Below is a guest post by Dewey Halden, the Director of Sales at SearchSpring

Unfortunately, cultivating a large and lucrative Facebook fan following isn’t as easy as just installing an app. As with any long-term brand building or PR campaign, success takes a little planning and diligent execution.

Fortunately, it’s not rocket science either.

The name of the game is getting customers to consume and share content with their friend networks so retailers can virally market themselves, promoting repeat business form existing customers and attracting new customers.

Here are the basics:

  • Get customers to post positive feedback. Of course, delivering rockstar customer service is a prerequisite. Often a little goes a long way when making customers happy and the marketing power of their stories is unparalleled.
  • Stream engaging content like practical information or exciting industry happenings. Craft shareable content that is primed to get customers jazzed. Relevancy is critical and visual aids in the form of photos or videos are effective. Shareable coupons and contests can also be catalysts to garnering attention from customer’s friend networks.
  • As customers share the retailer’s content, their friends will see the messages in their news feed and encouraging friends to learn more about the retailer’s brand.
  • Fan pages should prominently express a store’s brand and ethos.
  • Once attention from customer’s friends have been garnered, it’s time to convert those digital footsteps into tangible revenue. Merchandising of new, exciting or deeply discounted product is paramount.

This is where Facebook apps can help...

Engaging shoppers with your products can start right within Facebook with a high-quality search and navigation catalog app. Ideally, your Facebook search and catalog app should leverage already-configured aspects of your main catalog: Categories, synonyms, spelling correction, relevancy tuning, and optimization. A search function that includes faceted refinements for size, color, brand, ratings, etc, can get the shoppers to the right product faster and easier so that they can share more “Likes” and ideas, and, they can purchase more often too. Faceted category navigation is also the proven best method for helping shoppers explore a store quickly and easily. Put the “Like” button right on search result listings, and on category page product listings.

Also, merchandise your products using a Facebook search and catalog app. Add engaging graphics that entice Facebook fans to click into product category pages. The tool should be easily configurable to add new graphics and link them with specific groups of products. If you are having a promotion on products from a specific brand, the catalog app should make that easy. If you are having a sale on clearance items, your Facebook search and catalog app should be able to merchandise to those products, utilizing attribute data contained in your ecommerce platform to present the right items.

Over time, it will become commonplace for shoppers to make secure purchase transactions right within Facebook. Facebook pages that start now in making high-quality search and catalog apps available will be way ahead of the game.

Want to learn more? Join us for a free webinar!

Webinar: Site Search and Faceted Navigation for 3dCart

When: Wednesday, September 28th, 2011, 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific

Register Here!

SearchSpring 3dcart ecommerce

Dewey Halden is the Director of Sales at SearchSpring. SearchSpring offers advanced site search, faceted category navigation, Facebook product search, mobile site search, and automated SEO of site search terms for 3D Cart stores. Learn more about SearchSpring here