The Crunch: Consumer shopping habits continue to drive e-commerce, and social media shopping is one trend retailers should be capitalizing on. With billions of daily users and built-in audiences, Facebook and Instagram have become the go-to platforms for businesses to grow their reach and revenue. Facebook IQ, the company’s analytics and marketing insights portal, culls in-depth data on target audiences and helps retailers make the most of their marketing dollars. By providing free e-courses, sharing the latest audience and vertical data, and showcasing Facebook tools like business pages and ads, Facebook IQ gives marketers the knowledge they need to leverage trends and build their brands.
The brick-and-mortar business model often requires shoppers to travel to a store to engage with products and make purchases. But in e-commerce, those roles are reversed, and retailers are the ones traveling to the consumer.
As more people shop in digital channels, retailers have shifted attention to e-commerce and optimization for mobile devices — and with good reason. In the fashion vertical alone, Facebook data shows that 76% of shoppers visit a retailer’s mobile site or app during their journey.
Mobile consumers are also spending more and more time shopping on social media because the platforms give them a personal way to engage with brands, see ads and offers, and crowdsource recommendations. Two of the most popular platforms — Facebook and Instagram — are no longer just outlets for social engagement, but destinations for social commerce.
To capitalize on these trends, retailers must focus not only on their mobile e-commerce capabilities, but also on their social media visibility and engagement. For many, the shift from traditional marketing to marketing on social media can be difficult. Facebook IQ was created to make the transition easier by showcasing specialized business page features, tools, and resources.
Just as Facebook’s purpose is making connections between people, Facebook IQ’s focus is to personalize marketing. Facebook IQ shows how the Facebook family of apps can help retailers create business pages to showcase brands, integrate their e-commerce sites, and engage with customers — all while learning more about their target audience’s preferences and shopping habits.
Facebook IQ’s business tools, courses, and free resources allow entrepreneurs to learn more about social media marketing and vertical trends so they can adapt their customer engagement to the age of social shopping.
Grow Your Audience with Facebook and Instagram Business Pages
FacebookIQ is the social network giant’s insights portal that unlocks a trove of analytics, marketing tools, and resources for businesses with a Facebook Business or Instagram Business account.
Upgrading to a Facebook Business or Instagram Business account provides entrepreneurs capabilities, such as analytics and custom page and post options, that allow them to better connect with the right people in target markets.
Facebook Business pages make a retailer’s identity clear, including an About section to highlight mission and contact information. Companies can also include a call-to-action button on the top of their pages to encourage visits to an e-commerce website or subscribe for email updates.
Business users can quickly engage their followers on a personal level by using a Facebook page to post special offers, events, and product graphics or videos. With a business account, posts can be scheduled or embedded on an e-commerce website.
In addition to interacting with followers through comments on their posts, businesses can engage directly with customers through Messenger, Facebook’s chat application, a social channel that has over 1.2 billion monthly users.
That connection can lead directly to conversions, as 53% of consumers are more likely to shop with a business that offers direct messaging.
A feature called Page Insights provides in-depth analytics for business users to see how many views they’re getting and from whom, which posts inspired the most action, and how far their reach extends. These insights are vital to developing strategies for connecting with an audience.
Instagram Business has post customization and analytics features similar to those of Facebook Business, but its focus differs slightly. Instagram Business strives to be a place where “visible expression from business inspires visible action.” Over 500 million users visit Instagram each day to visually engage with their passions and find inspiration, making it the ideal platform for creative endeavors and one of the top destinations for fashion, apparel, and beauty shoppers.
Instagram introduced heightened shopping experience features in 2017 to help business users capitalize on the immersive nature of its platform in a way that more directly connects users to their brands. Business users can create tagged product posts which display icons, which interested browsers can tap to discover more information or buy the product from the company’s e-commerce site.
Facebook and Instagram Business offer brands a budget-friendly, highly effective marketing platform with built-in analytics, customer engagement features, customized options for sharing updates and products, and multiple ways to integrate with an e-commerce site to drive sales. Businesses can organically build an online customer base by engaging with consumers where they spend the most time and shop.
