Facebook is social media, not a sales platform. Here are 7 ways to be social, increase interaction & drive sales.
Facebook, although it has the plug-ins for shops, is not a reliable way to sell; it doesn’t pass on notifications or messages, it loses comments & if it gets really huffy it will stop you from accessing/commenting/posting. The main problem with selling exclusively on Facebook is that the content below your main page level (photos, shops, events) is not indexed for internet searches, so unless a person is on Facebook (and many people aren’t) your business is not going to make a sale. Facebook is part of the group of social media platforms, in the beginning it was quite easy to generate sales, however, user behaviour is changing. Facebook is returning to a social medium, where people escape from their chaotic/dreary/mundane lives. So, how can you help them to escape AND generate engagement, customer base and sales?
Make them laugh, share a joke, share a funny photo, share a funny story. It turns frowns upside down. Best of all, research shows that if you help someone feel better, you feel better too.
~ People like to laugh; it releases chemicals in our brain that make us feel good. ~
I haven’t done this on my pages, but I have seen it done quite successfully. I have seen businesses share their struggles with cancer, when they have welcomed a new family member into their arms (be it a human or fur baby), when they have said goodbye to a family member, or when they just don’t feel as if they can continue their business.
I am not suggesting that your posts always relate to these things, too much doom and gloom does not make for a very sociable page. I’m also not suggesting that you whinge about not being seen in Facebook feeds, or declining sales – that said, I have seen a great spin on driving sales by tying the need for sales to fund a common purpose (buying a special birthday gift, wanting a new appliance). Just make yourself approachable.
I do this on my other business page, where most of my customers are parents. I share with them things I have done to make my life easier. I share with them if I have a bad day and need another coffee (or am waiting until bedtime/wine o’clock). I know of businesses that get fabulous interaction from sharing their struggles with mental illness, cyber-bullying or David & Goliath stories. It creates rapport and if your customers ever see you face-to-face it means that you have one less barrier to overcome – trust. If they feel that they already know you, that you are like a friend, then they can trust you.
~ People like to know that you are a real person, that you are not some faceless selling machine. ~ (Tweet this!)
Certainly applaud your successes – business award nominations and signing a major retail customer instil confidence through third-party endorsement. Applaud customers who share their creations using your products, show them how proud you are that they have succeeded (and you have helped them to get there). Applaud friends in business, celebrate their triumphs and share the love. Remember that helping others makes you feel good long after the act of helping is over.
Set up a regular post and teach your customers something that relates directly to your business. My other business is making hair accessories and every Sunday night I share a hair tutorial I have found. Sometimes it is a way to improve a technique, sometimes it is a new technique, and sometimes it’s a new style. I have likers who tune in every Sunday just to see the tutorial. My likers will comment, tag and share the tutorials; all of which increase engagement on my page, improving my Edgerank and how often Facebook shows the page in Newsfeeds. I will occasionally share styles that use accessories and I will link to the related accessory in the post comments.
If you are in a service industry teach them something about what you do or teach them what they need to do to make working with you easier (eg. an accountant shares an idea on organising receipts for tax time). Teaching creates a relationship and trust; it shows customers that you are willing to share what you know with them.
~ Teaching opens a door. ~
On my other business page I do this when I am making my kids’ birthday cakes. I share the photos of the cakes my kids want to have and how they end up. My customers love it, they are parents and like to see that human side and where my ideas come from (I share blogs I use for inspiration).
On Monday mornings I share an inspirational quote, an affirmation or a wish. It removes a feeling of doom and gloom often linked to Mondays. It makes me feel good as I believe that it will make someone’s day better and it reminds me of how I want to live my life.
Inspiring others not only lifts the other person up, it lifts you up.
Ask them to share your page, ask them to share their fears, ask them to share ideas on how to use your product or ask them to share photos of themselves using your product.
Share your website, share products from your website, or share your blog from your website. Ask them to share their favourite items from your site in one post, get them to share it publicly in their newsfeed and to use a specific hashtag for it so you can see. Sharing your website does a number of things:
– it drives traffic to your site
– it increases your Edgeranking by linking to a verified source, and
– it is where your checkout is and where the buyers need to be.
~ People love to share things, so ask them to share. ~ (Tweet this!)
Facebook is a fabulous marketing tool, but it’s just that, a way to market your business. It is not a reliable way to sell your product. There are sociable ways to incorporate sales into your Facebook content; you just need to think socially.
Let me know in the comments what other ways you like to be sociable on your Facebook business page.
Want to learn more about writing for Facebook? Follow our two part series on finding your online voice.