This morning I woke up with a new update on my Facebook app.
Facebook Marketplace now occupies a prominent place.
Why is this so important?
This move indicates that Facebook is shifting more attention to develop this feature. And, as with every “new” Facebook feature, it will get more prominence in your news feed and across your entire Facebook app.
More prominence means more “free” traffic, that is waiting for your taking.
If more traffic and eyeballs don’t convince you to consider Facebook Marketplace, let’s take a look at Craigslist (direct competitor to Marketplace).
So if Facebook is replicating this, I want to be in.
But let’s take a look at some Facebook data to see how Marketplace is holding up.
- 550 million monthly visitors
- More than 18 million items posted for sale each month
- 77% monthly growth
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Pretty sure those numbers will increase drastically.
Ready to jump on this train?
Let’s dive in.
How Facebook Marketplace works
Marketplace is a simple platform integrated in your Facebook app that allows you to easily buy and sell products in your area.
Marketplace works in a similar way to Craigslist, Gumtree or others. As it is part of Facebook, everyone with a Facebook account can access it without having to create a different profile.
Right now Marketplace is a peer-to-peer selling platform. We can expect it to open up to advertisers officially in the coming months.
Buying a product is straightforward and easy.
Open marketplace at the bottom of your app.
Once opened, you can browse all products in your default area.
Select a category you are interested in.
Set your price range.
Click on a product you like.
Contact the seller
You can see, it’s easy.
Now let’s take a look at how you can sell something. Right now you are only able to sell from a Facebook profile.
Click on create a new “What are you selling?”.
Select an image you want to have as your main product image.
Select your category
Add your product title
Add a description
Select your asking price
Select your location and add communities you are part of
Selling is also easy and quite intuitive. Awesome.
Now let’s take a look at how you can leverage this for your business.
Enter your text here...
Hack 1 - Offer something for free
We all love free stuff — don’t we?
That’s probably the reason why the “free” filter option is so prominently placed in the Marketplace.
So why not take advantage of it?
Here’s what you’ll want to do:
Figure out what you can give for free. Depending on your business you have different options. Here are some ideas.
- If you’re a bike shop offer a wheel repair service for free
- If you’re a hairdresser offer a shave or eyebrow cleaning for free
- If you’re a retail store offer a “small” product for free
- If you’re a service provider offer a consultation for free
Why should you do that?
Offering something valuable for free is an easy way to get customers in your door. Once they are thru the door, it is easier to upsell them.
On a site note: by doing so, you are leveraging the psychological principle of reciprocity.
When you are creating your free offer. Make sure, to add the word “Free” into your post title.
Then select $0 as your asking price.
Hack 2 - Split test your sales copy with multiple posts
If you’re like me you probably also like data and test your ads all the time. That is exactly what we are going to do here.
There is no A/B testing option available, so we are going to do it the old-school way ;).
We do have 4 variables that we can test (excluding the location):
Here’s what you’ll want to do:
Open up a spreadsheet or notepad.
Then start writing down your different variations. Here’s how your testing combinations look like:
Now go ahead, and post all of the variations.
You will need to create one post per variation.
Hack 3 - Use professional images to stick out
The most prominent thing on Facebook Marketplace are the images.
And, as it is p2p, most images really suck.
So the best way for you to stick out right away, is to create images that are looking awesome.
Because good images improve your conversion and click-through rates a lot.
In fact, AirBnB never really got off the ground until they started using professional photographers.
As soon as people started seeing awesome images of apartments, they wanted to book it.
But even if you don’t have access to a professional photographer and you are not one either, you can improve your product images easily.
Here is a video that gives you 5 tips on how to do that with an iPhone:
Hack 4 - Post on multiple locations to appear in specific searches
We know that Facebook Marketplace is local. And with that comes the local search feature.
By default people will see the results that are matched closely to their current location. The location is narrowed down to the ZIP code.
So, let’s say you will want to reach the entire Miami area. Here’s what you should do:
Head over to Google Maps and type in Miami. You will now see what areas are covered and which ones are not.
Take a note of all the other main cities around it, to cover the entire area.
Now, you will need to re-post your posts in all the different areas.
This will ensure that your posts appear no matter the location.
Hack 5 - Post across all relevant categories
Facebook Marketplace allows people to search products by category.
Now, if you want to appear in as many related searches as possible, you need to make sure that you don’t limit your offer to only one category.
Go ahead and re-post your offer in every category that fits your service or product.
Hack 6 - Enrich your Sales copy with keywords
I don’t believe that the Marketplace algorithm is final as of yet, the results sometimes don’t seem to follow a specific order.
What I have found so far is that there are three major drives of the results:
- Amount of views by people
If you want to appear in all to you relevant searches, make sure that your title and description contain all the keywords you want to be found at.
The algorithm will most likely evolve much more in the future, but for now it seems that a keyword rich post is doing quite well.
Hack 7 - Prepare your direct message copy
Right now the call to action for everyone interested in buying an item over Facebook Marketplace, is to write a message to the seller.
This means, that you should be prepared for an increase of direct messages.
To handle many messages, you will do best by templating an answer, that is to the point, informative and contains a clear call to action.
Here’s an example of such a reply:
Hack 8 - Use a special promo code in your posting
One of the oldest sales tricks in the world, is to make people feel special.
So why not try to make everyone seeing your Facebook Marketplace post, feel special?
The best way to do that, is by offering a special promo-code.
Just make up a code, and mention it in the description of your post. Let people know exactly how they can redeem it and how long it is valid.
Another option to do that, is by asking people to send you a direct message if they want to receive their special promo-code.
Like that you will already have them talking to you, which increases the chances to convert.
It also makes the promo-code feel more personal.
Here’s how the post description could look like:
And here’s a possible answer to it:
Hack 9 - Copy the link and ask your Facebook page fans to share
One of the main factors for posts to appear on the top that I have found is the number of people, that have already viewed a post.
So what you’ll want to do, is get as much traction to your Marketplace offer as possible, so it will rank higher for longer.
The easiest option to do that, is by sharing it not only with your friends, but you can also automatically submit to all “local sales” groups you are a part of.
The next option you have, is to simply copy the link of your post and share it on your Facebook page.
Sharing is not enough. But you should encourage your audience to again share your Marketplace post with their friends.
You could do that by either simply asking or you offer one more incentive.
You could for example, offer a higher discount for each of your fans, that shares your post and sends a screenshot to you, as proof.
Facebook Marketplace can be a great source of traffic for your business, although it is not yet officially open to advertisers.
Think outside the box, offer free services, give out special promo codes and invite people to visit your store locally. This will drive your sales through this platform.
I encourage you to start testing this platform today, if you want to be amongst the first movers for this great platform.
But now over to you, what other ideas do you have to boost sales through Facebook Marketplace?