Learn Simple Social Steps to Market Your Online Store

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.


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

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

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.


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.


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.


  1. 1.       http://support.shoptab.net/hc/en-us/articles/200584076-Promote-Your-Products-in-Facebook-and-Twitter

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Creating Successful Facebook Ads

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.


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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Adding Surcharges to Products in your Facebook Shop

When you run an ecommerce store you often offer variations of products such as size and color. It can be more expensive for you to provide the larger item, to provide an item of a certain color or provide a special package of multiple products. It is imperative that you have the capability to add a surcharge or an additional price to your item. This can be achieved through your Facebook shop.

You can easily add this capability to your Facebook store. To use the surcharge option, select the product variable option for the product listing and then check the surcharge box as seen below.


From this step you can then designate which variables you would like to set for the incremental changes since you aren’t required to have a charge for each variable. For example, if there are different sizes such as small, medium, and large you can set a surcharge just for the large product only. You can see this depicted below. An additional charge could also be provided for a color variation or other product variations that you make available in the Facebook e-commerce app.


When a buyer is in your Facebook store and the product and the variable that has the added surcharge is selected, the amount charged in the checkout cart will be noted as the cumulative price. This is a great way to add this into the total price of the item instead of showing the customer a breakdown, which would show that a surcharge is being added. Showing line items can be confusing and irritating customers. Having the surcharges added into the cumulative price is a more fluid way of making the price differentiations between variables.


The incremental price will be noted in a download of your products listings that you use as a back-up or as a template to edit your listings for future updates of your store. You should keep tabs on which of your product variations you have added to your inventory. You should also make sure that what you do with pricing is consistent across your products, since you don’t want to confuse your buyers such as a consistent surcharge for large shirts.

The flexibility to add a surcharge is very important for many sellers to effectively capture increased product or packaging costs. Some items can be more costly to manufacture and ship than others so it is crucial that you are able to reflect that difference to your consumers in a simple to understand manner.


1. http://support.shoptab.net/hc/en-us/articles/201986123

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Reordering Categories and Products for Search

A big part of running an ecommerce store is the ability to efficiently lead customers to the products or services that meets their need. This includes the organization of how your products or services are offered to your customers. ShopTab makes it easier than ever to organize the categories and products in your Facebook shop.

You can find this feature in the admin portion of the app. Go to the “My Products” page and click “Change Order”. At this point you are given the option to choose to reorder your categories or products within your Facebook store.


Categories are a key helping customer quickly find the merchandise they desire. These days, customers have a very short attention span. If they go to your store and can’t quickly find the product they are looking for than they are likely to move on to your competition. Many clients put their most popular categories at the top of the category drop down list to help their clients.

On the page to reorder categories you can choose to drag and drop your categories to their desired location. This is located in the left column of the listings. You can also reorder by choosing the order number and editing that field with the desired number order that you would like that category to be placed in. Changes to listings that are made in this screen are immediately saved to your store.


In order to change the product order, select that option from the “Change Order” button on the “My Products” page. The reordering process on the product page works the same way as it does on the categories page. You can choose to drag and drop to reorder your products or you can choose the order number and select which order you would like that product to appear.

Change product order 2

Every product and category is available in this section so you can easily view all and determine what order you would like everything to appear. Please note that any updates you make in the category section will not affect the order of the products; you must be in the product reorder screen to update the product order.

The order of your products and categories can affect the overall usability and conversion rates of your Facebook store. Setup your products and categories relevant to what your customers are looking for, this will allow them to find your products quickly, which in turn will increase your opportunities to finalize a sale.


  1. http://support.shoptab.net/hc/en-us/articles/200583366

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How to Attract More Likes to Your Facebook Fan Page

Setting up a business page on Facebook is a relatively easy process. The challenge that you will face once the page is complete is getting users to “Like” your page. There are a number of avenues that you can use to attract likes to your page.  We recommend to all those new to building up a fan page to use multiple methods and we believe the ideas below are the best options to quickly build up your social presence in Facebook.

