One of the biggest misconceptions about Facebook’s marketing potential turns on whether Facebook can be a good source of traffic that buys stuff from online stores. For every positive story you hear of merchants killing it with Facebook traffic, you’d probably listen to dozens of more merchants who are frustrated with Facebook.
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They really cannot make heads or tails of Facebook’s traffic as far as their e-commerce sales are concerned. They’re drawing a blank. They cannot convert a heavy volume of traffic from the social network into actual buyers of products for the life of them.
The bottom line is that there are many horror stories of low e-commerce conversions. I’m not saying that there are absolutely no conversions at all. Nobody can make that claim.
But the problem is, you cannot run a successful online store with a few sales here and there. You need some stability, some increasing, or at least a stable predictable conversion rate. You need some minimum baseline of predictable conversions.
The reason why many people have these horror stories is that they focus on the direct sale. They think that if they post an ad on Facebook selling some trinket and if they show it to enough eyeballs, that people would buy.
That is a common misconception about Facebook, and this can get expensive very quickly. It really can. This pretty much makes up the bulk of low e-commerce conversion horror stories involving Facebook. They’re all about a direct ad that fails to generate that direct sale.
The Truth About Facebook E-commerce Conversion Rates
Here’s the good news. Facebook can deliver e-commerce sales. However, often, it’s not in the form that you would like. Seriously. You have to be more creative. How does this work? Well, Facebook traffic can convert if you retarget.
In other words, people who have found your website on their own and have gone to internal pages might have a Facebook account. The next time they log on to their Facebook account, at the same time you’re running a retargeting campaign, your ads will be visible to them. Your ads will remind them to go back to your shopping cart or your website.
This has been proven to increase ROI.
Facebook can also deliver e-commerce sales through squeeze page marketing. In other words, you use Facebook to recruit people to your mailing list. It’s your mailing list that’s doing the heavy-lifting, as far as selling stuff to your list members go.
Another way Facebook can deliver e-commerce results through your business is through a Facebook page boost. You create a Facebook page, and you target lookalike audiences based on the interest of people who already like your page.
Then, you send out content. Using this content, you can profile the interests of the typical high-engagement members of your page. Once you get this critical piece of consumer intelligence, you can then run a lookalike audience campaign on Facebook targeting people with those same interests.
The idea being: if you know the interest of the person who buys from you and you advertise to another person with the same set of interests, the chance of that second person buying is much higher than a complete and total stranger.
The bottom line? Yes. Facebook can deliver e-commerce sales, but you have to use its tools the right way. You can’t just go in there, advertise an affiliate link, or a direct link to your Shopify store, or a direct link to your product, and expect a sale.
It doesn’t work that way. Sure, you can convert every once in a while, but chances are you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for. You have to use it using the techniques outlined above.