How to Do an Auction on Facebookby Naomi Bolton
According to Business Insider, the average Facebook user spends over 55 minutes per day on this social media platform. Although they are mostly spending time connecting to friends, many businesses have successfully used this to their advantage by actively gaining followers and selling their products on Facebook. As you can create a page on Facebook at no cost, this provides a very affordable way to connect to your potential customers and sell your products. One way to engage your audience is to create an auction, but keep in mind that you are still bound to legalities and Facebook's terms and conditions (link in Resources.)
Set up a Facebook Page
It is against Facebook's terms to use your personal timeline mostly for commercial purposes (see Resources.) If you want to use Facebook commercially, you should create a Facebook Page for your product or brand. This kind of page is public, which means that anybody can visit it with the added advantage of reaching a wider audience. To set up a Facebook Page, navigate to Pages section in Facebook (see Resources), select either "Local Business" or "Brand/Product" and complete all the details Facebook requires.
Adding your Products
To add products that you want to auction, create a new photo album on your page, with "Auction" as the caption, followed by the date of the auction. Add a description to each photo including important details such as the size, color and quantity available. Also specify the exact time frame during which that particular item will be auctioned and that people should bid in the comment section of each item. Add a phrase to direct people to the "Notes" section of your page for bidding rules and shipping costs.
For your bidding rules to show up on your Facebook Page permanently, add the rules as a note under favorites. Click the down arrow in the favorite section underneath your cover photo and select the "+" sign to add "Notes" to your favorites. Specify how bidding works, what your shipping costs are and whether purchasers can combine orders. There are several ways to run an auction. If you have more than one of the same item in stock, you can specify that those who comment first get it at the lower price and will receive invoices. Otherwise, you can ask users to write the amount they are bidding, and then the highest bid within the time period gets the item. You can close the auction with a comment that the item has been sold. You can ask the bidders to leave their email addresses in the comment section, prompt bidders to register or alternatively publish the names of the winners on the page and ask them to send a private message to the page.
Promote Your Auction
In order to be successful with your auction, you need to inform enough people about it. Create a "Like" button on your product website to entice visitors to like your page on Facebook. Repost the link to the auction on your own personal profile to inform your friends that you are now running an auction page. Their friends will, in turn, see this activity and may be curious enough to also check the page out. If you are prepared to pay for advertising, use Facebook's targeted advertising feature by clicking the "Settings" icon underneath your page's cover photo. You can specify your target audience as well as the daily budget you have for advertising. Your page will now show up in the newsfeeds of several people from your target audience.
Several third party apps have been designed to enable Facebook business page users to host auctions. For instance, Auction Anything displays the auction items directly on your Facebook page (see Resources) while BuddyBid and MonarchMarket have created a platform on Facebook where users can bid on each other's items (see Resources.) If you are already active on eBay, you can profit from the Auction Items app, which displays all of your eBay items that are up for sale on your Facebook Page (see Resources.)
- photo_camera Image courtesy of eBay
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