Facebook. We use it to market, perform competitor research, and to find fresh audience segments. But what about actually selling on the platform? While Facebook might be losing steam with younger generations, the power of this social media giant shouldn’t be overlooked.
As competition in eCommerce heats up, embracing selling platforms like Facebook allows brands to pioneer a full-fledged social commerce strategy while sending increased traffic to their online store for a higher conversion rate. In sum, knowing how to sell on Facebook is key to your brand’s present and future success.
In this post, we’re going to cover step by step how your business can find success with Facebook selling. Let’s begin.
The state of Facebook commerce
Facebook has undergone a serious transformation in the past few years toward becoming a social commerce solution. Like its counterpart Instagram, Facebook is taking advantage of increased omnichannel buying habits to sell effectively to online consumers.
54% of Millennials and Gen Zers surveyed by Statista last year stated that they consider social media to be a better place to discover products and brands than online search. eMarketer found that Facebook continues to be the top social commerce platform in the U.S., with 56.1 million people aged 14 and older making at least one purchase using Facebook during 2021.
Where businesses were once limited to using Facebook pages to market and sell products, there is now a broad spectrum of tools available to help brands take advantage of the growing role of social media in the online shopping journey.
Different ways of selling on Facebook
In 2022, brands have several ways to sell using Facebook, depending on their products and location. The trick is making sure that you’re using the right tool or combination of tools to give your business the exposure it needs to thrive.
Facebook buy & sell groups
Buy & sell groups can be considered the first generation of Facebook selling. These groups are created and run by users according to a local area and/or specific interests or product categories. Those who are members of these pages, whether brands or individuals, can list items for sale as posts and negotiate with individual buyers to sort out delivery and shipping. These posts provide room to display product photos, share prices and product information, and for customers to ask questions via the comments section.
Facebook Marketplace was designed to replace the more informal buy-and-sell groups by creating a space to connect buyers more seamlessly with relevant sellers. Once only peer-to-peer, Marketplace has since expanded to allow merchants to sell directly to consumers.
Facebook Marketplace offers brands a variety of capabilities, including:
- Listing products free of charge
- Sell directly to buyers via Facebook Messenger
- Linking with your Facebook Shop to boost sales and run ads
Marketplace works by using localized search to show consumers relevant offerings from brands and independent sellers. However, it isn’t full-fledged online selling tool; when a person finds a product they want to buy, they must contact the seller directly to arrange payment and delivery, which must be completed outside of Marketplace.
Facebook Shops / Shops Tab
Facebook Shops is the best option for eCommerce brands that are looking for an end-to-end social commerce solution. Shops are complete storefronts within the Facebook app where brands can curate product collections, offer in-app customer support, and even direct customers to a checkout inside the platform.
Facebook Shops do take a bit of setting up, but it’s well worth the effort because you can duplicate the same storefront across Facebook and Instagram for a smooth cross-channel shopping journey. However, Facebook Shops is only available to merchants in certain territories.
For those who don’t have to Facebook Shops, the Facebook Shop tab provides many of the same features, but without the in-app checkout feature. Like Facebook Shop, brands can create product collections and customize their storefront, but they must either direct their customers to their website or Facebook Messenger to complete a purchase.
How to sell on Facebook: A step by step guide
Now that we’ve covered the different types of Facebook stores, let’s look at the steps you should take to successfully sell on the social network.
1. Set up a Facebook Business page
No matter how you plan on selling via Facebook, the first thing you need is a Facebook Business Page. Your Business page will act as the centerpiece of your selling strategy and is a requirement for setting up a Facebook Shop or Shop tab to sell your products.
You can set up a Business page by going into the menu in the top-right corner when logged into your personal account. Select Page and enter in your brand name, product category, and description.
2. Activate your Facebook Shop or Shop tab
Customers expect to be able to browse through your product collection quickly and easily while in the app. This is why setting up a Facebook Shop or a Shop is essential to sell effectively on the platform.
Setting a Shop tab. Select the “add a button” CTA at the top of your page. Alternatively, you can go into Settings > template and Tabs > Add a Tab > Shop. You’ll then be asked to select whether customers are sent to an external website to complete their purchase, or to arrange sales via Messanger.
