Facebook Ecommerce: The 5 Step Selling Guide

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

1.       Choose Your Brand Personality

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

2.       Interesting and Engaging Posts

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

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

3.       Promote Your Shop

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

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

4.       Create Special Offers and Discounts

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

5.       Track Your Success

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

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

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

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Improved App Presence in the New Facebook Fan Page

It sure seems like Facebook listened to early feedback on the new Business/Fan Page redesign, especially as it relates to applications. Originally, the design only accommodated applications under a “More” tab. While most app providers know that the majority of engagement and activity for apps happens on the Fan Page and user’s wall, the elimination of the visual tab created a perception of reduced app value for Fan Page owners.   The good news is that Facebook made adjustments and created a high value visual tab presence for app providers in addition to the original position under the “More” tab option.

Justin’s Nut Butter is one of the early pages to migrate to the new design and we’ve used their store to show the new positioning.

#1) Visual app location (left rail)


#2) Position under the “More” tab


We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new Fan Page Timeline design and how it will impact your social marketing efforts.

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Create a Catalog in your Facebook Page

Some clients indicate a desire to create an online catalog for their products without a need to complete an online transaction.  Their desire is to show, share and support customers and potential prospects regarding their products or services without the high cost of building a website.  We’ve created an option, using our Facebook shop application, which allows an organization to access their fan base with a catalog layout using our optimized desktop and mobile store templates in their fan page.

Desktop Layout Example
Desktop Layout Example

          Mobile Layout Example

Mobile Layout Example

How to build your catalog

1. Register a ShopTab account and add the app to your page.

  • Sign-up for a ShopTab account to support the number of products you want to show in your catalog. Click to see subscription packages for a Facebook Shop.
  • Add the app to your Facebook fan page.  The system will take you through the Facebook permissions required to add the app to your fan page.
  • Default to the website e-commerce integration. This shouldn’t require you to do anything during set-up. We won’t use this functionality but that setting allows us to hide the buy buttons.

2. Configure the store design with these special selections.

So that we show only the product information, as noted in the example images above, you’ll want to follow these specific steps in the “Store Design Options.”

  • Go to the Store Design Options Page
    • Select to remove the “buy now” link. main_product_options
    • Now we need to make some changes to the colors used in the store. Make the edits as noted below. Use “FFFFFF” for the Buy Now button and the background price bar. color_theme_options

If you desire to eliminate any pricing information, place “FFFFFF” in all fields or just don’t include a price in your product listing.

    • If you want to eliminate the price drop down option, you can check the box in Store Design Options to eliminate it.

3. Modify your fan page icon to reflect your catalog.

You can change the app icon on your fan page as noted below to reflect your catalog.  You can load an image to replace ShopTab’s cart and rename the tab from “Shop” to “Product Catalog” or whatever makes sense for your page. Your image will need to conform to Facebook’s required 117 X 74 pixel size.desert_turtles

4. Add your product listings.

Click the “Add Product” and load your listings either manually or via a data file. update_product

5. Promote you catalog to your fans and friends.

Use ShopTab’s special promotion features that allow you to highlight items or the entire store to your fans and their friends at no cost.  Or you may even want to consider using marketing options from Facebook, such as their paid ads to promote your fan page or the catalog.


Promote items in Facebook

Promote your Facebook Store to all desktop and mobile users

If you are using a catalog in your Facebook page, let us know how it works best for you and your organization.


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How to Create a Product Promotion in Facebook

Limited Offer Stamp Shows Product PromotionFacebook is a perfect marketing platform for running a product promotion.  According to Social Media Examiner, “79% of Facebook fans are more likely to purchase from a brand they have liked, so pursuing more fans and deeper engagement with existing fans is a huge priority!”  Since your fans are likely to buy from your company, we want to help you to create a simple to execute social product promotion plan.

The key steps in social promotion planning are the creation of the offer, using all of your key social media options and consistent communication.  We’ve seen many clients who have made this a significant marketing component of their social activities in order to reinforce to their fans that they value them and their engagement.   So let’s get started.

