Do you sell something online? Do you run ads on Facebook or Instagram?
Then you need to read this post on product catalogs!
Today, we’re going to talk about the Facebook product catalog…
…which is an excellent way for you to sell your products and services to new and existing audiences.
We’ll show you:
- what the product catalog is,
- how it works,
- how to set it up for your business, and
- share some tips and tricks.
Let’s get into it!
What Is The Facebook Product Catalog?
The catalog on Facebook allows you to advertise products that you sell, dynamically.
This means Facebook chooses the best combination of copy, creative, placement, and person to show your ad to.
This is done via machine learning.
Before You Can Create A Catalog
Before you can create a catalog…
…you’ll need to have a Facebook business page for your business and a Business Manager account so you can manage everything.
Ensure you have full admin access to the Business Manager and page you’ll be using.
Let’s look at creating a Facebook product catalog.
How To Create A Facebook Product Catalog
Let’s walk through the catalog set up in the Facebook Business Manager step-by-step.
- Go to Commerce Manager.
- Start creating your catalog:
- If this will be your first catalog, click Get Started. Select Create a Catalog and then click Get Started.
- If you already have at least one catalog, you’ll see all your catalogs listed. Select + Add Catalog to create a new one.
- Select the type of inventory you advertise or sell and click Next.
- For those with eCommerce (products) only, choose how you want to add items to your catalog:
- Select Upload Product Info if you plan to add items yourself in Commerce Manager.
- Select Connect a Partner Platform if you host your items on a partner platform that has an integration with Facebook.
- Select a platform and follow the link to its website to complete setup and import items to Facebook.
- Select the Business Manager account that your catalog belongs to.
This unlocks more ways to use your catalog than selecting a personal account and enables you to assign other people permission to work on the catalog.
To select a Business Manager account, you must be a business admin.
- Enter a name for your catalog.
- Click Create.
Adding Items To Your Catalog
At this point, you’re not quite done.
You’ve created your Facebook product catalog but you don’t have any items in it, so you can’t run ads yet.
There are a few options for adding products to your catalog.
We’re going to talk about all of them and then show you how to do our favorite method for small businesses.
There are three main ways to add items to your catalog in Commerce Manager:
- Manual: Add items using a manual form in Commerce Manager.
- Data feed: Upload a spreadsheet file to add items in bulk. You can upload a file once or set up scheduled uploads to happen on a regular basis.
We support CSV, TSV, and XML (RSS/ATOM) formats as well as Google Sheets.
- Facebook Pixel: Import and update items automatically from your website. This method is more complex to set up.
You may need help from a developer to install microdata tags on your website.
Facebook created a table to help you decide what method will work best for your business.
The Best Method For Most Small Businesses
Manual upload can work well for your business if you only have a few products or services that don’t change that often.
But if you are frequently adding new products, your products are changing, or you sell hundreds (or thousands) of products…
…manual upload on your Facebook product catalog would take multiple full-time employees just to manage listings.
We’re not about that life for you. That’s why we recommend using a data feed to upload your products.
How to Set Up a Data Feed
Before you can upload a data feed, you need to create the file in the proper format.
Facebook’s help documents have detailed instructions, and after you’ve done that, you’ll follow these steps:
- Go to Commerce Manager and select your catalog.
- Open the Catalog tab and go to Data Sources.
- Select Add Items. If a dropdown appears, select Add Multiple Items.
- Select Data Feed followed by Next.
- Under “Is your spreadsheet or file ready?”, select Yes and then Next.
- Optional: To check if your file is formatted correctly, select Check File.
A tool appears in a new tab. Copy and paste several rows from your file into the tool and select Validate.
If you see any errors, edit your file to fix them before you proceed. Close the tab when you’re finished and select Next.
- Choose how to upload your file. Follow the link from your selected option below to skip to your next steps:
- Upload from computer
- Use a URL
- Use Google Sheets
Your data feed can be set to update on a schedule.
We recommend weekly on your slowest day, but you can run that by your developer (if you have one).
When you use a feed, you don’t have to worry about manually tracking or updating inventory or images.
What Do You Do With A Product Catalog?
Now that you know pretty much everything you need to know about catalog setup, let’s talk about why you even want that catalog.
Like, what will it do for your business? It’s a valid question.
A Facebook product catalog is useful for:
- Dynamic retargeting ads
For example, you can show products your website visitor viewed but didn’t purchase.
Check out this post on Facebook retargeting strategy to learn more about it.
- Create collections to use in Instant Experiences
These are full-screen experiences that open from ads on mobile devices. Use collections in these and other places on Facebook.
- Tagging products in your Feed and Story posts
You’ll need catalog items uploaded if you want to be tagging your products in Feed or Story posts (which we highly recommend).
And when Instagram and Facebook allow tagging products in a live video next year, you’ll want to take advantage of that too.
Speaking of lives, here’s our post on live streaming that you can read next to check out some tips on how to use it for your business.
- Running collaborative ads with other pages
If you want to work with influencers or other brands to run ads together, you’ll need a catalog.
Changes Coming To The Product Catalog
As we mentioned, Facebook has announced that…
…you’ll be able to tag products from your catalog in your live shopping feeds sometime next year!
This may update the way the Facebook product catalog works, but is unlikely to change how the upload or setup process works in any big way.
The iOS updates are likely to affect reported traffic back to Facebook from Apple devices.
Facebook is working on its own systems to improve tracking as Apple continues to make changes.
We’ll bring updates here when we hear them so be sure to bookmark our blog so you don’t miss out.
Facebook Product Catalog Best Practices
You can follow some best practices to help your ads perform better and make them easier to manage.
- Use one catalog for ads and shopping (like tagging organic posts or selling in your FB or IG shop).
No need to create multiple catalogs for different applications.
- Keep your catalog updated.
We recommend using automated updates set on a weekly or monthly schedule (whatever makes the most sense for your business.
- Provide good quality photos, accurate titles, descriptions, and prices.
Double-check all links to ensure they go to the right place.
Spending time on your website (where most of this info will pull from) is key here.
- Create sets within your catalog for easier advertising.
Sets are groups or categories of products within your catalog.
If you sell clothes, this could look like t-shirts, pants, and outerwear.
- Make sure you house the catalog in your Facebook Business Manager and share permissions with people working on your account.
Your Facebook product catalog will make it much easier to sell your products on Facebook and Instagram.
And it is essential for retargeting product viewers or other website visitors.
If you sell anything online and use Facebook to advertise, you need to get your catalog uploaded and set up ASAP.
If you need more help with your FB ad campaigns, check out our Facebook advertising services now.
Contact us today to help you get started!