It is of course nice to have likes on your Facebook Page, but they’re not the be-all and end-all – what you really should be aiming for is engagement – that’s the number of people who follow your page but also interact with your content. That is way more valuable, both in terms of attracting new customers and encouraging existing customers to return to you time and time again.
Keep promotional content to a minimum – aim for 20% of your posts to be all about promoting your products, whilst the other 80% should be conversational, informational stuff for your followers – offer content of value! In a nutshell, growing your Facebook Page is like going to the gym – you can’t just go for a week and expect results, you have to go regularly for long periods of time and put that effort in. If you’re up for that, let’s begin…
The Facebook Page
As always, make sure your branding is consistent and matches that of your online shop – I can’t emphasise this enough. But also make sure that you:
Offer customer support on your Facebook Page
As Facebook is quite insular, people would rather reach out if there’s an issue on social media rather than contact you directly, so make sure all questions and queries have been answered within hours, as opposed to days, or worse, weeks.
Make sure all of the fields on your Facebook Page About tab have been completed, with no spelling or grammatical mistakes
This will ensure that your Page shows up in the relevant search results and that people looking for more information about your online shop can easily locate it. Use Grammarly on your text before pasting it into the relevant fields from a Notepad/TextEditor (.txt) file. This ensures there will be no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
Use Facebook as your Page
Be sure to like and comment on other pages within your locality, such as local businesses that you regularly use, or similar companies in your industry that your customers would be interested in. People are naturally nosy creatures, and using your Page in your locality can encourage likes and let people in your town or city know all about your online shop.
Social media is all about being social and you need to do this regularly. Getting engagement and increasing likes takes time – you can’t just make a Facebook Page and leave it, you have to populate it regularly and spend time reading and replying to comments and interactions on a daily basis. If you post sporadically, it comes across to your customers that you’re not particularly responsive on your Facebook Page.
Use the Facebook Insights tab
Checking the stats for your Facebook Page content is something that you should do regularly, as this data can help you work out the best times to post any future content; there may be specific times of the day or specific days of the week where your followers are more responsive than others. There also might be types of content that are better received than others too; you can use all of this data to streamline your posts going forward to make them more impactful. You can schedule posts too within Facebook Business Manager, so the more data you have to help you shape your content, the quicker and easier it will be to come up with statuses and schedule these for the best possible impact.
Do Facebook Lives
When you have grown your audience to a decent amount, where each post you make gets engagement in the forms of likes and comments, your next step is to brave a Facebook Live. This can be advertised days before the event, and if you choose a popular time, it will encourage potential customers to tune in. Advertise offers and discount codes during the live and make sure that during the session, you’re providing valuable information – not just ‘buy my products’ – this is your chance to show off your knowledge so you can become recognised as an authority in your field.
Justin at Scale Model Scenery does this very well – he regularly does live sessions on YouTube and Facebook, showing how his products can be used, and how to build different models. Live video sessions work a treat at attracting new followers and you also have the bonus of building a community and answering questions in real-time, which is invaluable for sharing your in-depth industry knowledge.
The Page Statuses
Make your Posts stand out
Always use images and gifs on posts, as opposed to having a preview of a hyperlink as these get more attention. Using h1 headings too with a snappy headline to encourage people to interact with you. Remember that whatever you post, you are competing with whatever else in each follower’s newsfeed, so it needs to be striking and stand out.
Post ‘How To’ style posts
How to use a thing, how to style a thing, different ways of using a thing. Sell trainers? Make a post about different cool ways to lace your trainers. Sell bathroom tiles? Make a post about tips and tricks for first-time tilers – it’s difficult to get that grout just right, and how to cut the tiles to shape. Sell crafting stuff? Show people how to use it and what they can create with specific products. This type of content is both relatable and shareable, which is an excellent way of encouraging more followers to your Facebook Page.
Jump on trending events
Trending events include traditional holidays such as Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, Christmas, Black Friday, but also social media events, such as National Talk Like A Pirate Day, or a famous celebrity’s birthday – you could even make something up, like your dog’s birthday! Either way, count down to a date and offer your customers something on that date – discount code, a drop of some new product lines, etc. Get them excited about it enough to follow your countdown. If you’re after trending with an event like Christmas or Mother’s Day, start advertising around two weeks beforehand minimum, don’t just do it on the day itself – many folks will have purchased their items by then.
