It didn’t take long for small businesses to warm up to daily deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social. Why would a small business slash prices and then share half the profit of these sales? The short answer is: They were blindsided.
Although hesitant at first, small businesses accepted the daily deal gamble because it was fueled by the hope of regaining footing in a strapped economy by attracting new and loyal customers. Daily deal sites proved that they could deliver customers interested in discounted services while guaranteeing that businesses would receive their share of the profit within 3 months of running a deal. In the end, a number of small businesses were not prepared for supply and demand issues, or the disappointment that shortly followed. Even more alarming, very few were able to convert these price buyers into long-term or loyal customers. This method of enticing purchases ultimately failed small businesses and in return, the daily deal industry slowly died for what it truly was – short-term loan posed as a long-term investment.
While businesses and customers alike suffered from deal fatigue, they began to step off the daily deal bandwagon and another modern, online solution came back into focus – Facebook. A surge of businesses chose to sign up to Facebook as a business, experiment with Facebook ads and attempting to determine how to gain more fans and “likes.” Facebook was seen as the place to be, yet only a small minority clearly understood why.
Users are on Facebook to fulfill very personal instant gratification. Unlike daily deal sites, Facebook is a very personal experience and how it is utilized is completely dependent upon the user. Facebook mentality is centered on a comprehensive set of gratifications including social surveillance, emotional support and entertainment. Psychological traits such as collective self-esteem, emotional openness, and communication apprehension are directly correlated with the desired gratification.
Some businesses saw obtaining a Facebook presence as the main goal and unknowingly believed the rest would (somehow) take care of itself. Others began to offer physical signage, online ads and contests to increase followings. “Likes” were used as symbols of social approval and served to solidify loyalty. After the “Like Us!” wave hit, those swimming began to question why hundreds and thousands of Likes were not converting or directly impacting profit.
Currently, there are limited ways to determine influence and ROI from Facebook. There are platforms that allow businesses to effectively gauge customer sentiment, monitor comments schedule posts, and even create a social defender workflow module. Although beneficial for managing social media and brand perception, these solutions do not have a huge impact on directly fueling purchasing behavior.
So how can a business successfully leverage Facebook? Enter the rise of social commerce.
Within recent years, social shopping and social buying has been evolving in concept and in practice. Along with this, Facebook commerce has received more attention. The most recent solutions offered focus on Facebook store creation. Users on Facebook shop and browse through items within the Facebook platform as opposed to being redirected to another site. Other benefits of a Facebook store include wide distribution, engagement and sociability. Unfortunately, these factors do not become benefits until users are aware of a business’ Facebook store! One way businesses can create store awareness is by adding products to a Facebook marketplace that offers exposure and traffic. This is a great way to showcase products as well as a Facebook store, but there is a much better option available to entice Facebook purchases: reaching friends of fans.
A Facebook user’s news feed is a collective stream of consciousness. In this feed, users see the experiences, thoughts, events and activity of every friend on Facebook. Users have become accustomed to Facebook ads and by habit, have adapted to them by subconsciously tuning them out. Users are on social networks to see the news feed and connect with friends. If friends share products within the news feed, it automatically receives instant awareness along with great potential for credibility and sharing. Social affiliates with a large network of connections and friends can directly affect Facebook commerce success.
As opposed to the daily deal fad, Facebook commerce offers a stable way to gain qualified customers – minus bribery or large expenses. Ravox offers businesses free Facebook store creation along with the opportunity to join a marketplace and connect with social affiliates. These social affiliates choose which products to market to friends via the Facebook news feed along with additional social networks. Businesses keep all payments made directly from fans and friends, but do pay a small percentage of sales made through the marketplace or social affiliate. Through thousands of social affiliates who promote products from Ravox Marketplace, new users are introduced by their friends.
As more businesses enter the realm of social selling and Facebook commerce, Ravox is one solution you don’t want to overlook.
How to Use Facebook for Your Business:
- Create a Facebook fan page (if your business does not already have one).
- Add a free Facebook store to your fan page using Ravox.
- Add products to your store to sell to your fans and their friends
- Optional: Add products to the Ravox Marketplace so Ravox users and Social Affiliates can promote them to friends.
If you have your products ready to sell, add a Facebook store to your fan page and start social selling today!