The Facebook Consumer: A Profile

Profile of a Facebook Consumer

Mashable recently profiled the Social Consumer. These numbers tell us a lot about the type of consumer that would purchase through Facebook.

Please welcome Sally Jane Sue, our Facebook consumer of the day. This brand-loyal college student, with her three common first names, two goldfish, and limited expendable income, is one of the 20 percent of Internet users who, according to Mashable, researches products on Facebook at least once a week. This makes Sally Jane Sue the ideal target audience for F-commerce.

We’ve seen that Facebook does not feature typical product pages loaded with information, but that doesn’t let content merchandisers off the hook.

Facebook consumers such as Sally Jane Sue are on the hunt for accurate, engaging, valuable content. How can content merchandisers help her and other social consumers find the information they need? Let’s take a look.

Reaching Brand-Loyal Technology Addicts

As a high sharer, Sally Jane Sue frequently interacts with brands by “liking” them on Facebook. This is not an innocent move, as we will see later. “Like” buttons have invaded the Internet (oh look! There’s one on the left of the screen right now!), and, according to Mashable, 40 percent of the population have “liked” a brand.

And, as one of these hyper-sharers, Sally Jane Sue owns multiple Internet-connected devices and is very loyal to her chosen brands. Sally Jane Sue lives in a day and age where people are so absorbed in technology that they crash cars and fall into fountains. In addition to using her smartphone during her bus ride, Sally Jane Sue keeps up with life through her school computer as well as a tablet which she uses for browsing as she watches TV in the evenings. (And by watching TV, we mean doing homework.)

As one of the 20 percent who research products on Facebook at least once a week, it makes sense that Sally Jane Sue would absorb product information through social media as well as through old-fashioned e-commerce product pages.

F-Consumers Love Exclusives

American Apparel's Facebook Exclusive OfferJane Sue is also an opportunist. When Sally Jane Sue “likes” her favorite brands, she expects something in return. An ExactTarget study found that 58 percent of US Facebook users expect to receive exclusive content, be invited to special events, or gain access to Facebook-only products when they “like” a company.

The famous case of success with exclusives is Procter and Gamble’s diaper-rush, where the vendor processed more than 1,000 transactions per hour through Facebook for their product. In the face of scarcity, Facebook offers the immediate, petri-dish atmosphere for highly desirable, exclusive deals to flourish.

Content Merchandising on Facebook

It all cycles back to this number: 20 percent. What we know specifically about the Facebook consumer–that they research products on Facebook–can be applied to bring us closer to a golden standard of Facebook engagement through accurate, engaging, valuable content.

Does this mean you need to write a book’s worth of words to inform all of your consumers? Maybe, most likely not. Amid the overwhelming whirlwind of options and methods for sharing product information through this social media site, providing entertaining and useable product information can go a long way toward satisfying Sally Jane Sue’s curiosities, even if it comes in small bites through the news feed. In fact, shorter is often better.

You can also spend your fan page space merchandising your content. You can reinforce your brand image and call your potential Facebook consumers to action. Encourage them to like your page, tell them about your latest products, or link them to a sweepstakes you are running. If they’ve made it to your page, they are clearly interested in discovering more, and your home page is not a place to be shy.

There is a difference between shy and in-your-face pushy, though. Consumers are not yet used to making purchases through Facebook, and you will want to be careful about shoving your message down their throats. Don’t be afraid to tell them what’s new and what’s great, but don’t demand that they buy it.

And, if you do have a Facebook store, content merchandising will be a necessity to successfully sell your products.

The Wrap-Up: Think About Who’s Buying

Does a Facebook store fit into your social media strategy? I think eventually it will. But whether it does or doesn’t, one thing is certain: you must take your content merchandising to Facebook, with or without a store in tow. As you build your social media strategy, make sure you are integrating real information into your posts and considering the desires of your readers.

In the end, “Facebook Commerce is not about constantly posting your products or services to your Fan Page. It’s about building a community that, when the time is right, is open to doing business with you,” notes Moontoast. When the time is right, will this cohort of young, brand-loyal high-sharers feel connected enough to choose you over the competition? Taking their needs and lifestyles into consideration will certainly improve your chances.

Ping Takeaway

The Facebook consumer researches products on Facebook and loves a deal–help them with their efforts, and they’ll help you with yours.

Let's work together.