Using Instagram With Your Facebook Store

ShopTab Instagram 1

While Facebook is still the dominant platform when it comes to social selling, there’s another platform on the rise that can be used to sell online. Instagram.

With 300+M users, Instagram (owned by Facebook), shouldn’t be ignored, especially if your customer base is made up of Millennials.

While many social apps can be managed with the mobile app or with a website (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), Instagram won’t let you manage your account until you’ve downloaded the mobile app. In this post, I’m going to show you the basics of Instagram, and explain how you can leverage an Instagram fan base to sell more through your Facebook shop.

Setting up Your Instagram Account

Instagram setup is relatively straightforward. First, download the mobile app. When it’s downloaded you’ll be prompted to enter your email address and login using your Facebook account. After you’ve logged in, the account is created.

How to Place Your Facebook Store URL in Your Instagram Profile

When setting up your account, it’s important to include a link to your Facebook Store URL in your Instagram bio. Now that you’ve set up your mobile app, you can access Instagram through the website on a desktop (this will make editing your profile and adding information much easier.)

Login to your ShopTab account, copy the Store URL from the My Products page, and then place the URL into your Instagram profile.

To insert your link through the Instagram website:

  • Click your profile image and username in the upper right.
  • Click Edit Profile.
  • Enter your website’s URL in the last field on the page.

The link will appear here in your bio.

ShopTab Instagram 1

 

Now, people who follow you on Instagram will be able to access your Facebook store directly from your Instagram profile page.

Reminder: Only use the Facebook store URL provided in the ShopTab admin (do not try to copy/paste the URL from Facebook – it’s not mobile-friendly!)

How to Post a Product Image

Posting an image on Instagram is simple and intuitive. Open your Instagram application on your phone and click the camera button. From here you’ll be able to access all of the photos that are already stored on your phone. Any pictures you take with your phone can be uploaded into Instagram and shared with your followers.

ShopTab Instagram 2

How to Comment on Your Product Image

This is the important part – many of your followers will not know how to access your Facebook store link unless you tell them where the link is. The link that you placed in your profile will not automatically show up when you post an image.

When you upload a photo, you’ll be asked if you want to add a comment.

Whenever you comment on a post, it will show up here.

ShopTab Instagram 3

Instagram does not allow you to paste your store link in your comment. In your comment, you’ll want to say something like:

“Interested in buying these _____? Click the store link on my profile!”

That will instruct potential buyers to visit your profile page, where they can click your Facebook Store URL and then access your products.

A Few More Tips

1. Hashtags can be a great tool when growing your Instagram following. Here’s a list of 3 hashtags you can use to sell your products.

2. Convert your Facebook fans into your Instagram fans by encouraging them to follow you on both platforms.

3. Focus on high-quality images only – Instagram was designed for your best images only, so make sure you only post your favorite photos (or have a professional take some photos of your products).

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Top 5 Promotion Code Ideas For Your Facebook Store

Preparing Your (3)

We just released the latest feature for all ShopTab Facebook stores, the ability to create promotion codes.

Promotion codes are a powerful tool you can use to drive sales and Facebook shop engagement, and there are all kinds of great ways to utilize this new feature. After you’ve created the code for your Facebook store, you want to make sure the code is seen and used by your fans.

If you haven’t created a promotion code yet or aren’t sure where to get started, here are 5 ideas for promotion codes that you can implement today.

1. Place a promotion code in your store banner

If you created your promotion code, but you aren’t sure if your fans are seeing it, this can be a great way to raise awareness. First, create an image that includes text with your promotion code (if you’re not a designer, Canva is a great tool for easy, quick designs.) Then you can upload the banner for your Facebook store under Settings/Store Design Options – for instructions on how to add a store banner, click here. A good image size is 810 x 200 pixels.

