As Facebook commerce has emerged over the past few years, the landscape has largely been dominated by news of big-name retailers as they have tried to leverage this new medium to maximize results and separate themselves from competitors.
But what about the little guys and their efforts to weave social commerce into their own marketing strategies?
It seems as though their work in this important area often goes unnoticed or unreported, to the point where one might question if a majority of smaller retailers are even engaged in social commerce at all.
It’s a valid concern, to some degree. A retailer selling items that aren’t considered impulse buys, such as printer cartridges for example, faces a tougher challenge overall in effectively marketing via social commerce than a bigger merchant hawking a wide array of products like electronics or clothing and apparel.
Quite simply, it’s not as easy to generate the interest in non-mainstream products that is needed to maintain a strong social networking presence. But it’s not impossible.
After all, the cornerstones of effective Facebook marketing are the same regardless of the size of your brand: Motivation and engagement should always be the top priorities in any attempts to connect with social media users.
Niche retailers must commit additionally to an acute attention to detail and some outside-the-box thinking as well if they’re going to see results from their social media campaigns.
Let’s return to the hypothetical merchant selling printer cartridges and toner.
Obviously, rolling out tweets and Facebook wall posts about those cartridges (even if the material is promoting a discount) or sale isn’t going to generate much interest or responses, which are what retailers should be aiming for with their social networking content in the first place.
So how do you connect with individuals when your product line is less than sexy? Here’s where that outside-the-box thinking and attention to detail comes in.
Instead of relying solely on content that’s directly related to your products, blend in healthy doses of associated material as well.
For example, by regularly posting beautiful photos and images on its Facebook wall, that printer cartridge retailer is focusing on the results of their products, rather than the product itself.
Photos are one of the most frequently-liked items on Facebook walls and if the ones you post are good, your fans will share them with their Facebook friends and that can only help enhance your presence and build your fan base.
By adding that kind of content to existing information about who you are and what you sell, you’re building long-term value and increasing the likelihood that when it comes time to buy toner or printer accessories, your fans and followers will know exactly where to go.
The moral of the story is simple: Don’t make the mistake of assuming that social commerce and marketing are a waste of your time just because you’re a smaller or niche retailer.
Remember that Facebook alone has more than 800 million users and more than half of them log in to browse the site on a daily basis. That’s an enormous number that holds a lot of potential for brands if they market themselves properly.
Social media users, on the whole, are a diverse bunch and discovering the ones that you can turn into potential customers is merely a matter of finding the right angle at the right time.