How to Run Your Online Store on Facebook and Instagram
Are you struggling to settle on the best platform to launch your highly anticipated e-commerce store? Well, having made the decision to launch an online store instead of physical stores, launching it on the right channel is a crucial factor to its success. Compared to the various social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram top the list of success rates gained from online stores.
Both Facebook and Instagram are the most used social platforms with billions of user logins daily (hootsuite.com). Many people reached high levels of success on these platforms, and have left many lessons behind. Therefore, it is best to learn some tips and tricks about opening the store, finding followers/customers and running or promoting the online store so you can get ahead of the curve.
That said, the guide below highlights some of the basic tips for starters as well as experienced online entrepreneurs on how to succeed in running an online Facebook and Instagram store.
1. Create a sense of community
Online stores are not only threatened by the competition from local online stores but also other stores across the world. Therefore, for an online store to thrive and run successfully, it is prudent that you create a sense of community so you can build brand loyalty. This should energize both fans of the store that have some interest and the customers who have previously made purchases from the store.
Put up information across your Facebook page relevant to your customer”s interests to crystalize your followers behind you. Remember, Facebook and Instagram are social platforms where friends, colleagues, and family socialize. Therefore, ensure that you optimize their presence as a community, and make it enticing for them to invite others to join them.
2. Use Messenger and DM as customer service channels
Facebook Messenger can be a powerful marketing tool, and you should always meet your customers where they are at, and make it easy for them to ask the questions that could be holding them back from buying. Most users will be used to using Facebook Messenger and Instagram direct messaging already, and are likely to prefer it rather than phone calls or emails. Facebook has developed an e-commerce chatbot that turns Facebook messenger to a direct sales channel. This is an easy way to make it a part of the customer support channels—just be sure to stay on top of your messages otherwise customers will simply move on.
Potential customers will have a better experience if they click on your store and they find a pop-up chat asking them to send any queries or messages straight to Facebook or Instagram page inbox. This eases the communication process as your staff can chat with the client directly, instantly and personally. As many people operate the platforms via their smartphone, also be certain that you have optimized your social media profile for mobile.
3. Use ads for high conversion
Initially, online stores benefited immensely from posting their products on Facebook and Instagram accounts only. However, currently, posting isn’t enough for brands to grow bigger. This is because such posts will be limited to target your followers only. Therefore, to pass your information to a potential audience, run Facebook and Instagram ads.
Making ads doesn’t require you to employ the services of a professional copywriter or ad designer. However, ensure that they can attract a potential audience to your store, make them your fans and convert them to clients. Doing this maximizes your online store’s ROI. When designing the ad, they should be;
- Relevant to your store
- Have an enticing value
- Has a call to action message
4. Encourage customers to share your store in their accounts
As mentioned before, ads can be a great way of increasing your website’s ROI. However, they can be costly to maintain and that might be a limitation for online store owners on a budget. If you fall in this fold, do not worry as there is a way to work around and connect with broad audience affordably.
The best and most sure way is encouraging potential clients to share your products on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, not all will do this without a reward. The best way to woo them is when a customer adds some items to the store’s cart, even if they don’t purchase the items ultimately.
By adding the item to the cart, it is clear that the customer is genuinely interested in the product. Well, at that time, display a pop-up offering a free gift, a discount or a shipping coupon if the client shares the selected item on their Facebook or Instagram accounts. Having your products shared on customer’s social profiles will have your brand promoted to more people, including the customer’s network.
5. Share Viral Videos
The best way to take advantage of Instagram and Facebook channels to promote your brand is seeding content that naturally goes viral. So to say, Facebook got popular globally due to the power of social sharing. Tasty is a classic example of a store that exploded to 30 million Facebook followers in a short span. The reason behind it is that they produce food videos that get tens of millions of views, which are very sharable.
You can leverage this too for your online store. Invest in creating exciting and naturally viral content, either video, images or copywriting that touch on topics that your target audience will want to share on their social platforms. Be sure of course to ensure that your content is directly related to your brand and products.
6. Host contests and giveaways
Sharing videos and asking people to follow you aren’t the only way of going viral on Instagram and Facebook. You can take advantage of the power of contests and giveaways that attracts thousands of participants. Giveaways are easier than contests as there are no complicated rules and winner selection process.
You can simply name the giveaway product and ask your followers/participants to complete some essential steps to win the giveaway. For instance, you can simply ask them to register an account in your website, share their welcome post on their Instagram or Facebook account and tag at least five friends in the comments section to win.
On the other hand, contests are quite complicated, as they require stringent rules. However, they are more exciting and interactive. You can use sponsored posts to enhance your campaign to a wider audience.
7. Co-promote with other brands
This is yet another great idea to attract more traffic from your Instagram and Facebook to your online store. Promotional partnerships with complementing brands on Facebook and Instagram always works. For instance, if you sell sports supplements, you can partner with brands selling outdoor gear as you target the same audience.
8. Make Facebook and Instagram your public relations tool
This is probably something you have been doing, but it won’t hurt to highlight the benefits of doing this. Make use of your Instagram feed and Facebook wall to post updates and new products available in your store. You can also use it to announce your plans and projections including charitable service initiatives you are involved in. This creates a positive public image that goes a long way in solidifying your status among prospects.
Running your online store is now easier than ever. This has been brought about by the increase in the use of social media and overall internet access, as well as platforms like Shopify. Begin by creating an awesome online store that appeals to all prospects, and secondly, make your store easily accessible and mobile friendly. Since trends indicate that a significant percentage of online purchases are made from smartphones, this will make it easy for mobile users to access the site and make their purchases.