Refine your Social Commerce strategy

We have reached the last leg of our journey through our Social Commerce whitepaper “Return on Facebook.” It has been a fun run folks and hopefully you have gained clarity for the strategy, planning and tactics needed along the way. You are equipped with the tools in your tool belt to step back and review your strategy and executed tactics and make adjustments as needed.  This isn’t an option; it is a requirement for selling on Facebook and your overall Social Commerce success.

As the last step in our social strategy document it is important to emphasize that it will never end, refining is a continuous cycle. Review will expose strategies that are working and tactics that resonate better than others.   Your social strategy is not set in stone, it is meant to evolve as your business evolves and as you learn what will work in social environments. It is very important to review detailed feedback gained from your fans that should be added back into your plan. Remember, you are creating a community centered on people and your products and services are only one element of who you are. Adjusting your approach to the ever changing needs of people will be important to be relevant for them socially and ultimately to drive commerce.

As we look back on the previous blog posts let’s remember the key take away points:

           First off you want to develop a social commerce strategy, this is a must. It determines the position you will take in your field as well as determine the value you will offer your customers.

          Then we move onto the things you don’t want to do to grow your audience. The number one mood killer is not posting interesting content for your fans.

          Let’s not forget the post on putting the cart before the horse, tactics usually are the most exciting part of the social strategy but you can’t abandon the backbone of the mission by starting with tactics.

          For all your hard work and effort you want to make sure measurements are in place. This provides not only a pat on the back for yourself but proof to show others.

          Finally we have reached the end but at the same time is the beginning. Refining your social strategy will be an ongoing process; it will start some of the best brainstorming sessions and will make you feel like nothing you do is working. You will have your moment in the sun.

Parting is such sweet sorrow but we will back next week with more intriguing information for your social efforts so be sure to follow us here and on all our other social network sites.

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What has been your favorite part of developing your social strategy? Sound off in the comment section below we’d love to hear from you.

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Ring the bell with your Social Commerce efforts

After careful consideration you decided to start a Facebook store. You’ve followed all the installation steps and are now deploying some social tactics, but how do you know that all your efforts will pay off? Is there a secret place in Facebook that hides all the answers or will you just know by osmosis that you are getting a return on your efforts? Before you move forward you need to decide what is important to measure!

As we’ve been discussing throughout our series on Social Commerce Strategy, you must implement clear objectives to measure your progress against your business goals.  Your work in the first step of the plan created valuable business objectives that will help to grow quickly.  One easy way to start measuring your efforts against these objectives is to deploy Google Analytics.  Google Analytics allows you to see overall patterns from your website visitors and changes in referral traffic from your social networks.  It will also allow you to associate tracking information to your product listings in your Facebook store, which will allow you to analyze how many sales conversions you are making on your products or services.

Additionally, you can use Facebook Insights, which is just a click away from giving you valuable information about your Facebook page and posts. When you are signed into your Facebook fan page as an administrator you will click on a button in the top right corner that says “Admin Panel.” This takes you to the wonderful world of Facebook Insights. You can find a treasure trove of information ranging from sources of traffic, gender, geography, and so on. Watch these areas for key engagement metrics on the impact of your content with your fans. Using this information will help you to understand what engages your customers and what products and services that they are most interested in hearing about.

In case you missed them here are the three previous blog posts in this series:

Get your Social Commerce Strategy Right for Tweet Sake

The Five Best Ways to Kill the Audience for your Facebook Shop

Six Tactics Guaranteed to Grow the Fans for your Facebook Store

Be sure to check out our whitepaper “Return on Facebook” for more in depth information on developing your social commerce strategy.

Measuring your success is a critical element of any quality marketing plan. With Facebook and ShopTab it is very easy to deploy measurement systems and this will allow you to make quick adjustments that can impact your bottom line.  How do you measure your social success?

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Leverage a Featured Item on your Facebook Store

 

ShopTab has released a new feature to help you sell in your Facebook shop. All ShopTab clients can implement a “Featured Item” which displays the first product on your store page in a stand-alone box with a banner that states “Featured Item.” This is a great way to draw attention to specific products on your first page.

