The 11-Step Guide to Facebook Marketing for Ecommerce (2023) – Shopify Hong Kong SAR

Many of Facebook’s 2.9 billion monthly users use the social media platform to engage with brands and discover new products. Shopify’s Commerce Trends 2023 report also notes that 70% of global social media shoppers make purchases on Facebook either sometimes or all of the time.

That gives Facebook the power to drive thousands of sales for your small business.

Therefore, it’s crucial for you to develop a Facebook presence that encourages visitors, both new and repeat, to convert. In this guide, learn how to use Facebook to build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and generate sales. 

Become a Facebook marketing pro 📣

Get started with Facebook marketing

Facebook offers a suite of features to help small businesses build their online presence. Before we get into specific Facebook marketing tactics, set your Facebook marketing strategy up for success by using this starter checklist.

How to create a Facebook marketing strategy

Millions of small businesses use Facebook as a marketing tool because it can be a lucrative sales channel. A few hours per week invested into social media management can pay dividends in the long run. 

Here’s how to run marketing campaigns on Facebook with little to no budget.

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From choosing your channels to figuring out what to post, fill in the blanks to think through how you can best use social media to meet your marketing goals.

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1. Understand your target audience

Social media followers are people who’ve opted in to see your content in their news feed. By building your audience, you’ll have a group of people ready to engage with future content.

Be wary of who you attract. While a Facebook following of 10,000 people might seem like an achievement, it isn’t so great if the people following your page have no interest in the products you sell. This is one culprit behind a poor social media conversion rate.

Before running with a new Facebook marketing strategy, you should have a solid understanding of your target market—the people most likely to purchase your products. List traits they have in common and use them as the foundation for the content you share through the platform. That includes:

Use a combination of customer feedback surveys, Google Analytics, and competitor analysis to find this data. 

2. Diversify your content formats

It’s estimated that 1,500 Facebook posts are eligible to appear in a user’s feed each day. Stand out from the competition by diversifying your content strategy through mixing and matching the following formats:

Kopari Beauty uses a combination of Facebook Stories, live video, and image feed posts as part of its social media content strategy. 

Callum Dooly, managing director at Elite Wine Refrigeration says, “People don’t visit social media sites to read. They come for amusement, to catch up with friends, or simply to pass the time. They’ll scroll over your large pieces of data.

“Go visual to avoid this and increase interaction on your posts. Graphical content should be used instead of text. Create infographics, short videos, memes, and other visual aids to peak your users’ interest.” 

Regardless of which content format you begin experimenting with, the most important thing is building a genuine connection with Facebook users using your social media posts. 

3. Post when your audience is active

If you’re using Facebook to market your business on social media, you need to post when your target audience is online. Posting at midnight increases the odds of your content being buried once your followers check Facebook in the morning. The Facebook algorithm prioritizes fresh content in a user’s feed. 

Research shows the best time to post on Facebook is 9 a.m., Thursday through Sunday. Optimal times for your own small business on Facebook may differ based on:

To find your optimal posting times, schedule content at different times throughout the week and monitor your Facebook Insights. Eventually, you’ll begin to find windows of high engagement—and periods of time that send your content into a Facebook black hole. 

4. Share influencer or user-generated content (UGC) and collaborate with other brands

Marketing is all about influence. Whether you’re persuading your Facebook followers to follow your page or to buy a product you’re promoting, get a helping hand by partnering with influencers. Each generation is influenced by popular social media users—particularly millennials and Gen Z.

Popular ways to collaborate with influencers include: 

But it doesn’t have to be mega-influencers with thousands of followers who contribute toward your Facebook page growth. Leo Livshetz, founder and CEO of UnHide, says, “One Facebook trend that isn’t waning in popularity among ecommerce brands is sharing user-generated content across social media to establish social proof and boost sales.

“Your customers are probably already raving about your brand by sharing photos, videos, and reviews. You can use these pieces of content, with consent, to easily show your target audience that your customers love your products. 

“This will likely continue to be a social media trend moving forward, with brands utilizing Facebook Stories, along with TikTok, to showcase their happy customers.” 

In addition to collaborating with influencers, consider partnering with other brands in order to increase your reach to new audiences similar to yours.

According to Alex Danco, director of blockchain and systems thinking at Shopify, “The biggest opportunity flying under the radar is collaboration. It’s the best way to increase the number of buyers who know and care about you in a way that turns you into not competitors, but cooperators, perhaps even allies and friends.”

For example, bakeware shop Great Jones collaborated with fashion brandLisa Says Gah to create a limited edition apron. Both brands are selling the collab on their ecommerce stores.

5. Encourage reviews

Ninety-three percent of people look for reviews before buying something online. Testimonials from happy customers, particularly those in a similar position to your target market, go a long way in turning Facebook into a revenue generator for your small business.

Find your Facebook reviews by going to Direct existing customers toward the link through purchase confirmation emails. Incentivize them to leave a review—and become a repeat customer—with a 10% discount code to redeem on their next purchase in exchange for a testimonial. 

The Oodie, for example, has over 3,500 reviews on its Facebook page—the majority of which are positive. It goes a long way in proving to new followers debating whether to follow your page (or purchase your products) that it would be a good decision. 

6. Get involved with Facebook groups

There’s an online community for almost every hobby you can think of. More than 1.8 billion Facebook users are active in groups at least once a month, from local community forums to groups for pet owners with a specific breed of dog. 

Identify the Facebook groups your target market is participating in by surveying existing customers. You can also do a Facebook search for your industry and filter by group.

