By Robert Speyer – Web Success Team
How effective is Facebook in generating business? As you might surmise, there isn’t one answer fits all because it depends on expectations – both real and perceived.
What is definite is that Facebook marketing can boost your sales and push product “out the door.” It may never replace your website platform, but it can act as a catalyst to ROI and work as a complement to your other marketing efforts. Most companies don’t care where their sales come from but they are mindful not to leave money on the table. That’s why it is essential to bring product to where your target customers are online. And today, Facebook is where they are staying for chunks of time.
So if your customers are on Facebook, it is important build up your Facebook presence, create incentives, coupons, contests and giveaways. Then drive them to your ecommerce website or have them conveniently purchase through your Facebook Fan Page.
Fan Engagement Is Key to Effective Facebook Marketing
Effective Facebook marketing begins with fan engagement. Every company should have a program in place to gain more friends. Friends are qualified leads and potential customers since they have to take an express action to “like” your page. This gives you the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot by offering them a caveat for friending you that may not appear on your website. Once in your marketing database, you can then continue to be top of mind by offering loyal friends (and friends of friends) additional incentives to keep purchasing.
How Do You Measure Facebook Success?
Of course, you have to use different metrics for Facebook to measure success because the reason for them being on your Facebook page is a different motivation than if they go to your website. Often times visitors going to your website are looking for a special promotion, whereas Facebook people are looking for interaction and building a relationship with the brand. The metrics for Facebook are different. You would look at friend count, degree of fan interaction and defriending rate. If you are not losing friends then you are delivering relevant content that keeps them satisfied.
There is the question of having people friend you before you can see any social commerce apps or view discussions. I don’t think it is a wrong marketing tactic as long as you are offering a new friend a quality incentive to become a part of your Facebook following. A 10% off coupon alone may not be sufficient, but coupled with Free Shipping could turn a visitor into a fan. But remember, the ultimate goal is fan engagement with your brand and ultimately have them become evangelists who will help viral market your products to their network. If you can get them to recommend your brand, you are golden! As you have experienced, a satisfied customer is your best sales person.
Getting to Know Your Customer
Facebook is a great way to get to know your customer better, what they are looking for and what they react more favorably to — like a particular feature or features. By constantly providing fans with tips, interesting comments about the products and incentives to reward loyal fans can increase your ecommerce sales. People are motivated to buy if they like your brand and feel a connection to you. Take care of them and they will take care of you. It’s the give-to-get relationship that breeds goodwill and success. Connecting with your Facebook friends has its rewards.