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Social Media

STRYDE | Planning Your Back to School Social Push

Planning Your Back to School Social Media Push

By | Social Media | No Comments

It’s the end of the summer and parents are counting down the days until their kids are back in school. College students are packing bags and checking off their lists of items to get things done. Even if there aren’t any students in the house, people will take advantage of the lower prices of household items and still go out to shop the sales.

The back-to-school shopping season is the second-largest seasonal shopping period of the year, following winter holidays. With “back to school,” “school supplies,” and “back to school sales” being top search terms from 2013, this is not the time of year to overlook and skip out on the potential opportunities. If you haven’t even considered using social media to promote your back-to-school products, here are a few reasons why you might want to reconsider before you’re sent to detention.

Social media has changed back to school shopping.

Peer reviews are more likely to resonate with users than expert reviews. When was the last time your friend used a social media post to ask for advice of what dentist to go to or what product to use? The networks make it easy to quickly poll and get the best information from a group of peers that you trust.

According to one survey, 64.1% of shoppers report that social media will influence their choices. Whether it’s the recognition of something they saw on a brand’s page or a post from their friend that highlighted an item, people trust their network to tell them about the best deals and the newest products.

With all of the competition, your store and brand should be leveraging your social channels to share information. Whether you give away coupons or share exclusive sales and content, you can get the word out quickly and directly to your followers.

Buy button adds a new dimension.

With the addition of the buy buttons on posts on social platforms, social networks are allowing users to bypass the regular routine of heading to a website to buy directly from the merchant on the social platform. Showcasing your products on social media can get you a sale with the user not ever leaving the platform. Use the best pictures you have of the product.

Some stores recognize that the styling of their Instagram accounts were getting people excited to make purchases, but without the buy button, they found that they couldn’t convert the sale. These stores created a microsite that shows the post and links users directly to the products. It’s a new way to shop!

Influencer marketing can drive new leads.

The power of influencers is apparent. In a recent study, YouTube stars are up to five times more influential than other celebrities. If you want to influence buying choices of teens, look to the video social platform for you new partnerships.

Target is the latest store to use social media stars to promote their back-to-school fashions. Beginning in July 2015, six ads are being released that feature some well known “kid influencers.” Each ad will focus on a different trend and a specific promotion. The stars of these ads will use their own social accounts to promote the campaign as well.

It’s not just about using these online celebrities to sell a product, you’re also able to cast a wider net and find new customers through their followers. The goal when you partner should be that you both promote the content being created and tag each other.

Keep customer service in mind.

With the beginning of school, many people can get stressed out easily. Many are overwhelmed by the long list of items that are needed. With different requirements for different ages, parents may need help keeping everything straight.

Parents aren’t the only ones to be overwhelmed! For a new college student, it can be intimidating hearing the list of items they may need. From toasters to bedding, shopping for home is an entirely different experience.

Make sure that you look to provide support both in and outside the store and use social media to watch the conversation and recognized the pain points. Many places offer pre-populated shopping lists that customers can pick up in store to personalized lists that they can create and print from home, look for ways to help your customers get through this season with little pain.

Back-to-school shopping season is that rare time before the winter holidays when you can test out some new marketing plans and gauge interest from your community. To be successful, you need to come up with your content strategy so that you can maximize the shopping season.

STRYDE | Nurturing the Sales Funnel Using Social Media (Infographic) 2

Nurturing the Sales Funnel Using Social Media (Infographic)

By | Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Social Media, Strategy | No Comments

Social media is taking the marketing world by storm. It’s crowded, competitive, but if you do it right, it’s golden.

Haven’t formulated a strategy for your businesses’ social media accounts yet? To successfully capture leads you need a fully developed plan, not a half-hearted attempt to be semi-visible.

To nurture your company’s sales funnel using social media, consider the following:

Awareness through repeat visibility.

Interest through engagement.

Conversion achieved through landing pages.

Sales through targeting new leads.

Loyalty through repeat visibility and engagement.

Easier said than done. So what’s the next step for you and your company? Put your strategy into action by following the funnel recommended in this insightful infographic.

SocialSalesFunnelIG

 

STRYDE | ‘Gramming Branding: Instagram for Business Do's and Don'ts

‘Gramming Branding: Instagram for Business Do’s and Don’ts

By | Social Media | One Comment

With Facebook’s organic reach continuing to plummet, businesses are on the hunt for better ways to reach consumers through social media platforms.

