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17 Ways To Use Facebook To Create More Sales For Small Online Businesses

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Here are 17 tips that will help rev up your sales, immediately by utilizing and optimizing Facebook. Most of these tips are free and just take some simple strategies.

Look, Facebook is confusing as hell. I’m not going to lie. I took a course on Facebook Ads and when I sat down to put into practice what I learned for DECO DIGITAL, I was like, “What the heck? This is not working.” It takes a lot of trial and error. And I find it much easier to help clients that have a physical product, or something tangible like hair styling services on Facebook rather than a service. And if you’re a creative person, it is a challenge to know where to begin outside of simply posting photos and writing, “Hey! Check out my new stuff”. We all know that doesn’t really convert to sales. However, here are some tips that will.

1. You’re probably thinking, “I barely even check my Facebook page” or “I don’t have a Facebook page”, “So, how are these tips going to help me?” First things first. And that is to either create a page or do a clean-of-house on your current page, ensuring photography is up to date as well as other details. Once everything is all set up and you feel good about the state of your page, with a few posts added (and don’t forget your call-to-actions), you’re ready to go. 

2. Do you feel good about the posts you are creating? Are they getting relative engagement to your likes?  If not, it’s time to make some changes. Everything you post should be compelling in both written word and photography. If you need help with this, sites/platforms like Fiverr is a great place to start to find a skilled writer for a small fee. Or you can go the old fashioned route, and hire an intern with the skills needed.

3. Start getting personal! Sprinkle in lengthy in-depth Facebook posts that help your brand feel more personal. Being small has its advantages, so use that. Did you just find a new factory or warehouse, and super geeked about it? Share your story to finally finding the perfect one! It will encourage your audience to engage, so make sure you are sharing things that will resonate most with your audience (potential customers). See my blog post on customer personas.  Los Angeles candle company, Flores Lane is a great example of getting personal and sharing their adventures. I know it’s not a lengthy post but it does the job, and gets better engagement than most of their other posts.

4. Boost! You don’t have to spend a ton of money.  Start anywhere from $20-$100, whatever you feel most comfortable with. We don’t want you to squander away your small marketing budget, but be strategic when you do so. Start boosting posts that promote sales,  free shipping, or exclusive product bundles. Don’t boost posts just to boost posts.

5. Start creating video exclusively for Facebook. I know this takes a little bit more resources, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Start with what you have. For example, if you’re a small fashion brand, create a time lapsed lookbook video shot in a cool space, which might just be right around the corner or in your own office.

6. Take it a step further and go live!  And you don’t need much. Make sure you have a pretty background like shelving with pretty odds and ends, art, a vase of flowers and you’re good to go. Purchase the right lighting set, grab a good quality tripod and mic for your phone. Make it a goal to go live once a week. Your audience will start to expect and look forward to it. It’s up to you with what you want to showcase. I think it’s good to not have these focused on the brand, but a peripheral topic or extension of the brand that your audience is interested in discussing or learning about.

7. Target influencers who have large Facebook followings that can drive traffic to your page and help increase your sales. Make sure it’s an influencer that can provide proof of ROI from past campaigns. Use Facebook’s new Branded Content Settings to make the most out of this partnership.

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8. Offer exclusives. Two for ones? Special discounts? Product bundles? Any of these are great ideas to keep your audience intrigued and want to purchase.

9. Make sure your about page has all the right nuts and bolts such as a mission, FAQs, types of products you offer, important links you want to share like your Instagram handle. Ipsy does a great job at this.

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10. As with any platform, be consistent. Post one to two times a week, minimum. The more you post, the more you grow, and the brand awareness is heightened.

11. Track your performance. Take advantage of Facebook’s awesome Insights tab on your page. Take note of which days/times are optimal, or the type of content that is performing best.

12. Make sure your audience can actually shop from your Facebook page or schedule an appointment easily and efficiently. First, hit the settings button on the page > Edit Page > Shop > Turn On.

