$ocial Media

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Social media generates revenue, that is a fact.  I think so many brands cannot get their head around that and are almost looking to prove the opposite to be true.  The same people who tell me how they know they need a social media strategy, constantly say things like it is “a lot of fluff that doesn’t really move the needle.” (an actual quote). They downplay the value of the efforts and think it is all about a bunch millennials in hoodies taking selfies all day.  It is like they need to be in it, just because their competition is, but not because it actually makes money.  Ludicrous!

Now it might be that they are employing a very myopic view of social media.  If they are trying to track how their Facebook post on February 2nd directly lead to a sale, then they are going about it all wrong.  It is much bigger than that. Not only is it a function of a much deeper Facebook strategy, but Facebook (and other social networks for that matter) are just a part of the ecosystem. They need to be looking at onsite content, emails, search, retargeting, display, Ads (of various kinds) and social monitoring and messaging when assessing if their social strategy works. Too many companies have different departments, often with conflicting agendas overseeing these efforts and/or are using different partners for these services.  This silo approach sets them up to fail.

We recommend you have them all “under one roof” and working in sync to glean the most value and results from all of it.  Each little step is part of a bigger journey and it works best when you don’t have too many different agendas and personalities involved.  You need to make a threshold decision to win online, create a roadmap and then get to work.

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Here is a screenshot from an actual report we provided to a client today.  In June of ’15 they fired their AdWords Agency and their “SEO guy” and they turned over all of the social/digital efforts to us.  We handle content creation and strategic distribution through social, email, retargeting and social advertising and we actually paused AdWords efforts (other than a minor spend on their brand name). Not that AdWords don’t work (they do) but because they just weren’t right for them, at least for now.  We worked hard to generate website traffic (check out their sessions) and then convert that traffic through a smart and streamlined follow up strategy, employing all of the tools at our disposal.

The results: we doubled monthly revenue, from $60,000 to $127,000.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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Facebook Marketing- Must Not Be Ignored

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I meet with clients and prospects on the daily, who tell me that they are not advertising on Facebook, because there is no ROI or EVEN WORSE because they don’t want to have to pay to reach an audience they worked so hard to harvest and develop over the years. It’s as if Zucks is the leader of the evil empire and should be boycotted, because his amazing company wants to charge you to access their insane amount of data.  Damn him for being a capitalist and for creating the best targeting platform for marketers on the planet. While others walk away, I will continue to run towards this amazing advertising and targeting tool.

Below is a screenshot from one of our client’s Facebook Ads accounts, that breaks down just one of their awesome and successful Facebook Ads campaigns from September.  Yeah you read that right, $598 spent and $11,033 earned.  I am no math expert, but that sounds pretty good.

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The targeting here was to three different sets: 1) Website visitors from the last 30 days, excluding those who actually did purchase and who are not already fans on Facebook. 2) Facebook fans who hadn’t visited the website in the last 30 days. 3) Website visitors from the last 30 days, who are also fans of the page. I bet you didn’t know those were all options, did you?

It is pretty powerful to target in these ways, while they are on Facebook and bring them back to the site for purchase. Sometimes they just need that extra touchpoint and nudge. Why would any marketer not at least explore this type of approach, before just unilaterally dismissing advertising on Facebook.

If you are ignoring Facebook Ads completely you are compromising your ability to win online. I encourage you at least explore the options before passing.  You will be pleasantly surprised by what you can do, and your ROI argument will start to change a bit.  #getinvolved

 

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Are You #WINNING by PINNING?

pinterest

Is your brand on Pinterest? If the visual discovery platform is not in your current or future marketing plan, you’re making a big mistake. Big. Pinterest is a great tool for e-commerce stores to use to increase site traffic and boost sales.Visual storytelling is a key element to any brand. “According to a new study by Piqora, A pin on Pinterest generates $0.78 in sales, on average on e-commerce sites, which is 25% more than what it drove in the fourth quarter of 2012. What’s more, a pin is repinned (a form of sharing) 10 times on average” ().

