With companies like Best Buy “setting up shop” on Facebook my clients are in somewhat of a panic to compete. First of all, as I’ve said since the beginning, you cannot compete with big business on their level. If you could you wouldn’t be a “truly small business” any more – and wouldn’t need my advice.
Instead, be the best you can be and win because you are a small business that knows people buy from you because you offer better service and truly care about each individual customer. (We all know that at Best Buy and other stores like them we’re just a telephone number :-D). People shop at big stores because they are looking for the best deal. As a small retailer you are not going to have that. Instead you will have the best selection for your customers!
“Social Commerce” is going to happen – there is no way to avoid it. But instead of using the tools that are provided to “make you dependent” on Facebook (or any other social site) do the work yourself and drive your customers to your website to browse and then encourage them to “chat you up” on FB via their own profile. You can also put a “post a review” link on your site that takes them to your Google Places page and lets them post a review. Where else are you listed where people can post reviews? There are tons of local shopping sites where you can have a free listing and people can comment on your service etc – make sure you’re leveraging these free services. Granted, your site may not yet have the “rate this product” feature but you can still generate buzz on Facebook and other sites about it by introducing it as a post on your Fan page – people can still comment on Facebook about it but the link takes them to your website and doesn’t keep them on Facebook like the FB “shop” tab is designed to do.
Again, I’m not saying ditch FB – just don’t let them own you.