In the past couple months, Facebook was quick to act on providing assistance to the small business community. Yet, according to their own report, 31% of small businesses and 52% of personal businesses have stopped operating as a result of the crisis. We have always had close ties to the local business community and we know our partners will continue to face significant hurdles as the country enters the reopening phases. But we also know business owners are optimistic, and best of all, resilient. If you’re taking advantage of the new tools Facebook is offering, we want to help you in promoting eCommerce for your business. Social media is simply one channel in a strong marketing profile.
Oh, you haven’t heard of Facebook shops?
This month, Facebook has launched digital storefronts, coined Facebook Shops. The platform aims to help businesses have a more seamless eCommerce experience for the consumers that follow or find them on Facebook or Instagram. This is not exactly ground-breaking and it’s frankly a little surprising that it’s taken them this long. But this is an important opportunity for small businesses with less-than-optimal eCommerce sites, or for those that don’t have one at all.
If growing your social audience is a goal for you, extending the advertising arms outside of social media to drive more consumers to your new digital storefront is important. Using refined audience targeting options in digital advertising will identify your potential customers and begin the multi-faceted journey needed to convert them to customers.
Oh, you have heard of Facebook Shops, but you’re skeptical?
That’s fair. There have been past efforts and digital storefronts from Facebook but they’ve fallen flat. So should you expend effort to jump on this platform if you’re not sure it will stand the test of time? The answer is, maybe. The Shops platform integrates with popular ecommerce platforms Shopify and BigCommerce, making it easy for online retailers to feature their inventory on Facebook Shops. You can even take a cautioned approach and create more curated collections of products for your social audience and use that intelligence to grow your product offerings over time. We know that our retail partners want customers to be their own and for consumers to shop directly with them. But the access that Facebook Shops gives to such a broad base of consumers can’t be ignored.
How can you make it worth your while?
Having an “If you build it, they will come” philosophy about Facebook Shops isn’t going to work. Business owners serious about adding Facebook Shops to their eCommerce family, or using them as their first foray into eCommerce will need a full marketing strategy with long term milestones and goals. Building your social audience and internal marketing database is step one. Revisiting your paid social strategy to account for this new channel is a top priority, but what other marketing channels are you using to reach new customers and fold them into your social audience? Do you have a data collections and promotions plan in place? Are your product listings optimized for search? We are not suggesting there’s ever a one-size-fits-all tactic, but working with media strategists that understand what successful executions of data collection and audience building campaigns look like is a smart start.