Facebook Shops: What You Need To Know

Q: In the official announcement for Shops, Facebook says, “Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple…” However, coverage by TechCrunch quotes Facebook’s vice president of ads, Dan Levy, saying: “…that while the company will charge “small fees” on each purchase, the real monetization will come from driving more advertising. https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/19/facebook-shops/ Which is it — free or fee?

A: This is essentially free with the same model used by Etsy, Stripe, and other payment processors that either charge a flat rate based on the number of products you have or a percentage of sales. I consider it free to showcase, low cost to actually sell, but that’s obviously the real goal here. It could make it easier to see a clear ROI in ads, so I think it should be strongly considered. It only charges if you sell, so it works.

The selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less. You keep the rest of your earnings. They say this includes tax and payment processing if the purchase is made on the platform. Disputes and customer communication are also managed through Facebook.

Q: The mention of ads is a big concern among business owners. (“…the real monetization will come from driving more advertising.”) Mainly, if a small, local business doesn’t run ads or maybe meet a certain threshold for ad spend, will their Facebook Shop still be shown, or will it not be given preference? Please share your thoughts on this.

A: I don’t know for sure, as only time will really tell, but I think it’s the same concept as profile views since the shop will be connected to your profile. Businesses who don’t advertise or advertise much on the platforms don’t get a ton of profile views except organically.

When you advertise more heavily, people will naturally go to your page more often because of increased awareness and the direct response element. With shops, however, that will be true, but you’ll also be able to advertise your products directly, maybe showing people for the first time all of the options you have, your pricing, and making it easy for them to buy. Any time you get In front of people more often with a simple solution, you’re going to see more monetization.

Q: As we mentioned at the top of the segment, Facebook Shops is very closely related to Facebook Page Shops — which have been around for a while, I presume. What is the difference between what is rolling out this week and these Page Shops?

A: “Checkout”, or the ability to pay directly through the platform, as well as financial insights and reports are new, but it’s more of evolution it appears. The shop tab has been there but wasn’t widely used or accepted. It started as redirecting to the site but then added messenger payment options. IT required the catalog, but not the commerce manager in order to use it. Couldn’t tag products on FB, just IG as far as I know, and there were no programs to push the shops unless someone went to your page to look, or you used dynamic product ads, which is what we primarily used them for.

Q: Have you heard any feedback from retailers who already have Facebook Page Shops set up? What is their reaction?

A: I’ve set up page shops for clients and they did not ever perform well, because unless they were selling online, it’s really a catalog. It can help people understand your selection, but not much more.

Q: Did they know anything about these new shopping tools rolling out?

A: No, most local business owners are not in tune with the new features enough to know about it for the most part, which is why it’s important for us to share this with them and the benefits.

Q: Facebook emphasized that Shop is built with small businesses in mind still, by all means, any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online, connect with customers, and more on Facebook. You are the expert on local marketing. Can you give us some recommendations on how local businesses can get started? And, how can they make Shops effective?

A: First, you need to decide if you want your ENTIRE product selection in shops or if you want only your best sellers or a certain grouping active. Then, you’ll want to start organizing the information. Most retailers specifically don’t have a spreadsheet with all products, descriptions, photos, links, prices, etc, based on my experience. This can take time to create. I actually developed a spreadsheet that will auto-fill descriptions, tags, etc based on attributes entered, and it can help get these set up so much more quickly because setting up a lot of products manually is REALLY time-consuming.

You also want high-quality photography and keep in mind that descriptions should be focused on WHY it matters to the buyer and the features that drive those decisions. Also, give them an easy link to reach out with questions, messenger ref URLs could be a good idea here since they’re already on Facebook.

Q: Many people like you are working with clients at their own digital agencies or media companies. From the perspective of an agency owner, how would you position Facebook Shop or Instagram Shop to a client? Would you recommend it? If so, how?

A: As always, focus on benefits.

Q: What are some considerations before jumping in?

A: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

I’m recommending it to all of my retail clients and students because of retail, there are certain challenges that this overcomes.

Traditionally, the most valuable thing you can do for a retailer is to get someone in their store to see what they have. Sometimes they come for one thing and stay for others, increasing the sale value. Most local retailers pre-COVID were not set up to sell online and most didn’t even showcase their product selections. For those people, I love using events.

