Friday, 30 May 2014

How to use Facebook to increase your sales!


On our previous posts, we suggested that you promote your store on social media. This is the one most important thing to do besides having nice items in your store.

On this post we will try to be more specific with what exactly should you do when you start promoting your store on Social Media. As social media platforms are so many, we will examine each one separately and we will start with the most popular one, Facebook.

On a previous post “Tips to be successful using social media for your business” – which by the way it is highly recommended to read- we mentioned that just posting nonsense on Facebook, will not bring you any sales.

On this post, we will give you specific instructions and ideas of what to post, when to post and some insights of what Facebook can do for you, in order to increase your sales.
We assume that you already have a Facebook page related to your store on MISI or MYMISI. We designed these tips to advance your Store Facebook page, however, many of them can also use for your personal Facebook page.
The next time you are at any social gathering, party, lunch or dinner with friends, pay attention to who people are most engaged with. Why are people so engaged with a particular person? Inevitably, you will realize that the people who are the most engaging are 1) the most interesting, 2) the most attractive, or 3) the most engaged themselves.

Voila! You now know everything you need to know about increasing the engagement between your customers and your Store on Facebook.


Well, there is a bit more to it. What is interesting to your audience? How do you make yourself attractive through social media; and when, how, and how often should you engage? These three qualities result in the highest engagement and the most interaction, between people regardless of whether the venue is real or virtual.


Facebook introduced EdgeRank, an algorithm that determines what shows up in any given Facebook user’s news feed. The EdgeRank algorithm, uses three components, each referred to as an “edge” (hence the name), to guide what appears in users’ news feeds. These are affinity, weight, and time decay (or timeliness).


Affinity is determined by the amount of interaction between any two given Facebook users. The more your interact with a fan, the more likely your posts will show up in that fan’s newsfeed.


Weight refers to the type of post. A share, for example, carries more weight than a comment, a comment is weightier than a Like, and a Like ‘weighs’ more than a click on the post.


Time Decay refers to post timeliness. Like any piece of news, the older it becomes, the less relevant and important it is, thus less likely to appear in newsfeeds,


The lower your store’s EdgeRank is in a user’s Facebook account, the less engaged your store would be with that user, and the fewer opportunities you will have to engage. In fact, on average, only about 4 to 17 percent of a business page’s posts show up in a fan’s news feed. With that, let us look at how to boost your edgerank.


A lot of the content people post on their Facebook page is personal, everything from “My baby took its first steps today” to “I just had the worst piece of pizza ever.” It is the kinds of things friends, family, and co-workers share with each other because that is what friends are for -- to share the highs and lows of your life.
However, this kind of post it is not good for business. They will not drive your sales up!

Just how personal you get with your Facebook content depends on your business. Little League scores, church socials, community gatherings, are prime examples of great, personal content to share on your Facebook page if yours is the type of business to which such things are suited. A related event to your business, a major event on the news, can also be a start of an interesting conversation. Avoid Politics, and Sports.


Sharing personal content makes your fan base feel connected to your store, it makes you more human. People respond to that. Why not encourage personal sharing from your fans too? Ask people to share something about themselves in response to one of your posts.

Visual content

Visual content helps draw in and engage Facebook users. Facebook’s research shows that photo albums, pictures, and videos increase engagement by 180 percent, 120 percent, and 100 percent, respectively, more than content without visuals. Meanwhile asking Fans to write captions on your photos increases engagement 5.5 times more than a standard post. However, please, do not just ask people to like the image of your masterpiece, it is not the right approach.

Even something as simple as a smiley face emoticon in your post can increase Likes by 57 percent, comments by 33 percent, and shares by 33 percent over posts without them. Emotions engage people even if they are just a digital doodle.

Use pictures in your posts to attract the reader’s eye, then, surround the picture with clever, compelling content to keep them reading. Relate your images to your product, and drive them your store.

Be funny

Comedy helps a store connect to their audience. Store owners that make people smile after a long day at the office, or better yet, laugh, often have high levels of engagement. Humorous images, comics, and memes are highly shareable content, as Facebook users want to share these images with your friends, thus increasing your reach.
Humor can be simple, like a photo of a cute baby with a funny caption, or a dog chasing his tail.

Be responsive

Just as people expect great customer service from you in-store or on the phone, they look to your store to do the same on Facebook.
Believe it or not, 95% of stores do not respond to comments made by Facebook users on Facebook. By responding to comments and questions promptly on Facebook, you demonstrate your own high level of engagement and many of your fans will be pleased. Why wouldn’t you take a minute to respond to your fans? It is an easy way to increase engagement and create lasting relationships. If fans bring up an issue with your store, try and respond to them quickly, in a polite manner. Address their issues publicly, but if a particular matter requires more personal help, have them email you or call you with their concerns.


