Selling on Facebook is now one of the most common online marketing activities. Whatever the industry, product, or service, it is very likely that your competitors already sell on Facebook.
This social network has long been a pillar of the success for many online businesses; millions of advertisers use it to promote products and services with Facebook Ads. With billions of users around the world, you can be sure that your potential customers are there, that your current customers are there, and that any previous customers are there. A world of endless opportunities is waiting for you, but only if you are able to exploit them.
Although advertising with Facebook is apparently simple, there are actually only a few companies that can obtain substantial profit margins from this channel. As I often say, it is easy to spend money on Facebook, but it is more difficult to exploit this huge database of information (through the Facebook Marketing strategies and tools) to make this one of the best sales channel for you and your company.
This guide will start with the basics and work up to advanced strategies used by giants in the industry to successfully sell on Facebook.
The Guide for Selling on Facebook
Keep reading to learn how…
Selling on Facebook: The Basics
Before we start talking about strategies, advertising, or Facebook marketing, let’s walk through the steps that are the basis to successfully sell on Facebook.
The Facebook Page
No matter your product or your service, or even if you have yet to create a company, the first and most essential thing you need is a dedicated Facebook page.
In fact, if you are currently using your own personal profile for the promotion of your company, you should know that you may be violating Facebook’s regulation, Section 4, which cites: “Do not use your own personal profile primarily to obtain commercial profit, but rather, use a Facebook page for that purpose.”
A Facebook page has many advantages and is the only one you should use for the promotion of a company.
If you have not already done so, learn how to create a Facebook page.
The Showcase of the Page
Recently a new Facebook function has been implemented that allows you to create a shop section (called a window) on your Facebook page. This is a sales area that allows you to promote your products and services without the need for a website. Sales can be transacted directly through this area, and you can receive payments directly through Facebook.
Sell on Facebook with Groups
You also have the option of selling through Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups are similar to an online flea market or eBay, and work particularly well for certain types of sales, for smaller retail outlets, and for sporadic listings.
Just visit the link facebook.com/salegroups and join one of the sales groups near you. If you want to sell something, you just need to create a post within the group. You have the option of providing a description, along with the sale price and pickup/delivery location.
Once you have posted your item(s) for sale on a Facebook Group, users will see your posts and can contact you privately (via messages) to ask for more information and complete the sale.
Content is king on Facebook, and it’s no different when it comes time to sell on Facebook. Using content wisely can keep products from languishing and increase your sales.
Content includes not only the written word but videos and images as well. Visual content plays an important role in sales. They capture a reader’s or buyer’s attention far sooner than anything else. Be sure that your images accurately represent what you are selling, that you have multiple images covering all angles and, if possible, the item in use or being worn. Videos are also a great way to convey a message, whether it is a service or a tangible product. Videos can be used as a sales vehicle or to provide valuable information to your readers, thereby building trust for future interactions.
Along with the visuals, your text should be engaging and persuasive. This includes the title, any description of the product or item, and a call to action. You need to hook the reader and convince them to take action, whether that is a sale, visit to a website, or a request for further information.
There is no recipe for the perfect content used in sales. On Facebook, I’ve learned to remember that I am on a social network full of engaging posts and friends. The best content is that which engages, provides a positive perception and builds trust, rather than trying to make a blatant sale.
While you have the ability to sell on Facebook without any external tools, it is vital in today’s competitive world that you have a dedicated website for your online store. This website will be accessible to far more people and potential customers, allow you to provide more content, be more descriptive, and convert visitors into buyers.
If you have a company and you want to sell online, this website will be your primary web presence and where the majority of your ecommerce will take place. The key here is to make it a complete website that is available, easily readable, and responsive across all devices, be it a computer, tablet or smartphone. It must be optimized for speed, functional, and provide a good user experience on all browsers on all devices.
Your website is the ideal place to communicate to customers and offer your products and/or services. It is where you take a potential customer and guide them through the stages of a purchase. With a website, you can not only track visits and understand user behavior but also use tools like the Facebook Pixel, which we will discuss later.
The path of the online consumer is now cross-device use. Recent studies have found that at least 68% of people use multiple devices when buying a product online, with 45% using at least one mobile device (smartphone or tablet).
This cross- (or multi-) device usage can be explained by the following image. As an example, the path can start with the phone, after seeing an ad on Facebook. Then you go to your browser and search the web from your laptop. You can continue from a tablet or other device until the sale is completed, usually by a device other than the initial one.
Trails like these explain how important it is today to have a functional website on multiple devices. At the same time, they mark the important challenges for every professional online marketer who need to understand the origin of every purchase.
With features such as dynamic remarketing and advanced matching, Facebook is now at the forefront in this field.
