With more than 1.2 billion active users, Facebook is definitely a good place to make new friends; or to do business. While some people only see Facebook as a place to hang out and socialize, some see its true potential: Facebook is more than the world’s largest social network – it is also the world’s largest marketplace. Whether you plan to boost your company’s sales or just want to organize an online version of a garage sale, Facebook is the perfect place to do so.
As with every market, Facebook comes with its own rules, trends and things you should be aware of if you want to succeed. You can instantly become a Facebook Rockstar by taking this Facebook Marketing introductory course. If you want to learn about the basics of selling on Facebook before you jump in, this article is the perfect starting point.
Selling on Facebook as a User
Facebook has many great features, but when it comes to using it as a selling platform, one of these features stands out – groups. There are a lot of groups out there that are set up so they act as virtual markets. So, why use a Facebook group to sell something instead of simply joining a specialized site? The answer is simple: because of all the people that have Facebook accounts. Again, as of 2014, there are more than 1.2 billion active, so chances you’ll find someone interested in what you’re selling are quite high.
A major advantage of Facebook is that it already comes with everything you need to show off your stuff: you can easily upload unlimited pictures, organize them in albums, add descriptions and make further clarifications by using comments. Getting to know the person that’s interested in your stuff is also just one click away once they leave a comment or hit the Like button on one of your products.
The important thing when selling something on Facebook is to be as specific as possible. Post a detailed description of the product you are selling, pictures and clear information regarding delivery and payment. A possible inconvenience is the fact that there are no payment options available directly through Facebook because, after all, the platform is designed to be a social network not a trading site. This means that you will have to handle payments using external methods or services and, while this may not be a serious drawback, it will imply some additional actions and may not provide the same feeling of security that a specialized payment processing service does.
Selling on Facebook as a Business
Companies are starting to take Facebook more and more seriously, as it is quite obvious at this point that the amount of social interaction is accurately reflected in the sales. Businesses rush to get their Facebook pages up and running as quickly as possible, sometimes skipping steps that can make or break their efforts. Check out this online course to learn about the Facebook page essentials and make sure your business has the page set up just the right way.
One of the most common mistakes companies makes when it comes to using Facebook is that they try too hard; they rush as many posts and status updates they can, without taking the time to see if they are even reaching their target audience. What’s even worst is that a lot of companies don’t even know what their target audience is, rendering all their efforts useless. To avoid falling into this category, start by posting something interesting and, most importantly, avoid choking your page with posts that just advertise and praise your products. You might have the most awesome products on the planet, but if you just keep on repeating the same thing over and over again like a broken record, visitors will eventually get tired of it. Instead, don’t be afraid to step out of your field a bit: post a joke every now and then, set up a contest, post a funny video with some cats (everyone loves funny cats!) – do whatever it takes to keep people entertained. The key point here is to make your visitors see you as a friend.
Attracting people to your page is an important step in the whole process of selling on Facebook, but even more important is how you proceed once you get people there. At this point, you have two options:
1) Close the deal directly on Facebook – you can integrate an application that will allow your visitors to make the purchase directly on Facebook. This option works best if you are selling simple products that don’t need extended descriptions or presentation pages;
2) Redirect users to your website – this option works well if your products are complex or customizable. Users will be redirected to your website, where they will be able to choose exactly the products and features they need and complete the order.
Check out this Facebook marketing and advertisement online course for a detailed walkthrough and learn how to identify your target audience, capture their interest and, ultimately, convert them from visitors to customers.
Last but not least, keep a close eye on the numbers. Since no two persons are alike, neither are two companies, so a Facebook strategy that does wonders for one company might deliver poor or no results for another. Facebook provides a powerful analytics tool to monitor the performance of your page and the behavior of the visitors: Facebook Insights. The information provided by this tool is pure gold, as it will allow you to identify the weak spots of your marketing campaign and plan your next move. Learn the basics of Facebook Insights from this online course.
Overall, Facebook is a great place to sell, as long as you’re willing to put in a bit of effort into it. What’s important to keep in mind is that, for a company, Facebook doesn’t just provide an easy way to enter a new market, but also provides the opportunity to create an identity and establish a reputation.