Build your Social Deal Store with ShopTab’s SharedDeal

Shared Deal Logo-HRShopTab is excited to announce our newest application, SharedDeal, which delivers a Social Deal Store or Flash Store to your Facebook Fan page (see a demo app here).   ShopTab is the first to create a social “daily deal” app that is easily controlled by the retailer inside of Facebook. This new application can be valuable for virtually all brands and retailers as an element of their social marketing plan.   This technology is based upon ShopTab’s experience of listening to tens of thousands of Facebook store clients worldwide since 2009. This application also reflects social commerce research from Edison Research and Arbitron that validates a social deal provides financial value and audience reach payoff because of their use of exclusivity, creation of unique revenue opportunities and increased levels of product awareness.

A recent deployment of the Flash Store app with Giro Sports Design demonstrates the value in creating exclusive offerings. Their “FirstGiro - Red Glove in store Friday” monthly product promotion creates a unique opportunity to tell a story about a new product that is only available to their Facebook fans. Access to the flash store is available only to those that have liked the page using SharedDeal’s fan gate, which drives up their long-term marketing opportunities. Given their passionate fan base, these monthly promotions drive continued returns to their fan page and long-term ability to continue their conversation about their company and products via the fans news feed. Many argue that your biggest brand advocates are followers of the brand’s Facebook fan page – shouldn’t they be rewarded for this loyalty?

Ultimately, creating new revenues is an important aspect of all social marketing activities.  Offering special deals for time-sensitive products will impact your ability to drive revenues in a timely fashion. Holiday gifts, out of season items or even when you are overstock on an item are perfect opportunities to leverage a Facebook Flash Store.  We feel that a social deals app can even the playing field for small and mid-sized retailers in situations such as Black Friday, when large brands dominate selling efforts in social media.  Additionally, the SharedDeal store provides a highly segmented opportunity to promote products and packages that won’t dilute your other online marketing efforts since it will be limited to your Facebook fans and their friends.

The promotion of a daily deal or flash store provides a heightened level of awareness to new products, a new packaged offering or the testing of new pricing for an existing product. By placing these options in your Facebook flash store, you will receive immediate feedback in terms of sales but also by measuring the viral effect through likes and shares.  The SharedDeal store has a special “promote” feature that will allow you to immediately place the offer on your Fan Page news feed for distribution to your fans.  This makes the product available for purchase, or to share, by all users either through desktop, tablet or mobile access to their news feed.

And best of all, by launching your social deal store using SharedDeal you won’t be paying the high marketing costs (up to 50%) to organizations such as Groupon or LivingSocial.  With SharedDeal you are in control of what offers you provide and how you promote them to your fans and their friends – the ultimate way to gauge your financial and audience success.

Use our 7 day free trial to experiment with this new app.  If it is successful for your organization the monthly subscription is only $14.95.  Learn more here about ShopTab’s SharedDeal Daily Deal store.

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Top 4 Ways to Guarantee Facebook Shop Success

social checkerboardSince 2009, we have had clients that comment after a few days or weeks using our app that  they aren’t selling enough to justify the expense of their Facebook Shop. I’m always puzzled why they are so surprised at the outcome.  A quick review of their Facebook Fan Page and other online assets reveals an inactive or unengaged audience on Facebook and little indication, through online conversation or promotion, that they actually have products or services available for discussion or purchase.  Hmmm….you can’t get a horse to drink water if you don’t ever show him where it is!

While we love the ShopTab product, the answer for these unsuccessful social sellers isn’t our technology or anyone else’s.  Solutions like ShopTab are easy to set-up, quick to integrate payment solutions and provide quality merchandising templates.  These applications incorporate excellent tactical features, such as a Facebook product promotion button, that can deliver impact on a fan page or in a client’s news feed.  However, these only play a small part in the success of a Facebook store.

So, why are some owners unsuccessful and others tell us that they sold out of their items in their first week of running the Facebook Store (from a great client call yesterday)?  We offer these essential tips.

Here’s ShopTab’s Top 4 “No Lose” Ways to Facebook Shop Success

  1. CREATE A PLAN: Create a strategy and marketing plan for social selling and then integrate it into your overall company marketing plans. Build a store and they will come doesn’t work – it didn’t for bricks and mortar, e-commerce sites and won’t for Facebook Shops.  If social selling doesn’t fit into your marketing plans, you are in trouble.  If you don’t have an overall marketing plan to connect the social plan to, you aren’t ready for your store!  Plans work – ask any successful military leader, entrepreneur or corporate executive.
  2. ENGAGE: Social networks are by nature social. Get into discussions about your market and all things relevant.  Being social doesn’t guarantee success but if you aren’t engaged, I can guarantee social selling failure. Come on, it might even be fun for you!
  3. PROMOTE:  It has been proven that fans on social networks like Facebook are looking for deals, exclusives and unique information from their favorite brands. Promoting a new product, an exclusive offer, a discount or soliciting feedback on products are viable options to integrate into your dialog. While this shouldn’t dominate your posts, it can be integrated into your mix with success.
  4. LISTEN AND RESPOND: Solicit and ask for feedback, respond to posts, reach out to new fans and ask them why they liked you. These connections will help you to learn from your prospects and clients what will make sense for future social selling engagements and promotions. This is how the best companies win.

