Social Media for Business: How to Increase Sales Using Facebook

One of the trickiest things small business owners come up against when using Facebook is navigating the social aspects of selling. Yes, it’s tempting to “sell, sell, sell,” but coming on this strong is usually a recipe for disaster. To succeed here, it pays to treat Facebook like the social mixer it is. Here’s how:

1. Look Good

A good first impression ensures visitors to your page will stick around for a bit. Make sure your profile picture is centered, of a high resolution – perhaps even touched up by a graphic artist who can make your logo pop.

Choose a cover photo that accurately defines your business or accentuates a highlight. Make sure it’s professional looking. Nothing puts visitors off or says "rinky dink" operation more than fuzzy images that are stretched to unflattering proportions. For additional tips on creating an attractive Facebook page, click here.

2. Be Interesting

Post content that compels visitors to engage. One easy trick is to turn statements into questions that facilitate a back-and-forth dialogue. “Guess how we can improve your gas mileage,” will get more visitors involved than simply encouraging them to inflate their tires properly. It can also leave you an opening to promote new tires.

In addition, reward your visitors occasionally with valuable content. A video that explains safety tips to observe when changing a tire or a checklist of services to address before a road trip can go a long way toward keeping fans and building loyalists.

3. Don’t Be Overbearing

When you do sell on Facebook, be subtle about it. Online shoppers are skeptical of heavy-handed sales tactics, and coming on too strong is a surefire way to scare off a potential customer.

You want to be the car salesman who engages at the right time – not the one in the plaid jacket who customers avoid at all costs. For example, posting a partial image of your new product with the caption “See what’s new at XYZ,” injects mystery and intrigue. “Buy XYZ’s new product!” doesn’t.

4. Work the Room

At an effective mixer, you may shake hands with half the crowd and trade business cards with the other half in hopes of making a good impression. Making the rounds in social media requires a similar approach that revolves around “likes.”

Getting the right people to like your Facebook page is critical. These people are the ones who will buy your product and encourage like-minded friends to do the same. An inexpensive feature on Facebook called Promoted Page Likes is an excellent way to increase likes. It automatically sends content to people within a radius of your business that drives them back to your site. You set the radius, cost and timeframe, so you can keep things manageable.

5. Leave Them Wanting More

While it’s considered impolite to keep customers waiting in your brick-and-mortar store, a little suspense and delayed gratification can be an effective way to increase engagement on Facebook.

When you post a video, don’t do so without a teaser for the next one. If it’s Tuesday and you’re running a sale on Friday, announce that something big will be happening in three days and leave it at that. As long as you don’t forget to pay it off, the buzz and excitement will build to a peak.

Selling on Facebook is different than selling in the everyday world. It’s social, yet virtual, and the lines can often blur. Though by following the guidelines shared here, you can see them clearly.

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