1.       Invite Friends to “Like” Your Page

This is a great way to get fans to your page when your page is first built. It allows you to tap into the personal network that you already have on Facebook. The invite feature allows you to ask certain friends or all friends to like your business page. This feature can be found at the top of your admin panel under “Build Audience”. Invite your friends and ask them to invite their friends.invite_friends

2.       Email Your Existing Customers

Inviting your email contacts to like your business page is also an integrated feature of Facebook. This feature allows you to send out a mass email to your database asking them to like your page. You can see that function of Facebook in the image above titled “Invite Email Contacts”. Once you choose that option a dialog box will appear where you can choose which email contacts to invite. email contacts

3.       Run a Contest

Creating a contest hosted on your business page is a great way to create buzz about your fan page. You can run a contest through a Facebook app such as offerpop. You can also now run a contest directly through your business page as long as the rules and restrictions are properly outlined and that the ways to win are made clear. If you are new to Facebook contests we suggest using an app just to make sure you are complying with Facebook terms for contests.

4.       Add a Fan Gate

What is a Fan Gate? Fan gates (also referred to as like gates) have users “Like” a page before they can see the posts, contests, or products that are offered on an application inside of your fan page. You do this by adding an app to your page. If you want to display different information to fans you can use ShortStack; if you are looking to promote a Facebook store or a daily deal you should use an app specifically for that such as ShopTab for your Facebook store or SharedDeal for your daily deal. All these apps are equipped with optional fan gates that will prompt users to like your page before they can view your deals or products. Below you can see an example of a fan gate for a Facebook store using the ShopTab app. fangate_example

5.       Use Other Social Channels

Letting your whole network know that you have created a Facebook business page is another way to drive likes to your page. Generally you have different contacts in each of your social media networks so be sure to let them know that your page exists and ask them to like your page. A few social media channels in particular you can focus on are Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

6.       Incorporating Into Your Email Signature Line

Incorporating a “Like us on Facebook” feature in your signature line will ensure that everyone you are emailing will see that you have a business page on Facebook. Another bonus of using this in your signature is generally the people you are emailed are interested in your products and services so they will be more likely to go Like your page. Be sure that you are including a link to your business page from the signature to make it easy for your contacts to like the page. You can easily add this function into your signature line; you can see the example below. facebook_signature_ex

7.       Use Facebook Ads

In previous articles, we have discussed how Facebook Ads can be utilized to driving traffic and likes to a Facebook page. Many times Facebook Ads are used to offer product or service discounts to consumers. When you pair Facebook ads with a Fan Gate it especially efficient in attracting new likes to your page. Use the Facebook ads to draw attention to your products by offering attractive deals to users. Once they come to look at your products they will use the fan gate feature and drive up your likes. To see more on how to create a Facebook Ad visit our previous article: “Use Facebook Ads to Drive Sales in Your Facebook Shop”.

8.       Adding the “Like” Capability to Your Website and Blog

This allows anyone that is visiting your website or reading your blog to be able to easily like your Facebook page without leaving the content they are looking at. This is an easy way for you to gain more fans and a benefit of this avenue just like email signatures is that you are capturing likes from users who are interested in your products or services. Below you can see an example of adding the multiple social plugins to your blog, including the Facebook “Like” feature. You can easily add these through your blogs platform. blog_socialplugins

Building your social presence is a critical step in building your brand for all organizations. A plan that incorporates many of the ideas above will be important to see a quick build-up of your fans and followers.  Let us know if you have other ideas that have worked for your organization.

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How to Set Up a Facebook Page and an Ecommerce App

If you are running a business it is important that your company has a presence on social media. A quick and easy place for you to start is to create a Facebook business page.

1.       To create a Facebook business page go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Here you will be asked what type of page you would like to create. Generally the best one to choose here is “Local Business or Place,” please review the other options just in case those suit you better.

2.       After you click “Local Business or Place” you will be asked to select your business category along with your company information such as name of the business, address, and phone number. If for some reason your category isn’t listed you can always choose “local business.” You then have to agree to Facebook Pages Terms and click “get started”.

