We have all heard of the buzz behind having a Facebook page for our business, and if you don’t have one yet, shame on you! Facebook has over 900 million users, and most likely your customers all have Facebook accounts.
You make a smart move by listing your business in an online directory such as Yellow Pages United, and link your Facebook business page to it, and vice versa, creating a wide open gate for more people to find you.
Directories such as this one even provide a free webpage indexed within the search engines for SEO (search engine optimization). Linking Facebook to a resource such as this is a great way to market yourself while gaining more business. But there is another way Facebook can be used to market your business even further, while gaining more clients: opening up a store front in Faceebook.
It’s Not Just for Stating that you Hate Mondays
Facebook started out as a resource for people to become connected and share their thoughts and ideas, and it still does this. Of course you get those people who state what they had for breakfast, or that vent about a new week starting. You will always have those people. But Facebook has been growing as a powerful resource for small businesses and it isn’t slowing down.
According to Facebook’s own statistics, 53% of its 900 million users use Facebook without any interest in connecting with brands and businesses.
This means that a mammoth number of people ARE interested in connecting with companies and their products. Facebook released that 40% of Facebook users “like” products, 20% use Facebook as a platform to research products at least once a week, 42% write online posts about products or brands they like, and 33% write product reviews. If after reading this you still aren’t convinced to open a Facebook store, continue reading.
Is Facebook Better than eBay or Amazon.com?
From a practical and economic standpoint, it certainly seems so. Before we dissect these competitors, let’s take a look at what Facebook has over their competition: they have you. Again, Facebook has over 900 million users. Facebook has also become a cultural obsession.
People spend more time on Facebook than they do in checking the news or e-mailing friends and family. In fact, Facebook reported that 28% of their users check Facebook every morning before getting out of bed. It is a cultural obsession that businesses need to tap into.
Let’s take a look at selling on Amazon.com and Ebay: on both sites, you pay a price per item listing. On eBay they take a set percentage of the final selling price that cuts deeply into the seller’s profits. On eBay people who “buy” something will sometimes not pay for it, which causes headache and further expense to the seller.
With both Amazon.com and Ebay, it is more difficult to stand out as an individual because your items are thrown into a mess of similar items being sold by others.
Also, social interaction with others is made difficult and to do so, you have to fill out fields justifying the interaction. Who wants that? If people are going to spend their money with a company, doesn’t that automatically give them the right to ask questions without being put in the hot seat?
Facebook works entirely different. For a small yearly or monthly investment, there is no limit to the number of things you can sell, and you keep all the profits. There is unlimited free online support, and you get automatic free updates for life.
Furthermore, your storefront will generate a unique web URL, that, with your main website and directory listing, you are put in an even better position to optimize your primary website to get better organic placement in Google. In fact, Facebook is so confident that business owners will love their alternative to eBay, that they offer a 7-day free trial with no contract or your having to give your credit card information.
The fact that Facebook tries to EARN your business, versus asking for it with nothing to prove, attests to the fact that they work!
Social Shopping Revolution and Free Marketing
When users buy products off Facebook, this posts to their page and becomes visible to everyone in their sphere of influence. When Chloe bought some green cherry blossom tea off Facebook, the news posted to her page. Tim saw this and remarked, “that looks good, I’ll check it out”. Then all of Tim’s friends saw his remark on Chloe’s purchase. The average Facebook user has 200 friends.
Now, when a customer buys your product, they do your marketing for you. In no time you will see a domino effect, and you will have more people coming through your virtual shop’s door. Because Facebook is optimized for the social experience, business becomes a social activity. No other major source for retailers can even touch what Facebook has accomplished.
Check it out for yourself, and give the free trail a shot. 2013 is right around the corner. Go jump start your new year for business!
Image © Vladislav Kochelaevs – Fotolia.com