POST AT OPTIMAL TIMES

If a post falls in the Facebook forest and no one is around to see it, does it make an impact? No. Take your type of business and your audience demographic into consideration when planning the timing for your Facebook posts. If your audience is most likely online searching for your product in the evening, will a post at 10am generate a lot of likes, comments and shares? Probably not. Because so much content is posted on Facebook each day, you want your posts to be more relevant to your audience when you post them, not eight hours later.
You may also see higher engagement during lunchtime, and close-to-close time, as people tend to look for entertainment. Retail businesses may see an increase in engagement on weekends when people have down time to do some online shopping. Do some research and learn when your audience is online, both the hours of the day and days of the week.

CONSIDER FREQUENCY

Post new and relevant content on Facebook to keep people interested. The average half-life of a Facebook post is about three hours. Because of this, it is a good practice to post more than once a day to get the most engagement out of your posts. When your post is still part of the news feed or is a highlighted story still receiving a steady flow of engagement, it is considered “alive”.

DISCUSS CURRENT EVENTS

Stay involved in the current conversations. If a holiday is around the corner, odds are your fans are involved and talking about. Post an image of something you are thankful for on Thanksgiving, or a romantic image on Valentines day. Your fans are more likely to share something if it is relevant and entertaining.
This does not stop at holidays. If something big is happening on the news, incorporate it into your marketing campaigns. After a tragedy, post your condolences. Not only does this get your fans involved, it gives your store a human face, making fans feel more connected to your store.

ASK QUESTIONS

Try asking a question on your Facebook page so that your Fans are inclined to answer questions. Here are some tips for asking questions:
Questions that ask “where,” “when,” or “should” are more successful at engaging Fans than asking “why” -- which seems to generate the lowest amount of Likes or comments.
Asking for feedback (such as “Tell us how you feel about”) on your products and services will prompt Fans to express themselves, something which by now, you know, Facebook users love to do.

Know your audience

Know as much as you possibly can about your audience. The more you know about your audience, the more effectively you can develop content tailored to their likes. Use everything you have learned about your customers’ offline and online to gain an understanding of who they are and what they are interested in. Are they male or female, young or old (or both)? Are they price-sensitive or fashion-conscious? Do they come in based on need or instinct?

Mix it up
Mix up the type of content you post on your Facebook page. Go from humorous one day to heartfelt the next.
The more variety you have in your Facebook posts, the more entertaining your page will be.

Post ideas
Photos of happy customers- after all they bought from you to use your masterpiece! Ask them to send you a photo while they are wearing your jewelry, your jacket, or while their baby wears these amazing knitted shoes.
Humorous jokes and images
Poll your audience for fun or research
Ask fans to fill in the caption of a photo

Invite subscribers

Facebook logos are so ubiquitous they are easily overlooked -- even if the logo is clearly on your Store with the words “follow us!”
People are busy. You did not ask them to like your store and so it did not occur to them to do it. People may be aware that you are on Facebook but since you have not asked or provided an incentive for them to engage with you there they simply have not. Provide an incentive; it does not have to be expensive to be valuable.
Post new product tips

Pin posts

You can increase engagement of specific posts by pinning those posts. Pinning a post places it front-and-center (well, actually, top and left) of your timeline for seven days (or until you unpin it). It’s the first post people will see, and comes with a little orange flag on the right side of the post to draw attention to it. Pinning a post is easy. Use this tactic sparingly to gain attention for your best posts, the ones you know your audience engages most with, or the ones you want the most people to interact with.


If you want your Fans to be more engaged with your store on Facebook, the answer is clear: Be more engaging. You need to be the social media equivalent of the life of the party. Tell funny stories, get personal, be personable, catch their eye with something visually appealing.
Be as engaged with your Fans as you want them to be engaged with you. Ask questions, take an interest in what people have to tell you, share good news, promote a worthy cause and ask your friends to help you in the endeavor.
Getting more engagement on Facebook isn’t rocket science. But it is marketing science. Put the social in your social media and use your inbound marketing expertise and analytics to make it all work better.


Read and comment on this post- Ask questions, we are here to help you sell more! Share this post with your fellow crafters; share it on your Facebook, on your Google Plus, your LinkedIn group. This will create a healthy discussion and the whole community will benefit from new ideas, based on this post. Other community members may have some more attractive ideas, how you will find out if you do not discuss with them? Make sure that you receive our newsletter, and visit our forum. There are many answers there to your questions. 

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