Enter Instagram.

Instagram has enjoyed astronomical growth over the past several years. In fact, the mobile app’s year-over-year growth from 2013 to 2014 comes in at a staggering 66%. Furthermore, Instagram’s average engagement rate is 15 times higher than that of Facebook! Users are 58 times more likely to engage with a brand’s post on Instagram than engaging with the same content through Facebook. Instagram is truly an engagement incubator.

Salesfoce Canada recently released an awesome infographic on Instagram’s basics. Check it out below and start to realize how brands can start telling their own stories and increase awareness through the platform.

Click To Enlarge

Say Cheese: Perfecting Your Instagram Strategy

Via Salesforce

As we alluded to before the graphic, brands need to understand the landscape of the platform and elements of a successful strategy before they begin to represent themselves via Instagram.

Here are our favorite takeaways from the infographic.

Businesses & Instagram Do’s

Make Your Brand Instantly Recognizable

  • Your brand should be clear and identifiable.
  • When posts don’t include your products, make sure they include your logo.
  • Link to your company’s website from your profile page.

Post Quality Photos, Regularly

  • Decide on a flexible, but consistent, posting schedule.
  • Mix up fun images with real images from your business.
  • Use the platform to give users sneak peeks at upcoming events and product launches.

Take Advantage of Descriptions

  • Descriptions below photo posts should be clear, engaging, and reinforce your brands image.
  • Remember, here it’s not all about the links! Instagram isn’t for directing users off-site.

Use Hashtags!

  • Create firm-specific hashtags so you can collect branded photos.
  • Encourage followers to include your firm’s hashtags in their relevant posts.
  • Utilize trending hashtags, where appropriate, to gain more eyeballs.

Engage with Followers

  • Follow back your relevant followers!
  • Repost user-generated content.
  • Add personal comments to relevant posts by others.
  • Reward your followers with discounts codes and promotions.

Businesses & Instagram Don’ts

Post Irrelevant Photos

  • Only post photos that are relevant to your firm.

Overpost

  • There is no industry-wide acceptable posting schedule through Instagram.
  • Post regularly, but avoid filling your followers’ feeds with an influx of content.
  • Stick to your schedule!

Ignore Followers

  • Interacting with your followers is the best way to grow your account.

Is your company active on Instagram? Share your successes and lessons with us in the comments!

5 Twitter Tips for Boosting Ecommerce Sales

By | Content Marketing, Conversion, eCommerce, Inbound Marketing, Internet Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

Think about a sales pipeline. At the top of the pipeline you have prospects, somewhere in the middle you have a sales pitch, and at the end of the pipeline you have actual sales.

Where does Twitter fall in the pipeline?

Social networks, like Twitter, are at the top of the pipeline. They are used to generate awareness about your product with the end goal of sending a potential client to your website where the actual sales pitch takes place. The sales pitch doesn’t take place on Twitter.

I’ve included 5 Twitter tricks for increasing ecommerce sales below. These tricks are focused on getting people to leave Twitter, and land on your website where the actual sale can take place.

Optimize Your Twitter Header for Sales

Twitter implemented a design overhaul on April 22, 2014. One key change in its new design is the addition of a Twitter header photo that spans the entire length of the screen at 1500×500 pixels.

Located at the top of every Twitter profile, the new Twitter header serves as a digital billboard allowing ecommerce companies to highlight products or services.

As an ecommerce site, use your Twitter header to drive sales by creating awareness about new products or deals you’re currently offering.

At RedbirdMetrics, we found that using a Twitter header as an advertisement resulted in a ~.07 increase in website traffic.

Here’s an example of how we use our Twitter header as an advertisement:

redbirdtwitterheader

Here’s a couple of tips for crafting your Twitter header:

  • Don’t forget to check out what your Twitter header looks like on a mobile device. When your Twitter header is condensed for a mobile device some of your images or text may not appear to users.
  • The link placed in your Twitter bio should take users to a landing page your Twitter header is promoting. Be sure to include a strong call to action in your Twitter header that encourages visitors to click on the link in your Twitter bio.

