facebookIn the digital age of social networking it has never been easier for online retailers to interact and resonate with existing and potential customers. Facebook in particular is a very useful tool for reaching out to various demographics and to encourage loyalty in your brand and confidence in your products.

With hundreds of millions of active users on Facebook e-commerce businesses are having to become somewhat more sophisticated in terms of how they market their services. No longer is it good enough to simply churn out content in the hope that users become brand advocates – there has to be an element of incentivisation.

Here are five useful tips to help forward-thinking online retailers stay ahead of the game when managing their Facebook pages.

Exclusive deals

There has to be a reason for customers to “like” your Facebook page and hang around for the months and years to come. One way to encourage users to sign up to your mailing lists and convert with purchases is to offer an exclusive deal for Facebook customers. One-day only sales and the like help to spread the word quickly and encourage interaction.

On-site Facebook integration

Online retailers can now take advantage of the many APIs available to enhance the e-commerce experience for customers, ensuring it remains wholly integrated within Facebook. Implement Facebook reviews that allow customers to provide a review that is shared with their friends via their news feeds direct from your product page. This is much more favourable than traditional website reviews that are only visible to consumers searching for a particular product

Facebook: An extension to your customer service

In the event that an existing or potential customer seeks help or advice on your Facebook page it is vital that you respond quickly and provide a helpful answer. Successful e-commerce sites are now beginning to recognise the benefits of Facebook as an extension to traditional customer service departments. This creates further goodwill, thus generating customer loyalty.

Share and share alike

The winning formula for online retailers using Facebook as a marketing tool is to encourage customers to communicate with their friends about your brand. To do so it is important to remember that content is still king; it still rules the roost. Provide content that visitors will get the most value from, resulting in enhanced engagement through Likes, shares and comments. Whether it’s an insightful how-to guide, product trends, Q&A’s or something a little more light-hearted such as a video or picture, it is all geared to building connections with customers.

Ask for opinions

Too often e-commerce sites fail to engage with their target demographic because they fall into the trap of using their Facebook page as a means of announcing things, things that really don’t interest customers. Most customers just want to feel appreciated, so be sure to invite opinion by asking questions of your followers. This is also a great market research tool as they can provide significant insight without you really having to lift a finger!

It is said that Facebook users spend over 700 billion minutes each month browsing the social network. Now is the time to maximise your online brand’s social presence with a social media strategy that drives conversions and maximises return on investment.

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