The new thing in social shopping is how to create a Facebook store with a group of hungry friends, then hang out the shingle.
Facebook introduced a new feature called Facebook Store that you can add to your fan community, to bring like-minded people together to discuss, share, and shop!
Using the wisdom of crowds, Facebook let users communicate information about products, prices and deals.
Since I have not used Facebook Store, I assume it allows users to create custom shopping lists and share them with friends.
In recent history, Facebook thought its ‘Marketplace’ would dominate this space.
It discovered that shopping communities are not limited exclusively to classified ads.
In 2007, Facebook introduced the Facebook Marketplace, allowing users to post free classified ads within the following categories: For Sale, Housing, Jobs, and Other.
Ads were posted in either available or wanted format.
The marketplace was available for all Facebook users and free, but it was a bummer!
In 2009, Facebook transferred ownership of the Marketplace to Oodle.
The original Marketplace was shut down November 2014.
Let’s hope it won’t become like eBay!
Facebook Store is definitely a good idea if you have hundreds or thousands of friends.
On the other hand, although they are a captive audience, they may not be hungry buyers.
If you decide to activate Facebook Store, then that is what you must determine.
I think Facebook Store is just another feature to make capital to hedge the ebb and flow of ad revenue.
In addition, ‘fake news’ posts they were running turned out to be REALLY BAD NEWS.
As an online marketer, I fell for their “boost post” feature hype until I analyzed how unnecessary it is.
Moreover, if you don’t boost post, it won’t get many eyeballs!
Nevertheless, I do not want to diminish the point that Facebook Store may be a good idea, if you have a vast group of friends.
Let us assume your fans and groupies are hungry buyers.
What would you offer for sale?
A selection of popular videos from your YouTube playlist, Cafe Press t-shirts and things touting your slogans, etc., fashion designs, art, shoes, baked goods.
Facebook groups already allow members to post content such as links, media, questions, events, editable documents, and comments on these items.
Groups enable a number of people to come together online to share information and discuss specific subjects.
Increasingly, Facebook groups are used by clubs, companies and public organizations to engage with users.
On the other hand, if the group is ‘Closed’ or ‘Secret’, then its members are visible to the public, but their comments are not visible until they join the group.
What if they want to shop and join the open discussion about your products?
Also, ‘Secret’ means that nothing can be viewed by the public, unless a member specifically invites another user to join the group.
You may want to rethink these options before you decide to open up shop.
If you plan to use Facebook Store, then your group must be ‘Open’.
From here on, make certain both the group, its members and their comments are visible to the public, which includes non-members, which could mean more sales.
But, they cannot interact without joining.
The point is, you want your customers to always feel welcome to shop and join open discussions.
Facebook Store will generate sales not only for you, but for your affiliate retailer. You may also share information about your group users or potential customers with retailers. You can be certain that Facebook concentrate on your user’s interactions. Information and recommendations that are acquired from your fans, groupies and sales will be shared by Facebook.
Since Facebook is venturing into social shopping, they are motivating users to adopt Facebook Store. It is up to you to offer something of specific value to customers. Customers will rely on you to share information with the community about products. Note: Other sites offer tangible rewards to customers who share information. Other sites offer incentives redeemable for gifts. The bottom line is you will be up against stiff competition.
Facebook makes crazy money from our content, but they keep tight control on who see it!
In fact, your friends may be the only ones who see your Facebook Store.
Sure, friends can see your posts in their newsfeed, but you must promote your Facebook Store.
Therefore, take advantage of newsfeed, chat, text, Instagram, etc. to announce your store opening.
It is just another way to get around Facebook’s control.
After all, you will pay a monthly subscription for the store.
Another idea to promote your store is start a discussion about it that people can share.
The basic notion of selling online is to also have a blog to ‘talk’ about your products.
The problem with this is most people on Facebook do not write posts, therefore, nobody reads, much.
Facebook generally has a ‘text market’ with a very short attention span.
In closing, Facebook Store may be just what your friends want.
And, a quick poll will help determine their interest, without giving your store idea away.
So, by all means do what Facebook does, which is nothing ventured nothing gained.
If you were an early adopter of social media, then you have a big following of friends who adopt social shopping.
Who knows, your store just may become all the rage.
In any case, you will know whether your Facebook Store is a good idea when your PayPal account keeps ringing cha-ching!