Use Twitter to Test Ads

One of the challenges of crafting digital advertisements is figuring out the perfect choice of words that will increase click-through-rate.

Sadly, many companies burn through mountains of cash trying to figure this out before they start to see an ROI.

Here’s a not so well known secret: you can use Twitter to test your ads before you make a significant investment.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Use bit.ly to create a custom link for the ad you’d like to test. Let’s say your landing page is www.landingpage.com. To make this link into a custom link simply add “?src=sometext” to the end of the link. I use the “sometext” portion to describe where the link is coming from. For example, www.landingpage.com?src=advertisementone could be used for the first ad and www.landingpage.com?src=advertisementtwo could be used for the second ad. Both of these links take you to the same page, but by making them customized you are able to track how much traffic is coming from each link. Shorten your customized link, and paste it in your Twitter bio.
  • Change your Twitter header into an advertisement. Focus on one value proposition for the product or service you’re trying to increase sales for.
  • Type a keyword or phrase you’re planning on targeting for ads into Twitter’s search bar in quotes. This will pull up tweets that contain that keyword or phrase specifically. Follow 50 people per day using that keyword or phrase for one week.
  • At the end of the week, check to see how many clicks your custom link received by looking up that link on your Bit.ly account. Record this number in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Change your Twitter header to focus on an alternative value proposition for the same product or service, and repeat the above steps.
  • Compare the clicks you receive for each custom link to determine which advertisement gets more clicks.

Create an Online Catalog with Hashtags

Trendy restaurants, like Comodo, will crowdsource pictures of their food on Instagram around a specific hashtag. Comodo does this by including the hashtag #ComodoMenu at the bottom of their real-life menu. This helps their customers make decisions when ordering food. It also helps bring in additional clients because each picture shared serves as a word of mouth endorsement for the restaurant.

comodoinstagram

Ecommerce companies can adopt a similar strategy on Twitter. Create a hashtag for your company that helps customers see your products in action. For example, if you sell clothing you could encourage your buyers to post a picture of themselves wearing your clothes on Twitter.

Add your company hashtag at the end of each product description on your website. Enjoy the increase in visibility and sales.

Do a Giveaway

Giveaways are a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness. iFit, a fitness tracker, often utilizes giveaways on Twitter. Check out this recent giveaway they did:

ifitgiveaway

A couple tips for launching a giveaway:

  • Include at least one hashtag to increase the visibility of your giveaway. iFit used the #Giveaway hashtag.
  • Ask your followers to retweet, favorite, and follow to qualify for your giveaway. iFit did a great job of this by giving additional entries for a retweet, and a follow.
  • Use a picture in your giveaway tweet. Tweets using pictures are 94% more likely to be retweeted.

Follow Intelligently

Following people on Twitter is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. Here are a few tactics that you should look into implementing:

  • Follow your competitor’s Twitter followers. Many of your competitors have likely spent years building a Twitter following. Harvest this low hanging fruit by following their followers. Tweepi, a free social media management tool, is perfect for doing this.
  • Follow people based on what they tweet. You can type anything into Twitter’s search bar in quotes. This will pull up people using that exact phrase or keyword. For example, if you type “I need new shoes” it will pull up people who need new shoes. Consider following people based on what they tweet.
  • Follow influencers. Every niche has it’s influencers. Identify the influencers in your industry and follow them on Twitter.

Do not aggressively follow people on Twitter. If you follow too many people per day then Twitter may suspend your account. Here’s some advice on following:

  • If you have less than 100 followers then you should only follow 10 people per day.
  • If you have more than 100 followers then you can follow up to 100 people per day.
  • When you have less than 1,800 followers you can only follow 2,000 people total. Once you get over 1,800 followers you can follow 110% of your following.

These are just a few tips and tricks for using Twitter to increase ecommerce sales. Remember, Twitter is for the top of your sales pipeline. The goal of Twitter is to drive people to your website where they can make a purchase. Don’t try to close on Twitter.

Can you think of any additional Twitter tips or tricks? Comment below.


joshlight

Josh Light is the co-founder and CEO of RedbirdQ, the most intelligent way to share to Twitter and Facebook. Josh writes about social media tips and tricks on the Redbird blog. Contact Josh on Twitter @JoshuaJLight; he loves people.

