Social Media Automation Can Be Integrated With Your Marketing Plan

In recent years digital marketing has taken the business world by storm and along with that comes the task of social media marketing. Social media takes time, strategy, and planning of its own. It is one part of the overall marketing strategy that demands time and the creation of creative content that will keep your audience engaged so you can stay in conversation with them.

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Smaller companies often struggle with the idea of having one person run the social media initiative or even having one person implement the full marketing strategy. With so much to do with the overall plan, this often means the social media aspect of the marketing plan gets pushed to the side. Luckily, there have been social media automation tools that make this task much more manageable and less daunting for those in the marketing role.

Social media automation programs allow you to seamlessly push out content to various social media sites from one platform. It acts as a central hub where you are able to reach each of your target demographics with each chosen platform.

These automated tools make it easier for you to operate and push out relevant content to multiple channels. You are able to create content in advance and set them to post at anytime you would like. While social media automation tools make it much easier to get the content out there to your audience remember that you do need to spend some time and effort deciding what that content will be. Make sure you tailor that content for each social media platform as the target demographics and interests are different for each channel.

Ready to get started? If you are looking to start up on a social media automation software you can try HootSuite®, Sprout Social®, or Post Planner® just to name a few. To determine which platform will work the best for you, do your research and choose based on the number of platforms you are using and which system is able to provide you with the information and capabilities that best fits your business.

Keep in mind that you will still need to interact with your fans on the different channels. You can’t just set up the posts and completely neglect the page. Your fans need to know that you are there to listen to their concerns and to answer their questions. This means you need to keep a watchful eye on your social media channels to see how people are interacting. Not only will this allow you to increase your engagement with them but it will also enable you to see how your fans are interacting with your page and what types of posts peak their interest.

social_share_buttonsInteraction and creative content is especially important when you are selling online. You are able to set up your promotional posts on these platforms and market products that you are selling on your own website, eBay, Amazon, or through your Facebook store.  You are able to use this system to reach your best customers on each platform in one spot. Now more bouncing around to each social media site, these systems make it easy for you to simply create the content and schedule it for posting.

There can be many benefits to deciding to move forward with a social media strategy such as higher recognition on search engines and a higher rank for your business, increased brand awareness, and improved customer loyalty. The social automation system enables you to more easily manage your plan. It can be a dynamic assistant in the ever evolving and demanding social media world.

Resources:

  1. http://www.digitalkonline.com/blog/social-media-automation/

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Facebook Shop Back-Up Saves Big Hassle Later

A few articles ago we mentioned that you should be backing up your Facebook store to protect your product listings. We believe that this subject is important enough to reiterate our point and be clear about the process you need to follow. Accidents happen! You can accidentally delete one listing or all of your listings. We get a note every few months where someone deleted their whole store and we don’t want this to happen to you.  You want to be able to quickly and easily get your listings back in your store in the event of an accidental deletion.

In the initial stages of setting up your Facebook shop, you spent time and effort into creating your product listings; filling them with descriptions and images that will best showcase your product. This is especially true for our clients that use our integrated cart and where it required a manual creation of their products.  We know this takes some time to do, which is why we cannot emphasize enough the importance of backing up those files.  Additionally, once the listings are up we see store owners making numerous changes to their listings.

If something goes wrong with Facebook or if you accidentally delete your listings, you should be able to easily access your products and upload them back into your store. There is a simple process you can use to easily back-up your products. It is simple and only takes a couple of minutes; a couple of minutes could save you a lot of time in the future.

In order to back-up your Facebook store files, you should first login to your ShopTab account. Once you are logged in you will see the admin panel, and here is where you will see your product listings. On the bottom of the page is a green button that says “Download.” Once that file has downloaded be sure to save a copy on your computer or on another server location.

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That is the whole process to backing up your store. Get in the habit of downloading this file EVERY TIME you update a listing or make changes – as soon as you make those changes, the old file isn’t valid and needs to be updated.  You want to have a copy of all your listings so if in the event something is accidentally deleted you have quick access to all products.

