In this multi-part series on leveraging Facebook, we will explore why Facebook platform is so important for online business, what the pros and cons of using Facebook, and how can you create a good strategy for Facebook that leveraging the best parts of the platform, without getting stuck in the cons. Today, we will discuss the importance of the platform and briefly touch on the areas of usage for an online business.

eCommerce is Online business activities for buying and selling services and products. Availability of easy-to-use systems of eCommerce, small and medium size enterprises are quickly becoming effectively online and compete with well-known businesses.

With popularity of social networks such as Facebook, the market is moving from e-commerce to F-commerce. F-commerce is nothing but a set of business strategies applied to improve brand identity and sales through Facebook.

Why is Facebook Important?

Facebook is a social network with almost 955 million users. This is a huge potential customer base, almost every one of your potential customer is using Facebook. As businesses shift their focus from regular online strategies to spreading the word about their service and products through Facebook platform, F-commerce has gained grounds very rapidly.

Initially, most businesses sought brand awareness through Advertise on Facebook. But Facebook has come a long way. In Facebook, start-ups such as BeachMint, Yardsellr, Oodle and Fab.com are coming up with novel ways to persuade Facebook users to not just connect with friends on the social network, but to shop as well.

Backed by tens of millions of dollars from venture capital firms like Accel Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, and other big investors like Goldman Sachs, these start-ups are pushing out shopping apps, hosting online garage sales and testing out new business models on Facebook.

An average Facebook user has 80 interest groups and is connected to 130 Friends. Each profile at each and every second is making its preference known. Word-of-mouth is built much faster and this draws traffic. Hence, selling can increase and this can contribute to the company’s revenues.

According to Value of a Facebook Fan, 41 percent fans are more likely to recommend a brand and 28% more likely to continue using them. According to the same report, a Facebook fan is spends $71.84 more per year than non-fan for the product. Such data is fueling the idea of F-commerce.

What can you do with F-Commerce?

There are 3 major things you should consider doing using Facebook platform:

  1. Generate Awareness – Facebook network of friends is a great way to spread awareness of a new product/service by tapping into various networks and letting the word spread through likes. Facebook Ads are a great way to do so.
  2. Sustain Engagement – Facebook has rich functionality around discussions and sharing views and opinions about a topic. This can be leveraged to create a community around your product.
  3. Enable Commerce – There are many ways to directly sell your products on the Facebook platform that will leverage the awareness and engagement you have created.

In the next article, we will dig deep into various advantages that Facebook platform offers to merchants, you can leverage these to build your Facebook strategy. Stay tuned!