However, if you want to drive more sales, continue to do things like that if they’re working, but focus on the hybrid model of e-commerce and local. It opens up your audience significantly but you can also sell more to the local audience you’ve already got. I would encourage them to start with a spreadsheet that can be used on Facebook and an E-Commerce website.

Don’t build your entire e-commerce solution around Facebook, that’s not smart. But, utilize all the tools available and test what’s most effective. Like lead forms and messenger, keeping users on the platform has many benefits and can be more seamless user experience. Collections you may not have considered. Ability to be found

This summer, starting in the US, they’re introducing Instagram Shop, which you can find on Instagram Explore. You can get inspired by collections from @shop, browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase the looks you love all in one place. And later this year, they’re adding a new shop tab in the navigation bar, so you can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap.

Q: Can we set up a Facebook Shop for digital products and services? Do you think it would work for digital products like classes or webinars?

A: For a Facebook page shop, you MUST sell physical products at this moment.

    You need to get a notification that you are eligible for shops
    You may need to create a commerce account in ads manager
    You will need to create or connect a product catalog. If you already have one, you can likely use it as is. If not, you can use my spreadsheet suggestion or manually enter if it’s a small group.
    YOU MUST….

    Be a Page Admin for the Page connected to your existing Facebook Page Shop
    Be a Business Manager admin
    Manage your Facebook Page and catalog in the same Business Manager account
    Link to a US bank account
    Have a Tax ID

    3 Steps of setting up a Facebook Shop:

      Create a collection. You can create collections of 6 to 30 products.
      Customize your shop. You’ll choose your featured collection and customize the look and feel of your shop.
      Publish your shop. People can see your shop once we review and approve your collections, typically within 24 hours.

    REMEMBER, TO USE THIS…

      To sell on Instagram, you need to get approved.
      To sell on Marketplace, you need to be eligible to list retail inventory.
      To sell on your Facebook Page, you don’t need to get approved first, but you do need to have a Facebook shop.
      All sellers must comply with our Merchant Policies and Commerce Policies.

    Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit alliebloydmedia.com/book to schedule a time to talk!

Social Media Tips Part 2: Executing with Excellence

social media tips for business

Executing With Excellence

After my last article on social media tips for beginners, I thought we could step a bit deeper into the depths of the social media ocean and come up with a few pearls of wisdom. Some of these tips can be executed right away, but others will take time and you’ll need to build upon your skills in order to reap the full benefits. You’ve already gotten your feet wet, so now it’s time to dive right in with 10 more tips to take your social media game to the next level!

1. Remember the Reason

Relationships are the name of the game in social media, so no matter how badly you want to master this new craft for your business, don’t forget to approach it with a spirit of helpfulness and friendliness. The point of social media is to put a human voice and face to your brand. Don’t let the stuffiness of day to day buying and selling overwhelm your presence.

social media tips for business

2. Collect Data

This is one of the most valuable functions of social media. The data you can gather on your demographic and target audience is priceless. In addition to the standard age and gender questions, you can find out what makes your customers tick. You can find out what their pain points are, what their questions are, what they relate and react to. Don’t let this data go by the wayside. Record it and return to it often.

3. Act On Your Data

When you find a new nugget of wisdom about your audience, don’t just write it in your notebook. Act on it. Adjust your efforts to fill this need, answer this question, or offer the type of information that their craving. This will help you produce quality over quantity in terms of content.

4. Focus on campaigns that run across all social media channels

As we discussed in the last article, you shouldn’t try to build a strong presence on all channels. Stick to 3 or 4 to start off with. Create a campaign that can be translated onto all your targeted platforms. But beware, you can’t typically take the same photo and content and successfully post it on all channels. Different word limits, ideal photo sizes and key hashtags will differ on these channels, so adjust accordingly. Keeping the message the same on all channels will promote easy recognition of your brand and it’s values.

5. Research Repeatedly

We covered researching before planning in the last article, but research should be a regular part of your social media journey. Continue to research your competitors and see what is and what is not working for them. Research the best hashtags to use. You can find this on sites like iconosquare.com or hashtagify.me. Using appropriate hashtags can spread your content much farther than your immediate followers.