Here are a few ways you can utilize the new Featured Item on your store in order to drive sells and generate returning customers.

– Create a daily or weekly deal with the featured item: You can pick a new item to be featured daily with a coupon code or free shipping offered on the item.

– Create a special discount if the item is liked so many times or by the first 25 users.  Turn the featured item into a game. In the text let the customers know that the first fans to like the product will get 20% off sent to them via a private message in Facebook.

Selling in Facebook should leverage every opportunity to enhance the merchandising and promotion of your products. The “Featured Item” feature is a great example of both by creating more prominence for your first listing and the opportunity for everyone to see it on the first page of your store.

For more information on how to implement your “Featured Item” view the slideshow presentation below.

[slideshare id=12762237&doc=featureditem-120501144152-phpapp02] 

Want to learn more tactics to help increase sells in your Facebook store? Check out our social commerce strategy “Return on Facebook” for more details.

 

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Six Tactics Guaranteed to Grow the Fans for your Facebook Store

Got ya! You saw six tactics and “BAM” you were sold. Don’t worry we will give you the six tactics, but we think most people quickly jump to tactics to fix things, instead of creating a strategy to drive their activities. We believe you should consider building an overall social strategy so that these tactics will have more value to your business.

In the first post in this series on Social Commerce Strategy, you set your strategy and determined your objectives. In the second post we figured out a number of ways to grow your audience but now you need to know how to keep them interested and active. We’ve seen many marketers rush the first two steps by moving to step three too quickly.  This can just be a waste of time if the planning hasn’t been given its due.  Putting the cart before the horse doesn’t work for the cart or for social marketing!

Here are six tactics as promised! To see more than these six tactics visit our social commerce strategy white paper “Return on Facebook” for over 20 stellar tactics for your Facebook shop as well as links to other websites for more tactics.

          Ask follower to post on your wall/home page and provide a free sample of a product for the most creative post.

          You don’t have to put all of your products into your Facebook shop. If you have a fully functioning website then use this as an opportunity to promote “on sale” items only available to fans by creating a special category for your store or even have it as the only category.

          If you have a Pinterest account, encourage your fans to post images onto your shared board.

          Create a “Featured” page that only has unique products or price specials available to your fans.

          Create packaged offerings (put two products together at a discounted price) that only are available to your fans.

          Introduce products on Facebook first, offer a special deal for these early users. Create urgency by defining a short time period for the offer.

[slideshare id=12272700&doc=socialstratpp21-120403143104-phpapp02]

Below are the first two articles in this series:

Building your Social Strategy
Building your Social Audience

What are some tactics you’ve used to promote fan engagement on your Facebook page?

Image source: http://tabernaclefortoday.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/the-cart-before-the-horse/

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The Five Best Ways to Kill the Audience for your Facebook Shop

 

You login to your Facebook fan account to see what kind of interaction happened when you were offline and you see that there are no new fans. In fact, you’ve lost a few!  For anyone that is new to social marketing it becomes an addiction to watch the growth of your Facebook fan base. If you are like me, it can be a roller coaster ride that you just want to get off of because of the daily ups and downs.

Last week on this blog we launched part one of our five week adventure through the whitepaper “Return on Facebook,” a social commerce strategy document for your Facebook shop. We asked you to answer three important questions with one of them being – “Do you have a written social marketing strategy?”  Once you have completed this strategy you’ll need to immediately start the process of growing the audience to your Facebook fan page.

Our strategy document provides numerous ways to grow your audience.  Instead of summarizing those in this post, we are going to talk about five things you shouldn’t do:

1.       YOU’RE NOT POSTING INTERESTING CONTENT. People want to like you. They don’t start out thinking “I’m just not going to like them at all.” By giving them interesting, compelling and fun content centered on your company and brand it reaffirms their like, or shall we say, love for you.

