In part-1, we discussed the importance of F-Commerce and what can be done with it. In part-2, we discussed how Facebook as a platform can benefits the merchant by making it easy and value-rich for both buyers and sellers. In this final part of the series, we will look at some of the things that an online business should do to maximize benefit out of Facebook platform.
As we discussed in last 2 articles, Facebook offers compelling benefits to merchants. Here are some of the features of Facebook that a merchant can leverage:
Let’s see what strategies can be used to impact the lifecycle of online commerce. These strategies will use one or more of the features above.
This is the first stage for any business, and requires constant attention since Facebook is such a growing platform. Creating awareness can be done in many ways on Facebook; here is a sequence of steps to do it effectively:
- Facebook Page for Business – Creating a business page is the first step towards using Facebook for commerce. The page should be professionally designed. There are many apps which help you extend your business pages, consider using them.
- Page Promotion – Promote your page to get your target audience to like you. This can be done by posting an ad and directing the ad to your business page (remember, this is about awareness and not about selling). You get to target your ads so that you can show the ad to your target audience and get them to visit your business page.
- Page Likes and Shares – Now that you have visitors on your site (through page promotion), Post content which are worth sharing to others – quotes, cool product details (fruit ninja example)
- Reply to comments and posts
Once you get enough people to visit your Facebook business page, next step is to keep them there by making sure the content is fresh, original and engaging. Here are things to be done to ensure good engagement that is sustaining:
- Ask for feedback – Use contests, polls and surveys to get feedback on new products, new site designs, pictures, etc.
- Be responsive – Be active in responding to customer support questions or any other queries customers have. If you get feedback, make sure you acknowledge and if you take action on it, let them know.
- Create groups – If you see fans gravitating towards topics that not everyone will be interested in (like your new logo design), consider creating a group where these fans can engage better and assign someone in your company to monitor and facilitate the exhanges. This keeps them super-engaged (and provide helpful advice to you for free) as well as doesn’t disrupt rest of the fans who may not be interested in this particular topic.
- Create an App: An App is a great way to sustain engagement. App could be for anything, ranging from service that lets them see new launches to a game that promotes your products/site. App development may be difficult (money and expertise wise) but the rewards are well worth the effort.
Set up an online store using one of these: Payvment, ShopTab, TabJuice, Ecwid. You can set up complete shop on your Facebook page, or you can add a subset of your catalog here which are likely to appeal to this target segment. You can also create exclusive catalog for your Facebook fans, and this can attract more visitors to your Facebook page. Possibilities are many.
This concludes this series. Over next few months, we will present articles on specific features mentioned in this series that guide merchants on how to use that particular feature. Stay tuned!
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