Setting a Facebook Shop. First, you’ll need to set up an account with Facebook’s Commerce Manager. Here, you can decide whether to use Facebook’s native checkout feature, or to connect Facebook with an external ecommerce platform such as Shopify or BigCommerce.
3. Decide on/add products to your Facebook store
Deciding what you’re going to sell on Facebook isn’t as simple as duplicating an existing product catalog from your website. Facebook also has rules over what can be sold on the platform, so you need to ensure you’re complying with these.
Some products sell more successfully on social media than others. A bloated product catalog that’s difficult for consumers to navigate is unlikely to result in lots of sales. Instead, consider curating your most popular products that have strong visual appeal.
If you’re using Facebook Shops or the Shop tab, you can organize products into collections using the Facebook Catalog Manager. For example, if you’re stockist of multiple brands, you can group their products together under one umbrella for easy navigation and marketing.
4. Think about your brand presence
Successful Facebook selling means creating your own slice of your brand within the Facebook ecosystem. Without a clear and distinct brand identity, customers are unlikely to remember you.
Cohesiveness is also especially important if you’re directing customers to your eCommerce website for checkout, as a lack of brand consistency can create disruption in the shopping experience.
Brands have the ability to customize their Facebook storefront with the edit function. You can select which collections you want to feature, change the size and color of Shop buttons, and adjust text size and alignment to better reflect your brand.
5. Use Facebook Messenger to provide customer support
Regardless of whether you are using Facebook’s native checkout feature or not, Messenger is crucial feature for Facebook selling. Messenger is an important tool for customers to ask product-related questions, seek delivery updates, and share thoughts/ideas for how your brand can improve.
While studies show that customers want a response within 30 minutes on Facebook, only half of brands are meeting this expectation. For this reason, it’s important that your brand as a community manager or support person who can focus on providing support to your customers within the Facebook app.
6. Consider Facebook ads to drive engagement
Relying on organic reach to market and sell your products is only going to get you so far. Organic reach on Facebook and other social platforms has declined considerably in recent years, reaching just 0.07%. Without some paid advertising, your business will struggle to compete against bigger, better-resourced brands.
Using Commerce Manager, brands with Facebook Shops can set up ads to showcase the products in their collections. Pro tip: Send customers to directly to the checkout or your website when they click on your ad to crete a seamless shopping experience!
7. Manage customer reviews
For brands, customer reviews can either generate or kill sales. On the one hand, it’s a valuable form of user-generated content that provides social proof to prospective customers. On the other, negative reviews can push consumers away from your brand.
As such, customer review management is an essential part of social commerce. This means responding to all customer feedback — especially when it’s not positive. It’s important to note customer concerns and provide solutions, whether the issue is delayed shipping or incorrect order contents. Plus, positive reviews also make for fantastic content to repost and share on other channels, so be sure to keep an eye out for those 5-star reviews!
Tips to drive sales on Facebook
Keep your product collections regularly updated. Whenever new products arrive, make sure that you are curating these fresh offerings on your Facebook store to keep your followers excited and engaged. For example, Sephora created a “summer essentials” collection to keep pace with consumer needs and interests during the warm weather:
Take advantage of video. Video is a great option for showcasing products in action in a fun and digestible way. Aldo used short-form video to create a teaser reveal for its latest shoe collaboration with Disney, which racked up thousands of views:
Host a giveaway. Competitions that require followers to submit some kind of user-generated content, like tagging a friend in a comment or tagging your brand in a photo or a video, is a fantastic way to extend your brand’s reach into new communities and audiences on the platform. Apparel brand Joules recently did a collaboration with Hilltop honey to offer customers a weekend getaway:
Share all your tips and tricks.When your content offers genuine value, your followers are more likely to pay attention. So, making sure that customers are getting the best out of your products is the key to boosting retention and brand loyalty. Monday Haircare has shared a carousel post with a summary of top hair hacks:
Although no longer the new kid on the block where social media platforms are concerned, Facebook continues to be formidable tool for selling online and extending your brand’s reach into new audiences. No matter whether you are selling via a full Facebook Shop or Facebook Marketplace, there are a range of strategies at your disposal to increase engagement and create a strong brand presence that entices customers to follow you across platforms.