Learn Simple Social Steps to Market Your Online Store

June 25, 2014 by Chelsie Ball

E-commerce websites, online marketplaces and even Facebook stores are becoming popular and are very successful for many new sellers; it is prime time for all small businesses to make sure that their products are viewed online.  You can easily set up an e-commerce store, a marketplace on eBay or Amazon or even set up a Facebook store right on your Facebook business page in a matter of minutes. Once that store is setup and ready to go, you need to know how to market your products.

Regardless of where you have placed your products online, you need to create a marketing strategy to guide your activities.  You may already have a plan to drive customers to your physical store location; this is a good starting point when taking a look at how you can market yourself in the digital space. However, the options online are almost unlimited since you are opening up the world to your products.

The first and lowest cost step to a solid marketing strategy is to take advantage of the popular social media sites, especially if you have a Facebook shop on your Facebook fan page. Use these channels to promote your products, build brand awareness, and interact with your customers. The more you interact with customers and you continue to be active on these channels the more you will begin to build trust with current and potential customers. While most of your engagement is free to create, it may make sense to add paid advertising options from a platform such as Facebook or Twitter to drive new users to your page and gain exposure to your products and brand.

Social sharing is a route you can take to encourage people to share products from your news feed or online store. We suggest that all sellers provide social sharing buttons for the top social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. These can increase exposure for you ecommerce site, marketplace listings or Facebook store. Our Facebook store app, ShopTab, lets your customers quickly and easily share your store’s products on their favorite social media sites.  Encourage your fans to do so.

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We know that special promotions and “deals” work very well inside of social networks – there is lots of research to back this up.  We suggest you offer your customers promotions and then market them directly on your fan page news feed. An app like ShopTab provides a quick way to post that promotion right from your product listing page. Showcasing your special offers will help create a buzz with your customers and they will be more likely to socially share the links to your products. Take advantage of the simple posting options to both Facebook and Twitter new feeds.promote_boots

Now for the hard part of the discussion, social networks weren’t built as a sales channel. They are in place first for individuals and brands to start conversations, engage their fans and be social.  This means that integrating your products and store into the discussion requires some nuance. Selling all the time in your news feed will turn off your followers.  Make sure you are first engaging them in your brand, telling your story, listening for their queues about their needs and then pull in your products and store to highlight new products, new directions, deals and offers that may not be available to non-fans. Done in the right way this product information will be appreciated and you will see sales.

These are simple steps and tools to promote your products and services but the real effort lies in making this all work in a social context for your brand.  The trend to buy online is compelling for buyers and sellers.  Make sure you take the time to learn the unique attributes of each of your online selling channels.  Simple to say, hard to do really well.  Good luck!

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How to Build Your Brand and Increase Sales Through Social Media

June 9, 2014 by Chelsie Ball
Image by sheela2010

Image by sheela2010

Building your brand can sometimes be difficult. You need to establish credibility and a consistent social voice in order to build up your brand. You need to build a reliable and helpful presence that encourages interaction and provides service to create value for your customers. Developing your brand can lead you to increased sales, which is particularly important if you focused on ecommerce marketing.

Gaining customer trust is a key when developing your social brand. This can be achieved through providing information that customers are searching for as well as handling any customer complaints that occur. This last part is particularly important, you need to be transparent with your customers about issues and respond to these issues publicly. Potential customers want to see that you are vested in customer’s opinions and that you are quick to respond to any issues they experience.

If you have an ecommerce store such as a website or a Facebook store, being transparent is key as customers may have a lot of questions about your products and it is easy to ask you about them while they are on your Facebook page and viewing your products. Make sure that you answer their queries as quickly as possible as that is when they are in the shopping stage and they might be more likely to purchase.

You also need to position yourself as an expert in your industry. The better information and service that you can provide to your customers they better they are going to trust you and the more likely they are to purchase your products and services. Offering great recommendation and then backing it up with information from you and others can be useful in establishing yourself as an expert. When customers are able to see value in what you are providing they will seek out your advice more frequently.