IMSLC Recap: When Ecommerce Meets Marketing Part 2

By | eCommerce, IMSLC, SEO, Social Media, Video | No Comments

As a sequel to part one of our December IMSLC review, today we’ll cover the last two presentations given at the event: Turning YouTube into a Revenue Channel and Ecommerce SEO for 2015.

But first let’s talk about how cool Christian Busath is…

Christian has collaborated and performed in videos that have been watched by millions around the world. Notably, he played the Fruit Ninja in Real Life, a video that has been viewed more than 27 million times. Altogether Christian has been viewed over 500 million times on the web. If anyone knows a thing or two about making YouTube a viable channel for revenue, Christian does.

Turning YouTube Into a Revenue Channel

Christian’s Presentation:

Christian’s Slideshow:

Christian opened by sharing  a mind-blowing statistic: 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute of every single day – which means competition in this space is incredibly high and viewer loyalty is quite low. To put it simply, knowing the right techniques for building out your audience before attempting YouTube is absolutely necessary. Otherwise time and money will surely be wasted.

Through all his experience, Christian has been able to pinpoint three common rules of viral videos:

  1. Create Incredible Content
  2. Be Consistent
  3. Collaborate

Sometimes it takes a network of people to put together a video worth going viral. But in the end, users don’t care how or why the video was made… they just care if it’s something worth sharing.

We all can agree that most people do not find commercials very shareable. Commercials are all about a company’s self-promotion. So when sponsoring content on YouTube, Christian has some simple words of advice – don’t make it a commercial! Make it a message that will resonate with people, either through humor or useful advice, and they’ll naturally pass it along.

Christian also shared the following insightful statistic: according to ComScore, 90% of online shoppers found that video featuring products significantly helped in purchasing decisions. Building an audience on YouTube is (obviously) not just about gaining a following – it’s about leading potential customers through the sales funnel.

For more interesting stats and insights from Christian Busath, take a look through his slideshow above. Or if you’re all about learning through entertainment, watch the video of his hilarious presentation.

Get Your Google On: Ecommerce SEO for 2015

Dave’s Presentation:

Dave’s Slideshow:

Our last speaker at December’s IMSLC was none other than our very own Dave Bascom – CEO of Fit Marketing and founder of SEO.com.

Dave pointed out that if you’re like most marketers, you probably hate SEO. What is search engine optimization anyway? Why is it so hard to understand? The truth is SEO is pretty darn important in today’s search engine-driven society, and the only people who disagree will simply fall behind.

The number one reason “good” SEO is so hard to accomplish is due to limited real estate. To rank in the top 10 of a search query can be a wonderful yet terribly challenging thing. So how can you win at the SEO game when it comes to ecommerce?

Dave suggests five major points:

  1. Pick the right targets
  2. Build a strong foundation
  3. Ongoing content strategy
  4. Get the right kind of links
  5. Keep on keepin’ on

Most people assume that successful SEO relies on point #2 – building a strong foundation of content that includes specific keywords and phrases. But SEO is a much more intricate system. Building a strong foundation also relates to things like proper URLs, site architecture, and indexing.

The SEO master closed his presentation by reminding the audience that optimizing your website is simply going to take a while. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Track your progress and keep working on it, and continually work on your strategy for tackling more competitive keyword themes.

For more details on how to become an SEO master like Dave, view his slideshow above for tips such as how to use Google’s own tools against them.

And don’t forget… registration is open for a special session of Inbound Marketing SLC in conjunction with StartSLC on January 30th. This event’s focus is all about startups and their need for digital marketing. Register for your free ticket today!

4 Content Marketing Tools I Can’t Live Without

By | Content Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

According to a report from The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, companies are increasing their budgets and dedicating employee resources to managing the production of blogs, ebooks, and microsites. Not to mention, freelance bloggers in New York are earning well into the six figures.

Content is powerful for building customer relationships, generating leads, and re-engaging audiences. Blogs, videos, and microsites have made push marketing a thing of the past. Why? Because, as Dell’s Executive Director of Marketing points out, consumers are 60% through their buying journeys by the time that they reach out to your company for more information.

Your customers are smart, savvy, and information-hungry. They’re using social media to become experts in your business and industry. Most importantly, they are a simple Google search away from your competitors.

