Converting Fans Into Customers With a Facebook Business Page

Having a Facebook business page can be a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness and engage in a dialogue with fans, but if it doesn’t ultimately result in increased sales, what’s the point? To be successful, your Facebook campaign has to encourage fans to act.By offering the right information at the right time and in the right place, you can encourage interaction, which will ultimately garner trust, lead to more loyal customers, and should result in more sales.

One of the most fundamental mistakes many businesses make is failing to include enough information on their main page or in the “Info” section. If people can’t find contact details quickly, they’ll look elsewhere. Include phone numbers, website, blog, email and “real” addresses, and any relevant information about your company. If you want people to communicate with you, don’t be vague. What is your business all about? What inspires you? How can you help your visitors? Make it clear, and make it friendly.

One of Facebook’s powerful, inherent qualities is its ability to humanize a business. Contrary to an official business website, Facebook can afford to be more informal and conversational. Take advantage of this while you can. Try to imagine your perfect customers and write posts for them. People will respond more to a person than a sales rep, so don’t use any aggressive sales techniques. Basically, don’t try to sell anything – simply prepare your fans to buy. This involves commitment and patience, but it should pay off in the end.

Connecting with your fans on a more personal level will build trust and prepare them for a purchase. Include a photo of yourself on your Facebook main page. People respond positively to faces on a subconscious level. Also use the word “you” regularly. For example, “What do you think about our xyz product?” Regularly acknowledge your fans and you should see more activity on your page.

An effective way to convert Facebook fans into customers is to demonstrate your products or services through videos or photographs. Show fans how they will benefit after they make the purchase. If they can imagine themselves with the product, they are more likely to buy.

Consistently post offers on your page. For example, a 10 percent discount on a specific day can win over more fans to your page and boost sales. Also remember to promote your Facebook page offline, and persuade offline customers to visit your Facebook page by offering special discounts to fans only.

Creating events through Facebook can create a lot of interest and reach out to more potential customers. It’s a great way to spread the word about your business. Fans will invite their friends, the activity on your page will increase, and you should increase your visibility on Facebook. Whether you’re hosting a webinar or promoting an actual location event, this kind of marketing can generate many new fans and lead directly to sales.

If you don’t use PayPal, consider adopting this payment method. Many customers are more likely to spend using PayPal, as it seems less “real” than a credit card, for example. Also, if you have the resources, think about breaking down the cost of a product or service into several payments. It promotes an impression of value, and shows that you are willing to “help” them with their purchase. Similarly, don’t make your order forms too complicated. This helps to pave the way for a faster and more fluid purchase. Adding a shopping cart application to your page can also build a bridge to a sale.

Ideally, your Facebook business page should have informative and entertaining content. Consistently give your fans a reason to visit your page. When updating your status, end with a question. Engage your audience. Use poll applications, post links to related blogs, and share videos and pictures to keep your page fresh. Now and again, your content can even be unrelated to your business.

Always respond to fans as quickly as possible. An active page with more reciprocal links will help your Facebook ranking and should translate into more fans and ultimately more paying customers. With intelligent management, Facebook can create successful leads and generate sales, but only as part of an overall marketing strategy. Try a few of these practical techniques and you should start to gain valuable customers, not just fans.

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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