Example: Create a code called “TENOFF” and then add text to your banner that says, “Get $10.00 OFF each order over $100 using the code TENOFF”

It could be something as simple as this:

Get $10 each order over $100 using the

2. Use your promotion code to encourage engagement on your Facebook Page

If someone shares one of your posts or interacts with your wall – send them your discount! Don’t be afraid to use private messages to reach out to fans and say “Thanks for the share! Use the code “TENOFF” for $10 off your next order of $100 or more :)” This will create a memorable moment for your customer, making them more likely to talk about your store and become a repeat customer.

When you create a post, mention that you have a special promotion for anyone that shares the post. If you have too many shares to keep up with, ask people to share and then send you a message for the code- it’s much easier to respond to messages then to track down individual Facebook users.

Note: Facebook has recently cracked down on posts that sound too promotional, so be careful using words like “share” and “like” too much in your posts. For more information, read this post we created on Facebook’s new algorithm.

3. Send a code directly to your best customers

If you have customers that are true “brand advocates” and you’d like to thank them, create a special code for them and then send them an email or a Facebook message to let them know that you appreciate their business and wanted to give them a discount.

Example: Create a code called “THANKYOU” for 15% off their next order.

4. Create a holiday promotion code

Christmas coming up? 4th of July? Arbor day? National puppy appreciation day?

Create a code for a specific event or time period and then encourage your fans to use it “before time runs out!” Timed promotions centered around events create a sense of urgency, and can be a great way to drive sales.

5. Send promotion codes in your email marketing

If you’re already collecting emails on a website or on your Facebook page, you can create promotion codes for your email subscribers and then send it out to your entire following. According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email.

Create a code for your email followers and then track the number of codes used to see how effective your email marketing is.

Have you used other creative ideas to distribute promotion codes to your fans? Share them in the comments below!

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How To Create a Promotion Code in Your Facebook Shop

ShopTab promotion codes

We’re excited to announce our latest ShopTab feature: the ability to add promotion codes.

Promotion codes are incredibly selling tools. They draw attention to your products, encourage more of your fans to purchase items, and help you retain customers.

If you’re using ShopTab’s integrated cart to sell in your Facebook shop, you now have the ability to create unlimited promotions codes to support your social marketing activities.

The types of promotion codes you can offer are:

1. Percentage Discount

Example: Take 15% off the price of your items for Cyber Monday

2. Fixed Amount Discount

Example: Everyone who orders $50 worth of items in your store gets $10 off their order

For both the percentage discount and the fixed amount discount, you can create a Threshold Option, allowing you to create a minimum purchase level before the discount is applied.

Example: 20% off all purchases of more than $100

To learn more about implementing promotion codes in your Facebook shop (and see some common questions) visit our FAQ on promotion codes here.

If you’d like to create a promotion for just one item in your store, you can still do that by using our surcharge/discount feature outlined here.

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Facebook Store in Nepal Uses Cash-on-Delivery Feature

There are Facebook stores all over the world using ShopTab, and from time to time we’ll profile unique stores on different corners of the globe who are using our Facebook store app to sell to their fans.

One of our clients, Fariya, is a new Facebook store in Nepal.

Fariya is using ShopTab’s cash-on-delivery feature to sell a large variety of women’s clothing and accessories.

Nepal 1 Nepal 2

 

With more than 58,000 fans, Fariya has had a lot of success with ShopTab’s Facebook store platform. After orders are placed through the “Shop Now” button, customers can pick up and pay for the items or have the items delivered. (if you want to learn how to get your own “Shop Now” button on Facebook, click here).

Fariya has proven that using a Facebook store can be an effective way to both drive sales and drive product interest.

Would you like your Facebook store profiled on the ShopTab blog? Send us a note at support@shoptab.net and tell us a bit about your company! You may just be featured in a future article.

 

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Paid Product Posts Boost Facebook Store Activity

For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring the impact different types of Facebook wall promotions (organic vs. paid, product vs. full store) have had on Facebook store activity and engagement.

First, we explored the impact of the call-to-action button on store sales and product interest.

Then, we took things a step further by testing the impact of organic Facebook posts about store products.

