They say what’s in fashion now will have its time in the moonlight and then a new trend will take its place.
But there’s no mistaking the podium Facebook has cemented itself on as one of the premier platforms for social media marketing for retailers.
It’s no longer a luxury for retailers, but a necessity.
Luckily, by optimizing their Facebook business page, doing a bit of market research, and taking advantage of Facebook’s business features specifically tailored for retail businesses, retailers can use the platform to exponentially grow their business.
Here are 6 tips on how to do just that.
Optimizing Your Facebook Business Page
Your Facebook business page will be ground zero for your marketing efforts on the social platform.
From there, you can offer special promotions, post images and deals for new items, and display company announcements.
Here’s a short checklist of things every retail business page should take advantage of on Facebook:
- Vanity URL
- Create an optimized welcome message to send to first-time visitors to your page
- Have an informative About section complete with your business information, awards, milestones, and your overall company story and message
- Links to all of your other social media profiles
- Other business locations if you have more than one
Once you have all of these in place, it’s time to begin collecting data on your overall market strategy for the platform.
Conduct Market Research on the Platform
The foundation of any social media strategy should begin with market research on the platform you’re interested in.
This encompasses things like:
- Identifying niche influencers
- Knowing your target audience
- Staying on top of current trends
- Compiling quantitative and qualitative data on all the above.
Manually combing through the platform to find this kind of data is time-consuming. We recommend utilizing a social media monitoring and listening tool to quickly get the data you need.
For our example, we’ll use Unamo Social Media Monitoring.
Setting up Your Topic
Decide if you initially want to monitor your brand or just product items in your niche. For this example, we’ll start with “women(s) t-shirts”.
It’s always a good idea to cast a wide net at first and clean your data afterwards to whittle down your results.
From our initial search, we get 13,000 mentions in the last month. Most of these come from businesses marketing their own products and promotions, but if we want to see actual walking, talking people then we’ll sort by men and women.
Now we’ve got a more relevant and manageable 10,000 mentions from women.
Parsing Through Data
We know that people talk about clothes on Facebook. The sheer amount of mentions and such isn’t very important without the context of a viral trend.
What is important is the contextualization of these mentions.
The top Facebook mentions with the most engagement revolve around:
- Influencer promotion
- Popular culture references
This allows retailers to identify possible promotion and vanity themes that users are interested in.
However, it’s important to create content in context with your target audience on social media.
Just because some user here are interested in Night Owl t-shirts doesn’t mean it applies to a brand marketing hiking apparel.
Identify the top influencers and posts and emulate their process whenever possible, but do so for your own audience.
Also when performing your social media monitoring you can filter for pricing mentions in which case you can market your lower-priced products when consumers are discussing similar items that are priced higher.
Conduct your initial market research as a springboard to get your Facebook campaigns off on the right foot.
Retailers have a distinct advantage on social media with contests.
This is due to:
- Easily shipping products to winners
- Engaging with your already existing audience
- Communication about size, colours, etc.
- The universal want and need for more products from a consumer standpoint.
Contests are a great way to continually stimulate engagement, promote products, and build brand awareness.
A good example of a contest was Curbside Clothing’s giveaway.
The above post clearly states the directions on how users can enter the contest by sharing it or tagging a friend. They also provide links to product pages to view the merchandise.
Even if some users don’t win, they may buy the products all the same.
The process is simple enough to get up and running in a matter of minutes and has a huge ROI in raising brand awareness and promoting niche products.
When marketing retail products on Facebook, it’s always a good idea to let the consumers do it for you by sharing your content and tagging their friends in it.
Niche Facebook groups are perfect places to market retail products that group members may enjoy.
These groups have built-in audiences that have a passion for your product niche.
The important part for retail marketers is not to be too heavy-handed in promoting your specific products. Rather they should take part in discussions and offer solutions when they are requested.
However, some groups are specifically made to spot retail promotions and offers, in which case it’s vital to be an active member and promote your products when applicable.
Run a simple search on Facebook and look in the Groups tab. They have descriptions which highlight what kind of content is allowed and what’s not permitted.
Facebook Catalogs are a must for any retail marketing campaign.
Uploading a catalog to your Facebook Business may require some developer work, but when it’s done you’ll be happy you did it.
Facebook catalogs allow retailers to catalog all of their products that they would like to market on Facebook.
Cataloging items allows retailers to tag them in posts in which they appear so that users can easily hover over them, click them, and then be taken to your online store for purchase.
Catalog items can be tagged in photos or videos and be used to re-target users as part of your Facebook advertising campaigns.
You can visit Facebook’s guidelines on how to create catalogs here or create a data feed on your Shoplo account and upload it there.
What will help you in encapsulating all of the advice in this article is setting up a Facebook pixel on your website for retargeting purposes.
Essentially, a custom Facebook pixel will allow you to mark certain pages and behaviours of users on your website so that you can later target them on the platform with special offers and ads. Facebook Dynamic Ads are great for that.
Users that visit certain pages or search for things on your website can later be targeted via custom audiences.
You can also create custom pixels based on catalogs so that these catalogs can be targeted at your audiences based on their previous behaviours on your website.
Facebook’s pixel and custom audience can really bring any Facebook retail marketing full-circle. For example, any retail marketer can run this sequence of events with a limited budget:
- Create a Contest
- Have users tag their friends and share the content
- Promote product pages on your site via this contest that these users will click
- Finish the contest
- Re-target the users that visited with discounts or other promotions from the product’s catalog that was featured in the contest.
An easy and repeatable strategy that can have a great ROI for a business.
Retargeting is an essential component of any retail marketing campaign on Facebook.
Marketing retail products on Facebook is somewhat of a systematic approach; marketers have to be aware of constant trends occurring and adapt their strategy to them constantly.
Luckily, there is a very easily adapted streamlined approach to be ready for anything as long as the foundation of their strategy is in place with the abovementioned advice.