Your company needs to do more than produce quality content. You need to do it quickly, efficiently, and at scale. That’s why smart programmers have created tools. Here are some favorites that can help you amplify your content marketing goals.

I. Ideastorming: Quora

Let’s start with the basics. Where do you go when you are looking for new content ideas? One of the first places I go is to is Quora, a question and answer engine for information-hungry people. Marketers can use Quora to: (1) see what their target customers are talking about, (2) see what their target customers are asking, and (3) answer their own questions. Let’s say you’re looking for more information about SEO tools, for example. You can simply plug it into the search function, and all of the top discussions around SEO tools will appear.

Quora

The next step is taking top questions and converting it into useful information. You can even use open Quora questions as a built-in audience to your blog post. Include your blog post as an answer on Quora — readers can click through to your site and read more.

Quora is a great platform for positioning yourself, your content, and your company as leaders in the industry.

II. Marketing and Promoting Content: Paid Channel Ads

There are a number of different ways to promote content. Tools like Google ads and Facebook ads are incredibly useful if you need extra help spreading the word about the awesome things your company does. In my own experience, both Google ads and Facebook ads have significantly increased our user base, and for us, this has mean increased sales. And, who doesn’t love more money?

But let’s focus on Facebook for a minute. If you’re an avid user of Facebook, like myself, then you’re familiar with “sponsored stories” that appear in your timeline, and the ads that appear in the space on the right-hand side of the mini feed.

Facebook Ads

Facebook is one of the best options for targeted advertising. Because users provide so many details about themselves, for example, their age, gender, location and interests, Facebook has extremely unique details about users, which provides advertising an incredible opportunity to reach their exact target market.

Take a look below. Here is how you set up your target audience.

Target Audience

Once you’ve decided your location, age, gender, and interests, Facebook will give you the approximate target audience. Pretty cool, right?

You can also choose to promote specific posts, if one piece of news is perhaps more important than others. Take a look at the image below. All you need to do is select the budget that you want for the post, and Facebook will boost this one specific story. Facebook will also tell you the estimated reach, based on how much you spend.

Budget

The best thing about Facebook ads is that they make it really simple to set goals, and it’s very easy to make small adjustments to your ad even after it’s already gone live.

III. Automating Your Marketing: HubSpot

If you are new to the world of marketing, then you need to know about marketing automation because your life is about to get much easier. Marketing automation is just like it sounds – it’s the ability to send automated (and highly personalized) content at the date and time of your choice.

The beautiful thing about marketing automation is that you can schedule messages when you know your audience is likely to be reading content. So, let’s say that weekends, or after 6pm on weekdays are high times. You might not work these hours normally, but it doesn’t mean your content shouldn’t.

There are a number of great tools to use, but one of my favorite automation tools is HubSpot. One of the most beneficial features of HubSpot is their Content Optimisation System. It integrates with every marketing channel, and it will adapt to each viewer’s unique context.

HubSpot COS

HubSpot’s content home enables you to have complete control over all of your content including landing pages, blogs, email marketing, social media, and any call to actions you may have.

HubSpot essentially helps you optimize in four areas: search, mobile, social, and subscriber options. The built-in SEO tools help identify exactly how your posts will rank, which is extremely important as you build your audience. Each of HubSpot’s blog templates are responsive, and this is exactly what you should be concerned about if many of your users read your content on mobile devices or tablets.

HubSpot helps you automatically publish new posts to your favorite social networks. You can choose an image from your post to be featured. Once you’ve automated your messages, HubSpot helps you track how each post is performing.

HubSpot Performance

Basically, HubSpot helps you become a content marketing rockstar, without having to do too much work. Because the dashboard is extremely powerful, it will help you with all of your content needs. This is definitely a tool I can’t live without.

IV. Finding Influencers: Followerwonk

Content production is half the marketing equation. The other half? Distribution.

People are the heart of distribution. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing force that is amplified by industry influencers. Followerwonk  is a tool that makes finding influencers easier.

FollowerWonk

Followerwonk helps you explore and grow your social graph. If you want to know who your followers are, where they are located, and what they tweet about, then this is a great tool to use. Plus, you can find and connect with influencers in your niche.

It’s a tool that truly exemplifies why marketing is about people and can help your company build person-to-person relationships at scale.