This is Part 3 of our study, an in-depth look at the impact of paid Facebook promotions (both for individual products and for the store as a whole). We’ll show you how the paid promotions impact store activity, and we’ll pair that information with data from organic promotions.

Let’s dive right into the results!

As you can see from the image below, over a period of about 3 weeks, we tested four different types of Facebook posts:

  1. Organic, small product image
  2. Organic, large product image
  3. Paid ($5), large product image
  4. Paid ($20), large store image

Part 3 Facebook Store Study

The top graph shows daily page views in the Facebook store, and the bottom graph shows “Buy Clicks” in the Facebook store.

While it’s quite impressive that the two organic posts were able to drive measurable traffic and engagement in the store, the winner here was the $5 paid post with the large product image. The $5 post led to 485 page views and a significant increase in Buy Clicks.

You may be asking: How did the $20 paid promotion perform worse in terms of Buy Clicks when compared to the $5 post?

The answer lies in the type of promotion.

The $5 promotion was for a specific product and the $20 promotion was for generic store promotion.

The key to take away here is that individual product promotions and deals seem to have better results, and that makes perfect sense. Potential customers are more likely to respond to posts when they are promoting one individual item. If you just post about your entire store, potential customers may pass up the post and think, “I don’t have time to browse an entire store.”

Something we didn’t test is increasing the $ amount for the paid promotion of an individual item. We only use $5. If you’re able to have results comparable to the results above with just $5, you’ll easily make back the cost of the promotion (depending on how many of those Buy Clicks finish the sale).

If you don’t know how to promote a product, see this post we wrote about boosting your Facebook posts.

It’s also important to note here that you can use organic posts to test for what type of post performs the best, and then use that type of post for a paid promotion.

For instance, if you have an organic post that does well and leads to sales you should promote it to a wider audience to gain even more sales. If the organic post does ok (but not great), you can wait a few days and then try another product that might perform better. If the organic post does poorly (let’s say you have page views but no sales), you might want to try a discount or a different strategy with you organic posts all together until you find the best-performer.

You’ll want to continue testing different approaches on your own, but this data is extremely promising. With just a few product promotions on your Facebook wall, you can dramatically impact the number of interactions and sales inside of your Facebook store.

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Organic Wall Posts Impact Facebook Store Sales

Last week, I explored the impact adding the “Shop Now” call-to-action button had on Facebook store sales and engagement.

The results showed that the button led to a drastic increase in both Facebook store sales and impressions. The call-to-action button’s appearance on mobile phones is likely the main reason for it’s success, but we wanted to take this experiment a bit further by adding Facebook wall posts to the mix.

The question we were trying to answer was this: What happens when you pair the call-to-action button with product promotions on your Facebook wall? 

When we ran the test, we wanted to count the number of sales, but we also wanted to measure interest and engagement.

We took a look at the ShopTab Performance Dashboard to see store views, social activity, and the number of times people added Facebook store items to their cart.

On two days, we measured the impact of product promotions on one of our client’s walls to see if we could correlate the posts to activity in the store.

Can you guess which two days we posted based on the image below?

organic reach Facebook store

Yep, that’s right.

On the two days that we posted about products, activity in the Facebook store nearly doubled. In this case, the posts were completely organic, meaning we didn’t pay money to “boost” the post through Facebook.

Here’s an example of one of the wall posts. Nothing fancy, just a brief post describing one of the deals in the Facebook store.

Shed Head post 1

138 likes, 12 comments, and 12 shares. Sales after this post skyrocketed, and the interest/engagement were noticeably larger in the Facebook store compared to days where products were not mentioned.

We’re going to take this test one step further.

Instead of just testing organic posts, we’re going to test paid posts (“boosting” the product promotions using Facebook’s ads platform) to see what impact that has on Facebook store activity.

Come back next week to see what impact paid promotions have on our featured Facebook store!

 

 

 

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How Much Should I Charge for Shipping in My Facebook Store?

shipping Facebook storeDetermining shipping costs for your Facebook store products can be a confusing and difficult task.