Once you find them, start engaging with content in the group to build awareness on Facebook. Be wary, though, that some Facebook group admins set strict rules for the community. Double check you’re permitted to share promotional content to avoid getting banned. 

To mitigate this (and promote to their heart’s content), some brands have seen success in founding their own Facebook group. Tribe Beauty Box, for example, sells beauty subscription boxes through its ecommerce store. Founder Bili Balogun says she created a Facebook group that got its first 200 members quickly. 

Bili says, “I already had an email list, through my website, so I invited people to the group by sending an email to my email list, like, “Hey, we have this amazing group. Please join for behind-the-scenes and exclusive content.”

7. Track Facebook insights

The secret to Facebook marketing success is experimentation. What works for one small business doesn’t work for another. It’s more of an art than a science. 

Understand whether your strategy is working by monitoring Facebook Audience Insights. Important metrics to pay attention to include:

8. Retarget website visitors

If you have any budget to play with, you can start advertising on Facebook for as little as $5 per day. A paid Facebook marketing strategy can help boost views of your Facebook business page and drive more traffic to your website. It might be necessary to run Facebook ads in order to reach your target audience on a regular basis.

“Facebook’s reach hasn’t necessarily decreased. It simply pivoted from organic to paid media,” says William Diaz, founder of Vertical Media. “In order for brands to truly reach their full potential on the platform they’ll need to fire up the ads manager.”

If you’re new to Facebook advertising, start by retargeting people who’ve previously engaged with your brand. There’s little work that needs to go into educating your advertising audience, because they already know your business and product exists. 

Build Facebook custom audiences for people who have:

Make sure you’ve got the Meta pixel set up across these platforms. The pixel will collect information about people engaging with your app or website, then match them with a Facebook user profile.

Even if your business is relatively small, you’ll likely have a large group of people who fall within these custom audiences. The vast majority (97%) of people visit a website and leave without purchasing something. Appearing in their Facebook news feed is a reminder to purchase the products they showed an interest in.

9. Run ads with influencer endorsements

We’ve already touched on the power that influencers hold when marketing a business on Facebook. Include those influencer endorsements in your Facebook ad campaigns, like this example from Fussy, to build trust and credibility.

William Diaz, founder of Vertical Media, takes this one step further: “Advertising through an influencer’s page has been a game changer for our clients. There’s no need to negotiate with the top influencers in your industry to get a quick post on Instagram or Facebook.

“Find an industry micro-influencer with less than 100,000 followers, then purchase content from them promoting your product, create a few variations of the ad, and run it through their page.

“A secret tip is to create lookalikes and custom audiences from this influencer to target this uniquely crafted ad creative. Chances are, their followers will see the product and other people who are familiar with this influencer. This is a win-win: they get more impressions on their likeness and our conversions shoot up.” 

10. Run A/B tests

The first Facebook ad campaign you create won’t necessarily be the winner. Much like organic posting, the advert with the highest return on investment needs some experimentation to find. 

Use Facebook’s built-in A/B testing tool to experiment with:

Rothy’s uses a combination of single image, vertical video, and carousels in its Facebook ads strategy. 

Austin Dixon, chief marketing officer at hair loss prevention shop Adegen, is one marketer who has seen success by changing the landing page his Facebook advertising campaigns direct people to.

He says, “While most advertisers are focused on pitching their products directly from ads, we take a bit of a different approach.

“We lead with a value- and education-first mentality, so instead of running ads to our product pages, we run our ads to a podcast episode that our founder was featured on. In that podcast, we lead people to a free ebook, and eventually to our Facebook group. 

“Because of this, consumers feel very educated about what’s causing their hair loss before we ever introduce our products to them. As a result, our ads see a six times return without ever really having to sell prospects on why our products are superior.”

11. Turn Facebook audiences into email subscribers 

It’s all well and good to build an audience for your Facebook pages. More followers equals a greater pool of people to promote your products to.

However, many marketers see Facebook marketing as building an audience on rented land. The platform can shut down your page, limit organic reach, or change its algorithm unexpectedly—all of which impact your ability to connect with the audience you’ve worked so hard to build. 

Mitigate risk by turning your Facebook audience into email subscribers. Run advertising campaigns that direct your target audience to a lead magnet, such as a:

It’ll give you a direct line of communication with your target audience—a way to contact them if the worst did happen.

Take your Facebook marketing strategy to the next level

Facebook is a behemoth of a social network, but despite recent controversies, it’s still a valuable tool for marketers to reach their target audience—whether you have money to invest or not. 

Experimentation is the key to Facebook marketing success. Test which content formats, campaign objectives, and posting times do a better job of engaging your audience. Your Facebook Insights will unveil the best route to conversions.

Facebook marketing FAQ

Is Facebook good for marketing?

Facebook marketing is a great way to promote your business. Billions of people use the platform every day. Likely, that includes your target customers. Reach them by posting content to your business’s Facebook page.

Is Facebook marketing free?

It’s possible to market a business on Facebook for free by creating a page and publishing content organically. Increase your follower count to build an audience of people who will see and engage with the content you share.

Can I advertise my business on Facebook?

Any business can advertise on Facebook, provided they don’t fall into a special ad category such as housing, politics, or loans.

How do I make my Facebook page grow from zero?

The quickest social media marketing strategy to grow a Facebook page is investing in ads. Set the campaign objective as Page Follow, define your target audience, and spend as little as $1 per day to build your follower count fast.

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