I. Create the Promotion

There are a number of ways to create a valuable promotion. It is important to remember that social fans appreciate and share special offers, deals and discounts. Package something that you feel is compelling for your fans and something they are likely to share with friends.

  • Success Measures: Declare your success objectives for the promotion  – things like increased awareness, engagement and sales. Overall social engagement about your products will pay off long-term, even if the clients don’t buy immediately or during the promotion.
  • Structure: Consider special pricing, free shipping/expedited shipping, unique combination of products or even  an offer only available to your social fans – i.e. not on your website available for all users.
  • Scarcity: Make sure that you designate a restricted time frame or a limited volume of inventory available for this promotion. Since social buys are highly influence by impulse, you want to take advantage of creating scarcity to the offer.

II. Implement a Promotion System using your Social Options

You must create a process to make sure you get the word out concerning your promotion to your fans.  We suggest the following process.

    • Deploy the offering in your Facebook Store or Social Deal App.
    • Use a Facebook Share (in ShopTab’s app use our special “Promote” button) to push the offer into your news feed.
    • Once posted, go to your news feed and “pin” it to the top of your Fan Page so everyone can see it for the duration of the promotion.
    • Now engage your other social channels – use the Tweet or Pin button in your product listings to create more awareness. Think about posting the product link in your blog or Tumblr account.
    • Consider the use of Facebook’s paid promotion option to reach targeted users outside of your fan base. While this will cost you money, the opportunity to target outside of your fan base can be compelling.
    • Engage your entire list of social channels above repeatedly over the coming days/weeks of the promotion. Don’t overwhelm your fans but recognize that it takes multiple postings to gain a high awareness rate.
    • Don’t miss the opportunity to create urgency for the offer by using your last 24 to 48 hours to make them aware the offer is about to expire.

III. Review and Adjust

After the promotion has run its course review the impact against your success measurements. Learning what works best with your fans may take some time and you won’t learn if you don’t experiment. We hope this simple system will help you to implement a few promotions into your near-term marketing plans.  If you give it a try, let us know how it goes.

Additional Resources:
Social Deal Success with Giro Sports Design.
Use of a promote button to drive product awareness.

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Quick Start Guide for your Facebook Store

Quick Start GuideYou’ve just completed the set-up for your Facebook Shop and want to show some immediate impact for your efforts.  Many clients reach out to us to ask what they should do to realize the value from the new commerce app on their Facebook fan page.  While we encourage our clients to incorporate social selling activities into their overall marketing plan, we understand the desire for some quick tactics to see near-term success.

While each client and their products are unique, we have seen successful launches with thousands of retailers that have used the ShopTab store or our SharedDeal social deal app.  We’ve outline our thoughts for how to integrated commerce posts into your Facebook fan page activities.

Some key concepts to understand before we start.

  • You can’t just sell, sell, sell.  Retailers in Facebook need to remember the 80/20 rule.  You must be social, helpful and share information 80% of the time, while the selling/promotional content for your page should make-up only 20% of the time, as noted recently by Mike Gingrich on building a sales funnel in Facebook.
  • Research shows your fans are spending their time in their news feed and on user profiles, and not as much time inside of fan pages. This is especially true for Facebook mobile app users.  However, according to SociallyStacked, 33% of people have made purchases because of a product they have seen on a Facebook wall or news feed.  To be successful, we need to engage where our fans are spending their time.

Fast Start Promote        Fast Start Tweet

We’re going to assume that you are currently posting on your page once a day. The suggested tactics below should be woven into your planned social activities.

  Activity Approach Post Example Actions
Day 1 Introductory offer Provide a reduced price on a high volume product or a bundled price on two hot sellers. Provide a limited volume of units or period of time to purchase. We’ve combined our two hottest sellers for $19.95 (save $10) for our Facebook fans only. We only have 15 of these in stock. Click here to see the offer in our new Facebook Store.
  • Use ShopTab’s promote button to push the product to your news feed. Articulate your offer clearly.
  • Use the tweet button in the FB store listing to promote to your Twitter followers.
Day 3 Reminder of introductory offer Remind your fans of the limited quantity and/or purchase period. Our Facebook fans only offer of our two hot sellers for $19.95 ends tonight at 6pm ET or when we sell our last two in stock!
  • Use the promote feature to remind FB users
  • Use the tweet button.


