Facebook and Instagram Shops are the newest entry to shopping on social media, and offer an integrated and easy shopping experience for those using these channels.
Even if your brand already has an online commerce option, you should also consider launching Facebook and Instagram Shops alongside it – even if you don’t currently experience a large degree of traffic, commerce or engagement from these channels.
What Are Facebook And Instagram Shops?
Facebook and Instagram Shops are virtual ‘storefronts’ that present your products or services integrated within the social media channels’ existing branding. This allows for users of these channels to shop online without having to click elsewhere. It gives brands an ideal new digital marketing outlet without having to invest a great deal of time, effort or money (it’s free!) into a new sales channel.
Why Has Facebook Created This Functionality?
Facebook (who now owns Instagram, so has set this up for both channels) has created this functionality for two reasons – and neither cost you, the small business, anything at all!
The first is traffic and user experience. The majority of brands using Facebook and Instagram for marketing purposes, and therefore placing ads with them, are doing so to sell a product or service – so encourage those seeing their adverts to click through elsewhere and off the social media channel… either to their own website or to their online sales channel. Integrating an online shopping experience into the social media sites allows for Facebook to retain users on their channels and not lose them elsewhere.
The second reason is money… but indirectly! Selling directly through Facebook and Instagram doesn’t cost small businesses anything, but it’s likely that their engagement with the channels and engagement around them (ie. with influencer advertising) will increase. This in turn leads to more users on Facebook and Instagram and so more businesses looking to spend their marketing budget on these channels through ads and sponsored content.
Benefits of Shops for Your Small Business
Providing that a marketing outlay loses you nothing, it’s worth doing. As Facebook and Instagram Shops are free to set up and don’t take too long to do, they should be trialled as a new sales channel – after all, if it doesn’t work for you, it’s cost you nothing!
Shops integrated into social media channels are growing in popularity and success because as much as the public’s trust in social media sites grows, so too does their laziness! Shortening and simplifying the amount of steps a consumer needs to go through to make a purchase only increases the chances of that purchase being made. The easier, the better… and little is easier than something that already fits in with a channel or app people are very familiar with.
How To Set Up A Shop On Facebook
Shops are created on Facebook through Commerce Manager, an in-browser, in-account tool that’s not all that different to the existing Ad Manager you’re probably already familiar with.
Follow these steps to set yours up:
Use Commerce Manager (on a desktop PC or laptop only – this is currently not available on mobile) to open and name your shop. There are some requirements your business must fit to set up a Facebook shop, and these vary by area.
Follow the set-up process for Facebook Shops. This varies dependent on your business type but is well-guided and easy to complete.
Upload product info, prices and images to your shop to stock your inventory.
Customise your product ranges by sorting them into ‘collections’ and making them as easy to navigate (and to cross-sell!) as possible.
Get marketing! Once your shop is up and running and functional, it’s time to start promoting it and letting those who follow you on Facebook know that they can now shop direct from your businesses ‘Page’.
How To Set Up A Shop On Instagram
You may have been expecting another full step-by-step guide here, but we have much better news for you – you don’t need to set up a whole new shop! Instagram Shops are an offset of Facebook Shops. Once your Facebook shop is set up, you can just follow these easy steps to get your Instagram Shop up and running too:
Ensure your Instagram account is a ‘Business’ account – and if not, make it one.
Link your Instagram to your Facebook account, if it isn’t already.
Tag Products in your new feed posts! These will link through directly to your Facebook Shop, whilst still giving users the experience of shopping through an Instagram interface.
As Instagram Shop offerings expand, more features are being added.
In 2020 so far, this has included a ‘swipe up’ type feature (even for accounts with under 10,000 followers, which is the standard qualifier for such functionality) for products and a ‘small business shop’ sticker for Instagram Stories.
Where Can I Get Support In Setting Up Facebook And Instagram Shops?
Setting up Facebook and Instagram Shops isn’t a difficult process, but it’s something that brands should aim to do ‘right’ rather than do ‘fast’; after all, you need to develop a well-branded and consistent shopping experience, even if it is through your existing channels.
If you’d like to learn more about whether Facebook and Instagram Shops would be right for your business and its marketing, and if so, how best to optimise the set-up, get in touch with our team. Our Social Media Experts stay constantly up-to-date with the latest in tech knowledge and follow developments on algorithms and viral trends as they happen. We’re happy to offer knowledge, advice and guidance alongside full set-up and management services. Get in touch – and let’s get selling!
Woya Digital is making business growth through digital marketing affordable for any business through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment!
Since the advent of bitmoji (remember those personalised cartoon strips that were meant to look just like you in various scenarios that everyone went through a phase of posting?) and Apple launching its own memojis on iphones for calls, texts, voice notes and well, everything you’d use an emoji for, social networks have strived for further personalisation options.
