Social Media

Facebook | Great Sales Tool but Terrible at Sales

A lot of people want to use Facebook to generate sales, donations, and new business.  While Facebook can work marvelously to accomplish these objectives, it is rarely a direct transaction.  In order to leverage the promotional power of Facebook, you need to adapt your promotion and probably your sales process.

Why are They There?

People do not visit Facebook with the intent of conducting a transaction, their purpose is very different.  Just as people who are in a social or entertainment kind of mindset are not quick to consider buying things.

The Actions People Want to Take

The fastest way to figure out how your communications can be effective on Facebook is to figure out the types of actions that people want to take.  They do not want to buy something, so there is no sense in starting there.  They may want to learn more about what you have to say, but you have very little digital real-estate to explain what you do and why they should listen more.  What people are willing to do is get things for free.

Give to Get

One of the most efficient uses of a Facebook post or ad space is to try and convince people they want/need what you will give them for free.  This can be any number of things– frequently it is something like a free download, free guide, newsletter, webinar, video, email update, book, or DVD. If it is free for you to provide then that is even better.  But do not be quick to dismiss the idea of giving away something with tangible cost.  Consider the lifetime value of the leads.

Leads Become Sales

At the end of the day, you are getting their email address or physical address in exchange for the free premium you provide.  You can then craft longer, more pointed, and more frequent messages to nurture those users towards buying or donating.  In the long run it is usually more cost effective to buy ads for the purpose of lead generation than for the purpose of sales.  You will get more new names and long term sales this way. You also get a lot more goodwill with your audience.

So the idea is not to use Facebook to sell product or raise money. You want to use Facebook as a lead generation tool to build an email audience that you can cultivate into customers or donors.  The reality is, if you try to sell on Facebook, your page audience will dry up and go dormant. Giving is your only option.

— by George Konetes

Konetes is the Director of Digital Media at Infinity ConceptsGeorge manages the development of projects and comprehensive marketing campaigns.

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