Day 6 Announce a new product Add a product to your store. Ask your clients to provide some feedback on it or answer a question. Just in to our store, would you like this dress in yellow or blue?
  • Use the promote button in the product listing to announce the question.
  • Pin the image from the store
Day 8 Did you know? Post an interesting fact about one of your products or services, We caught George Clooney wearing this t-shirt last week. We have three left in our Facebook Store, who wants one?
  • Post a picture in Facebook and grab the URL to the product from the promote button to add to the posting.
  • Tweet using the product URL
Day 11 Client product testimonial Post a recent comment made by a client about one of your products, Add your comment to it as well. From Tim in Sacramento yesterday, “This costume was the hit of the party.” Wish we could have been there!
  • Either use the promote button or post a photo and grab the link from the promote dialog box.
  • Tweet it
  • Pin it
Day 14 Create a Facebook fans only offer for free shipping Let your fans know you appreciate the opportunity to engage with them. Create a free shipping for FB fans only. Only our FB fans can buy this necklace for $50.00 and free shipping until Saturday at midnight!
  • Use the promote button to push the announcement.
  • Tweet the offer

As you can see, the goal is to create engaging ways to talk about your products in a way that engages your fans to like, share and even buy.  These six example posts will start to build awareness for your store and your product. While these types of activities will take some time, we have many clients that experience sales from their Facebook Shop within minutes of their first promotion. Let us know what you think of these ideas or ones that have worked for you.

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Add e-Commerce to your WordPress™ site with ShopTab

wordpressWith almost 20 million downloads worldwide, WordPress is a favorite of bloggers, website creators and developers.  Many of these online sites start with a small audience and then grow into hugely successful sites.  A desire for many of these users is to sell products or services within these sites.  At ShopTab, we hope to offer a distinct and valuable solution compared to a simple plug-in or the complexity of integrating a complex e-commerce cart software.  Our unique idea – how about the ability to add a store to your WordPress site from your Facebook Fan Page – two stores for the price of one!

Benefits of using ShopTab with WordPress

  • Proven commerce offering since 2009 operating in over 70 countries
  • Simple to deploy in both Facebook and on your blog or website
  • Single location to manage all of your e-commerce options
  • Use of the world’s largest and most secure payments platform
  • The unique ability to sell via a website AND in the world’s largest social platform

While you could create a store for your WordPress site within ShopTab and not place it in Facebook, that would be crazy since it was originally built for creative social selling!  Leveraging your website audience in conjunction with your social presence in Facebook is an extremely powerful marketing option and ShopTab provides the best tools to help you do this.

With ShopTab’s Expanded or Ultimate Facebook Store packages you have the ability to create a store in our admin interface and immediately place it on your WordPress site.  Just follow these simple steps to activate your WordPress commerce solution:

  1. Once your products are created, grab the code from ShopTab: Just pick the code from your admin interface under the Settings tab.wordpress 1
  2. Select the code (HTML or iframe) that will work best for your site – WordPress requires a plug-in to support i-frame code.wordpress 2
  3. Create a new page for your store within your WordPress site. The plug-in to support iframes should create a way to add the iframe code at the bottom of the new page you are creating. Place the code and update the page.wordpress 3
  4. Your store should be ready to go. The standard ShopTab Facebook Store template layouts are 815 pixels wide, so make sure you have a page that will support this width.  We’ve shown how a store would look in the ShopTab WordPress blog seen below or at this link – http://www.shoptab.net/blog/shoptab-store/ .  In the case of this placement, we modified the width and length to make it fit into a custom page.wordpress 4

The magic to selling online is a great marketing plan. Now that you have the product in your stores and your stores set-up in your Facebook Fan Page and blog, it is time to develop the marketing strategy and tactics for your products and services.  Good selling!

You can find more information in the Add your Facebook Store to a webpage FAQ.  Or look for more general information on adding a Facebook Store to any website.

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Add ShopTab to Your Blog or Website

snippet 4The ShopTab Facebook Store can easily be added to your other online sites, even multiple online sites! Now your fans, followers, clients and prospects can buy your products from your online sites from one simple and easy to manage store application.

