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.

source file

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.

map fields

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.

Read More

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.

product_wallpost_shareddeal

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.

Twitter_promote

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.

pinterest_promote

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.

Read More

Create a Holiday Deal in Facebook in 2 Minutes

Capitalize on the holidays by creating a daily deal using a social daily deal app to provide special offers to your current Facebook fans. You can offer these limited time highly shared posts about your product deals inside of your Facebook page in as little as 2 minutes!

First, download a daily deal app to your Facebook page to get started with your holiday deal. Add the app to your fan page and you can begin to add the product deal. With ShopTab’s product, you are able to add a title, description, and up to four images of your product.  ShopTab’s app is called SharedDeal; it functions similarly to the ShopTab full store application.

add_product_shareddeal_2

When you are describing your product you may then choose if there are any variables of the product, such as size or color. You can also choose when the holiday deal will end by selecting a date and time from the calendar provided; you can also choose if you would like to add a countdown clock to your item in the application’s page. After all those options are selected, finalize the deal with the right shipping option for this product.

The product listing will immediately appear in your SharedDeal app within your Facebook fan page. You will notice that there is a countdown clock for when the item will no longer be on sale. This is an excellent feature of the daily deal app to stimulate urgency and let the buyer know that this is a limited time offer. You will also see on this listing that your fans can view the four images of your item and they can easily share this product to some of the most popular social media channels with a simple click of a button.

Social deals are a fantastic way to drive incremental sales during the holidays. Leverage your Fan Page to provide these exclusive deals to your fans and their friends. By creating these unique opportunities to your fans you will inspire them to share your holiday deals and in turn gain more fans and brand awareness for your Facebook store and products.

shareddeal_product

At this point you can now focus on the promotion of your product. SharedDeal enables you to easily promote your daily deal items with our “Promote” button. When you click this button you will be able to post your item onto your Facebook page along with a catchy message to grab your fans attention.

promote_shareddeal

Once you have added the message that you would like to use to get your fans to click on that item the full listing will appear on your store’s Facebook page. The full promotional posting includes the catchy message that you just created along with an image of the product and the description of the product that you created earlier.

product_wallpost_shareddeal

You can follow those steps to create as many holiday daily deals as you would like, and that’s it! You have created your holiday deal in less than 2 minutes!

 

Read More

Turn Black Friday Green with your Facebook Store!

The countdown to Black Friday begins! We have less than a month until the biggest shopping day of the year. Black Friday has now become a full weekend of shopping deals with the integration of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Your selling opportunities are greater than ever before; make sure that you have a social media plan and your Facebook Store is in top condition to compete.

There are four ways that you can prepare your store so that you are able to capitalize on this major selling weekend. A few key things to remember are:

  1. Promote your products in your news feed and other social networks
  2. Showcase your products through images
  3. Offer special deals and promotions
  4. Keep a count of your inventory when using an integrated cart in your Facebook store.

Promoting your products has never been easier with the unique “Promote” button offered in the ShopTab app. With this feature you can easily and quickly promote your products on your Facebook page. This is a great way to market your holiday season products and a great way to promote any special deals that you are offering on your products. Once you have clicked the “Promote” button the dialog box below appears and allows you to view the description for your product and it allows you to create a creative marketing message to go along with your product that will appear on your Facebook page. Learn more about how to easily promote your products on your Facebook page.

Promote3

Using images is the perfect way to showcase your products. You are now able to have 4 product images for each product in your store. This is a great selling point for your items as images are a big influencer in the consumers’ online purchasing decision. You can link to your product images on other sites such as eBay, Amazon, or Etsy; you are also able to directly upload your images into the store if your Facebook store is your primary source of sales.

mobile_images

It is important to offer special deals and promotions. You can even run a daily deal app separate from your ShopTab app to promote those special holiday products. SharedDeal, the daily deal app, makes it just as easy for you to promote your daily deals on your Facebook page. This will help you to gear up for the major shopping weekend and create special deals for your fans.

Being able to track your inventory online is equally as important when you are receiving an influx of orders. Keep in mind this feature is only available when you are using the integrated cart option. It can be overwhelming to keep tabs on your entire inventory on days such as Black Friday when multiple orders can be coming in at the same time. If you use our integrated cart integration, let our Facebook store app keep track of what you still have available. This feature is easy to add to your page and it lets consumers know what is in stock. This creates value for your store in the following ways:

  • It sets client expectations; they know how much of each product is available or if there is an item that is out of stock they may look at alternative items in your store to find something similar.
  • It creates a sense of urgency in that buyers feel they might miss out on a product if they do not purchase the item right then.
  • It also keeps you aware of which products you should be promoting on your business’ Facebook page.

You are able to set the inventory levels quickly and easily in the admin tab of the ShopTab app.

Inventory_quantity

Share what has worked for you to grab attention in your social networks during the holiday rush.

Read More

Top Social Product Promotion Tips

We all know the importance of promoting our products. Traditionally, when we build our marketing strategy we have relied on television, radio, billboards, and print ads to bring in the brand awareness, the customers, and most of all the sales. Many retailers have turned the corner into the digital age and successfully promote their products online.  The next logical frontier is answering how to promote successfully in social networks?

The social way of marketing and selling products in vastly different from the traditional advertising methods and most digital options, however, there is one thing that remains the same. You need a plan. Social media should be a big part of your promotion plan. All research validates that people like what their friends like, want what their friends want, and therefore buy what their friends buy. The Internet has provided an interconnected world where friends from all over influence our purchasing decisions. Integrating social promotion appropriately can make a real difference in your long-term success.

So in order for our products to have influence in users daily purchasing decisions we must make sure to promote our products and make them easy for those users to find. A great way to socially promote products is to have a store that has your products on the social media supergiant, Facebook. Not only does Facebook allow users to share their purchases or to share items they are considering purchasing, but the business is able to promote your products on this platform easily with a Facebook store application. This is especially important when you are running a combined in-store and online promotion or when your gearing up for your holiday season products.

Let’s take a look at a specific feature that is available in our Facebook store app, ShopTab. This store app allows you to upload all of your products to a store within Facebook. Once you have added a product you will have access to a button that says “Promote,” this is outlined below in the example:

promote1

When you click that promote button a dialog box pops up that allows you to see the description of that posted item and it allows you to create a catchy message to encourage people to click on the link to your product. That pop up box appears below. Click for full information on a Facebook Promote feature.

promote2

Once you click “Send Promotion” the product link with the description and your newly created message will appear on the wall of your business Facebook page. This is the perfect way to highlight your product especially during the holiday season when you are in high competition with all the other sellers; this is also a great time to highlight those special holiday season products by creating daily promotions. Creating awareness and continual conversation about your products is extremely important to drive sales to your existing clients and their network of friends.

Keep in mind as you promote your products that fans and others more frequently share special offers, deals, and discounts that they found online. Knowing this will help to keep you ahead of your competitors and will enable you to get more reach from your social media platforms.

Read More

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.

  • LAUNCH
    • 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.
  • COMMUNICATE
    • 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.
  • LAST CHANCE/LIMITED TIME
    • 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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More

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

Read More