Social media platforms like Facebook have become networking meccas for people around the globe. Once primarily used for keeping in contact with friends and family, Facebook is now among the top marketing and advertising venues in the world. Savvy business people know that in order to gain customers, you have to go where the people are. With nearly over 700 million registered users, Facebook is one of the Internet’s top destinations.
Aside from marketing and advertising, people have also begun merging e-commerce into the Facebook platform. This allows them not only to market and advertise their brand to potential customers, but provides an avenue for those potential customers to purchase products from the advertisers as well. Facebook provides ample opportunities for businesses to integrate into its platform and network in markets that may not have been available to them before.
One method of selling on Facebook that business owners can use is the Facebook Fan Page. It’s kind of like a fan club for a business where people can click an icon to become a member of the club or “like” your brand. Once on the “brand wagon,” business owners post updates, specials, promotions and other relevant news to garner and maintain interest in their product. Usually the brand owner links off-site to their main website where their products or services are available for purchase.
The second method of selling on Facebook ties in with the Fan Page – and that method is Facebook ads. Businesses can purchase ad space that appears in sidebars of Facebook users’ pages. These ads are highly customizable and gives the ad buyer a myriad of options in targeting their preferred demographic of Facebook users. When the users click these ads, they are directed back to the business’ Fan Page so the Facebook advertising campaign sort of comes full-circle.
The third method of selling on Facebook involves the creation of an on-site store where a brand’s fan club and others can make purchases directly from the Fan Page (also known as F-commerce). The creation of these Facebook stores are done via apps provided by e-commerce platforms. The apps are integrated into a Fan Page and allows the brand owner to manage every aspect of his store as well as track sales and other traffic-related information right from their dashboard. Vendio, Payvment, and VendorShop are examples of such application that’s pretty straightforward and especially easy for novice users to manage. They have a library containing a wealth of information on their site, including videos that will help brand owners through every step of the process – from the installation to shipping information. Dealio provides the platform and services for free, but does have optional paid features for business owners needing additional options and features.
Most of the f-commerce platforms out there do offer a free level of service and those services vary with each provider so doing some research on what’s out there is prudent to finding a provider that will work for you. There are ecommerce solutions that cater to small businesses and others that cater to larger businesses that require more features such as inventory management and multi-variation product listing. The idea of these platforms is that they work with the aforementioned methods of selling on Facebook, not against them. A solid combination of all three methods will ensure that you have an effective e-commerce campaign by providing maximum exposure for your brand.