How to Sell on Facebook Using the News Feed
More than one billion people have a Facebook account and 58% of those are active daily. These users represent a potentially massive audience for your business. Small business owners have found a way to capitalize on this audience using the feature that is the bread and butter for Facebook as well – the news feed.
History of Selling on Facebook
Mass retailers often attempt to sell by featuring products in their posts with links back to their main site. This method has one fatal flaw – it forces the user to leave Facebook in order to purchase. Third party app providers quickly set out to solve this issue by creating stores that could live within Facebook tabs, also known as f-commerce. However, studies have shown the large majority of Facebook users never visit a page again after liking it, which means they will never see your tabs or your store. All of their interaction happens within the news feed.
Of course, Facebook recognizes this and it’s one of the drivers behind allowing advertisers to have promoted posts and sponsored stories show directly in the news feed of users. So it makes perfect sense to go where the action is to sell your products. Luckily, paying Facebook for ads is not your only option.
Success of Selling in the News Feed
Perhaps one of the most successful businesses utilizing the news feed as a new sales platform is Lolly Wolly Doodle. That’s right, it’s not one of the big giants in the corporate world who mastered selling in the news feed. It’s a business that started in the home of one woman and has now grown to employing over 100 people. A recent Bloomberg article stated she sells more than 30,000 garments per month.
Lolly Wolly Doodle posts daily deals and limited edition offers each day. For the followers of the page, it pays to act quickly as quantities are limited. The competition aspect of being the first to comment is a main driver in the success of selling in the news feed. Of course, as fans interact with a post, the reach expands as the friends of the user see it in their own news feed.
Tips to Sell in the Facebook News Feed
1. Use Great Photography
Take pictures that showcase the products. You’ll notice on Lolly Wolly Doodle’s page that almost all pictures show kid models wearing the clothes. This is sure to grab the attention of someone scrolling through the news feed more than just the clothing item on its own.
2. Keep It Simple
Let fans know in each post what they need to do in order to buy the item. Remember, this may be someone’s first time seeing your item posted so be specific. Keep instructions simple such as ‘Comment with your email address, size and color to reserve this item’.
3. Follow Up Quickly
When someone is the winner of an item, follow up quickly with a congratulatory email and invoice or instructions of how to pay. Lolly Wolly Doodle also has a winners tab where those who won the items can follow a link directly to their invoice.
4. Be Engaged in the Page
This is not a business model for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend interacting with customers. Lolly Wolly Doodle engages with fans at all hours by posting new products, reposting products that will expire soon and answering questions.
Thanks to the success of these types of pages – most of which are clothing boutiques – there are now third party applications to simplify the process. While I recommend starting out as described above, you can also look into third party applications, such as Soldsie, or custom built applications to manage the sales process for you.
What are you waiting for? There’s money to be made in the Facebook news feed and at the moment, it’s an avenue that Facebook is not charging to use. It’s just a matter of investing your time and energy into growing a successful business right through the place where more than one billion people congregate.