Use polls in your posts to gauge the popularity of a thing or opinion. If it’s an opinion, be imaginative in terms of how you pose the question on your poll. For example, if you sell tiles and tools, a good example could be: ‘What’s the best way to round off wet grout?’
And the answers could be: A) credit card b) wet finger or thumb c) grouting tool
Or if you sell Toys, the question could be:
‘Who wins in a fight?’
‘Tag in a friend who would [do/visit/want/try this]’
ASOS does this very well – they publish pictures or videos of something amazing to their Facebook page, and encourage followers to tag in their friends, equalling a ton of engagement.
For pictures or videos to use these types of posts, sites such as Imgur and TikTok are good resources. Make sure there’s no swearing in the content, and that it’s high quality and can be related to your followers. Be sure to credit the creator in your status too, by linking to their profile on the appropriate platform.
Depending on what you sell, daily updates can work very well if they fit the voice of your brand. Provide an update of what’s going on at your business either at the beginning or at the end of the day, but try and make sure it’s at roughly the same time each time, to encourage people to interact with you and follow your story. Post the odd personal link to demonstrate that there’s a person or people behind the brand, but be careful that you don’t sound too much like a one-man band – always mention the team – even if there’s only you, it makes your business sound bigger.
Regular promo code bonuses
Post an image on a status with a discount code especially for your Facebook fans, choose a specific day of the week or month and make this a regular thing, like the first Friday of the month, which is payday to a lot of people. These promo codes can also be talked about in Facebook Lives, to encourage more followers and online shop visitors too.
Post your own video content
Videos can outperform photos in terms of reach when compared to static images. Make sure these have been subtitled so your followers can digest the content without having to turn the volume up – as they might be listening to their own music, be in a populated place, or rely on subtitles if they have any hearing issues.
Advertise your Facebook Page
There’s plenty of online shops I see on the regular while I’m online, who miss loads of opportunities to advertise their Facebook Pages, so here’s a quick rundown of the places you need to advertise that you may have missed. Make sure you’ve set the username up on your Facebook page so it’s an easy-to-remember URL, and:
Promote your Facebook Page as a PS within your email newsletter
This is more of a call to action than simply displaying the Facebook logo, as it directs the reader to click and follow your Facebook Page, especially if there’s an incentive in that PS as well.
Add a link to your Facebook Page on the order complete page of your online shop
When customers have paid for their order on your online shop, they will be redirected to an order complete page, which typically displays a message notifying them that their order has been received and when to expect it to arrive. Amend the text on this page via your online shop to ask customers if they’ve joined your Facebook Page already, and if not, make sure you give them a good reason to do so.
Promote your Facebook Page instore
If you have a physical store as well as an online shop, make sure you promote your Facebook Page there too. Generate a QR code for your Facebook Page and some appropriate branding to display near the checkout point and anywhere within your store where customers may be waiting in a queue so you have a captive audience.
Link to your Facebook Pages in the footer of your blog posts
If you have a blog related to your online shop, mention your Facebook Page in the footer to your blog posts, which can be set up easily within the footer signature. As always, add a link to the Facebook Page and at least one good reason people should follow it – such as regular competitions, discount codes, etc.
Add a link to your Facebook Page in your shop’s email signatures
Your online shop will send various emails as visitors interact with it – abandoned cart emails, order placed emails, order status updates, despatched orders and order complete emails, to name but a few. Locate the email templates within the settings of your online shop and amend the text to include a link to your Facebook Page with a reason to like and follow.
On your About Us page
Make sure you mentioned when you created your Facebook Page within the text on your About Us page, and let readers know the benefits of liking and following with that all-important link. This is a good place to send online shop visitors too where they can keep up with updates from your online shop if they like your brand but aren’t able to purchase anything just yet.
On your Contact Us page
It’s the most obvious of places, but often the most overlooked! Make sure that there is a link to your Facebook Page on your Contact Us page, which should encourage online shop visitors who feel more comfortable with the Facebook platform to make contact with you on there.
Once you have implemented these steps and worked out the best way to populate and manage your Facebook Page, you can then begin to work on the next step of developing your online shop. I’ll be back again soon so in the meantime if you have any questions for me, pop them in an email to [email protected].