ne of the biggest misconceptions about Facebook’s marketing potential turns on whether
Facebook can be a good source of traffic that actually buys stuff from online stores. For every
positive story you hear of merchants killing it with Facebook traffic, you’d probably hear dozens
more merchants who are frustrated with Facebook.
They really cannot make heads or tails of Facebook’s traffic, as far as their e-commerce sales
are concerned. They’re drawing a blank. They just cannot, for the life of them, convert a heavy
volume of traffic from the social network into actual buyers of products.
The bottom line is that there are many horror stories of low e-commerce conversions. I’m not
saying that there are absolutely no conversions at all. Nobody can make that claim.
But the problem is, you cannot run a successful online store with a few sales here and there.
You need some sort of stability. You need some sort of increasing or at least, a stable
predictable conversion rate. You need some sort of minimum baseline of predictable
The reason why a lot of people have these horror stories is because they focus on the direct
sale. They think that if they post an ad on Facebook selling some sort of trinket and if they show
it to enough eyeballs, that people would buy.
That is a common misconception about Facebook and this can get really expensive very quickly.
It really can. This pretty much makes up the bulk of low e-commerce conversion horror stories
involving Facebook. They’re all about a direct ad that fails to generate that direct sale.
The truth about Facebook e-commerce conversion rates
Here’s the good news. Facebook can deliver e-commerce sales. However, often times, it’s not in
the form that you would like. Seriously. You have to be more creative. How does this work?
Well, Facebook traffic can convert if you retarget.
In other words, people who have found your website on their own and who have gone to
internal pages might have a Facebook account. The next time they log on into their Facebook
account at the same time you’re running a retargeting campaign, your ads will be visible to
them. Your ads will remind them to go back to your shopping cart, or to your website. This has
been proven to increase ROI.
Facebook can also deliver e-commerce sales through squeeze page marketing. In other words,
you use Facebook to recruit people to your mailing list. It’s actually your mailing list that’s doing
the heavy-lifting, as far as selling stuff to your list members go.
Another way Facebook can deliver e-commerce results through your business is through a
Facebook page boost. Basically, you create a Facebook page and you target lookalike audiences
based on the interest of people who already like your page.
Then, you send out content. Using this content, you can profile the interests of the typical high-
engagement members of your page. Once you get this very important piece of consumer
intelligence, you can then run lookalike audience campaign on Facebook targeting people with
those same interests.
The idea being: if you know the interest of the person who actually buys from you and you
advertise to another person with the exact same set of interests, the chance of that second
person buying is much higher than a complete and total stranger.
The bottom line? Yes. Facebook can deliver e-commerce sales, but you have to use its tools the
right way. You can’t just go in there, advertise an affiliate link, or a direct link to your Shopify
store, or a direct link to your product, and expect a sale. It doesn’t work that way. Sure, you can
convert every once in a while, but chances are you’re not going to get the results you’re looking
for. You have to use it using the techniques outlined above.