Creating Successful Facebook Ads

xfacebook-shop.png.pagespeed.ic.E-s4KD6bmOFacebook can be an effective tool in reaching your audience if you know how to maximize Facebook ads and use them correctly. You can drive this traffic to multiple locations such as your Facebook page, your website, or your Facebook store.

It is important to note that you have news feed ads and the right column ads available to you. The right column ads are paid ads that show up on the far right side of the page. When you distinguish your target demographics, Facebook uses this information to target Facebook users that would be the most interested in your products or services.

News feed ads are more visible to your consumers because they are showing up in their news feed. This can make them more valuable to your business as they are more likely to get seen by the consumer than the right column ads.

Whether you decide to create a news feed ad or a right column ad you will still need to have a Facebook page that promotes your business. Once you create the business Facebook page you are then eligible to create either type of ad. Make sure that you don’t neglect the business page you created especially if you are driving traffic back to your Facebook page.

Facebook-Like-Button-150x150There are some benefits of the newsfeed ad:

  • As mentioned above more visibility
  • Larger ad for more content
  • You can include a larger image with your ad

When creating your ads be sure to have the text and images well prepared before implementing the ad. Be sure that the main points of your message are in the top of the content. If you have any special offers or discounts on products or services the top area of the ad is the best place to showcase this deal. Any time you are offering a discount there is a high incentive for consumers to click on your ad.

Facebook ads are an effective way to drives sales and they can be directed to any landing page. You can direct them to your website, your Facebook shop or any other ecommerce site. If you are looking to direct them to your Facebook store you can use the smart links in the app to promote your products. You can pull these links from the “promote” feature in the app that is located under the product listing or under the settings tab in the mobile settings area. You can see this area pictured below.

ST_link

Both types of Facebook ads are highly targeted and you can use this to reach the audience with the highest potential to convert. These ads offer a variety of demographics, make sure that before you develop your ad you are well versed in the demographics that make up your best target audience.

When developing your Facebook ads be sure to use several types of ads with different ad copy and images to determine which ones are the most effective. There are no set guidelines to determining what types of ads are the most effective for your business, try out a few and see what is the most effective for you.

Already using Facebook ads? Let us know what works for you!

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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.

Resources:

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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Reordering Categories and Products for Search

A big part of running an ecommerce store is the ability to efficiently lead customers to the products or services that meets their need. This includes the organization of how your products or services are offered to your customers. ShopTab makes it easier than ever to organize the categories and products in your Facebook shop.

You can find this feature in the admin portion of the app. Go to the “My Products” page and click “Change Order”. At this point you are given the option to choose to reorder your categories or products within your Facebook store.

product_and_category_button

Categories are a key helping customer quickly find the merchandise they desire. These days, customers have a very short attention span. If they go to your store and can’t quickly find the product they are looking for than they are likely to move on to your competition. Many clients put their most popular categories at the top of the category drop down list to help their clients.

On the page to reorder categories you can choose to drag and drop your categories to their desired location. This is located in the left column of the listings. You can also reorder by choosing the order number and editing that field with the desired number order that you would like that category to be placed in. Changes to listings that are made in this screen are immediately saved to your store.

category_button_reorder

In order to change the product order, select that option from the “Change Order” button on the “My Products” page. The reordering process on the product page works the same way as it does on the categories page. You can choose to drag and drop to reorder your products or you can choose the order number and select which order you would like that product to appear.

Change product order 2

Every product and category is available in this section so you can easily view all and determine what order you would like everything to appear. Please note that any updates you make in the category section will not affect the order of the products; you must be in the product reorder screen to update the product order.

The order of your products and categories can affect the overall usability and conversion rates of your Facebook store. Setup your products and categories relevant to what your customers are looking for, this will allow them to find your products quickly, which in turn will increase your opportunities to finalize a sale.

Resources:

  1. http://support.shoptab.net/hc/en-us/articles/200583366

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How to Attract More Likes to Your Facebook Fan Page

Setting up a business page on Facebook is a relatively easy process. The challenge that you will face once the page is complete is getting users to “Like” your page. There are a number of avenues that you can use to attract likes to your page.  We recommend to all those new to building up a fan page to use multiple methods and we believe the ideas below are the best options to quickly build up your social presence in Facebook.

