Small business owners are pulling out all the stops to drive traffic to their social media pages, but many aren’t giving enough thought as to what happens once people have agreed to “like” or “follow” their businesses online. As a result, they’re leaving dollars on the table.
Although 92% of marketers view social media as “important,” according to a 2014 survey by Social Media Examiner, only 34% think their Facebook efforts have been effective. One way that businesses can increase the likelihood that their Facebook pages will actually influence purchasing decisions is by publishing product inventory information on the social platform. Doing so gives potential customers a direct view of the products or services that a business has available in real-time and provides a way for businesses to showcase their most important information on the networks their customers are already using.
Here are five tools that businesses can try.
1. WebKite: Create filterable lists for Facebook pages.
WebKite is a platform that businesses can use to publish inventories, service lists, food menus, review indexes and directories on their Facebook pages and websites. Businesses keep their inventory data updated through Google Spreadsheets, and WebKite pulls that information into embeddable menus or inventory lists. These menus and inventory lists contain complete pricing information from the business, and they can be filtered by product, brand, or category. WebKite is free for businesses.
2. Locu: Publish accurate service lists across the web.
Although most businesses use GoDaddy-owned Locu to attract customers to their social media pages, the hyperlocal platform also provides a way to create and publish editable service lists and menus. Using the drag-and-drop editor, businesses are able to add new items and sections to their menus. Businesses can design their service lists from scratch or use a template, and then publish their lists across the web, including Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, OpenTable, and their own websites. Locu was designed for businesses in the home services, personal care services, professional services, and restaurant industries. The platform starts at $9.99 per month.
3. QWIQQ: Share goods and services with locals.
A hyperlocal platform that turns Facebook into a sales channel, QWIQQ provides a way for merchants to promote some of their products to fans on social media. Merchants who’ve claimed their QWIQQ accounts can create a new post for each product they’d like to promote. Doing so adds a “Buy” button to the item, which is then listed on any networks the merchant has connected, including Facebook and Twitter. Although most businesses won’t use QWIQQ to publish their complete product inventories, the platform does open up Facebook as a viable sales channel. Listing products through QWIQQ is free.
4. CoreCommerce: Turn Facebook into an ecommerce channel.
CoreCommerce is an ecommerce platform that understands the role that social networks can play in small business marketing and promotion. With that in mind, CoreCommerce has developed a way to make product catalogs social. When businesses use CoreCommerce’s Facebook app, Social Commerce, they open up a way for shoppers to browse and buy their products through the social network. Shoppers can also share their favorite products on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. CoreCommerce’s ecommerce software starts at $39.99 per month.
5. SinglePlatform: Add menus or product lists to social media pages.
Designed for local businesses in the personal care, repair, restaurant, medical, and creative industries, ConstantContact-owned SinglePlatform offers a way to showcase product information “everywhere local consumers are making decisions online.” This includes social media pages, listings sites, and a business’ own website. Businesses upload their service lists and menus into SinglePlatform, and that information is funneled into Facebook. Customization options allow users to change the look of their menus to fit in with existing branding. SinglePlatform costs $99 per month, however restaurants in the U.S. and Canada can use the platform to update their Facebook menus for free.
Know of other tools that SMBs can use to publish product lists on social media? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.