Is Facebook Marketplace a Good Resource for Auctioneers?
Taking Advantage of Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace started in 2016 as a way for individuals to buy and sell items on their social media platform. Facebook took advantage of their existing messenger system to build a selling platform that met the needs of its users while competing with eBay for traffic. This feature of Facebook has been around for a while and has proved very successful for individuals looking to sell their goods. We believe that more parties besides individuals can take advantage of this extension of Facebook to promote their company and services – particularly auctioneers.
When you are posting on social media your goal is to reach individuals or businesses that would be interested in bidding on items in your auctions. Marketplace gives you the advantage of showing auction items to people who are already in the buying mindset, which makes it more likely that they will convert over and bid on one of your items. There are two main ways that an auction company can choose to interact with Facebook Marketplace:
The easiest way to get your auction items in front of potential customers is to list them for sale just like every other item on Marketplace! It is a pretty simple set-up process, with prompts indicating all the necessary information for your item! You will be given the option to sell an item, vehicle, or a home when you go to list your lot. Once you click into one of those sections you can specify an additional category that your item fits under. For example, items have categories such as furniture, garden, electronics, books, sporting equipment, and tools. Vehicles can be a car or truck, motorcycle, camper, boat, or commercial vehicle. Lastly, a home can be listed for sale or for rent. There are a lot of categories, so filter through them to make sure you pick the right one for your item. Listing a proper category for your item will help it come up when buyers are browsing through all the available listings.
The rest is pretty straight forward! You will fill out a description for each item, upload up to 10 pictures, and set a price. Price might be a little tricky since the item is up for auction. You can either put in the starting bid or a general estimate of what the item might sell for. Use the sequence $123 (and so on) to indicate that the listed price isn’t the actual price of the item and that the buyer will have to inquire for more information. Make sure to note in the description that the item is up for auction. Give the date, time, and link to the specific lot in the online auction. Unfortunately, URLs can’t be clicked on in Marketplace descriptions, so you may want to tell people to copy and paste it in a new tab. Providing this information gives buyers a quick way to get to your online auction and clears up any confusion they might have about if the item is for sale or for auction.
When an individual is interested in an item, they will be able to message you to ask questions or request further information about your lot. This gives you the chance to engage directly with potential bidders and provide them with all the information that they need for your auction. Make sure to check back in regularly so that you don’t miss a question from anyone. Also, once your auction has finished, don’t forget to mark your item as sold!
Paid Facebook Marketplace Ads
The other way that you can take advantage of Facebook Marketplace is to use the Marketplace placement when you are advertising your auctions. You will set up a Marketplace ad in the same way that you would any other Facebook ad. Make sure that you have a proper campaign objective that will work with the Marketplace placement (for example: reach traffic, conversions etc.) and then set up your audiences, locations, and interests. Instead of using automatic placements, you will want to specify each placement you want to use. Side note – even if you only want to advertise on Marketplace you will still have to select the Facebook News Feeds placement in order for your ad to run.
Marketplace ads use slightly different dimensions than other ads since they come up in different areas. Make sure to properly size your content for the best results. Focus your ads on the items themselves, promoting images
with very little text. Facebook ads can be finicky with text on images, and the placement might be too small for people to actually read your text. Play around with posting videos as well as images to catch people’s attention when they are scrolling through Marketplace. Again, people will already be in the buying mindset so they will be more accepting of your ad and thus more likely to click on it and view your auction which will be great for your ROI.
Not only does Marketplace offer auctioneers another way to promote their auction items and reach a wider potential bidding audience, it allows individuals to connect in an easy and risk-free way with your auction company to ask questions about items and learn more. Additionally, the individuals that see your item list or ad will likely be quality potential bidders since they were already interested in the items you are selling. This selling platform is a great tool that should be taken advantage of by more auctioneers in their digital marketing strategies.