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Social Commerce: Using Facebook to Increase E-Commerce Sales

Ross Beyeler

Facebook is the reigning champion of social media. It continues to see user growth and that means you shouldn’t ignore it in your marketing efforts. Using Facebook as a business can be tricky, they’ve switched everyone’s newsfeed to be algorithmic, which means you can’t guarantee that your posts will be viewed by your audience. With that said, when Facebook content is seen it can have excellent engagement and conversion rates. We’ll go over some best practices on using Facebook and show you the basics to integrating your Shopify store with the world’s most popular social network.

Let Your Brand Shine

The best place to start with your Facebook page is customization. Be sure to add both a profile picture and a cover photo. Your logo is best served as your profile picture, and your cover photo should be something that represents your brand, for example a lifestyle or studio shot of your most popular products. There are many other sections you can take advantage of that will help inform your visitors of who you are and what you do. Explore them all and decide what you feel is important to representing your brand properly. Just remember: keep it engaging, and full of personality!

Facebook Call to Action Button

Facebook has a really great feature known as call-to-action buttons, which allow you to add a link to your shop right within your cover photo. As an e-commerce business, this is a crucial section of your page to fill out. This will ensure that your potential customers see a “Shop Now” button instead of digging around your page for a link.

Integrating Shopify into Facebook

While a prominent link to your shop is certainly great, Shopify’s Facebook integration actually does it one step better by offering your products through a dedicated tab right within your page. You choose a collection or collections that you want to feature and your customers will be able to browse them without leaving Facebook. You can utilize Facebook’s checkout process to provide a seamless experience to your customers, or send them to your standard Shopify checkout to complete their purchases.

Adding Facebook Sales Channel to Shopify

Setting this up can be done by visiting the sales channels section of your Shopify admin backend, clicking “Add sales channel” and choosing Facebook from the list presented. You can also simply follow this link to skip a few steps! Shopify will walk you through the rest of the process and you’ll be ready to sell sell your products on Facebook!

Keep in mind that you’ll likely want to set up new collections in Shopify specifically for use on your Facebook page. The integration isn’t as navigable or customizable as your actual Shopify store and so you’ll want to offer a curated selection of your newest and most popular items to avoid clutter and maximize your conversions. The option is also available to restrict a product’s visibility by sales channel, granting granular control within already established collections.

Create Great Content

Now that you’ve customized your Facebook page, it’s time start creating some great content! Facebook is a very flexible platform in that you can mix many types of media and see excellent engagement rates with all of them.

Posts with video tend to do see more engagement, but you’ll want to accompany them with text to fully capitalize on your efforts. Asking questions (?) and showing your excitement (!) will make for more engaging posts as well. It’s important to note that there’s no character limit on Facebook as there is on Twitter, so take full advantage of this freedom and be sure to write a few sentences whenever you post. Just be careful that you’re not writing a novel! You’re also free to use hashtags on Facebook, which is an often overlooked feature they added a few years ago. One thing to outright avoid, however, is the act of simply posting links to your page, Facebook doesn’t lend much weight to posts that only contain a URL and those posts will become lost in the shuffle. Photo posts have also fallen out of grace as video becomes the dominant medium across the web.

Posting about your products and promotions with those guidelines in mind should have your posts seeing better likes and shares from your customer base. As with any social media platform, consistency will ultimately become a crucial part of your success on Facebook. People tend to use Facebook during the night and on weekends, so try to form a consistent publishing schedule with that in mind.

Stay Connected

Your posts will allow your followers to reply with comments, which can be a great way to engage in conversation with your customers and humanize your company in the process. People will post questions, share excitement, and express their frustrations by way of comments. Do your part to reply as actively as possible and you’ll have happier customers. Facebook provides a Page Manager mobile app that can assist you in staying on top of the activity occurring on your page.

In addition to comments on specific posts and Facebook gives you the option to receive messages from the people that follow your page. If you enable this feature don’t let those messages fall to the wayside as your customers will be shown an indicator that reveals how often they can expect a response from you. If you’re not able to give Facebook messages some proper attention you may be better left disabling messages altogether to avoid the negative perception.

Facebook Messenger Screenshots

One can truly leverage the power of Facebook by employing Shopify’s Messenger channel. Integrating this channel is done the same way as the Facebook channel we outlined above. Adding this to your shop will offer your customers to be notified via Facebook Messenger upon checkout. Doing this provides them with order confirmations, shipping and delivery updates, as well as a direct way to contact you.

Paid Advertising

So far we’ve gone over best practices for Facebook that are entirely free. There’s plenty of avenues to explore on that front, but there’s also a myriad of solutions for paid advertising on Facebook. We’ll point you to some of the important ones below.

When you’re looking to build up a following you can look toPage Like ads. This will show your page in the newsfeed of people that are likely to follow you, while increasing the size of your audience. This is a good tactic when you’re starting out or when you’ve perfected your conversion process and want to funnel more people into your ecosystem.

If you have a specific post that you want seen by as many people as possible then you’ll want to use Page Post Engagement ads. Your post will reach more of the people that like your page, and also be seen by potential new audiences based on the demographics you choose to target. This should increase the comments and likes on your post and help you to engage with your customers.

Facebook Ad Example

As we mentioned above, once you’ve figured out a good conversion process you’ll want to lead more people through your e-commerce experience. Facebook offers two ways to capitalize on this, through Clicks to Website or Website Conversion ads. The former will create posts that offer a call to action that leads your audience to your site, shop, product or wherever else you choose. The latter is better suited for gaining further insights into your conversion process and seeing if there is room for improvement with regards to customers visiting your shop via Facebook.

All of these options are targetable by your location, age, gender, or interest. Over time you’ll gain insight into who shows interest and makes purchases from your site. You’ll then be able to focus on those groups and audiences and improve your conversion rates in the process. Facebook also lets you target lookalike audiences, which are people that share traits similar to your customers. These profiles can be informed by information from your CRM, mailing list, or any other source of customer information that you have.

This article is a part of our Social Commerce series. These articles highlight methods and best practices for improving your e-commerce sales through the use of various Shopify Sales Channels integrations such as Twitter, Pinterest, Houzz, and The Shopify Buy Button.

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