1.       Invite Friends to “Like” Your Page

This is a great way to get fans to your page when your page is first built. It allows you to tap into the personal network that you already have on Facebook. The invite feature allows you to ask certain friends or all friends to like your business page. This feature can be found at the top of your admin panel under “Build Audience”. Invite your friends and ask them to invite their friends.invite_friends

2.       Email Your Existing Customers

Inviting your email contacts to like your business page is also an integrated feature of Facebook. This feature allows you to send out a mass email to your database asking them to like your page. You can see that function of Facebook in the image above titled “Invite Email Contacts”. Once you choose that option a dialog box will appear where you can choose which email contacts to invite. email contacts

3.       Run a Contest

Creating a contest hosted on your business page is a great way to create buzz about your fan page. You can run a contest through a Facebook app such as offerpop. You can also now run a contest directly through your business page as long as the rules and restrictions are properly outlined and that the ways to win are made clear. If you are new to Facebook contests we suggest using an app just to make sure you are complying with Facebook terms for contests.

4.       Add a Fan Gate

What is a Fan Gate? Fan gates (also referred to as like gates) have users “Like” a page before they can see the posts, contests, or products that are offered on an application inside of your fan page. You do this by adding an app to your page. If you want to display different information to fans you can use ShortStack; if you are looking to promote a Facebook store or a daily deal you should use an app specifically for that such as ShopTab for your Facebook store or SharedDeal for your daily deal. All these apps are equipped with optional fan gates that will prompt users to like your page before they can view your deals or products. Below you can see an example of a fan gate for a Facebook store using the ShopTab app. fangate_example

5.       Use Other Social Channels

Letting your whole network know that you have created a Facebook business page is another way to drive likes to your page. Generally you have different contacts in each of your social media networks so be sure to let them know that your page exists and ask them to like your page. A few social media channels in particular you can focus on are Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

6.       Incorporating Into Your Email Signature Line

Incorporating a “Like us on Facebook” feature in your signature line will ensure that everyone you are emailing will see that you have a business page on Facebook. Another bonus of using this in your signature is generally the people you are emailed are interested in your products and services so they will be more likely to go Like your page. Be sure that you are including a link to your business page from the signature to make it easy for your contacts to like the page. You can easily add this function into your signature line; you can see the example below. facebook_signature_ex

7.       Use Facebook Ads

In previous articles, we have discussed how Facebook Ads can be utilized to driving traffic and likes to a Facebook page. Many times Facebook Ads are used to offer product or service discounts to consumers. When you pair Facebook ads with a Fan Gate it especially efficient in attracting new likes to your page. Use the Facebook ads to draw attention to your products by offering attractive deals to users. Once they come to look at your products they will use the fan gate feature and drive up your likes. To see more on how to create a Facebook Ad visit our previous article: “Use Facebook Ads to Drive Sales in Your Facebook Shop”.

8.       Adding the “Like” Capability to Your Website and Blog

This allows anyone that is visiting your website or reading your blog to be able to easily like your Facebook page without leaving the content they are looking at. This is an easy way for you to gain more fans and a benefit of this avenue just like email signatures is that you are capturing likes from users who are interested in your products or services. Below you can see an example of adding the multiple social plugins to your blog, including the Facebook “Like” feature. You can easily add these through your blogs platform. blog_socialplugins

Building your social presence is a critical step in building your brand for all organizations. A plan that incorporates many of the ideas above will be important to see a quick build-up of your fans and followers.  Let us know if you have other ideas that have worked for your organization.

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Use Facebook Ads to Drive Sales in your Facebook Shop

You did your research and have set yourself up with a new Facebook store app.  Now you need to drive customers to your store to generate revenue. There are different marketing avenues that you may take to promote your products.  For new store app users, we suggest you review our FB store quick start guide to see simple and quick success options with our free tools. However, there are times when using Facebook’s advertising platform can make great sense for driving sales and growing your followers.

When using Facebook ads we recommend providing a discount or a packaged deal, since these perform very well within Facebook.  For you to discount your products you will need to login to your account and edit the product that you are looking to discount.  You can adjust your pricing in the price field area shown below. We suggest you note the reduced price in the product title and even in the description.

hiking_boots

After you have discounted your product price and saved the changes you will notice a button under the product listings page that says “Promote”. You can use this button to let your customers know about the discounted price directly on your Facebook Fan Page for your followers.  This is a free tool for all ShopTab users to use.

promote_boots

On this Promote dialog, you can see that there is a specific link provided for this product which will allow you to not only promote the product directly on your Facebook page but you can also use this link to promote your product with Facebook Ads  or other platforms (ex: an email blast or in a tweet).  You’ll want to use this link because it has special “smart link” technology that will allow all desktop, tablet and mobile users to access the product page with an optimized landing page.

promote on wall_boots

To broaden your reach outside of your followers on Facebook, use this special product link with a Facebook ads campaign so you can directly target people that may be interested in your store and its products.  To create your own Facebook ad do the following:

  • Go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/.
  • From here select the goals you would like to accomplish with the ad campaign
  • Facebook will then ask you for more detail on what you chose to accomplish so it knows where to guide your customers.