Now, finally, Facebook have launched their version – the personal Facebook avatar.
What is a Facebook Avatar?
A Facebook avatar is essentially a sticker for any Facebook user that is designed to look like a cartoon version of themselves. It is a computerised drawing made of customisable parts – i.e., skin colour, face shape, eye colour, make-up, hair styles, clothing, accessories – for the user to design as they see fit. For the most part, Facebook avatars are used to look like the individual so that they can be used as an emoji or put into stickers to react to the posts of others in their Facebook newsfeed.
At present, the Facebook avatars are somewhat customisable but don’t yet have as many features or options as say, Apple memojis, but new features are being added all the time.
Why have a Personal Facebook Avatar?
Facebook users don’t have to have a Facebook avatar, but they can choose to if they wish. The primary reason for having one at present would be to have the ability to respond to the posts of Facebook friends with a personalised sticker or reaction. This, when designed to look like the user, gives a response that’s perceived more ‘personal’ – something undoubtedly appreciated by most in a period when the ‘offline’ world is so topsy turvy and stressful!
Many people are choosing to change their Facebook profile picture to their avatar too, to give a personalised image without having to use a photo of themselves publicly. Functionality behind the avatars is still a little limited, but they will be rolled out for everyone across Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.
For brands, an avatar can help give a more personal feel to corporate or business communications, which could be beneficial on the marketing side.
Can everyone get a Facebook Avatar?
As with most additional features to Facebook, the roll-out of avatar functionality is being done in phases and not as a blanket cover to every Facebook user in the world. It started in the US, and once sufficiently tested, was rolled out across the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. At time of writing (the beginning of June 2020), almost every country has now had Facebook avatar rolled out to them, but not all.
If you don’t yet have the option to create one, firstly: update your App and/or internet browser. If you still don’t, sit tight – Facebook will roll this out to more places, soon.
How do I create my Avatar?
Most people are finding the avatar creation tool through their Facebook friends – as they post their own Facebook avatar, they’re presented with the option to make their own.
However, if you’re yet to see anyone else post theirs, or simply scrolled past when they did, don’t worry! In the app, simply hit the hamburger menu (that’s the three horizontal lines) and select ‘Avatars’. From here you can create your own avatar from scratch or edit one you’ve already created.
What’s going to happen next with Facebook Avatars?
Once Facebook avatars have been rolled out completed, the functionality is expected to be rolled out to Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter too. This means that you will be able to comment using your personalised stickers and reactions on other channels as well.
The most obvious change to the Facebook avatar system is that more customisation will be available – more hair colours and styles, definitely more clothing (the range is currently quite limited) and a lot more little detail that can be changed and tweaked.
From there, who knows? If Facebook looks to echo some of the Apple memoji work, users may be able to create alter egos for their social media profiles, and maybe even animals or pets? And if they look to adopt a bitmoji-style approach, users may be able to create comic strips and scenes with their Facebook avatar!
Woya Digital is a digital marketing agency made up of experts in our various fields. We make business growth through digital marketing, affordable for any business!
Social media platforms provide a fantastic opportunity for small business growth, however a considered plan is required to really optimise what they have to offer. We’ve put together this blog as a “Where to start” for business owners with their small business social media marketing strategy.
When it comes to social media marketing, the following quote perfectly sums it up: Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat – Sun Tzu
1. Establish Your Goals
You should know your business goals. Whether you manage your social media marketing yourself or have a marketing partner to manage it for you, you need to establish realistic goals that you wish to achieve through your social media marketing.
A business generally has one or more of these 6 objectives behind their social media strategy:
Drive website traffic
Create brand awareness
Build audience trust
Provide customer support
Once you know why you are doing what you are doing, you can do it better. Each post you publish will be as a result of one or more of your established goals.
2. Create Audience Persona(s)
Many business owners underestimate the value of audience persons. You should not start a social media marketing campaign without understanding who your targeted audience is.
An ‘audience persona’ or ‘buyer persona’ describes the attributes of your target audience in as much detail as possible.
Understanding the habits and behaviours of your prospects helps you find and create personalised content especially for them. Depending on the nature of your business, you may have to create more than one audience persona.
3. Select the Right Social Media Platforms
As of 2019, 7 social media platforms dominate. Each has hundreds of millions of active users, and its own unique strengths. For example, Facebook has more subscribers than YouTube; however it can’t beat YouTube when it comes to video content marketing.
You shouldn’t limit your business to just one platform, having said this, you don’t need to be active on every social media platform. Use your business goals and audience personas to identify which social media platforms your target audience are on, and also what your capacity is for consistent content creation and distribution.
4. Identify and Study Your Competitors
Studying your competitors will help you identify market trends, establish what is and isn’t working for their audience, and which platforms your competitors are on.
