Facebook Shop Improves Merchandising Options with Timeline

Last week we blogged about the new changes for the business page layout on Facebook, this week we wanted to discuss the new designs and features that ShopTab is working on. We felt that Facebook has given us an opportunity to improve upon our product in order to make it the best Facebook commerce application for you, our clients.

The new layout has increased the space in which our application operates. We are now working in a 810 pixel page width rather than 510 pixels. What does this mean to you?

– You will have a larger header/banner branding opportunity

– The navigation tools that were located on the left rail such as pricing, and category options, will now be located at the top of the page improving your selling space.

– There will be two options for product arrangement on each page.

o The first option will be an improved version on the horizontal layout. It will utilize the new expanse of space.

o The second option will be a grid layout, which will offer the ability to place more products on one page using less space and showing more products above the fold of the page. Your products will now be viewed in a 2 x 2 grid while providing all the functionality of the horizontal design.

Another new feature that will be available is the placement of a featured product. You may place one product of your choosing to be labeled as your feature product. The product will be placed at the top of the page with a “Featured Item” banner to showcase it. If you have a closeout item in your store you can place it as your featured product and share it with your fans with our share feature.

We are also working on the graphics for our new Facebook cover page icon.This new icon will be the default setting for your ShopTab application but you may also create your own “Shop” image. This image should be designed in an 111 x 74 pixel size. It should be your call to action image, as well as relatable to the action of shopping. You want to make sure that your “Shop” application is placed in the top four applications so it is up front and visible.

 

                                          Application is visible when it is in the top 4 applications.

A few of you may have heard about the new pin and highlight features available on Timeline. These options will be another tool to help promote your social engagement and showcase your products. In order to pin a product to the top of your Timeline you will click on the pencil icon on the post and then select “Pin to Top.” There has been some discrepancy about the length that the pin will stay at the top of your page, from what we have learned from blogs and webinars it will be pinned for 5 days. When you use the highlight feature it will make the post run the full length of the Timeline page. You can highlight a post by clicking on the star icon next to the pencil icon that you would use to pin a post.

A share

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A Highlight

Now for some unpopular news about Timeline, the rumors about Fan Gate are unfortunately true. Facebook’s Timeline layout will more than likely not support Fan Gate or Like Gate at this time, now that’s not saying they won’t in the near future.

The conversion to the new layout will need to take place by March 30th, what some of you may or may not know, if you don’t convert your business page yourself Facebook will do it for you. They will take bits and pieces from your current page and create the Timeline. This will more than likely not be the best Timeline for your business so we suggest making the transition before March 30th.

With all that said we have a planned release date for the ShopTab updates on March 23, 2012. In the meantime our application does work in the new Timeline format. Keep posted for any changes or new information that will surely emerge in this transition.

Be sure to “Like” us on Facebook for up to date information: www.facebook.com/shoptab

Follow us on twitter: @shoptab

We now have a pinterest account as well, to see the lighter side of ShopTab follow our boards at: www.pinterest.com/shoptab

 

 

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Facebook Timeline Changes and your Facebook Store

Facebook announced yesterday that business and fan pages will now be converted to the “Timeline” lay out that was introduced to personal pages last year. We believe that this has the potential to be a great move for your organization and your Facebook store. Your business will be given until March 30th to convert to the new format.  Just a helpful tip, we don’t recommend you convert too soon. There are some early reports of bugs so give Facebook time to work out a few kinks in the new system. Currently we are working on making the move for our business page to the new timeline format and update our application. As things evolve over the next couple of weeks, we will post blogs updates that will hopefully answer any questions that may impact your business page or store.  

A few store highlights:

First, the current ShopTab application will work inside of the new Timeline format. We haven’t had a chance to optimize the ShopTab graphical layout but we’ve had a chance to test the core application features. Everything works so you won’t lose any of your social selling momentum if you convert in the near-feature. The only exception so far is the fan-gate or like-gate feature. From the webinars we’ve attended they have announced they will support this functionality, but many application providers are not able to make it work at this time. Additionally, while it wasn’t a ShopTab feature, the ability to make the store the default page for your Facebook page is gone too – this won’t come back. They want this new home page to be the default page at all times.

 

The most important part of the timeline will be your home page layout. The good news is that applications like ShopTab have a much higher profile on your page – just below the cover image on the right.  You want to make sure that your “Shop” application is visible on the top row and not hidden in the drop down button in this section. The apps section will allow some user flexibility with a new feature that allows you to customize your app image. We’ll provide a new default image to fit the new size but you can create your own.  In order to make sure your Shop app appears in the top row, you may click the edit Shop button which will allow you to control placement. We’ll update our FAQ’s with some step-by-step directions on how to do this in the next few days. We have been told you can have up to 12 applications on your business page but we have recently seen a site that has 29 applications.

While the effort on our own Facebook business page is in progress, we have started to work on our timeline layout along with ways to make the expanded width available to our store clients.  Given the 810 pixel width for the application page, an increase of almost 300 pixels, you should see improved layout options that can take advantage of the added space for the merchandising your products and services. 

Another helpful suggestion that we can offer is to move the application button that displays your “likes” to the second or third row. With the new timeline lay out anyone will be able to view the “Insights” engagement data for your page by clicking on your “like” button. It isn’t possible to eliminate this button but if you don’t want people to see your data you may want to place it so it isn’t so prominent on your page by moving down to the 2nd or 3rd row.

Facebook disclosed these changes to very few organizations prior to yesterday’s announcement so don’t get too stressed.  Like many changes from Facebook, we could see some modification in the coming days.  We are very enthusiastic about the possibilities with the new layout and expect to announce some new and exciting changes in the coming weeks. In the meantime to inspire your design ideas, here are a few links for companies that launched with the new timeline format: 

http://www.facebook.com/livestrong

http://www.facebook.com/nike

http://www.facebook.com/cocacola

Additionally, here is a link on Facebook Timeline Changes that may answer many technical questions that you have.

We look forward to keeping you posted as we learn more. In the meantime, post your question here or on our Facebook page and we’ll answer you with all that we know.

Image source: http://lygsbtd.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/on-the-money-time-v-money/

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How To Remove an App from Facebook Profile Page

Have you added applications to your personal profile and want to remove one.  Facebook has made a lot of changes how this is done but the latest design update did make it easier.  Here are the easy steps how to delete an application from a Facebook profile:

  1. Login to your Facebook account
  2. Currently The Applications menu is located under the Account link on top right navigation. Click on it and a drop down menu will show up.
  3. Make sure you then select Add to Profile from the drop down option next to Show on top right of this application list page.
  4. Now that you can see what Applications are added to your profile you can either delete an App or Edit it with the options below.

If you selected the X delete button and completed the steps the application is now deleted from your Facebook profile. You’ll not be able to use it again unless you add it to your Facebook profile  again. Some apps might continue sending you information to your email account registered with them. To de-authorize yourself completely, you might have to follow any cancellation link provided in the email.

Facebook’s proprietary apps like the Wall or Photos are needed for full functionality of the service and cannot be removed but there settings can be adjusted through the Edit Settings option.  Removing unused apps helps to keep your Facebook page clean.

When was the last time you took the pain to wipe out the excess of unused Facebook apps? Are there Apps you recommend we install?

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