A lot of noise has been made about using social media like Facebook to drive the success of your online selling, but too often the cheerleading has been too light on "how-to" information to help non-social-media enthusiasts to get it done. Here are some concrete steps that you can take to enjoy the basic benefits of Facebook-centered marketing for your eBay selling business.
Create a Facebook Page for Your eBay Selling or Store
If you're serious about using Facebook to promote your eBay listings, this is the place to start. If you don't already have a Facebook account, you'll have to begin by creating a personal one for yourself at http://www.facebook.com. Then, once your personal Facebook profile has been created, follow the steps below to create a Facebook page for your eBay selling and to add to it the eBay Items app that will show your eBay items on Facebook.
- Create a new Facebook page. Scroll to the bottom of your Facebook
profile (using the scroll bar on the right side of your browser, not your
pointing device's scroll wheel, which will cause Facebook to show something
different) and click the "Create a Page" link to create a new Facebook page
associated with your regular Facebook account.
- Choose a category and a name for your page. On the Create a Page
area that follows, click "Company, Organization, or Institution" to create a
page for an online company. Don't click on "Local Business or Place" unless
you actually have a brick-and-mortar store for which eBay selling is a
supplement. Chose "Retail and Consumer Merchandise" from the "Choose a
Category" drop-down list, then enter the name of your eBay business in the
text box beneath the drop-down list and check the "I agree to Facebook Pages
Terms" box before clicking "Get Started," which will create a new Facebook
page for your eBay business.
- Fill out the page information and website (eBay Store) address.
Follow your nose through the next several steps on Facebook that ask you to
submit a picture for your business, to ell your friends about it, and to
provide basic information. When you are offered the chance to supply a
"Website" for the page, be sure to enter the address of your eBay Store, if
you have one.
- Add the Facebook eBay Items app to your page. Once you have
finished entering details and are viewing your Facebook page, visit
http://apps.facebook.com/ebayitems/ and click the "Add to my Page"
- Configure your eBay Items app to point to your eBay items. On the
left side of your page, you'll now see an "eBay Items" link. Click on it to
enter your eBay User ID. Decide whether you want to show your items as
thumbnails (pictures) or as a list if item descriptions using the "Items
Layout" drop-down list. Click on the "Show More Options" button for more
control over quantity and sorting and to limit the items shown on your
Facebook page to only those from certain categories or containing certain
keywords. Click "Save" to save your settings when you're done.
- Make the eBay Items app the default view for your page. Click either "Wall" or "Getting Started" (if present) to return to the basic view of your new Facebook page, then click "Edit Page" to view the settings area. On the settings page, click on "Manage Permissions" at the right-hand side of the page to show basic view options for the page. Then, select "eBay Items" from the "Default Landing Tab" drop-down list in the center of the page. Click "Save Changes" to save the changes to your page.
Congratulations, you're done! Your business is now the proud owner of a Facebook page that displays your item listings directly to visitors, and that can act as a hub for your subsequent Facebook activity.
Create an About Me Page that Links to Your Facebook Page
Create an About Me page for your eBay seller account and use basic HTML to describe your selling activity, how other members should contact you, and anything else you want them to know about your eBay business. Be sure to include the following HTML snippet somewhere in your About Me page code:
<p>Please visit and like us at our <a href="my_facebook_page_address">Facebook Page</a>!
Replace "my_facebook_page_address" with the address of your Facebook page, which can be found using the following steps:
- Log out of Facebook and log back in again.
- Click the small down-arrow at the absolute upper-right of your Facebook
account and select "Use Facebook as Page," then select your eBay selling
Facebook page and click "Switch."
- Your web browser's address bar will now display the address of your Facebook page.
Creating this link in your About Me page gives your regular (and new) eBay customers the ability to find and like your Facebook page, and to add it to their Facebook social universe.
Post Status Updates Often
Now that you have a Facebook page for your eBay business, you should log into the page and post status updates often. When you post a status update on your Facebook page, everyone on Facebook that has "liked" your page will see your status update automatically the next time they log into Facebook.
To post a status update for your Facebook page, follow steps 1 and 2 above, then continue by clicking the "Wall" link on the left side of your Facebook page. You'll see a box in the middle of the page containing the text "What's on your mind?"
Type your status update into this box and hit your Enter key to broadcast your status update to all of the Facebook users that have liked you. Post a new status update whenever:
- There is product news. Get a new version of a product in stock?
Get a new product entirely? Learn of a recall? Post this information in
status updates to keep your followers abreast of your product line.
- You are holding a promotion. Whether you are using Markdown
Manager inside your eBay store to hold a sale or you've decided to offer
free shipping for the duration of the holiday season, be sure to advertise
your promotions with status updates.
- There is store news. Moving to a new state? Branching out into
new areas? Open up a new customer service telephone line or email address?
Break the hundred thousand sale mark? Post all of these things for your
followers to keep your growing business at the front of their mind.
- New seasons or holidays approach. Use any landmark time during
the year to post a status update promoting your store or selling in relation
to the occasion in question.
- You've gone a day or two without posting a status update. If none
of these other reasons for status updates have happened in several days,
find a reason or a topic to post a status update about. Questions about the
products that you sell are a particularly good way to drive traffic and
continued dialogue that keeps your store front and center: "What is your
favorite way to use Product X?" or "What are the must-have accessories for
Product Y?" are examples of this kind of status update.
- You find content "out there" that will appeal to your customer base. Facebook is a social media platform and people want to see more than just "ads" for your store. As an enthusiast of the kinds of products that you sell, you're likely to share interests with some of your customers. When you find a link that is relevant to your store (say, an informative gardening link for a seeds and gardening store), share it on your Facebook Page using either the Facebook "Like" button on that site or using a web browser extension for your browser of choice that links to Facebook. Remember, that you must be logged into your page (see steps 1-3 above) for your share to appear on your selling page, rather than your personal page.
Ask for "Likes"Above and beyond all else, once you have a Facebook presence, ask for "Likes" and "Shares" whenever and wherever you can:
- On your About Me page
- In your item descriptions (there is a "Like" button at the top of every eBay listing)
- On your Facebook Page
- On any other website you own and run (perhaps using Facebook's code)
- In your newsletter and email communication