Live commerce (or live stream shopping) has become an important revenue stream for retailers from all over the world. You don’t need to take our word for it. Just take a look at the major tech companies and see it for yourself. When the likes of Amazon, TikTok, and Facebook dive deeper into new functionalities, it’s almost certain that they are adopting a trend that is here to stay. Let’s see how you can use Facebook for live shopping.
Facebook gathers more than 2.8 billion monthly active users, making it the biggest social media platform in the world. Having such a users base, FB is used by marketers and business professionals from all over the world. E-commerce platforms have used it as well. Initially for marketing and then for shoppable ads and direct purchases from the platform.
Now, as the trends of live video and eCommerce merged into something that is probably the biggest change in shopping in the last decades, Facebook adapted its feature to be one of the players in the new game. Considering that millennials make 60% of their purchases online it was expected for everybody to join this new trend.
Using Facebook for marketing
It’s safe to say that customers are already on Facebook. So there is no reason for a business not to at least try to market and sell its products and services through the social media platform.
The steps and options of using it for your marketing plan have been the following:
First, create a Facebook business page. This allows you to interact with your followers and customers using your brand’s identity. The page can be fully customized with images, descriptions, and calls to action. Although initially created by logging in with a personal account, after the page is created you will interact with your followers as your brand.
After your brand page is all set-up, you can start communicating to your followers. You have two options for sharing your content. Organic and paid (boosted posts and paid advertising). But the latest updates allow using Facebook not just as a marketing and lead generation channel, but as your (secondary) online shop as well. And this is what we are going to focus on today. But before going into technicalities, here are some general principles that apply to Facebook (and social media in general).
(some) General guidelines when marketing on Facebook
-these rules apply when using Facebook for live shopping as well –
Engage your followers
Facebook is a two-way street, engage your followers as much as possible. We all love to have our voice heard (or comments read), we just need a good reason to share our ideas and leave our feedback. Having a strong community around your brand has multiple benefits and your Facebook page can be one way of creating it.
Brief and visual interactions
Although we tend to check Facebook almost 15 times a day, our attention is limited and we can be easily distracted. Therefore, keep your posts short and try to capture the viewers’ attention with visually appealing photos and videos.
Follow the 80/20 rule
It’s based on the Pareto Principle, but it’s almost entirely different when it comes to social media posting. In this case, the rule states that 80% of the shared content should focus on helping and educating your audience and only 20% should be about your company and brand. Simply said…don’t oversell or people will start unfollowing you.
Use Hashtags when using Facebook for live commerce
On social media platforms, hashtags are used for more than 10 years to ty public conversations into one single stream. It allows social media users to search for their subjects of interest and using them will make your posts (and business) more visible online. And it’s always a good idea to add them to your Facebook posts.
Use paid advertising
Facebook allows you to use paid advertisements and work its features to get your business in front of potential customers. You can either boost existing posts or create ads from scratch.
You can select who you want to see your ads. This way, you can make sure that your brand is visible to the people that are most likely to buy.
Types of custom audiences you want to use for your Facebook ads
Custom audiences based on demographics. By knowing who your customer is, you can easily use Facebook and target people that are in the same demographics. For example, You are selling hand-made dresses and support delivery in the Houston area. You know that your customers are, in general, women over 30 that have fashion as their hobby and average income. Using Facebook, you can set up your ads and sponsored posts to target this exact type of user, increasing your conversion rate and significantly reducing your customer acquisition costs.
Website visitors. Installing the Facebook Pixel into your website will allow you to track website visitors on the social media platform and deliver relevant ads to them. You can segment your audience based on the pages they have visited and actions they took while visiting your site. Afterward, you can retarget them with relevant ads on social media. Segment them based on:
- cart abandonment
- custom pages visited (ex: visitor of specific Landing pages that haven’t taken action)
- products added to wishlist
- time on site
Content engagement. Facebook allows you to also target users based on how they have interacted with your content. Let’s say you’ve previously posted a video tutorial that went viral. You can now retarget users that have watched 10 or more seconds of your video with a personalized ad. Retargeting users that have already shown interest in your content.
Engage existing customers. Don’t ignore one of your most essential assets: existing clients. Use Facebook to reach out to them with personalized offers. Reactivate your dormant clients by offering them a discount voucher for their next purchase or create time-limited offers available just for the most loyal customers. The possibilities are (almost) unlimited.
Combine the above ideas with Facebook’s shop capabilities
Live commerce (often referred to as live stream shopping or social commerce) allows customers to purchase products straight from live, interactive video sessions. You can go live, showcase your products, engage with your potential customers, and offer them a seamless shopping experience. It’s like taking the best from in-store and online shopping. Here is what you need to know when planning to use Facebook for this kind of interaction:
You can create your shop on your Facebook page by activating the Shop tab. After the shop is creating, the first step is to select how the checkout will be processed.
There are currently 3 main options from which you can choose:
Checkout on Facebook (and Instagram). Available just for US-based businesses, this feature allows the checkout to be processed directly on Facebook.
Checkout on your website. This allows you to connect the products from your Facebook shop with your eCommerce website and redirect clients for checkout. Luckily, many platforms allow Facebook integrations that will allow you not only to connect your social media shop with your existing platform but also to import products from there as well.
Checkout with messaging. Once clients have decided on a product they can send you a direct message asking for details regarding payment methods and more.
Next, you should add products to your Facebook shop. You can upload pictures, a video, a name, a short description, and its price.
Products and collections can be published into your feed or added to paid campaigns. General or dynamic, your products can be included in relevant ads, just like the ones mentioned above.
Start using Facebook for live shopping
In my opinion, the Live Shopping feature is the one that really transforms the shopping experience into social commerce. This allows you to add existing (or new) products to live sessions and feature them alongside.
Once you go live, you will have an option to feature a specific product within the video. At any given moment, from your Facebook dashboard, you can stop featuring a product and start featuring another one. This way, during a live shopping session, you can feature multiple products and match the product that is displayed to your speech. Or the other way around.
What makes this a great addon to the eCommerce experience (as for any live commerce session) is its authenticity. You are live, interacting with your viewers. Answering their questions. Showcasing your products like only you can nobody else. And putting all your passion into it.
It’s not that classical, bidimensional experience where users just get a picture, a description, and maybe a short video. This is a live experience where they can interact not just with the person that is hosting the live shopping experience, but with fellow viewers as well. Using Facebook for live shopping will strengthen your connection with your followers. Live shopping, done on social media or on your own website, will help you digitally recreate the in-store shopping experience.