Consumers are spending a lot of time being social online, and that’s probably one of the reasons you built a Facebook page for your store.
Promoting in the places your customers hang out makes good marketing sense, but the real payoff occurs when your online fans step into your store to purchase. This type of success is easier if you have a clear strategy to help. Here are three steps to get you started:
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Step 1: Be Relevant
Studies suggest that approximately 15% of your Facebook posts are actually showing up in your fans’ newsfeeds. Why such a small number? It comes down to relevancy. Facebook rewards content that is more likely to be commented upon, liked and shared with other friends. So, how do you increase the percentage of Facebook posts seen by your fans? The key is to avoid a steady stream of posts that look like product or store advertisements and strive for a genuine exchange with fans through status updates, photos and videos they’ll find intriguing enough to share with their friends.
As a natural products retailer, you have a huge advantage when it comes to being relevant on Facebook. All sorts of people are now paying attention to product labels (as long as they’re short enough and contain words that sound more like food than a lab experiment). Topics like natural, wellness and local are catching the attention of people who’ve never before stepped foot in a health food store, and as an independent natural products retailer, you just happen to know a lot about all of these subjects. This is a giant step in your quest to use Facebook for your store. Put yourself in the shoes of a dry cleaner or tire shop owner and you’ll quickly recognize the advantages you have in starting a meaningful, lasting dialogue on Facebook. You are highly relevant!
Step 2: Build a Path to Your Site
Relevancy also means staying on topic the majority of the time. Sharing an endless stream of cute kitten photos may bring comments and shares, but it doesn’t mean fans will think of you when they consider their next purchase, which ultimately is the point of using Facebook to promote your store. Sharing a great organic recipe or a link to an informed article about supplements helps establish you as a trusted voice when it comes to all things wellness related. Product posts, when used, should work as hard as possible to convert fans to potential customers. These posts should always contain an easy-to-find link to your website. If someone clicks, he or she should land directly on a page containing the product or offer you promoted. This page is rarely your homepage.
Step 3: Register & Reward
Facebook fans are great, because they’ve taken the time to click “Like” and show interest in your store, yet customers who opt-in to your email newsletter are a thousand times greater. Why? Facebook gets to decide who sees your posts, but you have complete control over the content you send to your email list. If a Facebook fan clicks through to your site, an invitation to sign-up for your newsletter should be visible on the web page. They’ve shown interest in what you have to share, so give them an opportunity to get more of the same content delivered to their inbox.
The newsletter sign-up is also the time to convert a potential customer into someone that actually walks through the front door. Sending a “thank you” email that includes an in-store coupon is a great way to show your appreciation and create the opportunity to convert a one-time Facebook fan into a paying customer.
Making the most of your Facebook page is about engaging fans in a process that moves them along a gradual path to becoming customers. It takes effort to grow genuine social media relationships, but the opportunity to see them floursh into loyal customers is certainly worth the effort. WF
Todd Pauli is founder of RyeSocial.com, an online tool providing shareable content and strategies to help natural products retailers maintain successful social media sites without spending a lot of time or money. Prior to forming Rye Social, Todd served as Marketing Communications Manager for NOW Foods, where he developed a passion for helping independent natural products retailers succeed. Todd can be reached at www.ryesocial.com or followed on Twitter: @ryesocial.
posted February 20, 2013