As we have already briefly touched on listening and responding to customers is a way that you can provide value to customers. There are many businesses that create a page and post information but they don’t truly listen to their customers and respond to their comments and questions. Monitoring your social media channels and being ready with answers to questions and responses to comments is going to assist you in both your efforts to build an effective brand and to increase sales.

By listening to customers you can determine what they are interested in and tailor your social approach and provide the information they are seeking. You can also use this to determine what products they are interested in so you can effectively promote those products that are in your Facebook shop or you can offer discounts on those products knowing that is what your customers are seeking.

How do you use social marketing to enhance your brand?

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4 Steps to Effectively Promote Your Products On Twitter

May 27, 2014 by Chelsie Ball

Most research has shown that Twitter users live on their news feeds. They like to see what is going on with the people and companies they are following on Twitter. A challenge that social commerce retailers’ face is how to appear in customer’s news feeds to create brand awareness. The Facebook store app, ShopTab, provides the “Promote” functionality within the store application, making it easier than ever to promote your products to fans.

Another challenge that social commerce companies face are that soon Twitter will move everyone over to their new design. It is important to use this change to your advantage and to know how to better promote your products through this channel.

1.       Use ShopTab’s “Promote” Feature

When you are in the admin panel of your Facebook store app you can select the new Tweet button for the product you want to promote on your Twitter page.

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You can then develop the creative message you want to convey to your audience (it must still be within the 140 character limit). This message will post directly to your Twitter page and will show up in the news feed for all those who follow your company.

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As mentioned above the post you created will show up on your followers’ news feed and will be accessible for desktop or mobile users. This is a great way to drive sales to your Facebook shop.

2.       Utilize the New Twitter Design

When your page gets moved over to the new Twitter design, which is more visual than the previous design (some call it more like Facebook) you will need to make sure that your profile has all the new features. This is going to include larger images.

Images are going to be more abundant on the new design for your company’s profile. If you have not switched over to the new design yet here is my personal example below. You will need to make sure that all the new features are in place for you, such as the larger cover image.Twitter_promote

3.       Change Your Content Strategy

The new Twitter updates will almost require you to update your own content strategy. They are putting more emphasis on images in your posts and they are making them more prominent. This will be more similar to how a Facebook image would appear in your news feed. Images are what most often grab your audiences’ attention. If you weren’t already incorporating a lot of images (as you probably weren’t since in the old layout they were not prominent) you should now use this opportunity to make your posts more visual. The faster you adapt to this change the faster you will be able to effectively reach out to your customers.

4.       Know What Your Customers Want

Knowing what your customers want through social media is a key element in how you interact with them. If you currently have a Twitter then you probably have a good idea of why your customers are following you. Don’t let the new layout drive you away from your original mission.

Use the more visual elements to communicate more effectively and provide your customers with what they are looking for whether it’s a product or customer service.

Twitter allows you to communicate and promote products effectively to your customers be sure to utilize the new Twitter features to reach your audience and use the integrated Facebook store app features to promote your products and drive the business back to your Facebook shop.

Resources:

  1. 1.       http://support.shoptab.net/hc/en-us/articles/200584076-Promote-Your-Products-in-Facebook-and-Twitter
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Facebook Ecommerce: The 5 Step Selling Guide

May 12, 2014 by Kevin Gralen

The first step to successfully selling and promoting your products on Facebook is to setup a Facebook store. Once this has been setup you can use the functions within Facebook to drive customers to your shop. Follow these 5 social selling steps to success:

1.       Choose Your Brand Personality

When determining your social personality you should consider whether your posts are going to be lighthearted and humorous, inspiring, thought provoking, or informative. TO determine what time of brand personality is the most effective for you, look to your current brand’s image and the way you interact with customers. This will point you in the right direction of why your social personality should say about your brand. Once you have decided which posting will engage the best with your audience be sure to stay consistent with that personality.

2.       Interesting and Engaging Posts

This area can sometimes be a bit more complicated as it can be difficult to always come up with the right material to post for your business while still remaining true to your personality. One thing to always keep in matter no matter which brand personality type you are using is to always try to include an image or a video with your post. These are more interactive for users and create more opportunities for them to like or share your post which will then be visible to an even wider audience. Studies have shown that images with human interaction are particularly successful; keep that in mind when you are developing your posts.