The Concept
The idea is simple – grab the existing store layout and place it right inside of other online webpages outside of Facebook.  With our new feature, available in the Expanded and Ultimate packages (see Facebook Shop options), the app can easily be added to your online site with a quick copy and paste.   Log into the admin of your other online property, create a new page and place the ShopTab snippet of code on the page and you should be all set.  You’ll need to follow any special configuration rules your site may have for adding iframe code or embedding of HTML.

Deploy in Minutes

The store code is easily retrieved.  Simply sign into ShopTab, go to the “Settings” tab and select the “Add to Website or Blog,” then copy the code.  We’ve provided a simple URL and an iframe code option for your use.

snippet 1

The standard ShopTab Facebook Store template layouts are 815 pixels wide, so make sure you have a page that will support this width.

snippet 2

Next you need to paste the code into the web page that you want to have the store appear within. Most platforms require it to be located within the body section for optimal layout. You may need to experiment what works best for you dependent upon your site.

*Note that the very popular WordPress sites will require a plug-in for the embedding of the URL or iframe.

To demonstrate how it works, we created a Wix.com website in a couple of minutes, added a navigation listing for a “Cart” and then used their embed HTML option to place our code.  See it here.

snippet 4

Once the code is place, it is time to tell your fans, friends, clients and prospects to make them aware of how they can get to your store on your blog or website.  Good selling!

For ShopTab Standard Package users, you may upgrade to the Expanded or Ultimate Packages in the “Billing” tab under the “Change Plan” option.

Find full details on the implementation for your Facebook store on a blog or website in our Add your Facebook Store to a webpage FAQ.


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Should I Set Inventory Levels for Products in my Facebook Store?

Turkey CallA recent client, Bob’s Custom Calls, phoned last week asking if he could set inventory levels in his Facebook Store.  Bob’s call was a great reminder that many of our clients are using Facebook as their only online selling presence and features such as inventory tracking can be important in determining the success of your social commerce efforts.

Bob launched his Facebook Shop and quickly sold one of his custom calls– great sign for his marketing efforts and quality of his products. Since his products are custom and not easily replicated, it was important for him to only sell what he has in stock. This spurred the question at ShopTab for us to outline the value for inventory setting within a Facebook Store.  Here’s our take.

  • Client expectation setting – knowing that a product is in stock creates clarity to the buyer that fast receipt of the product is a reality. On the other hand, when something shows being out of stock it may spur the client to message or even call the business to determine future availability which creates a selling opportunity for other items.
  • Creates urgency – showing inventory levels can create urgency to buy for certain shoppers. Social marketing research has proven this fact over and over and recently we’ve seen significant success in doing this with our new SharedDeal app which is a specialized store Facebook daily deal software app.
  • Generates visibility to what you should promote – Facebook Shop owners can use the inventory levels to decide which products to promote in their Facebook news feed.

If you need to set you inventory in ShopTab’s integrated cart the process is simple to implement.  There are just a couple of questions to consider:

 Do you want to show products on your store pages if you are out of stock?
 Do you want to set inventories for product variations – sizes, colors or other attributes?

The settings for turning on inventory in ShopTab is located under the “Settings” and “Advanced Options” tab. You may select to hide out of stock inventory there as well. To input the inventory levels and product variables, if needed, will be done by editing your product listings.

Thanks for the call, Bob!

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Sell Subscription Products in Social Networks

subscribeMany believe online commerce is solely oriented toward the one-time purchase of physical products.  However, numerous products are sold every day as a subscription to the buyers that may be a physical product, a service or even digital goods.  In fact, the New York Times proposes that selling via subscription may be a new “rage.”

Subscriptions have been traditional model for a magazines, newspapers, multi-level marketing firms or even gym memberships. These subscriptions are typically purchased via a designated monthly or annual price.  As noted in the NY Times article, we are being exposed to this model for many new products such as buying clothes, viewing movies, wireless service and even for buying dog food. There are a number of reasons to consider a subscription model and you can even roll this out in your social networks or via a Facebook Shop.