6. Testing

Test different image shapes, sizes, fonts, colors and even emojis to maximize your reach or gain quick recognition with your followers. Sometimes the small things make you stand out and can break through the clutter in a newsfeed or timeline. In our “Before and After” and “This or That” posts, we found that if we made our image twice the height of a standard Facebook image, our reach would triple or even quadruple! This happens because more than half of all Facebook users are on mobile. When you view this post on mobile, it entices you to click to see the “after” or the “that” image that you can’t see due to the size. The key is to put the “AFTER” or “THAT” text in the middle of the photo, so that people will understand that there is something to see below. When people are constantly clicking on your image, they’re telling Facebook that they value your content, and Facebook recognizes it as more important, making the reach skyrocket. In addition, those who click your post are served more of your content in the future because Facebook knows that they feel it is relevant. Without testing, trial and error, and closely monitoring the way that our fans are interacting with our content, we would have missed this awesome realization!

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What they see in the mobile feed

 

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7. Use calls to action!

As in any advertising medium, use calls to action and a sense of urgency to drive your potential customers into the buying funnel. While social media is not all about buying and selling, but when your posts directly relate to your products or services, there is no harm in adding a simple call to action. It can be as easy as “Click to shop more of these _____” or “Sign up today for more ways to save!”. Getting them to convert to your website or email list is the name of the game. Guide them in the right direction with a little encouragement!

8. Use contents to grow reach, engagement and the “fun factor”

Simple giveaways can be extremely powerful. Many contests will tell fans to like, comment and share to have a chance to win. These posts can get hundreds of thousands of interactions, with most of the giveaway prizes worth only a few hundred dollars. That kind of engagement is worth every penny.

social media contests

9. Make it trackable

Make sure that if you’re promoting contests, giveaways, discounts or specials on your social media accounts, that you have promo codes associated with them for your sales staff. This will allow you to see how many people are claiming this discount in store. This allows you to see which channels are working well for your target audience, or what categories are especially of interest.

10. Cross Promote Social Media Channels With On And Offline Channels!

I can’t stress this one enough. If you are going to take the time to use social media, make sure you get the biggest reach possible. This can be done by sending email blasts about your social activity, putting social share and follow buttons on all of your blogs, images, products, and pages on your website, putting social icons in your email signature (all staff should have this with an invitation for the recipient to follow for “Daily Design Inspiration” or whatever your company provides via social media.) You can also tie this to your other advertising channels, such as TV commercials, radio ads, or in store signage. This makes it easier for customers to follow you no matter where they are when they see your message or interact with your business.

Instagram poster at brick and mortar store

Good luck in your social media journey! If you have patience, persistence and dedication to follow the tips that I’ve laid out, I’m confident that your social presence will continue to rise daily. Don’t lose faith if things don’t take off over night. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so don’t burn yourself out in the beginning. Have a plan and pace yourself so that you will be sure to endure in your efforts for years to come. Pleasant posting!

 

Social Media Tips For Business: Beginners Basics

social tips media

The world of marketing has shifted over the last decade, as I know all of you are aware. What you were doing 10-15 years ago is likely not as effective as it once was.

Digital is taking over the world, with social media the reigning king. While some may think that social media is just for teenagers, others may be well aware that it is an important facet of their marketing plan.

Whatever side of the fence you are on, you need to understand that in today’s marketplace, those who do not embrace this change will soon be left behind.

However, it can be scary and somewhat intimidating when trying to attack this new medium that you may have little experience with. I’m going to give you some social media tips that will help get you moving in the right direction!

social tips media

Social Media Tips: #1

You can’t do it all.

As far as social media tips go, this is a big one. Choose a few platforms to do really well instead of being mediocre at all of them. One of the main reasons that social media can seem so intimidating is the fact that there are dozens of social media platforms, each with a different niche.

You can never be great at all of them. You need to think hard on this before you jump on the social media marketing bandwagon, because this can be the choice that brings success or failure to your efforts.

