E-Commerce Help for Small Businesses: Facebook Pages & Shopify

Welcome to the Being Found show. We’re the local business guide to being found by more buying customers. If you aren’t being found, someone else out there is.

Joe: I want to jump in and talk about Facebook for a bit here. Statistically, we are either using Google to access the Internet, and it’s information, or we’re using Facebook.

Chauncey: I know that that’s the monthly Facebook users are about equal to the population of the United States and China combined.

Joe: As a business owner I go I’ve got to figure that out, and every business owner I’ve ever talked to knows or expects that Facebook is something that they’re supposed to be using because frankly the worlds there. If everyone were watching TV, you would have TV ads, and the same goes for the newspaper. Figuring out and using Facebook more is on the agenda of many business owners as shown statistically through surveys.

Facebook itself says this change just made it harder for businesses to use Facebook. There’s This article from Search Engine Journal does a pretty good job of explaining what’s going on and what’s going to happen in one of the things they mentioned.

They talk about entertainment baiting which Chauncey and I were discussing earlier. This change follows on Facebook’s recent change to discourage engagement voting which was back in 2016.

Mark Zuckerberg’s announced: “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

“Engagement baiting was the manipulation of Facebook’s algorithm in order to rise higher in news feeds. This new change will further demote business models that rely on gauging signals that don’t inspire discussion.” This article even goes on to say that it doesn’t even know what it means by discussion. Facebook isn’t saying what it means by discussion but what it is saying is if you’re using ads such as, “share if your support the troops” and such, this next change pushes all those down lower, so engagement is seeming like it’s not going to be the key to this.

Chauncey: I’m wondering if this is going to hurt businesses when it comes to capturing new audiences. Although when it comes to your same old captive audience if I’m following Don’s Sandwich Shop here in Redding and they post that they are having a 15 percent off sandwich thing. I want to see that in my feed or I wouldn’t be following them.

Joe: Let me read a little bit more from this article, and this is Zuckerberg and Facebook helping to make sense of this. So which Facebook pages will win with this change? According to Facebook, pages that feature content that groups and friends are interested in will see little to no change. His (Zuckerberg) posts offer the certain kinds of content, like live video, interviews with celebrities, were the kind of content that inspired friends and family to engage in discussion. Pages who post prompts or conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

You may have to stop and ask yourself, as a business owner if there is this outside force creating and pushing content that isn’t relevant to your audience, what is that going to do to your business?

Chauncey: I think that it’s probably going to have a much more massive effect on larger businesses. Smaller businesses who deal with involvement and loyalty from local customers are probably not going to be as affected.

Joe: There are a lot of social media consultants and companies that have products similar to ours that are helping small businesses by creating content on a regular basis. It is done like a machine. Even a consultant who might have 100 clients may have a really hard time creating content for that small business that is something that the followers want to have a conversation about. I think it raises the bar. So now what you’ve got is small businesses possibly paying consultants to do a service for him that isn’t going to help and might even hurt them.

7 Ways to Boost Facebook Page Engagement

7 Ways to Boost Facebook Page Engagement 
  1. Show your personality. Be Social!
  2. Ask questions.
  3. Take followers inside your company, let them see what goes on behind the scenes.
  4. Celebrate and share employee milestones.
  5. Share your followers content.
  6. Be thankful for new and previous followers and let them know you appreciate them!
  7. Give away gift certificates, products, or services.

 

OK so let’s switch gears. I want to talk about Shopify. They’re not a sponsor of ours, but we do have referral links if you click the link from our page.

Shopify is an e-commerce platform. It’s a way for small businesses to get their products online and sell it in e-commerce or an Amazon-style way of offering your products. It’s super easy to use. Chauncey, what is your take on Shopify?

Chauncey: I like it, and I think it’s easy to use. It can solve the problems of the frustrated customer who can’t find products locally online. Also, there is Woo-commerce, a big e-commerce platform for WordPress. There’s a free plugin that will change your order to “pick up in store.” I assume that Shopify will allow you to do this as well so that there’s no shipping and so I thought that would be interesting for people who are sitting there wondering why they don’t put their products online and wondering how to. Even just having your catalog or having a pickup in-store where they can purchase online, but you don’t ship to them, they then drive down there and pick it up would greatly benefit your business.

Joe: As a customer, I expect to go online and find products or services in a certain way. I expect to be able to see the product all by itself with a description and the extra information, and I expect to see pictures. I expect to see some reviews, and I expect to see how I can buy it.

Top E-commerce Platforms according to Inc.com

1. Shopify: Shopify hosts over 325,000 active online shops and with its focus on social commerce and mobile shopping, the platform continues to evolve to meet the growing requirements of online stores.

2. BigCommerce: Launched in 2009, BigCommerce currently hosts over 55,000 online stores and is among the leading e-commerce software providers.

3. Magento: With almost one-fourth of the market share, Magento is often considered the market leader among e-commerce platforms. For its reliability and scalability, many popular brands use Magento as the underlying technology for their online stores, including Burger King, Huawei, Pepe Jeans & Liverpool F.C. This platform is considered the best e-commerce platform for enterprise-level online stores.

Read more about these platforms and more on the Inc.com article: Best E-Commerce Platforms