Take out time to thoroughly analyse what your competition is doing. Do not go out to copy what they are doing, but to do it better, and learn from what they are doing.
5. Set Up Your Social Media Accounts
You will need data from all first three steps to implement this step efficiently. While setting up a business profile on a social media platform is not difficult, there are ways to optimise how you do this. It’s worth doing a bit of research.
This step will include having logos properly sized and header images created, and completing text boxes with company information overviews. Much of the information should already be on your website – don’t feel you need to re-invent the wheel!
6. Plan and Schedule Content
Planning and scheduling are two different parts of content marketing.
In planning, you have to determine the content that is relevant to your business and attractive for your target audience. In scheduling, you have to plan which content to publish, and when. You also need to establish how many posts you are going to post each day, to each platform. This again will be determined by your capacity to create relevant content.
Consistency is an essential element of social media posting.
7. See What Works and What Doesn’t
Marketing is a continuous process, and you are guaranteed of constant changes and development. An important part of each social media marketing campaign includes gathering and analysing data and using it to improve upon the next one.
8. Run Social Media Advertisements
After you have succeeded in creating the initial presence of your business on social media channels, include paid advertisements. Organic social media reach has plummeted over the past few years, so an element of paid advertising is critical
Every platform offers paid promotion, and it should be a part of your social media marketing strategy. However, make sure you first fully understand your market and audience to get maximum return on investment.
There is more to each point highlighted above when structuring your small business social media marketing strategy, however you need to start with understanding the basics, and then work into the detail from here.
At Woya Digital we believe in making business growth through digital marketing affordable for all businesses. We do this through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment. Find out more about us and how we can support your business growth!
There’s nothing worse than suddenly realising you haven’t tweeted/posted to Instagram/pushed out a Facebook post for an occasion you needed to promote, to inform the world of your latest brand developments! Cobbling together a last-minute post and sending it out at any time of day, just because you need to get something out is not ideal – and it’s certainly not in the content marketing textbooks!
These situations (amongst other reasons) are why you need to be using a social media content calendar to help you plan, track and strategise your content all year round, without any unnecessary stress.
What is a Social Media Content Calendar?
Put simply, a social media content calendar is a calendar that plans out what content you will post, to which social media channels, and when. It’s best to create as an e-document that can be regularly updated and amended as required.
Why you need a Social Media Content Calendar
Planning out your social media content in advance allows you to ensure: you’re covering all business aspects, you’re aligning your posts with your business goals, you’re maintain consistent branding, you’re tailoring your content to your target audience, and you’re making sure you are optimising your content for maximum reach and follower growth.
Part of this process involves researching what your customers want to see and which hashtags work best for you to maximise exposure to both your existing and your potential customers and/or service users.
Basics before you get started
Before you even start on your calendar there are a few basics that you need to first have established to allow you to move forward:
KNOW WHO YOUR CUSTOMER IS – establish exactly who your target audience is so that you can create content specifically for this audience
ESTABLISH YOUR GOALS – identify what the reasons are that you are even posting to social media. Establish your “whys”
IDENTIFY YOUR PLATFORMS – many businesses we work with have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram social media account – because they believe they need to be visible everywhere – this is not true. Based on your capacity to regularly create and post content, identify which platforms your target audience is on, and focus your energy on these
ESTABLISH YOUR BRAND IDENTITY – especially for new or small businesses, have your logo, brand colours, fonts and all other design elements established – basically this should be standard to the look and feel of your website. It is important to have a consistent online presence as it means viewers can get familiar with your brand, find you easily, and this allows you to build up trust through familiarity
How you should arrange your Social Media Content Calendar
Different social media channels call for different types of content, and planning ahead allows you to ensure that you’re structuring all your content in the way best suited to the particular social media channel it is intended for. On the whole, there are some basic rules you can follow to really optimise your social media usage:
DON’T HARD SELL – there’s a clue in the name ‘SOCIAL media’ – it’s more about engagement and being social! Be more discreet and position yourself as a thought leader/expert in your field rather than making every post a sales pitch
STICK TO THE 80/20 RULE – in the same way it’s annoying if you follow someone who only posts selfies, it’s frustrating to see brands just posting about themselves. 80% of your posts should inform, educate and entertain, and only 20% should be business promotion
MIX IT UP – however niche your brand, get creative and mix your content up. Try a combination that works for you, i.e. product, then current affairs, then industry, then customer, then motivational quote…and so on. The key is keep it ‘social’ and encourage engagement
IDENTIFY THE BEST TIME TO POST – through analysis, establish when your target audience is online, and schedule your posts around this. There are general time guidelines which can be found online, however it really depends on your industry and your social media platform insight reports will allow you to track and identify when your audience is most active online
There are options to manual posting
For our sanity – there are social media scheduling tools available! There are a range of software options available which allow you to schedule your social media posts, with image, text and hashtags as far ahead as you like. The software will then automatically publish your posts on the chosen day, at the chosen time, and on the chosen platform!