If anything ever happens to your listings and you need to get them back into your store you can easily do this through the ShopTab application. You can upload your downloaded document under the “Settings” and “Product Feed” tab.  It is important to note that the ShopTab app or database doesn’t store a back-up of your product listings on our servers so you are responsible for any database restore of your listings.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of backing up your files. Accidents do happen and it is possible to completely delete all of your product listings. We want to make sure you protect your Facebook store and back-up all of its listings. This can save you a lot of hassle and frustration later on in the event a product is accidentally deleted. In the event of an accidental deletion you should make sure you have your listings on hand and are able to upload them quickly to your store so you are able to have that product available to your consumers again in minutes.

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How to Get Your Posts Seen on a User’s Facebook News Feed

Are you looking to be more active on Facebook and increase your user engagement? There are tricks and tips you can use to get your business seen on Facebook’s news feed.like

Before tackling Facebook it is important to consider the types of user interactions that are available on Facebook and which are more beneficial for your business. Facebook engagement includes likes, comments, and shares of a post or image. One of the most critical things you can do with your business page is encourage your current fans to be engaged with your page.  You can review your Facebook Insights to see what types of posts are doing best with your current fans.

When your fans are more engaged with your page their friends are able to see your content. When you like, comment, or share your activity shows up in your news feed which is viewable to all your friends. In turn when your current fans are more interactive with your page the more of your content is put in their news feed for all of their friends to see. This will increase your company’s exposure and give you a great opportunity to gain new fans, for FREE!

This is especially useful if you have a Facebook store and are looking to promote your products for a holiday or if you are offering a product at a discount for a limited time. This can generate buzz about your product and will help to increase user activity, which will enable friends of your fans to see your products. If you are using a social deal app with a built in fan gate you can generate new fans, as they must “Like” your business page in order to see your discounted products.

One other very helpful tip is to ask your fans to check the “Get Notifications” option under your Like button on your fan page.  This way they will receive notification every time you post or update the page.

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Be sure that when you are posting promotions, text posts, images, etc that you are not just posting and leaving the post unattended. Make sure you are sticking around to view and respond to any comments. You should interact with all comments that are left on your page. Fans will be more engaging with your business when they see you are sticking around to engage with them.

It is important to analyze what types of post are the getting the most user activities on your page. You can also take a look at comparing days of the week and times during the day when your posts get the most exposure. Keep track of the time and days you are posting as well as what type of content results in the most engagement.

One last thought. Many successful Facebook Fan Page managers will selectively pay Facebook to promote their posts. The “Boost Post” option can be a great way to extend your audience and make sure your fans see a post that may be important.  We recommend that you think about doing this with posts that show high levels of engagement. If it creates a high level of engagement, it is likely to be more valuable to your fans and their friends.  Any time we release a major feature or update we use this option to make sure our clients are aware of these opportunities.

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A major tip to gaining exposure and getting fans to share and interact with your page is to create useful and interesting content. See what your fans are interested in and tailor your content to what they are searching for. Some users are looking to be informed, some are looking to be entertained, and some are looking to get their questions answered. Be sure that your content is in line with what customers are seeking.

Resources:

  1. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-engagement-with-john-haydon/

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Adding Promotions to Your Website or Blog Equals Additional Revenue

Facebook is constantly evolving and striving to develop new features. They recently introduced the ability to embed Facebook posts on your website or blog. What does this mean for you? It allows you to have your visitors interact with your page in a way that they couldn’t before. You have always been able to have promotional posts on your Facebook page, and now you can also embed them on your website or blog, extending the opportunity to creatively promote your Facebook store items.

Your visitors are able to interact with the embedded posts by:

  1. Liking or sharing the post directly from your website or blog
  2. Visiting the Facebook page or profile
  3. Liking or following the Facebook page
  4. Adding a comment to the post
  5. Viewing the post’s comments and shares
  6. They have the ability to embed the post on their own website or blog

The embedded Facebook posts display the way that they do on your actual page so your posts will still include the original image, videos, hashtags, and text content. This is one of the features of embedding posts that allow the same type of interaction as when the post is on your actual Facebook business page.

An important detail to note is that your posts must be marked as “Public” in order to be embedded. If your post is public then you will be able to choose from the drop-down menu to “Embed Post”.

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A dialog box with a code will then pop up that you can copy and add to your website or blog. Once you have the code you can add that into the code on your website or blog to have that post embedded.

