There's no escaping the fact the social media sells. Love it or hate it, Facebook in particular can be a key tool to increase custom – from driving online sales to increasing customers through the door.
There are tons of social media courses out there, and most people will be able to set up a Facebook page for their business – add a profile picture, banner photo, and information about your business and you're away.
But there's so much more to actually managing a Facebook page on a day to day basis, and there are loads of tools that you can use to pimp up your page.
There are a bunch of things you can do for free, and then more that come at a price – but planned carefully and the return on investment will come.
Could you be missing out on more business?
Businesses can pay to boost posts, promote their page, and reach out to people nearby. Using Facebook Adverts, you can choose who you want to target where, what your goal is, how much you want to spend, and how long a campaign will last.
Make sure all of your information is up to date – adding your address with ensure that people can check in – a really popular and easy way of promoting lots of types of business that is easily spread across people's news feeds.
Facebook is constantly looking at ways it can provide better experiences for businesses to offer to their audiences, so it's always worth keeping an eye on what's new, if you get the chance.
In test phase at the moment is a Facebook-based shop, so businesses can actually offer transactions through social media rather than people leaving and going to a website.
Establishing on Facebook could stop you from missing out on new developments
It's a win for Facebook, keeping people within its network, and it could provide a lower-cost win for some businesses who don't have the budget for a stand alone site.
Social media offers a unique way of helping people to connect with brands in the same way as they connect with friends and family.
Using pictures, offers, competitions, and the good old human touch, scrolling through a news feed means people can connect with a brand in the same way as they connect with friends and family. Share these interactions and that's where the viral element of social media works.
Online retailer Lost My Name, who slayed the dragons in Dragons' Den, have used Facebook to the max. A Facebook Advert campaign means that now up to 55% of their sales are attributable to the medium.
The company received 4x average return in their investment, allowing them to plough money back into the advertising. Lost My Name zeroed in on audiences by gender, age, location, interests, language and parental status.
With lots of testing and adjusting, using tools such as Power Editor and Lookalike Audiences, the company has sold more than 1,400,000 books in 165 countries.
It may be a large-scale example, but done thoughtfully and carefully, with the right amount of time dedicated, Facebook can help your retail business to flourish.