The good news…. we’ve seen it work over and over and over again. We have clients across the globe that started their online business with a ShopTab store and are growing each month. We have large companies that can validate a hard ROI with the benefit of knowing they are engaging and developing their best clients.

Is this effort worth it for you? A couple of weeks ago we told you a Facebook Fan is worth close to $175 a year for large brands.  This number was up 28% from two years earlier. If memory serves me right, we were having these same types of discussions about e-commerce a decade ago and this online market is currently close to 20% of all U.S. sales.  Social Commerce has the potential for a similar future and now is your time to get into the game.  Just start with a plan.

 

Image credit – http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224547

 

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Sell Digital Goods in your Facebook Store

Big digital music pic

Social Commerce isn’t just limited to selling of hard goods or services. Online selling has topped $1 trillion worldwide, according to eMarketer, and the sale of digital goods has been the fastest growing category for the last few years.  The opportunity to incorporate digital products into your social marketing is extremely compelling when you consider the scale of Facebook and Twitter users alone.

We have thousands of clients that have been successful selling their products on Facebook using our social selling strategy and Facebook Store app.  We believe that digital goods may provide an even more compelling opportunities to raise awareness for your brand and products because of these factors:

  • Social commerce is a perfect environment for impulse buying. This is especially true for things like books, music or even software. In many cases these are small purchase price items.
  • Social references (i.e. my fans and friends) have a high influence rate on purchases. What better way to be exposed to a product either shared by a friend or promoted by a fan page I enjoy.
  • Social network users are looking for deals.  Make distinct special offers within your Facebook Store for your products will drive incremental sales and not impact your traditional online selling channels.
  • Marketing requires multiple impressions before a prospect makes a purchase. Facebook users are on their news feed for hours every month. You can’t afford to miss those impressions.

Whether you have an existing e-commerce site, sell your digital products in a marketplace or sell via your blog, we believe adding a Facebook Store  will an essential element to add to your marketing strategy to engage your social network.

digital music pic

(Example ShopTab Facebook Store listing using Google Checkout)

To facilitate the digital purchase, we’ve recently recommending using Payloadz (www.payloadz.com) with ShopTab since they provide a highly secure platform, numerous payment integration options (Google, Amazon and PayPal), a simple set-up process that creates HTML code, a marketplace for your products and the ability for others to sell your products with a detailed affiliate marketing program.  Feedback from a few clients indicates they have covered all of the bases for their products. There are numerous digital download selling options outlined here that potentially can work with ShopTab.

If you have digital goods and have built a Facebook presence, now is the time to launch your store and begin your social marketing.  For simple implementation instructions, we have provided a detailed FAQ on digital products in your Facebook Store.  Let us know what you think of this solution.

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Facebook Fan-tasy Pays Off

Every wonder if your social marketing efforts are worthwhile? According to recent research by Syncapse, “the average value of brand fans in key consumer categories has increased 28% to $174.17.” Based upon our interpretation of this research, social marketing is well worth your effort!   We highly recommend that you take the time to review their insights in this research report, Value of a Facebook Fan 2013.  However, the specific declared dollar value may be only a portion of each fans value to your business.Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

As a social marketing apps developer, we come to this party as biased. This comes from continued client validation of ShopTab, our leading Facebook Shop application, which has been used by tens of thousands of retailers.  Regardless of our bias, this new research is further evidence to organizations that there is a hard dollar payoff for your participation in the emerging social channel.  This new information can be extremely important for organizations that have been hesitant to embrace new marketing methods and channels.

Syncapse provides further evidence (read the report!) that these fans are “super consumers” of your products – they spend more, engage more and advocate for you. We believe this is important information because many companies, especially smaller ones, struggle to segment their clients.  The data suggests that social networks, like Facebook, give you an opportunity to segment your best clients inside of a unique channel.  If these users are going to buy more, give you more feedback and tell more people about you, shouldn’t you treat them in a very special way?  This report reveals excellent validation for you to put a unique and compelling marketing plan together for these social channels to enhance your relationships with your best clients.

