Leveraging Facebook to Build Brand Awareness and Drive Online Sales

Over the last couple of years, Facebook has evolved from a college photo-sharing website to the leading social media platform for sales promotion, advertising, and interactive marketing. Facebook is growing at a very rapid pace and online retailers are looking for ways to leverage Facebook as a channel to expand their online presence and acquire more customers.

    Most Internet users have made Facebook part of their everyday lives and according to comScore, members of social networking sites spend 1.5x more time online than the average Internet user. With more than 500 million users and over 50 percent of those logging on at least once a day, Facebook is now at the center of social media map.

      Companies savvy enough to tap into social networking have a Facebook presence and are enjoying an early adopter advantage. If Facebook is not currently part of your marketing mix, it’s time for you to start tapping into the advantages and opportunities that Facebook has to offer.

        Does Advertising on Facebook Make Money?

          Facebook allows businesses to create pages and self service ads to spread the word about themselves and pull users to interact with your company and brand. Facebook is the most visited site in the US with 7.1% of all web traffic. Facebook visitors spend more money online than average Internet users.

            Facebook fans of a brand generate greater lifetime value as customers than non-fans. Fans on average spend $71.84 more annually on consumer products than non-fans do. They are 41 percent more likely to recommend products and 28 percent more likely to continue using them, according to Forbes magazine. With numbers like these, ignoring Facebook isn’t really an option anymore for online retailers.

              By engaging with consumers on Facebook and getting them excited about the brand, retailers have an unprecedented opportunity to inspire customer loyalty, and generate higher revenues and profits.

                Unique Dynamics Associated With Social Commerce and Merchandising

                  Marketing your company and your products on Facebook can be more cost effective than most other marketing channels. Advertising and promotion on Facebook is easy. When you post a promotional message on your company’s Facebook fan page, it is shown in the status stream of all your fans and they can then share it with their friends. When a Facebook user becomes a fan of your company, your company page is shown on their profile page and in their status stream to all of their friends. This is a great way to advertise your brand virally at no charge.

                    Unlike emails, which need to be opened, Facebook posts are shown to your fans without being opened; they are displayed in the same feed as all their other friends’ status updates. And there is no limit on how many posts or status updates you can make on Facebook. This can be a very powerful marketing tool if executed correctly. No matter what you sell online, Facebook allows you to effectively market your business. Promoting your products and services on Facebook is free, convenient, and fun.

                      Bing and Facebook: Search Engines Are Becoming Social Friendly

                        Bing and Facebook recently partnered to integrate Facebook data into BING’s search results page. This trend is expected to continue and Facebook data will begin influencing search engine results in a greater way.

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                            This article is intended to give you the basics on how to get up and running with a Facebook fan page and real world examples of how to effectively market your online store through Facebook.

                              Luring Fans

                                Attracting fans is not a terribly difficult task. You should link your Facebook fan page from all of your web sites and profiles. Even in all your offline marketing materials, you should suggest your current and prospective customers to follow you on Facebook.

                                  More ideas:

                                  • Add a Facebook Fanbox to your site or blog.
                                  • Run Facebook Ads promoting your company fan page.
                                  • Reward your customers with a discount or special promotion to ‘Like’ your Facebook fan page.
                                  • Create a community on your Facebook page by allowing your fans to post videos, photos, questions, testimonials, stories and reviews.
                                  • Add a link to your Facebook fan page from your email signatures.

                                    Sharing

                                      GoECart merchants have the Facebook Share feature built-in which allows shoppers to share products with their Facebook friends. Each Facebook user on average has over 130 friends so this can result in a lot of free publicity for your site.

                                        When you make a post about a new product, sale, promotion, poll, contest, giveaway or big announcement, make sure that the content does not a hard sell. You want your fans to naturally circulate that message i.e. “share” the post with their friends.

                                          Marketing on Facebook

                                            Use the Static FBML box to create a custom landing page and configure that as your default fan page. You can then add media and use this page to get the user to suggest your fan page to their friends. Check out 40 Great Examples of Facebook Fan Page Designs to see some great examples of how companies are using their FBML page.

                                              Get Your Custom URL

                                                You can tell which companies are working the social media compared to those just starting out by looking at their Facebook URL. Once you have at least 25 friends or fans, you can then change your fan page URL to facebook.com/YourCompanyName

                                                  After you have secured your vanity URL you should also claim your Facebook Places page and merge it into your Facebook fan page. Facebook gives you the option to merge these two pages when you claim your Places page.

                                                    Once you have merged your Place with your Page, your page will be updated with a richer design that includes Place information such as maps and check-ins. The core Page content – Photos, Videos and Events will remain, as well as any custom tabs. You will also keep your existing vanity URL if applicable.

                                                      This will help you stand out from the crowd as most Facebook fan pages are not merged with their Places page since this is a brand new feature.

                                                        Facebook Ads

                                                          Facebook allows you to show ads to users who are fans, users who are not fans, and friends of fans. You can also target your audience by location, age, gender, and interests and pay either on a CPC or CPM basis. Best of all there is very little competition right now which means you can reach more users for a much lower cost than Google Adwords.

                                                            Leverage the power of Facebook with GoECart

                                                              A worldwide leader in on-demand ecommerce applications, GoECart offers unique solutions to help ecommerce businesses of all sizes to sell more by harnessing the power of social media. GoECart’s Facebook integration enables merchants to tailor their marketing efforts to attract more customers to digital storefronts and drive more sales.

                                                                By utilizing GoECart’s ecommerce platform you will be able to quickly and easily embed Facebook’s wildly popular “Like” and “Share” buttons on every product page in your website. This will enable your customers to Like your products or services and post them in a single click right to their personal Facebook profile page and their friends’ news feed!

                                                                  Visit GoECart today and join hundreds of companies that have relied on GoECart to Sell More™ via social media channels.

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