3.       Once the initial setup is complete you will asked to add categories and provide a description. This will help bring up your page in search results. Be sure to add a link to your website here as well if you have one. You do have a character limit for the description so make the most of your description. On this page you can also choose a unique Facebook address that makes it easier for people to find you. We suggest using your business name or a main product.


4.       The next step is adding your logo into the profile picture.

5.       After you have added the logo, you will be given the option to reach more people. This is where you can create a Facebook Ad and set your daily budget so you can get fans; this is a quick way to get fans and to sell any products through your Facebook page. If you are not ready at this time to start using Facebook Ads for your page then you can skip this section.

You have now completed the setup of your page. You should add more information to your page such as a cover photos (larger photo at the top of the page) and more images of your office and/or products and team. You can easily add a cover photo by clicking the button towards the top that says “Add a cover.”


Once the page has been created you can click the “About” that is listed right below your description. Here you are able to modify the business information that you provided previously as you did the initial setup. If you hover over the “About” section you will see a pencil icon in the upper right corner, you should click this as it allows you to add additional information. Here you are able to make sure all your categories are correct, you can add in your hours of operation which is especially important if you have a physical location. We also recommend entering a long description of your business and making the page official for your brand.


If your Facebook page is for a company that sells products, as many as you should also consider adding a Facebook store app to your page so that fans who are viewing your page can shop there as well. You can add a Facebook shop to your store pretty easily. For our example I am going to take you through adding the ShopTab app to a Facebook page, most apps in general can be added the same way.

First if you go to their website you can see a button for “Start Your Free Trial”. You will then see an orange button to start your free trial.  Fill in the appropriate information to get started, you will need to remember your email address and password for future logins.

Once you have done the initial setup up you will be able to login for the first time. After you have registered you will be offered the opportunity to add the app to your designated page. You can do that anytime, but we recommend doing that when you first login. You will then be prompted to provide ShopTab permission to place the app on your page. You should click okay to allow on each of the 2 to 3 dialog boxes they provide. Once the app is successfully placed on your page the app icon should appear as it does below. You can also customize the name and image that is shown for your app. There are many other customizations and setups that the Facebook store app will allow you to make.

You can easily setup a Facebook business page and add photos to your page to create interest for your fans. If you offer products then you should consider adding a Facebook shop to your business page. This will enable your customers to shop directly from your Facebook page and they won’t have to bounce around between your Facebook page and your website. If you do offer products and you do not currently have an ecommerce site you can easily make those products available to customers through Facebook.

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Use Facebook Ads to Drive Sales in your Facebook Shop

You did your research and have set yourself up with a new Facebook store app.  Now you need to drive customers to your store to generate revenue. There are different marketing avenues that you may take to promote your products.  For new store app users, we suggest you review our FB store quick start guide to see simple and quick success options with our free tools. However, there are times when using Facebook’s advertising platform can make great sense for driving sales and growing your followers.

When using Facebook ads we recommend providing a discount or a packaged deal, since these perform very well within Facebook.  For you to discount your products you will need to login to your account and edit the product that you are looking to discount.  You can adjust your pricing in the price field area shown below. We suggest you note the reduced price in the product title and even in the description.


After you have discounted your product price and saved the changes you will notice a button under the product listings page that says “Promote”. You can use this button to let your customers know about the discounted price directly on your Facebook Fan Page for your followers.  This is a free tool for all ShopTab users to use.


On this Promote dialog, you can see that there is a specific link provided for this product which will allow you to not only promote the product directly on your Facebook page but you can also use this link to promote your product with Facebook Ads  or other platforms (ex: an email blast or in a tweet).  You’ll want to use this link because it has special “smart link” technology that will allow all desktop, tablet and mobile users to access the product page with an optimized landing page.

promote on wall_boots

To broaden your reach outside of your followers on Facebook, use this special product link with a Facebook ads campaign so you can directly target people that may be interested in your store and its products.  To create your own Facebook ad do the following:

  • Go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/.
  • From here select the goals you would like to accomplish with the ad campaign
  • Facebook will then ask you for more detail on what you chose to accomplish so it knows where to guide your customers.