You may choose “Page Post Engagement” if you want to direct them  to use that link that is populated from the “Promote” feature in the app to direct traffic to the specific products.  This is a great route to take to let consumers know about the discounted product you are offering.  For other campaigns, you may choose to direct them to the main store landing page – the smart link for the full store is located under the “Settings” and “Activate Mobile Store” tab in ShopTab – grab either of the links noted below.

mobile_store_boots

After you choose where you want to link you campaign, you may then choose images that you would like to display with your ads. Below that process it will ask you a series of questions about who you want to target and what industry your products fall under – perfect for a real focused targeting for your product. The last section is going to be the payment information area. You will need to read the details on whether you are paying by impression or paying by click and you will be asked to select a daily budget for your ad.

You may pair the integrated ShopTab “Promote” feature with Facebook ads to reach a much broader market. Those two avenues work together very well to create a solution for you to quickly sell products, generate revenue and expand the followers to your fan page.

If you run a campaign with Facebook ads, let us know what you learned.

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7 Tips to Grow Your Blog’s Following

Image by Svilen Milev link to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1383208
Image by Svilen Milev link to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1383208

A key to the success of gaining followers for your blog is to utilize all the channels you can. You need to be active in your community and interactive with your followers. Users need to know that your blog is out there and that it can provide them with valuable information. This can be very helpful to developing traffic, and if you have an ecommerce site or a Facebook store, the following tips are essential to driving traffic to your blog and store.

1.       Guest Blogging

You can be a guest blogger to get your blog in front of a new audience, make sure that you aren’t just guest blogging for the sake of it. If you are going to create guest blog posts you should be creating them for other blogs that are going to reach a relevant audience for your business. You can focus on reaching out to bloggers who you would like to do a guest post for. Many bloggers are happy to embrace new bloggers as it adds another dimension to their current blog. It is best if you help them to understand your unique point of view so that they can understand how you would bring value to their audience.

2.       Comment on Other Blogs

The comments section on blogs is a great way to interact and create relationships with those who are relevant to your business. Another value of this section is that when posts generate many comments this can be as entertaining as the blog itself and can create more user engagement, which is great when you start this kind of dialog. If you don’t abuse its use, you may include a link to your blog in your comment (make sure it is highly relevant) so each time someone reads the article they are seeing the link to your blog.

3.       Link from Your Personal Email to Your Blog

You can personalize your email signature. A great way to get more exposure is to have a link in your email signature to your blog and your social media channels. This creates an easier way for anyone you are emailing to get access to your blog and to your social platforms. Set your automatic email signature to ensure that your links show up on each email that you are sending out.

Image by Svilen Milev link to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/970189
Image by Svilen Milev link to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/970189

4.       Add an RSS Button

RSS feature let’s followers quickly access your blog for more information. The RSS feed allows them access your blog from multiple channels. There are users out there who won’t stick around if they aren’t able to subscribe to your blog, be sure you make it easy for them to subscribe to your blog.

5.       Be Active on Twitter and Facebook

Twitter is a great way to be interactive and reach out to bloggers for guest posting opportunities. You can easily share posts on your blog on both Twitter and Facebook, which helps build an exposure to your blog as well as increasing your rank in search engine results. An increase in rank can lead to more traffic for both your website and blog. Both Twitter and Facebook make it easy for you to find those who are relevant to your business, and it allows you to easily engage with them. You can use these social media platforms to drive traffic to your blog.

6.       Share With Your Social Network

If your articles are informative and entertaining then followers will want to read them. This can help you to gain traffic to your blog from various social media sites. Keep your audience in mind as you share posts on the different platforms, for example LinkedIn is more business centric and those posts should be more on the informative and educational side of the spectrum.

7.       When Posting Focus on Entertaining and Informing

There are generally 2 main reasons why users read a blog post: for information or to be entertained. Think about what people are looking for and use your blog to meet their needs. This will help you gain more traffic to your blog because you are providing information that people are searching for.

Resources:

http://www.mscareergirl.com/2011/10/05/10-ways-to-grow-your-blogs-traffic/

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Social Media Automation Can Be Integrated With Your Marketing Plan

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

like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources:

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

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Facebook Shop Back-Up Saves Big Hassle Later

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

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

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

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

back_up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

notification

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

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

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

boost

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

Resources:

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

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Adding Promotions to Your Website or Blog Equals Additional Revenue

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

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

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

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

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

embed_post

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

embed_code

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

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

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

 

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