Social isn’t going away, and if you are not yet taking advantage of social media marketing to grow your business, you are going to get left behind!
Woya Digital is a small digital marketing agency made up of experts in our various fields. We believe in making business growth through digital marketing affordable for all businesses through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment. Find out more about how we can support your business growth through digital marketing.
When it comes to marketing any small business, social media should be an important part of your strategy. It’s not only a cost effective solution, it has the potential to support you in reaching a massive audience in a small amount of time.
Get your strategy right and you should be able to achieve a strong return on investment, boost your brand visibility online and increase sales.
Instagram is used by about 60% of the top brands in the world. The platforms visual nature allows you to plug into marketing opportunities that have real value in today’s competitive world.
Building a balanced strategy to grow your business takes a lot of planning and work. Part of this means understanding the right way to construct posts and other content like Instagram Stories.
The good news is, like any other social media platform, there are several key ways to boost your Instagram visibility.
Here are our top 5 tips:
1. Optimise Your Name Field
Your Instagram name field is actually separate from your Instagram handle. This means you can optimise the name field with relevant keywords that highlight what your business does. Instagram users search keywords on the platform, so using keywords in your name field means you have more chance of showing up in searches.
2. Optimise your Bio
You have limited words to ensure your bio hits the mark. It pays to put some thought into this and optimise the content. Again, it’s all about showing up in potential searches so use hashtags and relevant keywords.
Don’t be afraid to experiment by changing your bio every so often and measuring how this improves engagement.
3. Add Location Tags
If you want to attract the right people to your posts and Instagram stories, don’t forget location tagging. This doesn’t just have to be where your business is based. It might be where your target audience or customers are hanging out, for example, at a special event such as a festival or exhibition.
4. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are essential to boost your Instagram visibility and the stats prove it. Putting just one hashtag in your post has the potential to increase engagement by 12.6% compared to a post without one. You can add 30 hashtags on one Instagram post and 10 to an Instagram Story. Make use of different relevant hashtags for different posts and research your hashtags to ensure you are making use of the most effective and relevant ones.
It is also a good idea to create your own branded hashtag. You can do this by combining an important keyword and your business name.
5. Follow and Engage
You do not exist in a vacuum on social media and it’s important to engage with and follow other brands and individuals that complement your own. Instagram can predict what type of profiles you might like and show them in the ‘suggest’ and ‘because you follow’ sections. This allows you to be more focused in how you engage on social media and improves the relationships you make when building your following.
Digital marketing is a challenge for any small business but understanding what works and what can improve your reach will make a big difference. For affordable digital marketing support for your small business, get in touch with the Woya Digital team.
Ever since the social media boom, hashtags have been across all corners of the internet. Internet browsers, content creators, shoppers and online businesses have all utilised the benefits of hashtags for social media. Correctly using hashtags can make a huge difference to the success of your brand so we’ve put together a complete guide explaining what they are and how they can be used.
What are #hashtags?
Hashtags are a form of categorisation and are used before certain words or phrases to help internet users find specific content. They are metadata tags which are used most prominently on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. One of the biggest challenges for social media users and internet browsers, especially in such a fast growing online network, is trying to sift through all of the online content. Hashtags offer a way of searching for specific things by compiling content into categories based on the meta tags used.
Where did hashtags come from?
What we now know is the hashtag used to be a simple symbol that was used for several purposes in the IT and telecoms sector. In the UK it denoted the ‘£’ and has been used primarily in a number of programming languages. It wasn’t until 2007 when technologist, Stowe Boyd was talking about Twitter in an article that the term hashtag was coined. It was during that time when Twitter was pioneering the revolutionary new concept that would forever change social media and digital marketing forever.
Hashtags for social media across different platforms
Since the hashtag boom, more social media platforms adopted the concept in order to help improve their service and help users interact and interconnect more seamlessly. Today, Facebook and Instagram both use hashtag systems in their own way. Instagram allows users to find similar content via the tags that are attached to photos. Facebook utilises hashtags to show trending content and popular posts.
How to use hashtags for social media
Many people don’t realise the potential of the hashtag as a tool but there is actually a skill in using them correctly. The main aim, particularly if you’re using them to promote your content or brand, is to be specific and selective. Make sure that the hashtags you use are specific to your industry or niche so they are targeted towards your selected demographic. Also, be sure to keep your hashtag keywords short and don’t overuse them or your social media post will be too messy and difficult to read.
Woya digital is a social media marketing agency based in Chichester. We can assist companies of all sizes, anywhere, promote themselves through the internet. Our fixed price offering is straightforward and yields results! We are fantastic at social media management, website design and SEO, all paid monthly, with no upfront investment.