where she lives with her son, dog, and three cats. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University with a BA in English and holds an MAED in Adult Education and Training. She lives for reading and writing, learning and teaching, and figuring out the day-to-day traumas and joys of mommyhood.
Top Photo Courtesy of Jurgen Appelo @ Flickr CC.