As it relates to your Facebook Shop, we believe you can easily leverage this app as a way to facilitate discussions about your brand and products. Some of these discussions will drive revenues but more importantly it can encourage discussion about your products. These prompted or spontaneous conversations can be invaluable for your future product developments.   Most people call this “market research” and it is typically very expensive to conduct.  We’ve seen tremendous response from fans to our clients that ask for feedback on a product (colors, options or features needed), encourage new ideas for products or a recent example when a client promoted a product before it was produced to determine client demand – how brilliant is that? And extremely valuable!

We suggest you use this report as a call to action to drive more users to become a fan of your Facebook Fan Page.  On your Fan Page you’ll need to provide compelling conversation, new ideas and engagement opportunities for these special customers to encourage their participation.  Additionally, the use of Facebook marketing (promoted content posts or targeted ads) and other marketing vehicles (website, email, newsletter, print marketing and client center contacts) are great opportunities to encourage qualified individuals to connect with your page.  We don’t just want numbers; we want new quality fans that will fit our profile of a hyper-valued client.

What do you think about the research that each Facebook fan is worth $175? Does it make sense to you?

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Creating Deals in ShopTab’s Facebook Shop

In the last week or so we’ve had fantastic feedback from some of our new clients using our Facebook Shop. One retailer indicated he sold more with his Facebook store in two weeks than he had with his website in over six months. The other told us she sold-out her inventory within 48 hours on a product special.  And another said he sold over $100 in product in less than a week and only has 15 fans for his store!  We love to hear this kind of news and it prompted us to write this week to help some of our PayPal Checkout clients to creatively use their store to increase revenue by driving urgency, awareness and opportunities for their fans, friends and new prospects.

Most of our recent social research validates that clients like to learn about your company and its products AND that they view social channels as a great opportunity find deals, unique offerings and to share these with their friends.  Don’t let them down! We’ll outline three ideas that you can use to increase the engagement with you clients and help you to drive revenues.

Free Shipping

Who doesn’t like free shipping? In many cases this can save your client 5 to 10% on their purchase.  We suggest the following to make this work for your store:

– Turn off your shipping costs in ShopTab listings or PayPal (depending on where you have them set). Find video details on setting your shipping here.

– Put a banner on your store header highlighting your offer. Also, highlight the offer on your Facebook page.

– Use the “PROMOTE” button to highlight a product to your news feed and the free shipping period of time.

Promote New

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Let your fans know that this is only available through your Facebook Fan Shop.

Purchase Multiples

Again, shipping is a great incentive to help upsell a client.  We’ve seen great calls to action around buying more than one product to get free shipping.

– Update your shipping charges for “By Quantity” to reflect free shipping of 2 or more product purchases. Make this setting active.
Quantity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(PayPal Shipping Configuration above)

– Update your header/banner for the store highlighting the opportunity to for your clients and prospects to remind them on every page to buy more than one product.

Discount your Price

– While there isn’t a way for PayPal to discount the prices, you can set the price to your “sale” price inside of ShopTab’s admin.

– Create your messaging in the product title with a description – “Black Dress – 35% off until Thursday” and in the description field.

– Set your inventory levels correctly so you don’t oversell what you don’t have in stock.

product list 1  (update your listing)

product list 2  (set inventory levels  in the listing)

There are all kinds of ways to promote specific products or even all products in your store. We like these ideas but know that you probably have implemented even better ideas. Let us know what you have done to create opportunities with your clients. Good Selling!

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Rearrange Products in your Facebook Shop

Your product organization is a key element to your storefront especially around specific selling seasons such as the holidays. Now rearranging your store products has become as easy as a “Bump.” With our new Bump feature you can easily move any product to the top of your product list or reorganize a smaller grouping of products. We’ve put together a quick how-to slide show walking you through the new feature.

[slideshare id=17864934&doc=revisedbumpfeaturepptvergralen-130329113034-phpapp02]

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Facebook Search is Great for your Facebook Store

Facebook’s new Graph Search has enabled Facebook business or fan pages to be more easily searched and found within Facebook. Instead of limiting users to search for places or businesses with specific nomenclature, users can now type in what they’re interested in and the system will yield search results similar to what Google or Bing currently provides. However, these searches will have the incremental context of your social network.

This means that marketers and businesses that optimize their pages, posts and products should have a dramatic advantage as Facebook users leverage the search bar within Facebook, versus the habit of searching in traditional search engines.

How should you go about optimizing your page? It’s as easy as 1,2,3…

1)   Complete your “about” section!

The “about” section for your business/fan page acts as a keyword haven for the Graph Search to find your page. You want to include the most accurate information as well as the best keywords to describe your business. For example you’re a chocolatier located in Texas. So your “about” section would want to read something like this:

Austin, Texas chocolatier since 1943. Serving 6th Street for over 60 years with our famous truffles and peanut butter cups that locals describe as “sinful,” hence our name Sinful Chocolates.

