POST, PIN AND TAG To attract fans and friends, a storefront needs to be dynamic, with frequent posts — status updates and photos. Tagging people in a photo may cause the photo to show up on the tagged person’s page, where friends (and often friends’ friends) can see it.
Deann Kump, founder of TuTu Cute, which sells hair accessories and clothing for mothers, babies and toddlers, hosts a monthly photo contest on her page.
“If someone posts a photo of their daughter wearing one of my products and tags it, their friends will wonder, ‘What is TuTu Cute?’ and go to my page,” she said.
Mrs. Kump opened on Facebook last December and about half of her sales occur on the site.
Ms. Tan-White of Moonfruit suggested that a business give customers incentives to spread the word, offering a discount if they tag its product in a photo. Facebook’s “pin” feature allows users to pin a post, which might be a product of the week or a special discount and pushes the post to the top of a business’s page.
FOCUS ON COMMUNITY Magical Moments Modeling made TuTu Cute a “boutique of the month” on its Facebook page in April so friends of both pages could see it. And Mrs. Kump often promotes the work of children’s photographers she likes; they in turn promote her accessories.
Patrick Skoff, a painter who sells 90 percent of his paintings on Facebook, said some visitors to his page might have been hesitant about buying until they saw the comments and “likes” on new and sold paintings.
“They see all the likes and think, ‘Oh, I better buy that before someone else does,’ ” Mr. Skoff said.
In July he painted 10 paintings a day for 10 days and sold all of them through Facebook.
Darren Gann, co-owner of the Baby Grocery Store, started his Facebook storefront in February (he also has a kiosk in SouthPark Mall in Charlotte). Thirty-five percent of his sales come through Facebook, and Mr. Gann gives lots of help and advice to his customers. “They communicate with us there about everything, from asking about a shipment to what do we recommend for a gluten-free 9-month-old."
Heather Logrippo opened a Facebook storefront in 2009 for We’ve Labels, which sells clothing labels. She routinely goes to the Facebook pages where her customers spend time, like those for quilters or knitters.
“I log on as We’ve Labels and start interacting with people, writing things like: ‘That’s a beautiful scarf you’ve knitted,’ ” she said. Those knitters and quilters will often click on the We’ve Labels page out of curiosity.
OFFER OPTIONS While some small businesses sell only through Facebook, others maintain separate Web sites or have bricks-and-mortar outlets, because not all consumers feel comfortable using their credit card information on the site.
Ashley Gall, owner of Méli Jewelry, which sells jewelry she designs and makes, said buying on Facebook was still too new for many of her customers — 15 percent of her sales happen there — so she also sells on Etsy, Indie Fashion Marketplace and her own Web site.
Most of Mandie Miller’s customers order on Facebook and pay when she delivers the cake or when they pick it up. Yet she still maintains a Web site of her own.
“I do a lot of wedding cakes, and it’s the moms and dads of brides usually paying and they often want to go to a regular business Web site. I also have grandmothers in their 80s and 90s that come to my cake tastings,” she said. “They aren’t on Facebook.”