If you’ve never shipped anything before, you may be asking yourself a number of questions.

Do I want to set limits on where my product is shipped?

What if I charge too much for shipping and lose customers?

What if I don’t charge enough for shipping and lose profit?

How can I determine shipping costs if my items are all different weight & sizes?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’re not alone. It may take a few purchases to get your shipping process nailed down. I’ve created the guide below to help you determine your ideal shipping cost. Everyone’s shipping needs are different, but if you’re completely new to Facebook selling, this is a great place to start.

1. Choose a shipping provider.

Every provider will have disadvantages and benefits, so it’s important to take a look at each provider’s website to determine what makes sense for your business. Some options for shipping providers include:

1. USPS

2. UPS

3. FedEx

USPS is by far the cheapest shipping option if your package is less than 2 pounds. Currently, USPS offers 3 main shipping services:

  • First Class Mail – Arrives within 2-5 business days
  • Priority Mail – Arrives within 2-3 business days
  • Express Mail – 1 – 2 business days depending on location

The main disadvantage is that USPS does not guarantee the delivery date of any packages. If reliability is a top priority for you, you may want to choose someone else.

UPS is widely considered to be the most reliable, and they have discounts if you ship large volumes.

You may also want to consider the proximity of the shipping provider. If your business is across the street from a FedEx, it might make sense for you to use their services for shipping.

2. Take some products to your shipping provider to determine estimated costs

I always recommend that you take several of your most popular items to your chosen shipping provider to get a sense of the cost to ship certain items.

They are the experts, and you’ll learn a lot just by swinging into one of their offices and asking some questions. Many providers offer flat-rate boxes, meaning the weight of the item doesn’t matter as long as it fits inside a certain size of box.

Write down some of the cost estimates they give you so you have them for reference.

You’ll also want to ask about international rates. Many shipping providers have expensive international shipping costs, and if you’re an international seller, you’ll want to take those costs in mind for this next step.

3. Calculate your “average shipping expense” and then experiment

This is where things get a little tricky.

What you’re trying to do is determine the average cost to ship items to your “average customer”.

Let’s say you sell jewelry and clothing.

If you know that it will cost you $5 to ship up to 10 pieces of jewelry, and $10 to ship a single item of clothing (based on the conversations you had with your shipping provider), you then have to ask yourself:

What’s the most likely “basket” of items that I’m going to sell and how much will that cost?

For instance, if you know that 80% of your customers buy 1 piece of apparel, and the other 20% buy jewelry (and you know that you can fit 100% of your apparel in a flat rate box that ships for $10), then charging a flat rate of $8 for shipping might make sense (that’s close to the average cost for the majority of your purchases).  As you’re customers’ buying habits change (let’s say they starting buying 4 pieces of apparel on average), then you may have to make adjustments to your flat rate.

If that doesn’t work for you, another popular option is to charge shipping based on the amount ordered (in $).

For instance, you could charge:

$6.95 for any purchases up to $75

$9.95 for any purchases from $75-$150

Free shipping for purchases over $150

After a few purchases, you’ll be able to tell if you’re covering your costs. A lot of shipping is based on experimentation. You have to have an understanding of your “average shipping expense” to determine your prices.

If you aren’t covering your costs, adjust the price. If you’re getting complaints about shipping prices, lower the cost (or provide a discount to your customers).

This is a great option if you’re using PayPal with your Facebook store in the US. They provide a handful of options for shipping – I’ve created a guide in another post that shows you exactly how to set up your PayPal shipping in 8 steps.

If you still feel lost on what to do for shipping, don’t worry. The best thing you can do is take action, choose a shipping cost, and learn from it. You’ll quickly be able to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

Quick Tip: Another way to “lower your shipping cost” is to adjust the prices of your items. People are more sensitive to the price of shipping then to the actual price of a product, so you can transfer some of the cost from shipping to the product itself without losing any profit from the sale.