Some of the main platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine, Tumblr (or any other blogging platform), Periscope, Google+, Houzz, Buffer, Delicious, Digg, Pinterest, Reddit, StumbledUpon, and many many more. In deciding the platforms that you’ll start with, ask yourself these 3 things:

  1. How much time or resources can I dedicate to this? If you are ready to fully commit, you can choose more platforms to tackle than if you can only dip your toes in the water. It is better to dominate one platform than to not make an impression on many.
  2. Who is your demographic and which social media platforms are they spending more time on? This is another question of key importance. If your demographic is between the ages of 45-55, you won’t have much success with Snapchat, or likely Vine. These platforms skew a much younger generation. Facebook has an older demographic, while Twitter is popular with a middle aged crowd. Do your research before getting started! You’ll be wasting time and resources if you don’t.
  3. Ask yourself what your key demographic would be looking for on these platforms. This greatly depends on your business. If you are in the Kitchen & Bath category, you know that there is a lot of information that goes into making the decision to remodel. If your audience would be craving information & clarity, you need to know. If they’re looking for design inspiration, you need to know, if they’re looking to know more about your specific business, you really need to know! Don’t give them what you THINK they want, give them what they want.

Social Media Tips: #2

Make a plan.

After you’ve done your initial research on the platform(s) that you should be focusing on, you need to make a plan. If you’ve decided that your audience wants information about product materials & design inspiration, you may have chosen to start a blog (on your website or Tumblr), to share this information on Facebook (The platform your demographic is using) and to share design inspiration on Pinterest (where your demographic goes to get ideas on style and trends).

Here are some social media tips on how to make your plan.

  • When to post. You now need to do research on the best times of day for the different platforms that you’ve chosen. This can have a big impact on your engagement, which is the point of your posts in the first place. Every industry is different, and those that like or follow your page will have their own habits of checking social media. There are many tools online that can help you with this. Sprout Social is a dashboard that will give you key information on your demographic’s habits. You can use IconoSquarefor Instagram stats or TweetDeck for Twitter. If you spend some time digging, you can find anything you’re looking for.

social media tips

  • How often will you post? You want to make sure that you post consistently, but not TOO frequently. Those who will follow your social media accounts want to see action, or they will lose interest. There are different “rules” for each platform that you can find if you do your research.
  • Research competitors & businesses in similar industries. This will give you ideas on the type of content that may work for your audience. If you see certain types of posts with lots of engagement, take it as a sign that this audience is interested in what they’re being given. Adjust these concepts to make them your own. This is a “Hypothesize, Test, Repeat” kind of thing. You may not hit a homerun on your first try, but analyze what is working vs. what is not, and adjust accordingly. Doing your research up front on posts that are working for others will save you a lot of time in the end. Take a look at the hashtags that are being used by your audience and tie them into your posts! Make sure you link all posts back to your website, when at all possible. The point is not just to engage on social media, but to pull them into the buying funnel.

social media tips

  • Put it in writing (or typing). Now that you know where you’re posting, when you’re posting and what you’re posting, you need to set it in stone. Nothing great is ever accomplished without a plan. There are many templates online of content calendars for social media that you can edit in Excel or Google Sheets. They will have columns for all the key information that you’ll need to effectively plan you posts. You can opt for a social media dashboard like HootSuite, which will allow you to plan & schedule all of your posts (for most platforms) in advance. This will definitely save time. I recommend you take 1-2 hours each week getting all of your posts scheduled for peak posting time.

 

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Social Media Tips: #3:

Engage to get engagement.

This is probably one of the best social media tips. I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying “To have friends, you need to be a friend.” This concepts hold true in the world of social media. It is rare to get without giving in some way. Social media can be seen as a “Cocktail Party”.

When you think of it this way, it helps you understand the concept more clearly. When you’re at a cocktail party, you don’t simply go up to everyone you see and tell them why they need to buy from your company. That would be very inappropriate and in-your-face. The key is to network. You meet someone, have a great conversation with them, and let them know what you do. You become interested in what they do and how you can help them. When that person is in the market for your services, they may reach out to you, as they remember the positive interaction that you shared.

 

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They may even tell their friends about you! Keep this in mind as you embark on your social media journey. You need to genuinely be interested in the business or lives of others to get people interested in you. Seek out companies like yours or individuals in your demographic to follow or connect. Engage with their content and share your thoughts! This is the “introduction” at the cocktail party. Remember that this is a long term plan to increase awareness and sales in your business, and you will need to work at it in order for it to work for you.

Once your posts are scheduled for the week or the month, log on various times during the week to engage, or answer questions or comments directed at you. This is key in becoming successful in social media. I hope these social media tips helped!

In our next article, we’ll dive a little bit deeper into social media marketing success. There is a lot to learn, but if you take it one step at a time, you will find that it not only gives you a great return on investment, but it will give you much deeper insight into what your customers are looking for. Until next time, pleasant posting!