Another way you can create interesting posts are by using questions to encourage your customers to engage with you on your Facebook page. You get more engagement from your fans while also finding out with products they prefer. When your fans are commenting on questions or even just giving general feedback be sure to respond to them so they know you value their opinion.

3.       Promote Your Shop

When you are posting images and comments about your products always post a link back to your shop. This makes the product easy for customers who are interested to find and purchase. To find the quick link for your products within your Facebook shop you can go into the admin panel and click on the My Products tab and from there you will see Facebook and Twitter icons that will allow you to promote specific products on either of these social channels.

Promote your store by linking back to your Facebook shop in general by going to the Settings tab in the admin panel and then selecting the Promote My Store feature.

4.       Create Special Offers and Discounts

Fans and customers can be very loyal to a brand when they feel that the loyalty is reciprocated. Make them feel appreciated by offering them special offers and discounts on products. This can be easily promoted directly on your Facebook fan page. There are also Facebook daily deal apps available for your fan page that will offer discounts for a limited time only to your fans. This app creates an exclusive offer for your friends and shows them that you value them as fans and customers.

5.       Track Your Success

Facebook has an analytics system built in that allows you to track your successes. This system is known as Facebook insights and it is located at the top of the admin panel of your Facebook fan page. Facebook insights track your likes, reach, and social engagement.

In the Facebook insights panel you can spend time evaluating your posts to see which types of posts received the most comments, likes, or shares. You can also use this area to determine which types of special offers or discounts drives the most sales. In this section you will also be able to see how many page visits you received during the time period and what types of people are interacting with your store.

Are you already selling on Facebook and using other methods to promote your products? Let us know what works for you!

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Creating Successful Facebook Ads

May 5, 2014 by Chelsie Ball

xfacebook-shop.png.pagespeed.ic.E-s4KD6bmOFacebook can be an effective tool in reaching your audience if you know how to maximize Facebook ads and use them correctly. You can drive this traffic to multiple locations such as your Facebook page, your website, or your Facebook store.

It is important to note that you have news feed ads and the right column ads available to you. The right column ads are paid ads that show up on the far right side of the page. When you distinguish your target demographics, Facebook uses this information to target Facebook users that would be the most interested in your products or services.

News feed ads are more visible to your consumers because they are showing up in their news feed. This can make them more valuable to your business as they are more likely to get seen by the consumer than the right column ads.

Whether you decide to create a news feed ad or a right column ad you will still need to have a Facebook page that promotes your business. Once you create the business Facebook page you are then eligible to create either type of ad. Make sure that you don’t neglect the business page you created especially if you are driving traffic back to your Facebook page.

Facebook-Like-Button-150x150There are some benefits of the newsfeed ad:

  • As mentioned above more visibility
  • Larger ad for more content
  • You can include a larger image with your ad

When creating your ads be sure to have the text and images well prepared before implementing the ad. Be sure that the main points of your message are in the top of the content. If you have any special offers or discounts on products or services the top area of the ad is the best place to showcase this deal. Any time you are offering a discount there is a high incentive for consumers to click on your ad.

Facebook ads are an effective way to drives sales and they can be directed to any landing page. You can direct them to your website, your Facebook shop or any other ecommerce site. If you are looking to direct them to your Facebook store you can use the smart links in the app to promote your products. You can pull these links from the “promote” feature in the app that is located under the product listing or under the settings tab in the mobile settings area. You can see this area pictured below.

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Both types of Facebook ads are highly targeted and you can use this to reach the audience with the highest potential to convert. These ads offer a variety of demographics, make sure that before you develop your ad you are well versed in the demographics that make up your best target audience.

When developing your Facebook ads be sure to use several types of ads with different ad copy and images to determine which ones are the most effective. There are no set guidelines to determining what types of ads are the most effective for your business, try out a few and see what is the most effective for you.

Already using Facebook ads? Let us know what works for you!

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