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Facebook Call-to-Action Button Drives Product Interest and Sales

In previous posts, we’ve covered Facebook’s recent announcement of their new call-to-action feature, and we’ve provided a step-by-step guide for setting up your call-to-action button on your Facebook page.

Now, after we’ve had some time to see how the call-to-action buttons are impacting Facebook stores, the evidence is clear.

Call-to-action buttons are driving product sales. 

We’ve now had time to analyze Facebook store numbers before and after implementing the button, and the buttons seem to have a significant impact on the number of product views and engagement.

Here’s a look at the performance dashboard of one of ShopTab’s new Facebook store users. Notice that right after the implementation of the button, store page views and buy clicks increased dramatically.

CTA_Button_Impact

In this case, the Facebook store user hadn’t promoted consistently on their Facebook page, meaning that all of this activity was created from the call-to-action button alone.

If Facebook store owners use the call-to-action button combined with consistent promotions of products through wall posts, they’ll undoubtedly see the impact when they look at their numbers.

Note: The ShopTab client mentioned above has started promoting on their wall and we’ve written Part 2 of this blog, which you can read here.

I’ve written about the best way to promote Facebook store products on your wall, and if you’re new to Facebook selling, you’ll want to make sure you check that out when you’re setting up your store.

One of the biggest advantages of the Facebook’s new call-to-action feature is that the button shows up on mobile devices.

Facebook Shop Now button

This may explain why it has such a dramatic impact on product/store views and sales. We’ve recently learned that Facebook’s 101 million US daily mobile users make up a whopping 78% of its 128 million daily US users.

We’re confident that this trend will continue, and Facebook users will become increasingly mobile with their browsing (and their shopping).

If you’re new to Facebook selling, take a mobile-first approach, and get your call-to-action button set up so you don’t miss out on sales.

Don’t forget to come back next week for the follow-up post on how product promotions (added to the call-to-action button) are impacting sales.

Note: As of February 19, 2015 Facebook hasn’t rolled out the call-to-action feature on all Facebook Pages. If you’re not seeing the button on your cover photo, you may have to wait patiently until Facebook decides to make the feature available to everyone.

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How To “Boost” a Facebook Store Product Post With Facebook Ads

While it’s important to note that organic reach in Facebook is far from dead, a “boost” now and then through Facebook ads can really do wonders for your engagement.

If used correctly (boosting the right post at the right time), a boost can help you sell more with your Facebook store, and if you’re selling more, you can offset the cost of the promotion.

With as little as $5.00, you can double the number of people who see your post. That’s huge if you understand that more impressions often means a greater likelihood of making a sale.

If you’re new to “boosting” posts on Facebook, here are the steps you need to take to get started.

Step 1: Click the boost button under the Facebook post you want to promote

boost 1

 

Step 2: Choose your audience

The audience can be changed based on location, age, and other demographics (you can click the “edit audience” button to get even more targeting capabilities). If you’re a local business and you only want to reach people in your area, this is the perfect time to set a location filter on your promotion.

boost 2

Step 3: Set your budget

While Facebook’s “default” setting for a promotion budget it $200.00, don’t let this intimidate you. You can get a lot of engagement for just $5-$10. If you have specific targeting in place, your money will go farther because you’ll only reach the people you want to reach.

Below the budget you’ll see a bar that shows the estimated number of people the post will reach.

boost 3

 

Step 4: Set your duration and currency

If you’re only spending $5-$10 per post, you probably don’t want it to run for several days (since it will be hard to measure the true impact of the boost). We recommend 1-2 days for each boosted post.

boost 4

 

Step 5: Launch and measure the results

Whenever you boost your post, you’ll be able to view statistics on the engagement directly below the post. Here’s an example of what you’ll see – you’ll instantly know how many people saw the post as a result of the money you put into the promotion.

You can dig even further into the results by clicking the “See Results” button below the image.

boost 5

While there’s no “sweet spot” for everyone when it comes to promoting an individual post, it can be a great way to drive additional sales.

Keep the conversation going below! We’d love to hear about your experience with boosting or promoting a Facebook post.