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Once you have embedded the post onto your blog or website this will enable you to further promote your Facebook store items or any other popular post You are still able to promote with a few clicks on your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest promotion buttons in your Facebook store app, but now Facebook has made it even easier for a wider fan base to interact.

Your visitors can socially interact with you more through your blog and website besides just being able to comment or share your pages. They now have the ability to share individual posts and like your page directly from your website or blog. This takes out the extra step of having visitors bounce from your site to your Facebook page. You can reach them with your website, blog, and Facebook all in one convenient location.

This Facebook feature will create more promotion abilities and user engagement opportunities than ever before and will allow you to reach a wider audience. Utilize the embedded post function for those discounted products to develop the most buzz about your Facebook store and its products.

 

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The Simple Process of Protecting your Facebook Store

A few articles ago we discussed some best practices for managing your Facebook store. One of those ideas that we mentioned is that you should create a back-up of your Facebook store. Having a back-up of the listings is critical in the process of managing your store in the event you accidentally delete a product listing or all of your listings at once.

You have taken the time to input all of your product listings into the system whether it was done manually or whether you used the product feed features o export your products from your website store, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc. You have taken the time to make sure that your products are listed in the order you desire and that they each include 4 images so you can get the maximize exposure for each of your items.  You have your Facebook store’s product listings just the way you want them to look within your Facebook shop. This is a considerable amount of work and we don’t want to lose this information.

In the event that someone unintentionally deletes a product listing or in an even more tragic event, deletes the whole product catalog, it is important that you have a backed-up version of your product listing files. This will enable you to retain your product listings and in the event any of them get deleted they can be quickly restored to your page. ShopTab has streamlined this process and in a matter of a few clicks you can easily update all of your files.

In order for you to back-up your files, login to your ShopTab account. Once you are in your admin panel you will see your product listings. On the bottom of that page is a green button that says “Download”. Once that file has downloaded be sure to save at least one copy of the file on your PC or on another server location.

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Be sure that as you add new product listings to your catalog that you frequently download the new listing back-up so that you have an up-to-date back-up of your files. This will enable you to have all of your files updated and easily transferrable in the event your files are deleted by error.

If something ever happens and your current product listings are deleted you can upload your back-up file. You can upload this file under the Settings and Product Feed tab to manually upload this file.

Having the foresight to save your files in the event some are deleted could save you a lot of time and effort in the future. If a product listing gets deleted accidentally this means that it is not listed in your Facebook store and available for purchase. You want to make sure that you have all product listings readily available so if a deletion error occurs than you can quickly re-upload that listing and have it be available to your consumers again in a matter of minutes.

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New Product Feed Features Make it Simple to Start Your Facebook Store

Starting a Facebook Shop has been made simple if you currently have your products listed in a website store or marketplaces like Amazon, eBay or Etsy. All you need is a file export from those online selling platforms and ShopTab will do the rest with our enhanced product feed options. The product feed feature streamlines the process and makes it easier for you to upload and manage your data files.

These new enhancements include:

-          Simplified menus

-          Mapping of your file fields to our product listings in one screen

-          Support of both CSV and text tab-delimited formats without limitation.

Simplified menu for the file type selection and manual or automated upload is noted below with a help button that shows the information associate with the file type and method of upload you selected.

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Almost all e-commerce carts and marketplaces will allow you to export your product catalog in a data file. Just select the CSV or text file formats and the system will review the file and allow you to upload the appropriate information needed for a valid listing. This makes it easier for you to transfer current website product listings to your Facebook store.

The field mapping screen is noted below. After you map your file the first time the system will remember your field settings but you can always change them.

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For those who are using our integrated cart option there are some enhancements for you too. You have the ability to create your product list in a spreadsheet and upload it into ShopTab. After the first upload, you can edit listings in this product feed and maintain those files for back-ups using our “download” button. We also provide the ability for you to upload images manually after the feed is loaded or simply add links to your product images with this new feed.

The ShopTab Facebook store app provides you with CSV and Text Tab-Delimited file support. The new capability allows you to automatically clean up files that aren’t in a specific formatting; this will save you a lot of time and hassle and it makes uploading your files even more simple.