Create Custom Ads with Intelligent Targeting to Increase ROI
Creating ads to be placed on Facebook, Instagram or with Facebook’s Audience Network of advertisers allows retailers to extend their reach quickly — and purposefully — beyond their own followers, and Facebook IQ shows how easy and cost-effective it can be. Americans alone spend 20% of their time on mobile devices interacting with Facebook and Instagram, putting a massive audience at the fingertips of any business.
Ads are designed to fit into any business’s budget, with some campaigns costing less than a cup of coffee. The process starts by choosing either a daily or lifetime budget and whether the ad reaches a broad audience or a customized audience.
Businesses can use ads to heighten the marketing impact of a social media post by converting it into a boosted post that Facebook broadcasts to a chosen audience. Adjusting the settings based on the budget and targeting preferences affects how many people the promoted post will reach.
Through Ads Manager and Power Editor, business users can purchase ads on Facebook or Instagram, and set an objective, targeting options, and budget. Ads can be created in multiple formats such as video, canvas, collection, and carousel. An ad auction then intelligently chooses who will see the ad based on targeting and budget information.
Ads Manager allows users to choose from three audience options:
- Core audiences — Manually chosen by characteristics
- Custom audiences — Chosen from personal contacts
- Lookalike audiences — Chosen from Facebook based on similarities to other customers
With these customizable options, businesses can use people-based marketing for maximum response, increasing both reporting accuracy and ROI compared to cookie-based campaign results — which can overstate reach by 58%.
An additional free tool that complements ads is known as the Facebook Pixel — a tiny piece of code embedded on each page of a business website. The Facebook Pixel tracks cross-device activity so companies can see exactly how their ads boost traffic and drive sales. That data can then be used to optimize ads and re-target visitors.
To demonstrate how advertising tools work for both small and large brands, Facebook IQ showcases numerous success stories. Brands like Finish Line and Worx have measurably boosted sales while lowering their advertising costs by using adoptions, audiences, and features that fit their goals.
Gain Awareness of Audience Trends with Facebook IQ Insights
People-based marketing has become the key to reaching consumers in this rapidly changing digital consumer landscape. In the past, small retailers did not have the capability to access that level of precise market research. That no longer is true. Facebook IQ makes it easier for businesses to keep up with trends by conducting its own research and collecting data from around the web. It then shares this information as a free resource under People Insights, Advertising Insights, Vertical Insights, and Insights To Go.
Each section can be sorted by audience aspect, advertising topic, or type of business to break down the categories into actionable information. For instance, under retail vertical insights, businesses can learn how tracking conversations through hashtags — like #fashion on Instagram which has 13 million monthly mentions — reveals shopping habits and trends across the globe.
While the insight sections take deep dives into topics with long-form articles and in-depth analysis, Insights to Go provides relevant statistics that can be easily shared or downloaded, especially on a mobile device. These stats can be eye-opening for marketers and help shape ad campaigns.
For instance, video marketers conducting research on the site will learn that 3 times more people are engaged with an ad when the message and brand name are revealed in the first 10 seconds. Adjusting a video to align with that research can boost conversions.
With Facebook IQ insights, businesses learn how social shopping continues to shift and how to apply these concepts to their own customer approach, businesses, and social media marketing strategies.
How Facebook is Helping Improve Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is still a new frontier for many of today’s small business owners. But, statistics show that, if they want to meet consumers where they shop, businesses must shift their resources to social channels. They don’t need to do it alone. Facebook IQ provides a comprehensive playbook for engaging with — and converting — customers through social platforms.
To facilitate the learning process, Facebook offers numerous free e-learning courses and certifications under Facebook Blueprint, which teaches Facebook business tools as well as overall e-commerce skills. These courses can help entrepreneurs gain the knowledge to grow their company — whether on social media, mobile, or across the web.
More importantly, Facebook shortens the social media learning curve for businesses by providing the platforms and marketing tools — and teaching people how to use them.
By using Facebook IQ, businesses can quickly gain actionable insights to build an online community of engaged shoppers. And by customizing stories, posts, and ads for their audiences, retailers can thrive in the new social media marketplace.