Make Friends on Facebook
One of the easiest and fastest ways to make your first online sale is by leveraging the power of Facebook. This social media powerhouse has two separate mechanisms for you to launch your brand. They are:
- Your Personal Facebook Profile
- Your Brand’s Facebook Page
You're probably familiar with your own Facebook profile. However, Facebook Brand Pages are a totally different beast and should be operated in a different way. Lets get into how you should operate both your personal profile and your brand page during the early stages of your new online store.
Your Personal Facebook Profile
This will be your best friend during your first months of starting up. However, you have to treat your Facebook profile with a lot of respect. Otherwise you will lose friends and potentially lose your account.
There is nothing wrong with doing a little self-promotion on your personal Facebook profile. Your friends and family will likely love to see what you’re up to as long as you don't overdo it. Sharing products with your personal Facebook profile is very effective, in fact, studies show that upwards of 62 percent of people read such posts.
Source: Sociable Labs
A good rule of thumb is to update your profile about once a day with either a link to a product from your online store or website.
You can also share a press mention about your business.
Or a link to a tweet from a fan, friend or family member.
Another idea is you can post a survey or ask a question.
Also, maybe about once a month share your “about us” or “story” webpage. The story about your business is a great form of social currency, so spend time crafting a good story. From time to time you might also want to paste in the text about your story from your website instead of just pasting the link. The reason for this is that more of the text will show up on your friend’s feed, thereby delivering more of the story right off the bat.
Now it’s still possible that once a day is too much for your friends and family. You will have to be the judge of how much is too much. If you need to tone down your posting frequency because of complaints or loss of friends, then consider scaling it back a notch.
Finally, remember to keep using your personal Facebook profile for what it’s meant for. Continue to share photos, news articles, liking people’s posts and being a normal user. Don’t switch over to “business only” mode. All you are going to do differently is occasionally posting something relevant about your new business.
Your Business' Facebook Page
Facebook Pages are designed for businesses, brands, and other types of organizations. Facebook only wants you to promote your business through your Facebook page. That’s why we stress that you should keep business promotion through your personal Facebook profile to a minimum.
With Facebook Pages, only people who have Liked your Facebook page will see your updates. In a sense, these people have given you permission to advertise to them. This is a very key point about online marketing these days – permission marketing is much more effective than the old days of spamming everyone under the sun. The good news is that with a Facebook page, you're in good company, with over 70 perfect of B2C companies acquiring a customers through the social platform.
You will promote on your Facebook page exactly like how you do it on your Facebook profile with posts and links to products, PR mentions, and stories about your business. However, a better way to get deeper engagement on Facebook is to post updates on things that are not directly related to purchasing one of your products.
A great way to get more Facebook page engagement is to post:
- Industry trends and news
- Funny, cute, and high-quality photos (that you have a legal right to publish)
- Uplifting stories
- Inspirational Quotes
- Fun polls or surveys
Although some of these updates won’t have anything to do with your brand per se, they will bond a stronger relationship between your brand and those that have “Liked” your Facebook page. What you are doing here is strengthening your fan base, which generally pays dividends down the line.
Here's the key: Do not overly promote your brand and your products - only post a couple times every day. Most importantly, be sure to respond to comments and keep
the conversations going.
Since a portion of your Facebook friends will also be fans, be sure that you don’t post the same content on both your profile and page on the same day. Always change up what you’re posting to keep your Facebook campaign fresh from every angle.
At first, there is a large likelihood that your Facebook page won’t have as much as an effect as your profile. But the important thing is to keep it updated often. Years down the road, this effort will pay off. The reason for this is because you will be nurturing a marketing list – a powerful marketing strategy that we’ll talk about extensively in this book.
Now that we have gone over the difference between profiles and pages, lets get into some actionable stuff you can do right now:
- Create a list of all your family and friends. Go through your Facebook page and email contacts one by one. We suggest putting their names and email addresses in a spreadsheet.
- Reach out to each person with a personalized email or Facebook message. You don’t have to ask them to buy your product, but simply ask for their feedback. Even ask if they will write a testimonial.
- A few days later, ask each friend and family member to Like your Facebook page. You may not want to send a spammy all-inclusive email to everyone, but actually take the time to message each person individually.
- At a later date, ask them to post a message about what you are doing on their Facebook feed. Don’t forget to give them information on where they can purchase your products.
Check out 10 more Facebook Pages optimization strategies here.
Now if you are incredibly lucky, this initial marketing campaign might be enough to ignite your business into an overnight success story. However, chances are it will simply be a good introduction to a wide audience of people, and it will likely cause you to make your first sale.