You have the ability to add 4 product images. This allows you to better showcase your products. You get a simplified automated feed process as well as contextual help by file type. You also have the support of the “Is Active” setting for each product listing. This enables you to keep all of your items listed in your store and you determine whether they appear in your store to consumers.

These new data feed updates provide many benefits for you and your Facebook store. The enhancements allow you to more effectively import and manage your product files. This makes the entire process of adding files and images more simple for you and enables you to spend more time customizing your store and focusing on your marketing efforts.

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Best Practices for Managing Your Facebook Store

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You have set up your Facebook fan page and you have integrated a Facebook store to drive sales. You are ready to join the social selling world through Facebook. Setting up a Facebook store is more than just connecting an app to your page it requires planning, strategy, and on-going management of your store. We are going to share our best practice activities to effectively manage your store.

ShopTab’s Best Practices                        

Step One: Decide the personality of your brand and create cohesive brand image across all channels.

Step Two: Use images and create a fun and interactive store for shoppers.

Step Three: Know your audience. If you are looking to sell in other countries, then customize it!

Step Four: PROMOTE your products!

Step Five: Track your impact.

Step Six: Keep your inventory updated.

Step Seven: Create special offers and discounts.

Step One: The first step in planning is to decide the personality of your brand; ideally you will base this on your target audience. Is your audience searching for fun and entertaining posts or is your audience looking to be more informed. Once you decide your brand’s personality, make sure that is reflected throughout your fan page, store, other apps and in your promotional posts.

If you have a website, make sure that your store reflects that of your website’s brand. Using the same branding colors and images as your website or fan page will help establish your store’s brand throughout Facebook. You want to create a consistent brand image through all channels to increase your brand’s visibility. Brand your fan page apps to reflect your company with personalized images and content. You can customize the app image and you can customize content on the actual app and within the store; Sunset Key Chains is a great example of customizing the app.

shoppingStep Two: Social shopping should be fun and an interactive experience for shoppers. The ShopTab app lets shoppers easily share their finds through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest allowing for social interaction. Be sure to provide as many images as possible for for your products; images continue to be the best way to capture your audience’s attention. Let your social selling activities provide your customers with an experience they will remember.

When using product images make sure that the file sizes aren’t too large because that can lead to longer store page load times. When pages take too long to load (for our Internet shortened attention spans this can just a few seconds) shoppers will move on to a different store. So remember even though images are the key to selling, check your page load times after loading your products so this doesn’t drive customers away.

Step Three: In most cases, knowing your audience means knowing their geographic location. If you have customers throughout the world, it may be important to have a store that caters to that region. ShopTab offers over 50+ currencies and is able to provide local language support. There are many companies that set up multiple fan pages to provide a localized feel for those customers. Adding a Facebook store that is customized for those geographic locations is important as well.

Step Four: Once you have a social fan base developed you are ready to start promoting your store and products. Your focus should be on creating conversation and having your products seen in a fan’s news feed.   ShopTab has made this easier than ever with the integrated “Promote” button. You can share specific products directly to your Facebook page news feed and it will include an image and a description of the product.  This will show up in your fan’s news feed as well.  Below is an example of a promotion post, it will link directly to your product.

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Step Five:  Continue to engage your fans via posts by adding in conversation regarding your products.  As you do this, you can track the impact that you are making both from a social engagement standpoint and from a sales standpoint. You can determine if you are gathering more sales through this channel and you can use Facebook Insights that tracks your likes, reach, and social engagement on your actual Facebook business page. This will help you track the effectiveness of your promotion posts and optimize the mix of general posts and ones focused on your products.

Step Six: As your selling success increases, make sure to keep your product listings up-to-date. You can do this through an automatic data feed from your website’s inventory, if you have one. If you do not have a website, make sure you are manually checking to see that your inventory is updated at least once a week.

Step Seven: Now that the activities above have gathered fans to your page, reward those who are your fans with discounts and special offers. You can do this through your Facebook store or a daily deal app; many brands require that users  “Like” your page to receive these special fan-only offers. Offering them special discounts is going to create brand loyalty and create a buzz about your products, especially if you are offering a new product at a discounted rate to your current fans. Since they must “Like” the page to get this special offer, it is also a great way to obtain new fans. Below is what your special offer could look like using a dedicated daily deal app.