13. Use that Buy Button! To add to the above tip, make sure your CTA button says, “Shop Now”!

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14. Host fun giveaways. Monthly, give away gift cards or coupon codes. And ask your audience to share a post for a chance to win. You can also partner with another brand to really amplify this strategy.

15. Speaking of partnerships, go beyond giveaways. Reach out and build a partnership with a brand that has a similar aesthetic for swapping comments, and sharing each other’s content. And you can take it a step further by creating a network of three or more brands that collaborate, comment, repost, etc.

16. Be strategic with Facebook Ads. I recommend starting with ads during tentpole events where your product is super relevant to a niche group. Is one of your customer personas women ages 25-34, married and enjoys doing yoga? Target her and her alone.  And you don’t need a ton of money to start off.  Take a look at Facebook’s success stories. There are so many stories from small business owners killing it on Facebook. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these businesses to learn from their trial and error.

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17. Create or join a Facebook group that is catered towards small business owners, or a segment of your target audience that are loyal and focused on a particular interest that surrounds your brand. For example, let’s say you sell yoga mats. Create a local group around the yogi lifestyle to share local studios, discounts, events, tips and support.

As you can see above, there is a lot you can do with Facebook to kick things into gear if you are  a small online business. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Are you killing it on Facebook? What works for you?  Share in the comments!

Links I Love - Influencer Marketing and Instagram Everything

Here is a list of my top 4 links that struck a chord with me the past couple of weeks. Algorithms are changing at a rapid pace and what used to work, doesn’t seem to work anymore. It is the wild wild west out here and you have to be nimble to stay relevant and compelling. I find it quite thrilling actually. Why? Because even the smallest brand can make an impact if you have passion, a kick-ass strategy, and are creating authentic awesome content that people feel inspired by or can learn from. The world is our oyster!

Are Micro-Influencers Or Macro-Influencers More Effective? [Infographic] (Hubspot)

The great debate. I believe a blend of the two is a complimentary strategy that seems to be the most effective. Use micros (and even nanos) to amplify a larger campaign with macros.

The 4 Types of Content That Work Best, According to the UK’s Leading Content Researcher (Contently)

The perfect recipe of sentiment and what compels us to respond to some brands’ content.

Thinking Beyond Social (L2)

When it comes to influencer marketing, brands must do their part to amplify and empower to get the best ROI.

Introducing Instagram Polls and How Your Business Can Make The Most Of It (LinkedIn)

Pure GENUIS. I’m super excited about this new feature. If you are not using Instagram Polls to get instant data from your most engaged customers, you're crazy.

Have interesting links to share? Post in the comments!

Links I Love!

I’m back! And I am all caught up on business news. I accumulated some of my favorite links over the past couple of weeks on the latest in the business of social and content marketing. Things have been moving quite fast. Also, I’m extending the 70% discount off my one-hour and two-hour sessions until Monday, September 4!

Photo by@Ouidad

Photo by@Ouidad

Bigger Isn’t Always Better (Shape/Shift Report)

A list of growing micro-influencers in all categories that you need to tap into ASAP. Social agency, Matte Black does a great job of putting these reports together. Kudos to the team over there!

Influencer Marketing on Facebook Is About To Get More Expensive (Digiday)

If Facebook is where most of your engaged customers live, and you partner with influencers with strong Facebook pages, you may have to start boosting their sponsored posts, or it just might never get seen. Insert shock and awe, here.

The Secret To Finding A Competitive Content Advantage (Contently)

Learn how to find what is working in the women’s lifestyle industries mixed with insights from your customer data, and there’s your edge.

5 Instagram Trends Popular in 2017 (So Far) (Later)

From Stories to slideshows and using Instagram posts in email marketing. It’s an interesting list.

Three Creative Ways Beauty Brands Use Swipeability (L2)

Capitalizing on slideshows (aka photo swipe) on Instagram to provide brand education and storytelling. Get into it.

Have interesting links to share? Post in the comments!