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How To Launch Your First Facebook Store Flash Sale: 9 Steps

Creating a Facebook store is a great way to sell on Facebook, but it only works if you’re able to effectively promote your products (you can’t just place the store on your Facebook page and hope people on the internet will stumble upon it). If you’re not selling enough on your page, it might be time to try something new.

It might be time for your first flash sale.

A flash sale is a deal or discount that you provide to your customers for a limited period of time. If you’re new to flash sales, follow this guide and you’ll be hosting your own sale in no time.

Step 1: Choose your discount/deal type

Before you can create your first flash sale on Facebook, you need to decide what type of discount or deal you’re going to provide for your customers. Options include:

1. % off certain products

2. % off all products

3. Free shipping for orders over ____ amount (refer to our post about PayPal shipping set up to make this happen)

4. Free shipping on everything

5. Product bundle

6. Whole amount discount (e.g. $10.00 off)

This is just a preliminary list, and you can get even more creative with your sales if you’d like. We’ve seen Facebook stores provide deals for new fans, deals for fans that share the most content, and deals based on limited inventory. While the options seem unlimited, it’s best to start with something simple and expand from there. Some of the most successful Facebook store flash sales we’ve seen are something simple like “20% off all products” or “Free shipping on all products”.

Step 2: Choose your timeframe

When choosing a timeframe for your deal, you want to think about a few things. You don’t want to run your flash sale when everyone is at work (Monday at 11:00 am for example) and you don’t want to run your flash sale when everyone is going to bed (like 11:00 pm) – that seems like common sense, but it’s really important.

At ShopTab, we’ve found that the best time to run a deal is in the evening on a week day (people are usually out of the house on weekends, but on week days they are more likely to be at home on Facebook after work). Between 7:00 and 9:00 pm is a popular range, but you’ll want to think about your fans and their lifestyles before you decide on a time. You may also have to consider time zones if you are selling to an international audience

Step 3: Build excitement

You should start promoting your flash sale at least 7 days before it goes live. You want people to know exactly when your deal is live and that takes a lot of promotion. Create at least 3-4 Facebook posts about the flash sale, and post them throughout the week leading up to the sale. You may also want to consider boosting your posts on Facebook ($5/post can go a long way) to get more people to see it.

Tell your fans exactly what type of discount they’ll receive. If you are limiting inventory, tell them that they should shop fast before you run out of items.

Facebook store flash sale

Step 4: Get personal

Don’t be afraid to message individual fans that shop your products often or ask your friends to share the sale – Facebook was designed for social interaction, so it’s important to be as social as possible (even at an individual level). You may also want to share your promotions on your personal Facebook page.

Step 5: Post more on the day of the deal

You should post at least 2 times on the day of the deal to remind your fans about the upcoming flash sale. People are busy, and will likely forget about the sale unless you remind them and remind them and remind them. Don’t go crazy and post 10 times (this will hurt your Page’s engagement), but it is important to realize that you are competing with other Facebook posts for your customer’s time and attention.

flash sale 2

Step 6: Be available when the sale goes live

Your customers will inevitably have questions during your sale, so be close to a computer (or a phone with Facebook access) so you can help people out when they need it. You’ll also want to see when orders come in so you can learn how your customers are behaving during the sale (i.e. do they buy immediately when the sale goes live or do they shop around for a while?)

Step 7: Create urgency

When the sale is about to wrap up, tell your fans that they “only have _____ minutes left before the sale is over!”

Creating a sense of urgency is a great way to get more sales (telling your fans that you have “limited inventory” can also do the trick)

flash sale 3

Step 9: Remind your fans about the next flash sale

When the sale has ended, create a post for the following day that reminds your fans about the next flash sale. You may find that having a flash sale at the same time each week is a really effective way to sell more through your Facebook store. As you continue to promote your Page and grow your fan base, people will start to learn exactly when your sales are… meaning they’ll come back time and time again to see the deals and buy more of your products.

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