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Whew! We know that is a lot of information to take in, thankfully we are done with our best practices and you should now have a good idea of how to run your store! Happy Selling!

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Use your Facebook Page to Drive Sales

The holiday season is an excellent time to share deals and promote products to your customers. A Facebook store can directly benefit your marketing efforts by capturing the revenues that are provided by promoting special offers. We believe you can utilize your Facebook page to drive sales to your Facebook store; the key is knowing how to use your Facebook page to drive sales. There are a few tips you can use to help make this process simpler.

  1. Schedule posts. You can easily schedule posts out for a specific day and time that you want to share a product or post a promotional offer. This is especially helpful during major holiday shopping days such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. The ability to be able to schedule in advance helps you develop your message and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to post your offers. To schedule those out you click on the clock icon that is highlighted below.schedule_post
  2. Use product images when posting. We have said it before and we will say it again, photos are of utmost importance when marketing your products. Use your marketing posts to create attention grabbing images that are related to what your customers are looking for. Using unique images will help get your store noticed and encourage customers to share those images and deals.
  3. Announce restock on a popular item. If you have a product that is flying out of the store let customers know when you are restocking that item. This is a very simple post that can generate a lot of buzz for your store and can create cross selling opportunities.  These types of posts work very well inside of the news feed for mobile Facebook users since they can click to buy with one button.
  4. Promote special offers. You can promote limited time offers on certain products, similar to restock items noted above, which can create cross-selling opportunities in your store. Using a daily deal app can enable you to quickly create these limited time offers and can add deal oriented revenues during important promotion periods. shareddeal
  5. Offer free shipping. Offer this on all products or make it based upon a certain purchase price amount (ex: purchases over $50.00) for a selection period of time.

These few quick tips will make a world of difference in the ability to drive sales in your Facebook store. Promotions directly on your Facebook page are a great way to increase revenue and to create brand awareness. Recent research indicates that using your social networks correlates directly with increased sales and customer awareness for your brand. Don’t miss out!

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Use Social Media for Social Selling During the Holidays

As we are gearing up for Cyber Monday many of us are left wondering how to we let our customers know about our promotions and special offers in our Facebook store app. We believe you can effectively use social media channels to promote your products and your store.

There are several different ways that you implement your promotion strategy through social media. The first one we are going to look at is the different option you have for the promotion of specific products from your Facebook store. Some social selling apps, such as ShopTab, offer an easy “Promote” tool that enables you to feature key deals and products on your Facebook page.

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When you view your products in your Facebook store you will also notice there are options to Tweet about your product or to Pin it. When you click the “Tweet” an auto generated message will appear along with the link to your product. Here you can customize your Tweet and quickly post to your Twitter page.

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When you click “Pin it” a dialog box will appear that will again enable you to create a message and provide a link to your product. You can add it to one of your current boards or create a new one specifically for your item.

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Now that we have taken a look at specifics of what you can do through your Facebook store app we are going to look at a few general rules of thumb to use social media to effectively drive sales to your Facebook store. You need to use your social media channels to be engaging with your customers and fans. According to Social Media Today, there are 3 rules of engagement to be successful in your social selling efforts.

  1. Don’t focus on sales, provide value. People are on social media to find interesting things, get more information, and to have their questions answered. Answering questions and interacting with your customers is a great way to promote your Facebook store. The most important thing to remember when engaging with people on Facebook is to be authentic. Social users know when you are being yourself and they respond to authenticity.
  2. Interact and build relationships. Answering questions and providing value to people helps to develop relationships. Using social media gives you a unique opportunity to communicate with people in different geographic areas and enables you to expand your customer base.
  3. Listen and take in information. By monitoring keywords and conversations you can determine what is relevant on social media and drive new sales to your Facebook store. Social media also enables you to track your competition so that you can effectively compete with them.

We’re in the middle of the holiday selling season; take the time to use social media the correct way and you will realize sales results in this new dynamic sales channel.

Sources:

  1. 1.       Hall, Amy (2013). 3 Rules of Engagement for Successful Social Selling. Retrieved from http://socialmediatoday.com/amynhall/1917321/3-rules-engagement-successful-social-selling.

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