It seems like Facebook releases a new update to their algorithm every other week. Some barely make a blip, while others cause marketers to collectively lose their minds.
Somewhere in the middle was last month’s announcement that Facebook was cracking down on ads from ecommerce sites with poor reviews (or, as they framed it, “improving customer service from advertisers”).
The disparity between what an online store advertises via a Facebook post and whether or not they deliver on the promise of their ad has forced the social media giant to launch a new tool. Now, buyers have the power to send feedback directly to Facebook about their shopping experience and fight back against false advertising.
Clearly, Facebook doesn’t want misleading advertising to reflect poorly on their site (they’ve already had more than enough negative press this year). And while they ramped up their ecommerce efforts this year, they’ll never have full power to control the full user experience after someone clicks an ad on their site. That power lies with ecommerce businesses themselves.
Think you don’t need to worry about your brand getting banned from advertising on Facebook? Think again! You still need to stay on top of the social network’s seemingly ever-changing guidelines for ecommerce businesses not only to avoid getting flagged, but also to make sure you’re effectively reaching your potential customers.
How this change impacts ecommerce advertisers
Even if you aren’t selling cheap goods that are shoddily produced, Facebook’s new feedback tool is an indication that the company is becoming hyper-vigilant against ecommerce sites that aren’t meeting their standards. While it’s still unclear just how tightly they’ll monitor ads that pop up on Facebook users’ news feeds, what is certain is that customers have more power than ever to be heard.
Your buyers still have reviews on Google and your Facebook page to publicly voice their regret or love for their purchase. But now they also have a direct line to report any bad experiences to Facebook, which the social network can then follow up on. This could impact your ability to use Facebook and Instagram as customer acquisition and advertising channels if you’re not careful.
Perhaps more than any other retailers, dropshipping businesses are most ripe for getting flagged by Facebook’s new feedback tool. The inherent risks that come with never seeing or handling the products they ship, coupled with potential issues related to in-stock inventory and product quality could lead to increased negative reviews on social media—and thus a warning from Facebook.
Unfortunately, there are some ecommerce websites that may have intentionally swindled Facebook users and set off this new policy change. As a B2C marketer, you have to be careful that your online store doesn’t get caught up in the sweep. Like most ecommerce stores who have Facebook business pages, you probably just want to use the platform to drive revenue and improve customer satisfaction. Whether you’re a small business or a huge ecommerce platform, here’s how you can use the far-reaching power of Facebook ads to give your buyers a fantastic shopping experience.
Tips to avoid getting flagged
The good news is that Facebook’s new approach to customer feedback appears to be more forgiving than it might initially seem. After all, not every negative review means your business is at fault. Facebook specifies that the level of negative feedback has to reach a high volume before they take action, and even then, a ban isn’t guaranteed. According to their launch announcement, Facebook will still give ecommerce businesses the opportunity to make improvements before stepping in with a more severe warning. They’ll even offer tips to help small businesses improve customer satisfaction and expectations.
While the Facebook Advertiser Help Center provides helpful information for ecommerce stores, there are certain steps you can start taking right away to avoid getting negative reviews, and ultimately having your ads blocked for good on the site.
1. Set clear expectations
When it comes to online shopping, hyperbole is all too common. If you can’t make good on what you say your product can do, you’re going to find yourself in hot water not only with Facebook, but—more importantly—with your customers. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver!
Want to start out on the right foot? Make sure every step of the buyer experience is cohesive and crystal clear, from the Facebook ad copy to the pricing information and shipping options on the product page. Under the new ad policy, a single ambiguous or even misleading claim increases your chances for enhanced monitoring.[bctt tweet=”Under the new ad policy, a single ambiguous claim increases your chances for enhanced monitoring.” username=”getzaius/”]
Clear-cut expectations from the start also make life easier on your customer support team. They won’t have to answer repetitive questions stemming from confusing or unclear wording that could easily be cleared up by more careful and honest phrasing.
2. Understand your buyers better with data
Advertising on Facebook is great for boosting a piece of content, sending people to a get-in-touch form, or promoting an upcoming sale you’re having. But you can go beyond these tactics to make your advertising dollars work harder for your brand by creating customized ads that target both existing and new customers.
Too often, ecommerce marketers throw money behind advertising to potential customers who aren’t good fits for their products, or who simply aren’t interested. Why waste money when you could be using your data to understand your buyers better and inform future advertising decisions? By creating personalized, tailored Facebook ads using targeted segments and lookalike audiences, you’re ultimately giving your brand a greater chance for increasing revenue and standing out from marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay.
Data also gives you insights into your one-time customers’ past buying habits. This will allow you to make more informed decisions about what platforms to focus your time and attention in order to maximize ROI (this might even be through Facebook ads!), and set yourself up for nailing the repeat purchase every time.
3. Create a strong brand that fosters loyalty
If your messaging is transparent throughout the buying experience and you deliver on the expectations you set, it will help make your ecommerce store a trusted name in your industry. And if buyers trust you and know you’ll keep your promises, they’ll begin to feel loyal to your business. But more often than not, one-time purchases aren’t set up to build long-term customer relationships.
As great as nurturing those one-time purchasers into loyal, repeat customers may sound, it isn’t easy to implement. There are plenty of proven marketing strategies for doing this (creating a customer loyalty program is a great first step), but the best ones all boil down to the same issue: creating an online shopping experience so irresistible that people will want to purchase again and again from your online store. After all, customers who make a second purchase are twice as likely to make a third, and the odds just get better from there.