It used to be that having a Facebook account for your business was optional. Few companies had them and few customers even thought about following their favorite brands on social media.
Today, that has all changed. Customers expect the businesses they frequent to have a social media presence, and the follow the companies they like on a regular basis. That makes Facebook a powerful tool for both local and online businesses to increase customer engagement – and increase sales, too.
With that in mind, here are seven essential tips to help you use Facebook to increase sales.
Tip #1: Increase customer engagement
This should come as no surprise, but customers like to buy from companies that seem to care about them and their needs. The best way to increase customer engagement and build brand loyalty is to make a point of creating and posting valuable and entertaining content for your Facebook followers. The majority of what you post should be things that entertain and inform your followers. It’s fine to post an occasional sales pitch, but most people do not want to be hit with a barrage of ads disguised as content. Stick to the 4-to-1 rule: for every one sales pitch you create, share four pieces of content whose only goal is to provide something interesting for your followers. They will thank you for it with their business.
Tip #2: Broadcast your contact information
Because Facebook uses a newsfeed to show users content from their contacts, that is where most of your followers will see your post. That means that it’s not enough to have your phone number and other relevant contact information on your Timeline – you have to include it in your posts, too.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you, whether they are seeing your content on a computer or on a mobile device. Facebook doesn’t have character limitations like Twitter, so that means that it’s easy to tack your phone number, web address, and other relevant information onto the end of any content you post. Customers are far more likely to patronize your business if you make it easy for them to find you.
Tip #3: Boost your most important posts
Facebook’s algorithms have evolved significantly in recent years. Statistics show that the average business post reaches only about 16% of followers organically. If you want to guarantee that your most important posts will be seen by the majority of your followers, you need to take advantage of Facebook’s “boost post” option, which will display your post in the newsfeeds of both your current followers and their social media contacts.
You can boost a post for as little as five dollars, and the increase in engagement is well worth the expenditure. Incidentally, you can also boost a post to reach a new, targeted audience based on your specifications.
Tip #4: Enable Facebook Messaging
One of the most important things for online customers, including those who use Facebook, is convenience. Your goal should be to make the process of getting in touch with you as simple and straightforward as possible. If a customer has a question, they should be able to message you directly from your Facebook page. Forcing them to go to your website – or even to their own email account – to message you adds an unnecessary step and complicates the process.
To enable messaging, click the Edit Page button. Then click Edit Settings, go to the messaging area, and tick the box next to “Allow people to contact my page privately by displaying the Message button.” Once you enable this option, you need to make sure to monitor your page for new message and respond to them promptly.
Tip #5: Set Up a Facebook Store
It used to be that businesses had to redirect customers to their websites if they wanted to market to Facebook users. Now, it’s very easy to set up a Facebook store that allows you to sell directly to people on Facebook – and it costs as little as five dollars per month to do it.
You can set up your store directly on Facebook, or you can use a tool like Shopify to do it. The store will be a dedicated tab on your Facebook page. Once you set it up, you can even display a “Buy Now” button on boosted posts or ads, making it extremely easy for customers to buy your products.
Tip #6: Use mobile marketing tools
Mobile use of social media has never been higher. More people are accessing the internet – including social media sites like Facebook – using mobile devices than ever before, and that is a trend that is expected to continue. If your Facebook marketing is ignoring mobile users, then you are missing out on a huge potential audience.
One of the best ways to reach and engage mobile customers is to place an ad and use the “Call Now” button as your call to action. This is an especially powerful tool to increase sales for businesses that provide services, such as healthcare providers and salons. It allows mobile users to call your business directly with the click of a button instead of having to click through to your website to get your number. Again, simplification is the key when it comes to social media marketing.
Tip #7: Create a Facebook offer
Another nice feature of Facebook is that you have the ability to create a special offer that you can send to your followers. The option is right above the box at the top of your page where you post status updates. Just click the “Offer/Event” option and then write a headline, and choose an image from your existing images (or upload a new one). After that, you will need to select both start and end dates for your offer and outline the parameters of the offer.
It used to be that you could send out an offer without having to pay to boost it. However, now you have to boost the offer if you want it to appear in your followers’ news feeds. (If you choose to create it without boosting it, it will post only on the top of your Timeline.) If you do choose to boost it, you will be given the opportunity to choose your target audience. It will post with a “Get Offer” call to action button that encourages your followers to take advantage of the offer immediately.
As you can see, there are many ways to use Facebook to boost your sales. The key, above all else, is to keep things simple and intuitive. Your followers shouldn’t have to guess what to do if they want to contact you or make a purchase. When you streamline things, you greatly increase the chances that your Facebook followers will buy from you – both now and in the future.