Final Thoughts: Get Creative

When it comes to marketing, your tools are only as good as your strategy. Think through what you want to accomplish, and reverse engineer your marketing ‘system’ based on your goals. Always strive to make your operations as efficient as possible.

What solutions or tools have worked well for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Must-Know Social Media Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Boosting Conversion Rates

By | Blog, Conversion, Social Media | No Comments

If you’ve stayed up to date with any news for the past few years, then you shouldn’t be surprised that social media is becoming a huge strategy for companies to engage their customer bases and build brand loyalty.

You probably interact with several brands yourself, whether it’s by “liking” their posts on Facebook or by tweeting them to try to coax a response on Twitter.

Keep in mind, though, that engagement is only half the battle. To run a successful marketing program, you need to develop a strong conversion optimization strategy.

the_conversion_funnel_600

Let’s start with a basic definition

Conversion optimization is the process of transforming new website visitors into customers – and the process of transforming first-time buyers into repeat customers.

Social media is critical to this process. People aren’t always ready to buy when they first visit your website – and even after a great first impression, they’re likely to forget about your brand. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest can help you maintain a connection with prospective customers.

Consider the following analogy

The conversion process is like making a new friend at a friend’s party. You both make a great first impression and decide that you need to hang out or spend time together again – but you run out of time.

After that, you keep running into one another at the grocery store and coffee shops. The exchange is always positive, and you’re always happy to see one another. Eventually, you both realize that you need to put something on the calendar sooner rather than later.

Now let’s get back to the business world. Social media platforms can help you replicate and amplify the dynamic of making a new friend or meeting a potential client.

At the end of the day, “conversion” is just a fancy way of saying “connection.” Here are some invaluable tips for developing a conversion-meets-social media strategy that will work for your company:

1. Get serious about Facebook

I mean, really serious. In a 2012 Edison Research/Arbitron study on social networking habits, 79 percent of consumers said they prefer to connect with brands or products on Facebook. So why wouldn’t you meet them where they’re already hanging out?

People follow the brands they love because they want to know what those brands are doing, when the company is having a sale, and what other new products they have on the way.

So the question is: if you’re a company looking to boost your conversions, how can you leverage Facebook? You see, it’s pretty simple. Facebook users are influenced by their friends. From their own newsfeed, they can see what their friends like and every move they make.

More importantly, because Facebook is visually appealing, there are countless ways to engage your fans through giveaways, photo contests, promotions and paid advertisements.

Find ways to engage your users and then encourage them to share what they’re doing by asking questions and telling them how to engage. From a psychological perspective, make sure that the connection to your brand (and products) are strong. Facebook sharing can turn online promotions into powerful drivers of conversion, which means sales.

2. Encourage Your Fans to Share Socially

To dovetail off of point #1, let’s talk about the power of sharing.

With just one click, users and brands can publicize important on-site events. When your customers buy (or are just about to buy) a brand new sweater, think about how they might be feeling – excited, happy, and ready to spread the word about their great find.

Why not include a “share this” on Facebook and Twitter after the checkout process? Or what about incorporating a “Pin it” button on your company’s product pages?

Most likely, your business already has a “thank you for shopping” page with an email confirmation. Build more excitement by adding share features there as well. You can even implement share buttons on your product page – chances are that your customers will enjoy sharing items they care about.

Here is an example from the product page at J Crew Factory – notice how the retailer incorporates sharing into the overall transaction process:

JCrew sharing

J Crew Sharing

Not convinced? Turn to the data for guidance:

In the Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey,  Adobe found that social shar­ing increases con­ver­sion rates, with 2 in 5 com­pa­nies respond­ing that it is “very effective.”

Because customers are much more likely to try a new product or service based on a shared recommendation, help encourage your customers to do so. Include it in their confirmation screen after they have made a purchase, and include it in the confirmation email you send to them.

The bottom line is that you can leverage social sharing to increase conversions through the strategic placement of sharing icons. So, think about where you place these seemingly minimal icons – make sure they’re visible at key transaction moments.

3. Think Mobile. Think Responsive.

Did you know Nielsen found that 95% of tablet shoppers and 72% of smartphone shoppers who make a purchase with their device do it at home? This means that even if there is a computer around, there is a good chance that your customer will be browsing the Internet, Facebook and emails on a tablet or mobile device.