You may choose “Page Post Engagement” if you want to direct them  to use that link that is populated from the “Promote” feature in the app to direct traffic to the specific products.  This is a great route to take to let consumers know about the discounted product you are offering.  For other campaigns, you may choose to direct them to the main store landing page – the smart link for the full store is located under the “Settings” and “Activate Mobile Store” tab in ShopTab – grab either of the links noted below.


After you choose where you want to link you campaign, you may then choose images that you would like to display with your ads. Below that process it will ask you a series of questions about who you want to target and what industry your products fall under – perfect for a real focused targeting for your product. The last section is going to be the payment information area. You will need to read the details on whether you are paying by impression or paying by click and you will be asked to select a daily budget for your ad.

You may pair the integrated ShopTab “Promote” feature with Facebook ads to reach a much broader market. Those two avenues work together very well to create a solution for you to quickly sell products, generate revenue and expand the followers to your fan page.

If you run a campaign with Facebook ads, let us know what you learned.

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7 Tips to Grow Your Blog’s Following

Image by Svilen Milev link to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1383208
Image by Svilen Milev link to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1383208

A key to the success of gaining followers for your blog is to utilize all the channels you can. You need to be active in your community and interactive with your followers. Users need to know that your blog is out there and that it can provide them with valuable information. This can be very helpful to developing traffic, and if you have an ecommerce site or a Facebook store, the following tips are essential to driving traffic to your blog and store.

1.       Guest Blogging

You can be a guest blogger to get your blog in front of a new audience, make sure that you aren’t just guest blogging for the sake of it. If you are going to create guest blog posts you should be creating them for other blogs that are going to reach a relevant audience for your business. You can focus on reaching out to bloggers who you would like to do a guest post for. Many bloggers are happy to embrace new bloggers as it adds another dimension to their current blog. It is best if you help them to understand your unique point of view so that they can understand how you would bring value to their audience.

2.       Comment on Other Blogs

The comments section on blogs is a great way to interact and create relationships with those who are relevant to your business. Another value of this section is that when posts generate many comments this can be as entertaining as the blog itself and can create more user engagement, which is great when you start this kind of dialog. If you don’t abuse its use, you may include a link to your blog in your comment (make sure it is highly relevant) so each time someone reads the article they are seeing the link to your blog.

3.       Link from Your Personal Email to Your Blog

You can personalize your email signature. A great way to get more exposure is to have a link in your email signature to your blog and your social media channels. This creates an easier way for anyone you are emailing to get access to your blog and to your social platforms. Set your automatic email signature to ensure that your links show up on each email that you are sending out.

Image by Svilen Milev link to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/970189
Image by Svilen Milev link to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/970189

4.       Add an RSS Button

RSS feature let’s followers quickly access your blog for more information. The RSS feed allows them access your blog from multiple channels. There are users out there who won’t stick around if they aren’t able to subscribe to your blog, be sure you make it easy for them to subscribe to your blog.

5.       Be Active on Twitter and Facebook

Twitter is a great way to be interactive and reach out to bloggers for guest posting opportunities. You can easily share posts on your blog on both Twitter and Facebook, which helps build an exposure to your blog as well as increasing your rank in search engine results. An increase in rank can lead to more traffic for both your website and blog. Both Twitter and Facebook make it easy for you to find those who are relevant to your business, and it allows you to easily engage with them. You can use these social media platforms to drive traffic to your blog.

6.       Share With Your Social Network

If your articles are informative and entertaining then followers will want to read them. This can help you to gain traffic to your blog from various social media sites. Keep your audience in mind as you share posts on the different platforms, for example LinkedIn is more business centric and those posts should be more on the informative and educational side of the spectrum.

7.       When Posting Focus on Entertaining and Informing

There are generally 2 main reasons why users read a blog post: for information or to be entertained. Think about what people are looking for and use your blog to meet their needs. This will help you gain more traffic to your blog because you are providing information that people are searching for.



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