Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Wednesday, 05 October 2011 15:00

Seven tips for turning Facebook likes into buys – part one

This is part one of a two-part post outlining seven tips for converting Facebook likes into buys.


I’ve blogged previously about how Facebook is fantastic for word of mouth-focused start-ups.


Brand building and awareness are great but the key outcome from any marketing activity for an online retailer is sales.


I recently put together a presentation discussing how we convert Facebook page fans into buyers and I thought I’d share the slides and content here.


1. “Purple cow” your brand

I've discussed Seth Godin's Purple Cow concept in an earlier post, but essentially you want your product to be unique and interesting so that consumers want to share it.


Particularly in this age of social media if customers want to share something they have some fantastic tools in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to let them do that.


Get customers sharing your product through those channels and your product will be introduced to their friends and ideally that will lead to sales.


We've “purple powed” our product in three ways:

  • We offered customers the opportunity to design their own shoes is something unique in the shoe retail market.
  • We view our customer service as a marketing activity to be invested in for the best return rather than an operational expense to be minimised and we go out of our way to ensure that all customers are ecstatic with the service we offer.
  • We pay a lot of attention to packaging. Our customers receive their shoes wrapped in a beautiful shoe box, with a silk shoe bag, a photograph of their shoes, a handwritten note introducing them to their shoes and some inserts to help with comfort and fit.

Each of those points is regularly talked about by customers on our Facebook page and those comments form great testimonials that encourage other fans of our brand to buy from us.


2. Encourage the Facebook experience to be personal

About 12 months ago we started signing off posts and comments on our Facebook page with the name of the Shoes of Prey person who was responding.


Engagement on our Facebook page tripled overnight. Customers love talking directly to Jodie on Facebook after seeing her in the videos on our site or to Jonaye after speaking to her via email or phone.


3. Customer service on Facebook converts

A couple of days after we started doing that a customer asked Jodie if she could post a picture of someone wearing a particular peep toe we have in our designer range, because she wanted to see how it looked on a foot.


I photographed Jodie wearing a pair of wedges that a customer had designed with that peep toe.


Four days after the post had gone live it had 67 likes, 21 comments and most importantly we'd sold 13 pairs of wedges and quite a few other shoes with that peep toe design, which were higher numbers of those shoes than normal.



The customer wrote to us on Facebook and we could have responded via email or with a private Facebook message and we would have had a happy customer.


Responding directly on Facebook gave a much better result for us and more customers.

Michael Fox managed Google’s online sales and operations agency team for Australia and New Zealand before moving into entrepreneurship. He's a co-founder of Shoes of Prey, an online retail website which allows women to design their own shoes and Sneaking Duck, which sells fashionable prescription glasses online. He blogs in detail about the process of running Shoes of Prey at his blog

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