If you're an ecommerce store owner and haven't heard of Facebook Pages for business, you're seriously missing out! Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world and can be a powerful marketing tool for your online store.

The Facebook you use to chat with friends and post pictures from the bar last night is completely different than Facebook for business. The "business" offering is called Facebook Pages, and allows you to interact with your fans, get to know potential customers, and build a community. This is a beginners guide to help Facebook newbies (not to confused with "noobs") get their online store set up with a Facebook page.

Sign Up

Creating a Facebook page for your online store is easy. Step one is pretty obvious... go to www.facebook.com

Once you're at the main screen you'll be asked to either log in or sign up. Be wary of the difference between a personal page and a business page. The business page sign up is located at the bottom of the screen. Now, simply select the appropriate starting point, fill in the information boxes, and get started on your new online store page.

Choose a Category

You'll be presented with a page where you need to classify your business. The screen looks like this: 

Most online store owners should choose Brand or Product. I know it may be tempting to choose "local business or place" or even "company," but don't do it unless you have a brick and mortar shop. Brand or Product has the most functionality and will provide you with the most flexibility. Trust me. After that you'll be presented with a large dropdown menu with a whole bunch of categories. Again, you'll have to choose one... find what's most appropriate, type what you want to name your page, and agree to the terms. Now click "Get Started." 

Already have a Facebook account? At this point you can simply link your personal account to your new online store's page. If you're not on Facebook yet, you'll have to create a personal account as well. Don't worry, it'll prompt you... just follow the steps. 

Setting Up Your Page

Add awesome content. You'll want to immediately upload a display picture (your company logo), add a description, and maybe even some pictures. Spend some time playing around with the interface, and make note of everything you can do. It's easy to get overwhelmed... don't stress, it's okay to take it slow. Build a basic profile and add content gradually. 

Maintaining Your Page

If you're looking for a little inspiration, feel free to take a look at the Shopify Facebook Page

1. Posting 
Posting on your Facebook page is the primary way to communicate with your fans and customers. Whether its sharing new products, giving cool industry info, showing pictures, or even linking to interesting sites... it's all good. The post you write is displayed on your page wall and can be read by all who visit. As well, people can comment on your post and even give a “thumbs up” of approval, or as they say a "Facebook Like." They may also post on your wall themselves with comments and questions, looking to hear back from you. Always keep in mind: Give people a reason to check your page often! You want rich content, you want to interact with people, and you want to drive word of mouth advertising. 

2. Sharing
Now lets say one of your customers writes a really complimentary comment on your wall. Maybe something like: "Hey Shopify, you have the best ecommerce software in the world!" Great comment right? Well, now you can "share" the comment so its one of the first things people see on your page. 

3. Newsfeed
Your newsfeed will be the lifeline of your page. All recent and past activity will be monitored and displayed to you. These newsfeed updates will also be seen by your fans and their friends, giving your store some extra attention. 

What's Next?

Don't expect to be a Facebook pro right out of the gates. Here are some general best practices include:

  • Post updates consistently about whats going on with your store, any new deals, or information. Try to keep your fans and customers updated as much as possible.
  • Answer questions posted on your wall.
  • Acknowledge compliments and comments with a “thumbs up!” or comment of your own. Visitors will see your activity and the compliments you thumbed up, bringing positive attention to your online store.
  • Experiment! Play with other features as you go along. There's tons of tools at your disposal but not all are needed to get started, gradually familiarize yourself with them.
  • Focus on your News Feed, not your Wall. While you may stare at your wall all day, only about 10% of your followers will actually visit your Wall in a given week. Most of your fans will see your content in their News Feed, so focus on how each post looks in the feed.
  • Sometimes when people post to your Wall, it will get pushed to the "Hidden" section. Keep an eye out and move content over to your wall as appropriate. You can also move unwanted posts from your Wall to the "Hidden" section where you can still respond, but it won't appear for all to see.

Finally

The most important thing on Facebook is engagement. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine how prominent your posts will be in fans feeds. The more people are interacting with your content (shares, likes and comments) the more valuable Facebook thinks your content is. The "talking about this" number in your left sidebar will tell you how well you're doing, this metric is far more important than how many people have liked you.

Use these easy starter tips to get the ball rolling. It won't be long until you start planning events, posting questions, advertising, promoting, and generating large amounts of traffic to your online store using Facebook. 

Is your store on Facebook? We'd love it if you shared your learnings with us in the comments section.

P.S. With Shopify you can now easily sell your products directly on your Facebook page - Learn how to set up your Facebook Store.