Sell on Facebook: The Promotion
After seeing the basics of the sale, it’s time to discover the tools and Facebook marketing strategies that will not only help you make sales but will optimize those sales and make Facebook the cornerstone of success for your online business.
If you want to sell on Facebook in a professional manner and you already have a website, the first thing you need to install and learn to use is Facebook Pixel.
This powerful feature is useful for at least three reasons:
- You can track all visits to the site. This allows you to analyze and understand how to optimize each step of the “sales funnel.” (Read “How to Analyze the Target with Facebook Audience Insights.”)
- It is essential for optimizing your campaigns toward specific results.
- It allows you to track advertising results and thus understand the ROI (return on investment) for every dollar spent.
Facebook Retargeting (or Remarketing)
Using Facebook Pixels you can reach people who have visited your website in the past and offer them targeted ads based on what they are interested in.
Surprisingly, 98% of people do not complete a sale on the first visit to a website. Retargeting allows you to bring those people back to your site and convince them to complete the purchase.
There are many guides and resources to learn how to remarketing on Facebook, so start researching and learning.
When Facebook retargeting meets ecommerce, they make for dynamic remarketing, which is good for your business.
Retargeting allows you to create and display ads on Facebook automatically based on the actions performed by users on a website. For example: If a user has browsed the site and added products to the cart but then did not complete the purchase, you can retarget them with dynamic ads featuring those same products on Facebook.
This powerful feature is available on both Facebook and Instagram, and for all devices. (In addition to traditional retail sales, retargeting has become popular recently in the travel and tourism industry.) Learn more: Dynamic Ads on Facebook.
Sell on Facebook: Strategies
Facebook and digital marketing strategies are numerous and should be tailored to your company’s characteristics, products or services, and your target market.
To get an idea of sales and marketing strategies for Facebook, browse some of our recent blog posts. The tips found in these posts are generic and can all be tested to learn how to sell on Facebook. Start with these two articles:
One common strategy to sell on Facebook more successfully is to use coupons or discount codes. These can be used in offers and promotions, or to entice users to return to the website and complete their purchase (perfect example of a retargeting strategy).
These coupons or discount codes can then be used along with other strategies. For example, a common combo is a discount code associated with a sense of urgency. (Get 15% off your total purchase if you order by tomorrow.)
Upselling and Cross-Selling
Using dynamic advertising and the tenets of retargeting, you can show relevant advertising to different audiences depending on their interests.
For example, for an ecommerce clothing store, an established strategy is to propose items matched to a customer’s recent purchases, or show ads for similar items to those a customer recently browsed through on their website. In this way, you can directly target a customer using Facebook Ads based on their previous history, whether or not they purchased something.
The Analysis of the Sales Funnel
Strategies to successfully sell on Facebook should not only concern Facebook. Many forget that problems you encounter during the sales process could have originated outside the social media site, anywhere from your website to post-purchase. Losing a sale takes careful analysis, and it’s wise to be knowledgeable about the sales funnel and how it can impact your business, sales, and your Facebook strategies.
A website can always be analyzed to understand what step of the sales funnel can be optimized, or where the user leaves the navigation on the website. In an ecommerce setting, the usual steps are:
- View Content (display of a product or product category)
- Add to Cart (adding a product to your cart)
- Initiate checkout (beginning of the purchase process)
- Insert payment info (payment information added)
- Purchase (sale completed)
Using tools like Google Analytics can show you which step along the path presents the greatest problem, so that you can adjust accordingly.
An excellent resource to become familiar with the sales funnel and the buyer’s journey is our step-by-step guide, “Building an Inbound Sales Funnel That Converts.”
Content—other than items for sale and their descriptions—helps to build trust and the reputation of the brand, both of which you need to develop a lasting relationship with your customers. This, in turn, produces greater interest in your product and higher sales later on.
Known as inbound sales, you provide high-value content—in the form of blog posts, videos, ebooks, how-to guides—in your area of expertise and related to your ecommerce. By setting yourself up as an expert, and providing free and valuable content, consumers will turn to you in a time of need, be it for tennis shoes or app development.
Inbound marketing is a strategic process that helps you do just that, lead the user to the sale with informative and valuable content.
What Did You Learn?
Selling on Facebook is a difficult task, but not to everyone. You can start from a simple group on Facebook or sell professionally with a Facebook page. Since the latter has access to the Facebook Marketing Tools arsenal, you’ll have the potential to reach to billions of people.
Selling online today also means knowing how to build, manage, and optimize a website. This can and should be integrated with Facebook and is the key to success on the web, using direct sales strategies with Facebook Ads, or with several longer processes such as inbound marketing.