Ever tried selling your products on Facebook? No? Well maybe you should. Where there are people there are sales!
The first thing to do is get yourself a business fan page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?ref_id=126265427407195. It is very easy to set up and it will serve as your shop window to the world. Now unlike Ebay you do not have specific listings (although it is possible) so you must really push your products and services and actually sell yourself. I find this exciting and challenging as you need to actually seek out potential customers which should result in sales.
Once you have your page you can then set about making it look attractive and enticing to potential buyers. There are many third party apps that will do this for you (usually free) and I have tried a few but probably my favourite is one called Pagemondo –www.pagemodo.com which enables you to have a snazzy landing page for new likers to see where you can feature high profile products and display your logo etc. This, like an Ebay template can give your Facebook presence an air of professionalism.
Next step is to get fans/likers and this is the hard bit! Obviously the first place to start is friends and families that are already contacts of yours on Facebook and it is amazing how many more fans you can get if you send a begging message to all your friends asking them to invite their friends who in turn invite their friends etc etc, a bit like a pyramid scheme!! It works even better if you offer a small prize for the friend who sends the most likers to your page. Another good way of getting fans is to get existing customers from your website or Ebay sales to sign up by sending out leaflets with every sale asking them to join to group to stay in touch with new products and special offers. I often get good repeat orders just from posting an update on my page.
Once you have exhausted your immediate circle of acquaintances and past customers its time to start enticing members of the public to your page. There are a few ways of doing this. The quickest and easiest is to use site like Twiends which is basically a massive fan chain, exchange program. You like other peoples pages and they in turn like you back. I don’t, however hold much faith in these systems as you are not getting targeted followers, especially if you are selling fairly niche products. If you sell something universal though such as electronics or books you may have some success using this method. There are also a number of Facebook pages set up specifically set up to get you likers. Here are a few of them………
A method I have used to get likers is to use pages that are targeted to my demographic. For example https://www.facebook.com/UKMUMSWHOMAKE?fref=ts is a page dedicated to stay at home mums who make and craft and then sell on Facebook. Targeting this page works well for me as many of these Mums have kids and subsequently need toys for parties etc. Also many of them take existing products like Santa sacks, personalise them and sell them on. Selling to these people has been very lucrative in the last few weeks. Now of course it depends on what you are selling but I am sure if you spend a bit of time surfing pages you could find similar pages suited to your niche. Seek out groups and pages that are relevant to your business and join them. Some will let you promote your business some will not but the more groups you join the better. If a business finds your page and likes it then it is common Facebook etiquette to like them back, even if they are nothing to do with your business sector. Making virtual friends or acquaintances is a big part of progressing your Facebook profile. I make sure I like all the toy, party, bouncy castle, Christmas, Halloween pages I can find as you never who may be in need of my services!
Once you have a good base of fans you need to promote, promote, promote! The more you update your page the more sales you will get and as previously mentioned some may not see this as a good use of your time if you only pick up a couple of sales a week but you have to be in it for the long game – if you build it they will come (points if you get that random eighties film quote!!). Every time you have a new product or piece of news post it on your page as someone, somewhere will see it and the law of averages says that someone will buy it! Also, be creative. Hold competitions, promotions and special offers, engage with your customers and try to spark their interest. I imagine myself as a market stall holder and trying to grab passers by that really don’t want to be grabbed!
Another way of getting sales it to link your Facebook page with your Ebay account. Here is a good link explaining how this can be done –http://www.ehow.com/how_4792248_ebay-facebook-accounts.html
There are also ways of getting an Ebay style ‘shop’ on Facebook. Companies like Buegle will charge you for this but to be honest I am skeptical about paying for services like this as I dont think the returns are currently there to make this financially viable. Especially when I managed to do it for free!!
The website I use for Risus Wholesale has a function built into it allowing me to export all of my wholesale toys listings to shopmania who in turn will then list all your items directly on Facebook and after having it up and running for a year or so I am now making some good sales and enquiries. If you want to set up a Facebook shop using Shopmania here is the link –http://cp.shopmania.co.uk/facebook/partner
I hope this guide will help a few people. Selling on Facebook is not for everyone but I honestly think its worth a try if you have the time and energy to put into it.
Written by Vicky Walmsley