*If you have a website INCLUDE it in your “about” section above the fold.

Update your "About" section in Facebook

The “about” section above gave Graph Search a location, a more specific location, an age for the business, key desserts that are served, and reinforced the name of the business.

2)   Optimize your visual content!

Facebook loves images, this is apparent in their cover image rules and their new 80-20 rule for advertising. So it makes sense that Facebook would improve their Graph Search to filter through images. The best way for your images to add in search is to tag your business page in each image you add. You also want to optimize your photo description with keywords as well, now make sure the description makes sense and you’re not throwing random keywords together.

To tag your Facebook photos, browse through your photos and select one you would like to tag. At the bottom of the image you will see “tag photo,” click on it. Now you will be directed to click on the image, once you do so you will notice a box appear to type in a name or names. To tag you business simply type in your business/fan page name and hit enter. Your photo is now tagged.

Tag your Facebook photos for your businessType in your business/fan page to tag your photo

This also applies to the “Get Advice from Friends” feature with your Facebook storefront. When you share your products or services think about ways to optimize the text that appears with the share.

Use keywords for your Facebook store

3)   Lastly, keep sharing great content on your page!

One of the best tips is to make sure you are reacting and listening to your audience. The best thing for your search optimization is to create content for your Facebook page that your audience LOVES. This is important for Facebook’s Graph Search and Google Search as well. When you post photo’s, share a product, or write a status update that your audience responds to Facebook and Google notice and your content becomes slightly more important in their algorithm then it did before.

These are just a few tips that can get your Facebook page and Facebook shop headed in the right direction for the new Graph Search release. For more tips and tricks to further optimize your page we recommend you look at Social Media Examiner’s blog post about the new changes.

 

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The Truth about Selling in Facebook

Let’s talk the cold hard truth about selling in Facebook.  When you combined the research data regarding Facebook user behavior with ShopTab’s experience with close to 20,000 Facebook Store owners, it yields the fact that the highest impact social product marketing happens in your fan’s News Feed, not in the application tab on the Fan Page. While a Facebook Store application is a great destination for a user, the catalyst for your future buyers will be the message and conversation that appears in their news feed. This reality creates compelling clarity for you to design a successful social marketing plan that can be measured in sales and brand impact.

We’ve been educating our ShopTab resellers, clients and prospects for over two years that putting a shop on your fan page alone won’t drive measurable revenues – sounds crazy for a Facebook Shop app company, huh?  This “build it and they will come” attitude doesn’t work well for bricks and mortar retail stores, e-commerce websites or a Facebook Shop.   According to social media expert Mari Smith, “90% of the people who click your Facebook fan page don’t come back to your Facebook page. “ The main reason for this is that users live in their news feed AND brands aren’t creating reasons for the client to come back to the fan page.  This isn’t an issue for your ShopTab Facebook Store or any other special app on your fan page; it is an overall issue for your brand!

Promotional Share with Engagement

Additionally, recent Facebook use data indicates that most users are checking their account daily.  This highly engaged user base is interested in checking the latest news about their friends and fan sites, many multiple times a day.  As marketers, we need lose our fixation with the app tab or design of the fan page, whether on your desktop or via the mobile app.  All good marketers know that you go to where your clients and buyers are spending their time.  That’s our challenge to solve today – how do we become expert at this critical skill?

Now that we know the facts, what can you do immediately to take advantage of this premium marketing opportunity?  Let’s go tactical to validate if this focus can work. First, don’t forget that what we do in Facebook needs to be “social” – an extension of our brand in a conversation, not a sales pitch. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Start a conversation about one of your products
    • “Do you like this product better in red, blue or a color we don’t have today?”
  • Announce a product on Facebook
    • “We’re offering our fans first shot at our new helmet. It won’t be on our website for two weeks! Check it out first.”
  • Highlight a recent reference or testimonial
    • “Sam recently told us our thermal shirt saved him on his hike. What do you think of this killer shirt?”
  • Drive users to share
    • “The first 20 likes on our new cocktail dress will get a special email with a 10% discount promotion coupon.”
  • Package uniquely for your FB fans
    • “Buy in Facebook our new shampoo and we’ll include the conditioner at no charge!”

Promote Picture

                                      (use our “Promote” feature from ShopTab’s admin panel to push your product to the news feed)

A click on any of these links will land your fans and their friends on your store pages and products that are optimized for sales conversions.

What’s the magic? We believe it is that you are creating contextual conversation, interesting dialog or unique discounts or packaging about your products or brand that you fans care about. They “liked” you in the first place so they want to hear from you. It is important to note, these concepts been working for our best social marketers for years.

We think our app is really cool but it is especially awesome when in the hands of knowledgeable and creative marketers. Tell us what you think.

*Guest post by Kevin Gralen, President, ShopTab

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