  • Easy to try: For many products creating a subscription price makes it easy for users to try the product. The upfront monetary commitment is typically much lower and the opportunity to cancel is simple for the buyer. As an example, ShopTab’s apps pricing leverages this easy to try concept with a 7 day free trial.
  • Creates predictability: For the buyer it evens out the cost of purchase based upon their use of the product or service. For the business or retailer, this model creates clarity to their user demand and financial cash flow in a predictable fashion versus less predictable one-time product sales.
  • Relationships: This model creates an on-going contract for the provider and the buyer to stay closely aligned. Long term the value should be apparent to both sides in terms of increased product value for the buyer and higher life cycle revenue for the provider.

It is interesting to note that the traditional users of the subscription models are now looking to use this model in their social network marketing. As outlined by Adage in a recent article, the opportunity to position a magazine subscription offer to their Facebook fans is a compelling option for them to leverage.

It has been exciting to help our clients understand that they can position a subscription offering with the well-known PayPal service to attract buyers worldwide. The use of PayPal’s system for credit cards and PayPal payments makes offering this service very simple for those with blogs, websites or a Facebook fan page.  This simple to deploy offering makes sense on any scale – large organizations or someone that walks pets or services your pool.

Let us know if subscription selling inside of social networks is for you.

Review ShopTab’s installation instructions for building subscription products in a Facebook Store.


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How to Create a Successful Social Commerce Deal

Daily-dealRetailers continually mention to us they want to create special promotions or unique social deals specifically for the Facebook fans. Some want to do this sporadically, while others want to tee-up something new each week or even each day. The Social Commerce research validates that discounts or deals are a principle desire of your fans but our discussions reveal that success for the retailer/brand will be measured by both revenue as well as the depth of excitement and engagement from their fans. This dual goal make sense to validate the return on investment for the effort.

So what’s the best way to launch a social deal? We believe if you follow these simple steps that you will deliver value to your fans and to your organization.

Dig for ideas. Here are some simple places to look for clues.

  1. Fan Page – start with a review of your fan page to find what are your fans are asking about and if they showing interests in specific topics, product lines, newly launched features/products or other areas related to your offerings?
  2. Facebook Insights – Review your Fan Page – see where fans are spending time when they do go to your Facebook page.  Or maybe you can tell they aren’t spending time on your page and you want to do something to change this behavior.
  3. Facebook Messages – use a fan page post to everyone or send private messages to your fans and ask them what they would like to see or hear about. It may make sense to segment the responses from your new fans versus those that have been on your page for years.

Now, use this information to declare your deal ideas and then pick one you best option. Place close attention to your pricing, packaging, volumes and time sensitivity.

Set goals.  We’re all about measuring impact so declare if you want sales, social shares, likes or other measurements.  These targets will guide how you build your deal to drive these actions. If you don’t get in the habit of picking a success goal, you aren’t likely to see long-term impact.

Set up your purchase system.  You may evaluate the use of a Facebook Store with a special configuration, a dedicated social deal app like ShopTab’s SharedDeal or direct users via a tracking URL back to your website.  NOTE: Keep in mind you want it to be easy for your buyers to view your offer and that most Facebook users will see your offer via their mobile phone, so make sure it is optimized for this environment.

Promote. Facebook posts, Tweets, Pins, emails….and don’t forget offline marketing options too. Build a plan for your activities.  This won’t work unless you make people aware of your fantastic deal and that they realize it has special pricing or packaging, limited quantities and a restricted time to purchase. Without those elements, it isn’t a deal.

Make sure once you’ve completed the social deal that you debrief on what worked and what didn’t. It will be important to improve each time so that you can exceed your long-term goals.

If you want to give a social deal a quick try, we offer a 7 day free trial with our Social Deal App. Complete steps 1 thru 3 and then sign-up for our SharedDeal trial. Run your program in less than 7 days and you won’t pay a penny.

Find more information on how Giro Sports uses this Flash Store to create fan exclusivity.

Review our FAQ for a Social Deal implementation with SharedDeal to see how much effort it may take to set-up your first offer.

See a demo Daily Deal app in Facebook.

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