If this isn’t compelling enough, a recent Google study found that 61% of mobile users who have a bad browsing experience will move on from your site to a competitors site.

You need to pay attention to your mobile strategy immediately. Get started with the following checklist:

  • Optimize your mobile site’s load times. If it doesn’t load quickly, you’ll lose your customer, and they will move on to your competitor’s site.
  • Have large, mobile-friendly buttons that are easy for big fingers. Have you ever tried clicking a tiny button on a mobile site and you miss it? If you hate this, then your customers do too! Make it easy for them. They want to buy your stuff, so help them out!
  • Minimize the amount of scrolling a customer has to do. No one likes to scroll.
  • Make sure it is easy to access your business contact information. A lot of times users are simply going to your site to figure out where you are or how to get in touch. Keep it simple and accessible.
  • “Click to call” access to phone the business.
  • Include links to your company’s social media profiles.

So what do these tips have to do with social media?

The short answer: everything.

Of Facebook’s nearly one billion strong users, approximately 200 million are mobile only.

Social media should be heavily emphasized in your website’s mobile design.

If you’re investing the resources in revamping your product or homepages, make sure that Facebook is a part of your strategy. You can even make social media a requirement for logging into your website:

Hipmunk App Login Screen

4. Use Analytics

Plan, act, measure, repeat. This workflow underscores the golden rule of marketing – that data should guide your every decision.

Rely on tools like Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, and Mixpanel to track conversions and understand how social media influences your overall conversion strategy. Be relentlessly focused on results, but make sure you’re investigating performance thoroughly.

A common mistake that marketers make is to treat social media as a direct sales channel. Do not fall into this trap. Audiences go through a series of steps before they ultimately convert into leads or buyers. Make sure you’re monitoring this full engagement spectrum before making a judgment call about whether something succeeded or failed.

Kiss Metric User Profile

Photo Credit: KISSmetrics

Your analytics package will answer the question “what.” Make sure that you also dive into the “why” behind the outcomes you’re observing.

A good example is the 2013 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper survey. UPS joined forces with comScore to find out what consumers really want during their online shopping experience by surveying over 3,000 online shoppers. Of the 88 percent who said they have abandoned a shopping cart, 44 percent said they did so because the delivery time took too long.

So, what does this mean? It means that by shortening your shipping time, there is a great likelihood that your customer will actually buy your products. But you wouldn’t have known this without doing some research. Similarly, your own analytics will tell you key details about your customers.

When you segment traffic sources by social media, don’t assume that a long pageview time means that visitors are engaged, for instance. Customers might actually be confused – unable to find the information that they want.

Summary

Conversion optimization and social media marketing go hand in hand. A retweet or a Facebook like is a good way to maintain a connection with your potential customers, but it only goes so far. It’s time to start taking social media seriously, measuring what you’re doing, and improving on what you find.

On Instagram-How Freshly Picked is Slaying Social Media Marketing Sleeping Giant

By | Social Media | No Comments

Susan Petersen, founder and CEO of Freshly Picked, loves Instagram. In fact, she might even love it more than her husband.

She spoke about her astounding Instagram success at Inbound Marketing SLC on Oct. 2. She said that at one point, she was spending so much time on Instagram that her husband jokingly said that he wished she loved him as much as she loved Instagram.

“I do too,” she responded.

It’s not hard to see why she loves the image-sharing network so much. She’s closing in on 275,000 followers on the social network (as of this writing) and says the average value of each follower is $0.31. She delights her followers by posting beautiful images of children wearing Freshly Picked moccasins, and she also uses the platform to announce new products, promote user generated content, stage giveaway promotions, or to let people see what she’s up to.

She realized that her “community” was on Instagram a few years after starting her company. She had 600 followers at the time and immediately set a goal to get to 10,000 by the end of 2012; she hit that mark on December 28.

Winning with Instagram requires more than just posting cool images. Her company is very active in the comments, and she ensures that each question gets an answer. And whenever someone posts a picture and uses a Freshly Picked hashtag, they will like and/or comment on it to let their customers know that they see them, love them, and are going to reward them.

Susan raised the money she needed to to start her business by hammering windows out of old window frames and recycling the aluminum. She was paid $200 and used it to by the leather she needed to make moccasins. She told this story when she appeared on Shark Tank earlier in the year, and Mark Cuban said it was “the best story to start a company” that he’s ever heard.

