Facebook has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently, with stories about changing algorithms and news feeds causing an increasing number of businesses to turn away from the platform. After all, what’s the point of spending your hard-earned marketing dollars if you aren’t going to get a solid return on investment?
Despite these fears, however, Facebook remains a quality resource for attracting customers to your e-commerce business. I should know — Facebook advertising has been one of the foundational elements that has helped me build several successful e-commerce stores.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your successes or failures with Facebook advertising will be largely dependent on the tactics you use.
Without further ado, here are some of the methods that I’ve found to be the most successful in building a following and finding new customers:
1. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups have been one of the best resources in my efforts to build a strong personal brand. My eCommerce Elites Mastermind group has quickly grown to be nearly 50,000 members, where new and veteran entrepreneurs ask for advice and share tips.
Whether you choose to start your own Facebook group or become an active participant in another industry-specific group, these communities offer a great opportunity to interact one-on-one with your target audience. Sharing your own insights is a great way to build niche authority, without needing to spend a lot of your marketing budget.
“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg
2. Find the Engaged Niche
Targeting can make or break your Facebook ad campaign. While many businesses try to expand their reach as much as possible, this isn’t always the best course of action. For niche products, you may be better off targeting a smaller group — in particular, the “die-hards” of the industry.
Let’s say that you sell specialized artwork and photography of National Parks in the United States. While targeting interests such as “hiking” or “nature” may get you some sales, a U.S. specific product may be insignificant to many of the people in these groups. In this case, a wiser course of action would be to target individuals who like the National Parks featured in your artwork.
While the overall audience size will be smaller, these individuals are more likely to be the “die-hard” fans of these parks who are also more likely to purchase related products. A narrower niche can actually lead to more sales and a lower cost per conversion. For best results, check the affinity score for pages similar to yours to help find the most relevant audience interests.
3. Live Content
Going live may sound intimidating, but it can significantly improve your reach on Facebook. In fact, the social media giant reports that close to two billion people have watched at least one live broadcast on its platform. It isn’t hard to understand why.
For one thing, Facebook sends a notification to your followers when you go live. In my Facebook group, this has been a great way to share announcements and behind-the-scenes content, and such events have always generated great engagement.
Even more interesting, however, is that Facebook now allows for the placement of video ads during certain live broadcasts. Though Facebook has implemented stricter rules regarding who can broadcast ads and how often these ads can be played during a live stream, snagging a placement in these high-engagement posts can be a great way to reach new customers.
4. Rotate Your Ads
Facebook display ads continue to be the standard for many e-commerce businesses. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs waste their ad budget by creating a single ad and repeatedly running it to the same group of customers. The more often someone is exposed to the same ad, the more likely they are to get annoyed by it.
One study found that by the time someone sees an ad on Facebook for the ninth time, clickthrough rate decreases by nearly 50 percent, while the cost per click increases by over 160 percent.
If you want to have a successful display campaign on Facebook, be willing to spend a little extra on the creative end of the process. Switching up the wording and images will ensure that your target audience won’t experience ad fatigue and develop negative feelings toward your brand.
“Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.” – Mark Zuckerberg
5. Messenger Ads
Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new marketing tool, but they offer a lot of potential for e-commerce businesses. This allows you to send sponsored messages to a user through the Facebook Messenger app to promote sales events, offer special discounts and more. Messenger Ads can become especially effective when you utilize a messenger bot.
These chat bots allow for automated responses to a potential customer’s communications through Facebook Messenger. Not only does this reduce the time you need to spend actively monitoring these campaigns, but they can also help you achieve a higher clickthrough rate than standard email marketing.
Brand-Building Through Facebook
Facebook is a highly competitive marketplace, and there’s no denying that finding “ready to buy” customers can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. As you implement these tactics, you’ll be able to see better results from your Facebook marketing efforts and achieve the business growth you’re working for.