Selling on Facebook

Facebook is best known as a platform for keeping in touch with friends and family, but it’s much more than that. Beyond the networking possibilities, retailers can sell their products through F-commerce (short for Facebook commerce) quickly and easily. If you have a business, there are three ways that you can sell products on Facebook:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • In your own Facebook shop, which displays your product portfolio in pictures, text and video
  • Via buy buttons, which lead customers to your website, e-shop or instant checkout

Selling on Facebook: the options at a glance

Integrating a buy button is the fastest way to increase awareness of your brand on Facebook profitably. When you’ve placed a link you’ll also be able to track and evaluate the user traffic it generates. In addition to adding a button on your own profile, it is also a good idea to link to this button when you post on your business’ channel.

Facebook Marketplace offers a platform to discover, buy and sell items. In Marketplace, you can haggle within the normal framework of the sale. This F-commerce feature significantly increases your chances of making a sale.

The option to create your own shop for selling on Facebook is comparatively new, and functions in the same way as Amazon. The platform displays images of a product, as well as videos, text descriptions and, of course, customer reviews. These reviews, however, can only be submitted for the shop itself and not for the individual products, which is a limitation for more advanced e-commerce businesses.

A promising outlook for anyone who wants to sell on Facebook

According to data from eMarketer.com, by 2021 over three billion people will be using a social network at least once a month, in some form or other (desktop, mobile phone, tablet etc.). Over 70 percent of the world’s population are already active on at least one social media platform. Even among the most popular social media platforms, Facebook is still the biggest. The advantage for businesses who want to sell on Facebook? The site offers the best chances of reaching your target market. Forecasts for 2020 and 2021 continue to project an increase in how often and how many social media platforms will be used.

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Selling on social media white paper

Clearly, then, companies can reach a wide variety of target markets on Facebook, as well as through other social media channels. Our article on social commerce provides further insights into how social media and e-commerce can be combined. The role that selling on Facebook and other platforms plays for businesses is further explained in our article on how companies are using social selling successfully.

Tip

Certain target groups can be reached more effectively on Instagram than on Facebook. This is particularly true for younger target audiences. Get tips on promoting your products on Instagram in our article about selling on Instagram.

Selling on Facebook: creating your own Facebook shop

Selling on Facebook Marketplace can be done with your personal Facebook profile. However, for the more professional F-commerce functions – such as the buy button or your own Facebook shop – you need to set up a company page on Facebook. You can do this via your personal profile. Further down the line, you can change the settings so that the page can be managed by several users. How this works is explained in our creating Facebook pages for companies.

Once you have created your official company page, you can link it to a shop – either on Facebook itself or to an external e-commerce shop. In the following tutorial, we will show you how to successfully set up a Facebook shop. Here’s how to sell on Facebook!

Step 1: Open the “Shop” tab

Even if you have not yet created or activated your shop, you can still open the “Shop” tab on your profile. Click on “Shop” to kick off the process:

Step 2: Agree to the terms and conditions

Before you can set up your new shop for your future F-commerce activities, you first have to agree to the terms of use and merchant guidelines by checking the box and clicking "Continue":

Step 3: Choose your checkout method

Choose the checkout method that works best for the type of products or services you want to sell on Facebook: “Message to Buy” or “Check Out on Another Website.” Check out on another website is often the best solution. For products and services that require explanation, the two options can be combined. For example, after setting up a redirect to a website or to an e-shop, an automated chat plug-in can be used there.

Step 4: Choose your currency

The currency in which you want to sell your services or products on Facebook is usually correctly preselected, but make sure you double-check.

Step 5: Upload your first product

Congratulations on opening your Facebook shop! Using the "Shop" tab, you can now easily upload the first product you want to sell. Simply click on "Add Product":

Accelerate sales with social media buy buttons

Tools or extensions that enable you to connect social media to your own shop are very helpful for the development and management of F-Commerce. Outside the USA, a solution like this is currently more or less indispensable, since up to now, the only way to sell directly via Facebook stores was in Facebook's home country i.e. the US. In the US, at least one additional click is always required – to the web shop or website.

Integration can be achieved more easily with the right tools. These tools enable sellers to create their own small web shop so they can sell their products on Facebook with just a few clicks. Customers see the product on the platform and by clicking on it, they get taken to a special landing page. The seller has created this landing page with the help of the practical software. Potential customers can therefore reach their destination quickly:

  • Customers place the desired product (or several) in a shopping basket.
  • Another click takes them to the checkout process.
  • Integrating payment systems such as PayPal also makes selling very easy.

The advantage for sellers: There’s no need to create and manage an extra website, since this enables you to reach customers much faster and still have full control over your range and the sales you make. You don't even need a PC to use these tools. Everything can be done via smartphone.

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Four tips for successfully selling on Facebook

Selling on Facebook is particularly effective if you can reach your target group organically. This way, you can maximise your sales without too much effort. To conclude this guide, we’ve prepared four tips for managing your shop and site that will help you to achieve long-term F-commerce success.

Use lead ads

Only leads with a real interest are likely to make a purchase. However, if a company misses the opportunity to generate these contacts, there is often no second chance. This is particularly true for social media on mobile devices. Lead ads are an effect way to collect user data from potential customers. These can be used to collect legally compliant, meaningful user data on Facebook, which can drive future sales. Further information on this display format can be found in our detailed article about Facebook lead ads.

Use video content

People are generally very visually orientated. This is another reason why videos have great potential for targeted marketing and selling products on Facebook. Two other channels that are well suited for video content are Instagram and Pinterest. Although multiple channels also mean more work, you can often duplicate content. In the following Pinterest ads you’ll find practical tips to help you create a joint strategy for Facebook and Pinterest.

Implement retargeting

Using retargeting is often cost-effective. It is helpful to familiarise yourself with Facebook Custom Audiences as soon as you get started, particularly if you’re using videos. To get significant results, however, enough users have to have seen as much of the video as possible. This is the only way to re-target users who have shown interest.

Consider search engine marketing

With an SEA campaign of Google and Facebook ads running in parallel, as well aslead ads, you’ll reach your sales target in no time – but it can get expensive.

SEO, on the other hand, is ideal when you need to save your budget for the long-run. With SEO, visitors will be directed to your Facebook shop, web shop, or website via search engine results. SEO can also be an excellentchoice in combination with Instagram marketing, because many Instagram hashtags are often relevant search terms or Google keywords. We’ll dive deeper into the topic of search engine marketing in our article on getting your own website out there.

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