Facebook is a dynamic tool that’s popular with people of different backgrounds, opinions, economic statuses, and more. In other words, your target market likely already uses this social network for one reason or another. That’s pretty good news for an entrepreneur, because it means you can sell products where your customers (and their friends) already are – on Facebook.
So, how exactly do you go about using an entire network of customers on Facebook to boost your sales?
1. Research, research, research
At this point, you should already have an idea of what you want to sell. Now the question is who you are selling to, where you can find them and what’s already on the market. This is where research comes into play! You should take a close look at the market for the product you will be selling to and your target demographics. Try to understand your audience and ask who they are, what they want, the struggles they face, and how your product can help them. Is there demand for your product? What makes your product different from similar products already being sold on the market? Facebook makes this easier with their advanced audience algorithms, so you can find customers based on their demographics, location, interests, and more!
Print-on-demand is a low stakes way to experiment when discovering your target market. Because a major perk of selling with an easily scalable POD business model is that you don’t have to worry about unsold inventory. Just because you don’t have the same problems as traditional retail, doesn’t mean you should ignore or miss out on precious market visibility. Your product is likely not the only one being marketed to potential customers. Be sure to investigate competitors and see how you can set yourself apart from what they sell. Facebook is a great place to research your competitors. For example, look at how they price their products. This will help you keep an edge when you enter the market. If you can’t offer a lower price than your competitors, you should be able to explain why your products are worth more.
2. Get to know Facebook tools
There are distinct areas on Facebook where you can sell your products. Each has their own pros and cons, so it’s up to you to choose the spot where your target audience will be shopping. In some cases, it might even make sense to sell your products in more than one place.
Facebook Marketplace: Like Craigslist or eBay, you list your own products and potential customers get in touch with you to arrange payment or you can send them to your own store. Because you have a longer journey between discovering the product and payment, customers may get distracted and abandon the sale.
Facebook Shop: Recommended for small business owners, Facebook Shop is like an online store with a checkout area where customers purchase items directly. You can also promote your products from your Facebook Shop on the Marketplace, giving you access to more potential customers. Unfortunately, transactions are only available for the United States and there is a selling fee of either 5% per shipment or $0.40 for shipments $8.00 or less.
Facebook also prevents any non-US companies from selling directly on Facebook. You can still use it as a platform to showcase and spread the word about your products, but that’s about it. You can work around this by using a Facebook app or plugin with your shop system.
3. Sync your store with Facebook
Streamline the process of selling on Facebook using integrations. You can do this by linking your e-commerce platform or online shop with Facebook. This allows you to avoid manually adding every product and lets you collect orders and payments directly through Facebook. WooCommerce and Shopify are both shop systems that facilitate synchronization with Facebook. They’re also two shop systems that SPOD integrates with.
If you don’t want to sync your store with Facebook, you should still use it as a platform to drive traffic to your store externally. Linking to your store is a great way to go about this. Once you’ve directed customers to your store, they can complete their purchase there.
4. The advantages of ads
Facebook is a huge place full of information, which can make it difficult to be noticed. If you’re already using everything Facebook has to offer but still lacking an adequate amount of traffic to your store, consider paid advertising. This is also a good choice if you’re looking to reach profiles on Facebook that are not in your network, but still potential customers.
When you’re running a Facebook Ad, we recommend starting out small and growing it accordingly. To do this start with a low budget, monitor the statistics every day, and target your audience.
Additionally, when you list an item on the Marketplace you can select “boost listing.” This will turn your post into an ad on Facebook. You can even customize who the ad is shown to, how much money you want to spend on it, and how long you want it to stay visible for.
5. Facebook Business account benefits
A Facebook Business account is a helpful tool for business insights and reporting. This can lead to essential information when learning more about your target market and in turn, helping you to grow your business and boost your Facebook sales.
A Facebook Business account allows you to engage and connect with your customers on a different level. For example, it can add a personal touch to your communication and interactions or improve your customer service. Because it’s free, that means it can be a low-risk and high-reward tool for many of your professional needs. There are tons of handy guides online (like ours) that will help you make the most of your free Facebook Business account.
6. Creating Facebook listings
When you’re ready to list and sell products on Facebook, you’ll need to create a listing that appeals to customers. Most people are looking for a particular item, which means they won’t go directly to your page to browse all your items. Instead, they will search for that item and then look through all of the vendors selling it.
You will attract more customers when your item appears near the top of the search results. Optimize your listings with SEO so you can rank higher! To do this, you will first need keywords. In this context, keywords are common search terms used by potential customers when looking for a specific item. Use online keyword research tools or look at how other successful sellers market their products. You can also consult our top search terms list from 2021. You can add those keywords to your product titles and descriptions to generate more traffic and boost sales.
7. Customer service perks
Have you ever had a question about a product or service and messaged a business about it via Facebook? Likely, your customers will have the same impulse. Thanks to the live chat feature, you can be responsive to your customers' questions.
Your customers will be more likely to buy a product once all their questions are answered. That’s why responding fast is important! A live chat also lets customers know that you care about them, you care about your business and that if there’s a problem, you’ll resolve it easily. On the other hand, responding too slowly has the opposite effect and your customer will likely shop elsewhere.
Small businesses often are unable to offer 24/7 customer service. That’s okay! Respond as quickly as you can by making customer service a priority in your daily working schedule. You can also add your customer service hours to your page, this helps customers expect when they’ll hear back from you.
8. Transparent return policies
No matter how high-quality your products and services are, there will always be some customers who need an item returned for various reasons. Facebook allows you to set your own return policies. So, it’s up to you how you process and accept returns. This information is important and should be easy to find on your Facebook page.
By being transparent about your return policies, you will put less strain on the time you spend on customer service. It also makes buying from you a more pleasant experience. Unhappy customers who don’t know the return policy will not buy from you again and are likely to tell others about their negative experience.
9. Get social with groups
Because of the social nature of Facebook, you’ll be more successful when you are engaging with your community. Numerous groups and pages on Facebook are designed for people who buy and sell items. Post your page in groups that resonate with your brand and products. This is another great and free way to improve your visibility and boost sales on Facebook.
Increasing brand awareness is always a good idea. While you might not sell in these groups, it lets people know you’re out there and that you do have something to sell. The end goal here is to drive traffic to your store and flaunt your good reputation.
But remember, while this might be an effective strategy, it’s certainly time-consuming. To keep things focused, research your target audience, and pick groups where you can connect with them directly.
Finally, the golden rule here is to not come across as spam. Avoid posting a lot of random things that don’t connect to your business or mission. Just because you post a lot, does not mean someone is more likely to buy from you. The quality of your posts matters. Something that doesn’t offer any value to customers will not be taken seriously. You want to promote your business through your ability to help the people you want as customers.
10. Always cross-sell
You never want to rely on only one platform. So, while Facebook is a great way to sell products and promote your business, it shouldn’t be the only place you do this. Luckily, because Facebook owns Instagram it’s easy to cross-post and sell your items in both places. Diversifying your marketing strategy allows you to reach more people, but also acts as a safety net if one platform has a problem or glitch. Consult our tips for a successful approach to Instagram.
In addition to reaching more people, you can stay connected with the same people on different platforms. Doing this increases your visibility and establishes you as a trustworthy company.
Are you ready to take the plunge and become a SPOD merchant? Get started (and selling) now!