Beware, the sky is falling! Or at least that’s what we’re hearing from some experts on Facebook commerce following announcements from a few big name retailers in recent weeks that they are shuttering their stores on the social network.
Going as far as to suggest that the F in F-commerce now stands for “failure,” these critics are boldly asserting that Facebook shopping‘s days are numbered and that the entire concept is destined to soon be but a footnote in the pages of tech history.
Frankly, such claims are more than a little mind-boggling. Whenever something new like social commerce emerges, companies are naturally uncertain on how to approach it and it always takes some time before strong and effective strategies emerge.
Think back to when the Internet first caught on — it was unchartered territory for everyone for a while, but now, just about every business has in-house employees that handle things like online reputation, search engine optimization, strategic enterprise management and more.
You’ll forgive the rest of us if we don’t necessarily agree that the end is nigh simply because a handful of companies (out of literally thousands that are actively engaged in Facebook commerce) are going in another direction.
We work with hundreds of merchants on Facebook commerce and marketing every month and rest assured, many of them are finding success in the practice. So, no, F-commerce is not on its deathbed. Far from it, actually.
With that being said, however, the recent changes in strategy by some of the bigger names in retail do present an opportunity to re-examine what works and what doesn’t in F-commerce.
If you’re a retailer who isn’t getting what you hoped for out of F-commerce thus far and you’re wondering why, perhaps the following list holds the answer.
1. Your social media director is a 20-year-old college intern who only comes to work two or three days each week.
Effective F-commerce requires time and an attention to detail. It’s certainly not a part-time venture, so if you hand over the responsibility to someone who isn’t consistently on top of things, you can’t possibly expect solid results in return.
Hiring someone exclusively to handle F-commerce isn’t necessarily a requirement but finding a way to make sure that your social media ducks are in a row every single day absolutely is a must.
Spread those responsibilities around so everyone on your team gets to add their input and please, by all means, avoid letting an intern carry the load.
2. When the F-commerce craze started, you spent upwards of $50,000 on a so called feature-rich social commerce platform to make a big splash rather than shop around to find something more cost-effective that actually fits your particular needs.
You overpaid. Look, F-commerce is not one size fits all, and what works for a big-name electronics retailer may not work for a niche merchant selling customized jewelry.
Of course, if you’ve paid four or five figures to have your Facebook presence built, any disappointment in the results is going to seem that much worse because of the cost affiliated with it.
There are lots of social commerce providers out there that won’t charge you an arm and a leg for a good, solid platform.
If you still can, it might be a good idea to explore those options.
3. The last time you posted anything on your Facebook fan page was in 2011.
Your most recent wall post referenced something about holiday shopping and you’re wondering why no one is paying any attention to you?
Attention spans are short on Facebook and the one thing above all else that determines F-commerce success is engagement.