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Expert Advice
For Success in Ecommerce
  Our ecommerce experts outline the main points for an effective strategy and how to make the most of social networks!
With 1.23 billion active users and 7 billion in advertising revenue, Facebook is without a doubt the most influential social network. In its tenth year, Facebook offers now more than ever a lucrative opportunity for retails and etailers, who are still trying to keep up with all of its advantages! To be clear: using Facebook as your only ecommerce tool is not the way to go. Using Facebook as a cross-channel strategy—combining several communication channels to lead to the final sale, however, is an excellent way to improve your sales!

Your goal: Meet the demands of your permanently-connected customers’ the best you can. Follow these three expert tips before getting started!
Maximise your Facebook presence and take advantage of the leading social network’s users!
01 Understand what Facebook can do for you
In principle, people don’t use Facebook for shopping. When they sign-in to the social network it’s to flip through their friends’ profiles between tasks or settled on the sofa. So you might ask, as a retailer, what’s the point? In reality there are a lot of advantages! In short:

  • Visibility: This is without a doubt the number one reason you should be on Facebook, which is, don’t forget, the second most visited website after Google! Your Facebook page is as important as a website, and gives visitors an idea of what your brand is all about. You should be where your customers are!


  • Creating a database: Age, sex, occupation, tastes…Facebook holds a goldmine of information about your customers and prospects that can be very valuable. Knowing more about your customers will allow you to offer them more relevant services and customise your offers, with the ultimate goal of a better conversion rate.


  • Building customer loyalty: Facebook is also a good way to bring together and unite your customers in a community. If you offer them decent service, they’ll become ambassadors for your brand and think of you the next time they want to make a purchase!


  • Contests/ incentives/ special offers: Are a good way to attract potential customers on social networks. It’s interactive and customers love having access to exclusive deals.


  • Customer service: Lastly, Facebook is the ideal way to start a conversation with your customers and answer their questions while probing them about what they think of your offer to find out what they want. It is also important to be on Facebook for when customer relations don’t go as well as hoped so you can prevent being discussed on social networks without your knowledge!


Being on Facebook is one thing, but you can also bring Facebook to your site and add some interesting features such as share buttons (to increase virality and organic traffic) and comments (which add to your virality as well as allow you to sort spam and trolling). You can also prolong your newsletter’s life on social networks and be sure to capitalise on and streamline all of your communication…

Lastly, and most importantly, don’t forget that social networks exit to build relationships between human beings. So use them accordingly!
Tip
Images are important: select your cover and profile pictures carefully and change them regularly taking notes from the best in the business. Keep things simple and don’t clutter your page with too many images!
02 Create a Facebook page, it’s key for your customer and prospect relations
Visibility: you can (and should) keep in mind this one goal when designing the aesthetic of your Facebook page. But if being visible is essential, you also need to be immediately recognisable to your customers. This is where the personalisation of your page’s design comes in. Several factors allow you to customise your Facebook page, the three main ones being the description (short and to the point), the profile picture (ideally your logo or at least a simple image that will allow customers to easily identify you) and the cover photo (in relation to your business and your current events).

Going online is ridiculously easy: all you have to do is fill in the required fields and click “confirm” at the end! Take care to repeat your important key-words, your brand name, the brands you sell, your main categories, and your product catalogue: Facebook pages are crawled by search engines just as any web other page (Facebook pages are public) and Facebook searches are expanding! This is another good source of traffic.

Once you’ve set up your page, you’ll have to familiarise yourself with Facebook’s main features:

  • Fans: These users have “liked” your page. This list includes those who have subscribed to your posts.


  • Likes: This is the way Facebook users show their interest in your posts.


  • Shares: This shows which of your posts have been shared by users with their own contacts. If someone chooses to share one of your posts, it will appear on his or her newsfeed.


  • News Feed: This is a list of what your friends have posted (the first page you see when you sign-in to Facebook); this page is at the centre of Facebook’s activity.


  • Cover: The cover photo is the background photo on your timeline, personalised by you to attract visitors.


  • To get comfortable with these features, don’t be afraid to test them out! Try things!

    The final step is publishing your catalogue – the name of the game is, after all, is to sell your products! Carefully select which products you are going to feature on your page. Don’t hesitate to offer a few bonus products exclusive to your target market, especially during sales. Consider importing your catalogue as well and making it “Facebook friendly.”
Tip
- Want to move faster? It’s also possible to buy “adverts” at the interior of Facebook to gain more fans. Targeting is one of the social network’s strong points: by age, sex, city, interests and even the fact that they've liked competitors’ pages…Here again, don’t hesitate to spend a few pounds to test the system!
- Actinic makes your life easier: test out the feature “My Social Store” which allows you to be on Facebook in a few clicks!
03 Growing is good. Lasting over time is better!
If a brand’s strength is the strength of its community, what’s really important is how dedicated your fans are. Facebook is focusing more and more on shared and commented-on posts…the most important thing is not the size of your community (the number of fans) but the percentage of these fans who are influenced by your posts, who react, you “like” them, share them and maybe even post comments on your pages (or criticisms, but these are part of the Facebook experience as well).

Naturally, lasting results won’t happen immediately: you can’t expect results your first week on the social network. The idea is to regularly update your page and create new content to get people in the habit of “checking out” your page from time to time when they’re on Facebook, and get them used to paying attention to messages you send out.

Lasting results require some organisation…and the right tools! You should definitely integrate the following elements:

  • A post calendar: organise in advance the main themes and offers you want to feature on your page...


  • Set up automatic push posts: in order to save time and avoid forgetting. You can use, for example, tools such as buffer and hootsuite...


  • Offer efficient and easy-to-use faceted search: today, internet users don’t want to waste time looking for something, and don’t forget, your competitors are only a click away! Offer them a pleasant and intuitive shopping experience and you’ll win them over.




Think about setting aside time in your agenda to take stock of your Facebook page (half an hour every two weeks is a good place to start) and exchange ideas with your team. The famous Generation Y knows a lot about social networking norms and codes and they can help you get the right tone and send the right message…

Lastly, as with any marketing project, your social network presence has to be quantifiable and analysable, even if only to allow you to continually improve your strategy. Follow the stats to understand what’s working and what’s unnecessary!
Tip
-Vary your posts to see what works: photos, surveys, coupons, blog posts…
-As with more traditional channels, tailor specific sales or discounts for Facebook.
 
Follow our expert advice before getting started!