She said that she has begrudgingly accepted the fact that her story is a key selling point of her business. And so she lets people get to know her a little bit on Instagram by posting to the account as herself and not as a business entity. So, for example, she uses “I” and “me” and will occasionally post pictures of herself to give followers glimpses of her life.

According to Global Web Index data, Instagram experienced the biggest rise among social networking sites in active user numbers between quarters 2 and 4 of 2013. People will always be leery of brands using the network as a money-making platform, but Susan has proved that a compelling story and beautiful images can delight customers and turn them into raving fans.

STRYDE | What Social Media Platform Should Be Your Business' BFF?

What Social Media Platform Should Be Your Business’ BFF?

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Spongebob and Patrick. Wayne and Garth. Hall and Oates.

There are few things better in this life than finding your best friend. Someone who will be there, standing by you, through thick and thin.

It makes sense for most businesses to occupy several social media platforms. However, if you’re just venturing into a social media strategy or are in the thralls of a failing strategy, you may want to consider narrowing your focus. Because your shotgun-style approach to social media could be turning your BFF into a “frenemy.

We’re here to play matchmaker. Find out who your social media BFF should be.

Did you get the BFF you were expecting? It’s time to get to know each other!

STRYDE | Dear Facebook, You're Gross

Dear Facebook, You’re Gross

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“In hindsight,” wrote Kramer, “the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety.”

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Allow me to preface this with the following:

I have never had any inkling of an issue with my privacy being “infringed” upon. Do I mind retargeted ads? No way. Do I mind firms collecting my data among countless others as we go about our normal lives? Absolutely not. I firmly believe this ultimately serves consumers by giving them what they truly want.

I willingly give my personal information to Facebook. That willingness is under the assumption that, yes, you will be watched. Deal with it.

Now, what I (and any reasonable person) does not assume, is that their emotions will be purposefully and intentionally altered for Facebook’s research benefit.

The Problem: Mood Manipulation

By now, you’re probably aware of Facebook’s experiment on nearly 700,000 users in 2012. You’re also probably aware of the backlash they received from users and media outlets alike. If you need a bit more background information, The Atlantic published a fabulous, comprehensive article explaining the study, ethics, and psychological issues. For your convenience, listed below are two great quotes from the original study.

“The experiments took place for 1 wk (January 11–18, 2012). Participants were randomly selected based on their User ID, resulting in a total of ∼155,000 participants per condition who posted at least one status update during the experimental period.”

Facebook must have found something TOTALLY groundbreaking, right?

“Although these data provide, to our knowledge, some of the first experimental evidence to support the controversial claims that emotions can spread throughout a network, the effect sizes from the manipulations are small.”

The Apology

Sadly, what the network can’t measure is how these people actually felt. How this impacted their emotions and actions in the real world. The authors of the study from Facebook assure that the impact of their manipulation was slight:

“[A]t the end of the day, the actual impact on people in the experiment was the minimal amount to statistically detect it…”

So, it was barely noticeable, right? Anyone with a basic knowledge of statistics understands that if your data IS statistically significant, that’s a pretty big deal. Facebook actions cross the line. This is worlds away from combing your posts to serve you ads or collecting the date of when you changed your relationship status to plot alongside millions of other data points. Facebook is recklessly manipulating users for the sake of “science.” I reached out to the point of contact for this article to confirm that none of the users knowingly participated in the study. He did not reply. However, Facebook has released statements, on Facebook of course, regarding the questions surrounding the experiment:

“[O]ur goal was never to upset anyone. I can understand why some people have concerns about it, and my coauthors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused.” – Adam D. I. Kramer, Facebook Core Data Science Team member.

You pesky, pesky terms and agreements. These kinds of inclusions in terms and agreements that seem to be out of line to a reasonable person aren’t illegal, yet. Bottom line is that Facebook has done nothing illegal. I’m not going into semantics here with the difference between illegal and unethical. We know that distinction.

Gross, Reckless, and Desperate

This experiment was reckless and gross. But, it also reeks of desperation. Desperation from a company struggling to prove value to shareholders. Was this bit of buzz worth the absolutely negative response from users and press alike?