2.       YOU DON’T RESPOND.  You break the cardinal rule of social and don’t respond to someone’s attempt at reaching out to you. That’s like showing up to the party 10 hours late, everyone has already gone home and they are no longer interested in what you have to say. If you start a discussion with a post you should be available to respond in a reasonable period of time.

3.       ALL YOU DO IS PROMOTE AND SELL YOUR PRODUCTS.  Even though you are trying to grow a fan base to create overall engagement for your Facebook store you don’t want to bombard people with BUY, BUY, BUY! See what I did there? I said BUY three times in all caps, practically yelling at you to buy and it was pretty annoying. You’ve been to that networking event where that one person tries to sell everyone in the room and everyone does their best to stay away from him.

4.       YOU’RE A NARCISSIST.  You only post your own content. Don’t suffer from the narcissistic syndrome of thinking your content is all people want. People like variety, context, perspective on your market and you are a vehicle for helping to educate them.  

5.       NO OWNERSHIP.  Last but not least, your social media is being controlled by someone who knows social media but nothing about your company, your values, your perspective or brand promise. This can be very detrimental to your social media efforts as well as a misrepresentation of what your organization is all about. This is like using trade show models to staff your show booth – they make create a short-term attraction but they aren’t going to provide a meaningful engagement with a client or prospect.

Take a look below for a few tactics to help grow and engage your audience.

 [slideshare id=12272731&doc=shoptabssocialstrategyslideshow1-120403143434-phpapp02]

Follow us for the next installment of your social marketing plan, social commerce tactics. We’ll turn the planning and audience growth into the most successful tactics to drive your sales. Download our complete Social Commerce Strategy document if you would like to review all steps in the process.

Image source: http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2009/03/closing-bell-cy/

 

 

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How to Engage Your Audience With Your Facebook Store

Some of you may have noticed a new feature that is available to your Facebook storefront. The “Get Your Friends Advice,” is a new share feature to boost your social impact through your Facebook store. With this feature it allows your products to be prominently placed in the social playing field – your user’s wall. Fans sell to other fans, the more visible your product the more viral it becomes.

If you utilize the share feature it will allow for more interaction between your fans and their friends. Once it’s been shared they will be allowed to comment on the item and share with more friends. Selling on Facebook is about turning the experience into a social discussion. People are looking to make a connection and you need to connect them to your brand.

Another aspect of the share feature is it helps a Facebook store manager to leverage their presence on Facebook. If people are engaged about the product they will be inclined to buy as well as recommend. In the social selling world if consumers can’t see it they are less likely to buy it. Once the dialogue box pops up for the share button the potential client has the chance to turn your product into a conversation piece. For example, you as the merchant can share a product and ask your fans their opinion in order to engage in feedback.

To activate the “Get Your Friends Advice” button in your store, go to your admin page and click on “Settings,” then the “Customize” tab and then click on the dialog box named “Display the share on wall button.” You can change the wording of the button as well as the dialogue in the pop up box. You can be as creative as you want, whatever you think will engage your audience. The goal is engagement – that is the key to social selling. What do you think some of the key elements to F-Commerce are? Sound off in the comment box below!

 

Image source: http://www.smartmobs.com/2012/01/06/swedens-church-of-file-sharing-resets-the-conversation-of-what-defines-a-community/

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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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Why Less Is More In Your Facebook Store

Less is More Box ShopTabToo many choices can be overwhelming in almost any situation, and let’s face it; your ShopTab store is no different. When faced with too many choices it can be difficult for a customer to find the best solution that suits their needs. As with most things, keeping it simple can provide a smoother and less confusing shopping experience that leads to more sales and happier customers. And let’s face it, isn’t that why you started with social selling on Facebook in the first place?

 

Why Less Can Be More in your Facebook Marketplace

While it is certainly not applicable to all eTailers and ShopTab store users, a slimmed down version on your eCommerce store hosted on your Facebook shopping app can help improve user engagement rates with the products you have for sale. In today’s digital world shoppers are looking to get in and out in a breeze. If a user does not instantly see something that catches their eye they are likely to leave. Can you remember the last time you went past the first or second page in a Google search?

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