5 Retail Giants Who Win at Facebook (and how to copy their strategies in your small business)
Alice Delore is an education specialist for SaleHoo.com, an online community of over 100,000 online sellers and retailers. Their product range consists of an online selling course, ecommerce software and their flagship product, a wholesale directory.
Social media options are aplenty with Twitter, YouTube, the fast-growing Pinterest and (the slightly lonely) Google + all offering ways to connect with potential and existing customers. Facebook, however, is the optimal option for retailers to focus their energy. Do you want to increase your sales this year? Learn the basics from the experts with my quick tips below. According to Campalyst, the most followed industries on Facebook are mass merchants such as Walmart and Target. The most popular product markets are toys and hobbies, apparel and accessories, computers and electronics and sporting goods. Do you sell in one of these markets? If so, you could really cash in on by building a strong following on Facebook.
Who Wins At Facebook? Here are the Top 5 Facebook Retailers (by fan numbers)
- Walmart – 25 million fans
- Target – 21 million fans
- Victoria’s Secret – 20 million fans
- Nike – 11 million fans
- Adidas – 10 million fans
So what are these retail giants and brands doing that makes their Facebook fans engage with them, and most importantly, convert to sales?
They Keep Their Content Relevant
While there can be some benefit in sharing viral content with your Facebook fans, keeping your posts and other content relevant is best. Walmart’s Facebook fan engagement increased dramatically when they rolled out over 3,500 pages for local Walmart chains that fans can ‘like’ in order to keep up with local sales and in-store specials. While many of us don’t have the need nor the capacity for localizing our Pages, the message here is that Facebook fans want real-time and relevant information that benefits them directly. Keeping your content relevant is 50% about simply posting about your products and 50% about knowing your audience well. A good way to get to know your audience is by running a quick survey and getting your fans to answer a few simple questions about their use of your products or what it is they like about your brand. Survey Monkey offers a free option for surveying. It’s easy for both you and your fans to use. To get the best response to your survey, offer an incentive such as a prize draw that your fans will be entered into when they complete the survey. Alternatively, tell them at the end of the survey, they will get a coupon code or a special offer. Make sure you understand Facebook’s policies before you start any giveaways, however as they can be strict (more about this later).
They Focus on Products
Take a look on the Wall of any of the above brand’s Facebook Pages on any given day, and you will see their products being featured. This ties back to my point about relevancy: Your fans are engaging with you because they love your products or are interested in your products. Use your Page as an opportunity to showcase them, however, be wary of over-promoting your products and find a balance between selling and showcasing. For example, Nike recently shared an image of a sketch of a new shoe that is in development. The shoe can’t be bought yet, but it celebrates the Nike brand and their passion for shoe design. See how this is different from shoving products in people’s faces and telling them to buy?
They Don’t Treat Facebook as a “Campaign”
Facebook marketing is a commitment. Looking at Facebook as a platform to simply ‘run a campaign’ is counter-productive. Instead, you should focus on Facebook as a tool you can use long-term to strengthen your brand and your relationship with your customers, which will result in more sales. Top brands including Victoria’s Secret don’t often go a day without a fresh status update! Follow their lead.
They Understand Facebook’s Policies
Facebook have some strict guidelines that Pages need to adhere to. The most commonly broken are Facebook’s policies surrounding promotions and giveaways. Using Facebook functions such as likes or comments to enter a fan into a draw is against Facebook policy. Instead, you must use an app to run promotions or giveaways. While many smaller brands ignore these rules, and appear to get away with it, Facebook appear to be becoming more vigilant in policing these rules, so it’s best to abide by them.
- Keep your content relevant and fresh – update your status regularly
- Focus on products. Aim to showcase them rather than overly promote them
- Treat Facebook as a long-term marketing strategy, not a campaign
- Understand and adhere to Facebook’s policies
Do you use Facebook to promote your business? Has it generated sales for you? Share a comment below.