eBay employee Andrew Zager Chase recently showed up in one of the eBay-related Facebook groups I belong to, saying he is working on creating a "social media playbook/ toolkit for sellers." He says he is scheduled to have it ready soon, and will be posting links.
Meantime, eBay sellers in the group were all abuzz with questions and comments about the social media integration issue, especially with tweeting and posting their eBay listings to Facebook. How much tweeting/posting was too much; should it be done on your social feed or only on your business "fan" page, and would there be a way to track views or sales coming to eBay from those social media venues?
One seller said, "If we were able to use Google Analytics on our eBay listings that would be great...as it stands now...social media is, for me, cute, but ineffective for eBay sellers."
When asked how sellers can best track when buyers from Facebook & Twitter are driven to their eBay listing (and potentially purchase), Chase responded, "There is not a very good way today. I am working on creating more analytics around social shares right now."
Another seller posted about the problem of Facebook users getting annoyed by posted listings...in general, there seemed to be thoughts that one should post eBay listings in moderation, if at all, in their Facebook social feed. "eBay and fb have an agreement to allow listing of auctions/fixed price offerings, i.e. the 'f' button on listings...yet I get alot of pushback from fb users saying that we shouldn't be posting listings...had one in fact from one of my cousins 2 weeks ago...is ebay and/or facebook going to do any road paving in this area such as public relations convincing fb users that we are not invading heir social media escape from reality?"
Chase responded that "I think this is a discussion among more folks than just eBay and facebook. Frankly - the rules of engagement are being written every day. That being said, most folks use facebook socially, not necessarily in a retail way. I think the way to win will be to engage users in a non-invasive way.
"Personally, I like my feed to have updates from friends I follow and news updates. When I want shopping info, I go to the brand. I don't really want to be sold a new item every time I log in."
I would agree with this; I don't want to spam my facebook friends. I may on occasion post a link to Facebook to a special item that I want to comment on otherwise. But I'm very mindful of not ticking off Facebook friends, lest I lose them.
Another eBayer said that although the Facebook and Twitter shares are encouraged with the icons on eBay, "I get alot of pushback from fb users saying that we shouldn't be posting listings...had one in fact from one of my cousins 2 weeks ago."
But Anthony Cicalese (http://www.wegotthebeats.biz/servlet/StoreFront) said he has made sales from his personal facebook page, e.g. "Posting on my personal fb page that I have the new glee CD resulted in a quick 3 sales from friends & family members who otherwise never would have asked me for it." But he said now he focuses on his business fb page, "and I send out messages to my followers/customers."
About the Twitter and Facebook icons which appear on eBay listings, Chase said, "We are trying to increase the size of those buttons, as well as sharing options. As far as the share itself goes - it is beneficial to all. It is absolutely allowed, and both eBay and (I assume) Facebook support it. Your cousin perhaps doesn't - I'm sure he will learn about the filtering options soon enough."
Kathy Keefe (https://www.facebook.com/allinfo247) said when she tweets listings, she always includes hashtags... "...and in my own testing with and without tweeting the difference in views can be up to 100 or more."
In response to a seller who said eBay does not have to be so afraid of off-eBay links, and he had not had much success getting his customers to move off eBay to his store, Chase said, "I think eBay has been scared to allow off eBay links primarily because of fraud isues. But with PayPal and expansion of the eBay properties (Magento, GSI, Where, RedLaser, etc) - I personally think the choice should lie with the buyer. If as a buyer I want eBay protection- I will buy on eBay. If I know and trust the seller and want to transact off eBay- then so be it. eBay (corp) wins because with the quality of our offerings- we create a compelling suite for commerce. Buyers win with choice. Merchants win with quality transactions."
So..stay tuned for how eBay supports sellers with social media tools!