“Another interesting point made is that pins are “frozen in time,” in that they tend to be pinned and repinned often over time, rather than fading away like a typical Facebook or Twitter post. That’s because Pinterest is not focused on user feeds, but on category pages and popular sections.” (Business Insider)

According to Social Media Examiner, here are six ways brands are using Pinterest:

1. Bring Pinterest to You

2. Share Your Lifestyle, Not Your Products

3. Partner With Influential Guest Pinners

4. Show Your Fans You Appreciate Them

5. Humanize Your Brand

6. Inspire Your Audience

For more on these six ways to use Pinterest to promote your brand, click here.

Pinterest/E-Commerce Infographic (via Shopify):

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Source: Shopify.com

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How to Drive E-Commerce (Indirectly) from Instagram

We at Sircle Media provide an in-depth audit and social media plan for each client and the question that always comes up is “are we on the right platforms?”, “are there platforms we are not on we should be on?” “which platforms drive sales?”. The biggest platform that drives e-commerce is Facebook, as well as Pinterest. Twitter can be included as well. Instagram, however, which you might have recently read is bypassing Facebook with it’s popularity and user base, does not drive sales. There is no link back to the website, but it is a very good platform for branding and engagement. If your number one goal as a brand is to drive e-commerce, Instagram is not where you want to put your time, although it is very important. Although Instagram has yet to come out with a way to drive sales, some retailers have figured out  a way to drive sales indirectly from the app.

Retailers like West Elm and Bauble Bar are using widgets to drive conversion from user photos. The widgets will pull in Instagram photos that are tagged with a determined hashtag to the retailer’s site, where it can be linked with a product for sale.

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For example, BaubleBar uses the widget on it’s front page to show customers Instagram selfles displaying their products. As you click on the photo, a pop-up window shows the jewelry within the photo and links to a page where online shoppers can buy.

“Thirty to 35 percent of our online traffic engages with that widget on the homepage or on the product page,” said Daniella Yacobovsky, co-founder of BaubleBar. “We see conversion about four to four-and-a-half times higher with these people than from people who don’t engage.”

West Elm uses the widget to organize pictures on a subpage, called #MyWestElm. Consumers can sift through, room by room to see how other West Elm customers arrange their homes with West Elm merchandise.

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Pau Sabria, the co-founder of Olapic, which provides Instagram widgets, recently told the New York Times that brands using the widget on average see visitors that turned into buyers increased by 5 to 7 percent and the average order value rose by 2 percent.

So, is Instagram creeping up on other social platforms in regards to e-commerce? We wouldn’t jump to yes, but there is potential. Instagram will grow and continue to be a driving force in branding and e-commerce in the future.

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Should You Show Interest in Pinterest?

pinterest-openPinterest was the Social Media darling of last year and it continues to grow by the minute. With over 12 million active users in the US alone it is a marketing powerhouse that brands and businesses of all shapes and sizes should be paying close attention to. Yet for many, Pinterest is still not getting any love. Why is that?

Many clients I meet with tend to put Pinterest lower on the list of social networks to focus on, usually behind Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in that order.  I think you could make an argument, based on your business type that Pinterest should be placed at the top of that list.  Especially businesses with a relatively unknown brand name and e-commerce as their primary source of income.

People “shop” frequently on Pinterest and if they see a Pinned or LIKE’d image that catches their eye they are likely to click to learn more.  Point those images to “shop” URL’s and you have an interested buyer near a cash register. This is a winning formula!

Some quick Notes i found to be very interesting in a Bizrate Insights Report:

  1. 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they’ve purchased or wanted to purchase. This is compared with only 40% of online consumers who visit Facebook.
  2. 70% of users say they are on Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy. By contrast, only 17% use Facebook for the same.
  3. 43% of Pinterest members agree that they use Pinterest to “associate with retailers or brands with which I identify”, compared to just 24% of Facebook users who agree to the same use with Facebook.

So you tell me, should you show interest in Pinterest?

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