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.


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.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 8.30.38 AM

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.

Add a comment

Tags: , , , ,

Social Content Playlist-From The Kitchn

We recently came across The Kitchn, a daily web magazine devoted to home cooking and kitchen design. The site publishes twenty short articles a day that inform and motivate every aspect of home cooking, “from recipes to cooking lessons to product reviews to kitchen design and renovation advice”. While this site is geared towards foodies and homeowners, they have gone outside the box and played up social content with their own original content, which we, here at Sircle Media LOVE and recommend to our clients.


They released ’20 Songs for Dancing in the Kitchen’ using Spotify. Great idea, right? This is a great way to integrate something creative that is not directly related to their original content. By creating this they get readers more involved, and hopefully find new readers based on the playlist. They involve their audience when they ask them to share their favorite song to dance along to in the kitchen, which sparked engagement. Then they posted this playlist across their social media platforms, which made it easy to find and to get the readers back to their site.

It is very important for brands to step out of their typical content comfort zone and provide fans and consumers with articles, playlists, news, and quotes that are not directly tied to their brand, but relatable. Consumers want to feel as though they can connect with you and that can be done with these types of social content plays. We always advise that our clients think about what other content would be relevant and resonate with their consumers, outside of their product(s) that they are trying to sell. We love what they have done here not only because music is so universal, but they also leveraged Spotify, a social network in its own right.

Big Thumbs Up from us!  Don’t forget to check out The KItchn!

Add a comment

Tags: , , , ,

Facebook Best Platform for Brand Interaction

While social media is vital to a brand’s success, one platform might be better than another, based on the needs of the images-29 brand.  Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, or Vine each one has it’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if the goal of a brand is to drive e-commerce, Facebook and Pinterest are the top platforms a brand would want to use. Instagram is very valuable for branding and the use of images, but it is not for driving traffic to a website.

“The majority of Internet users don’t use any of the popular social media networks at all to interact with their favorite brands. Of those who do, however, 34 percent prefer to use Facebook,” says a CBM Consumer Pulse study by Constant Contact. It is important to note that according to their study, 52% of Americans over the age of 18 spend at least one hour a week on Facebook. That statistic may or may not be surprising to you, but it is crucial to understand the importance of it with regards to the overall marketing tactics your company/organization is using.

The study showed that 34% of people that go online interact with their favorite brands on Facebook – compared to only 4% on Twitter and 1% on Linkedin. Even more important? A staggering 56% of those under 35 interact with their favorite brands on Facebook each month.

You might be asking yourself, WHY do these people interact with brands on Facebook? The study showed the following statistics:

58% – “I am a customer of the company”
57% – “To receive discounts and promotions”
41% – “To show others that I like/support this brand”
31% – “To be the first to know information about the brand”
31% – “Gain access to exclusive content”



Other useful information:

  • 78% of those who “Like” a brand on Facebook are fans of fewer than 10 brands; engagement is real.
  • More than half of fans are more likely to buy a product since becoming a fan.
  • Users spend 45% of their time on Facebook in the news feed.
  • Consumers most often “Like” brand pages because they are already a customer (58%) or want to receive discounts and promotions (57%). Less than a third are looking for exclusive information about the brand.
  • 76% of people have never “Unliked” a brand page.
  • More than half of fans are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a Facebook fan.
  • Brand interaction is most often a passive activity; 77% of fans read posts, news feeds, and offers posted by the brand, while only 30% share their experiences and news stories or post about the brand.

The takeaway? As many new social media platforms become popular and trendy for brands to try, Facebook continues to be the leading network for brand interaction.



Add a comment

Tags: , , , , , ,

Instagram Actively Growing Over Other Social Networks

Twitter and Pinterest might be among the top social networks, but the platform to watch out for is the fastest-growing, Facebook-owned Instagram. The mobile platform has doubled it’s user base since the beginning of 2013 to more than 200 million active accounts. Even with it’s increasing active user base by 23% in the last six months (the largest of any social network last year), Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin are still top in the industry, in terms of penetration.

One of the reasons Instagram is actively growing at such a torrid pace is that it is really a social network only used on mobile devices. Smartphones are now the most popular form of access, giving Instagram the edge.


“One of the more interesting findings of the survey is that on the whole, social networking is most popular among 25-34 year-olds — 29% of Facebook users, 31% of Google+ users, 32% of Pinterest users, and 31% of Twitter users fall into this category. However, when it comes to Instagram (39%), Tumblr (45%), and YouTube (32%), the biggest users are aged 16-24.” ©AFP/Relaxnews 2014 To power it’s growth, Instagram made it’s Windows phone debut, and introduced the direct-message feature. Today, brands recognize that Instagram is one of the most powerful platforms for branding and reach.

It is crucial for brands to work and take advantage of this massive platform. Brands can post images or videos of products, special offers, fan photos, etc., which is a very useful way to engage with consumers in a direct way. It allows businesses to create highly shareable graphics that consumers will want to interact with.

Are you taking advantage of all that Instagram has to offer?  You should be…

Add a comment

Tags: , , , ,

Sircle Media's Newest Member: Alexis Levy



Name: Alexis Jordana Levy

What made you get into social media? My love affair with social media became public in 2011. While I had to explain my infatuation to a lot of people who just didn’t understand, I knew it was the real thing. Ha! All kidding aside, I am always connected, whether it be on Facebook, catching up with friends or family I haven’t talked to (who am I kidding? I’m chatting with people I see on a daily basis), tweeting, instagramming photos of my adorable Bichon Frise, or pinning new recipes or my favorite fashions.

My personal use of social media, as well as building my own brand () has only made me more passionate about it as my career. I love taking on new brands as my own, and seeing them grow and reach their full potential. How exciting!

Where were you born? Hartford, CT (grew up in West Hartford)

How old are you? 26


What is your favorite color and why? Purple (light), there is just something so soothing, yet fun about the color.

Favorite TV show: The Bachelor and no, I’m not afraid to admit to it!

What was the last song you listened to on your iPod? Run This Town by Rihanna & Eminem

Favorite designer: Kate Spade. I just love her colorful, bold, girly, yet chic designs. I can’t walk into the store without spending minimum $200. :

3 things I can’t be without: Coffee, my iPhone (social media), and my dog, Ozzie

One celebrity you would take on a date and why? Mark Teixeira! I know, sounds so random but I have had the biggest crush on him since he came to the Yankees (I mean, who doesn’t love a man in pinstripes) but his seemingly humble nature, along with his dark features make him so sexy!

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Marc Jacobs Fashion Week Pop-Up Experiments with Social Currency

Fashion week is upon us and New York based designer, Marc Jacobs is stealing the spotlight. Jacobs is not in the news for his new designs, but instead for turning tweets into currency at his pop-up shop to support the launch of his new fragrance, ‘Daisy’. During the upcoming Fall-Winter 2014 shows, Jacobs will be debuting a new social media experiment. According to the release, “Transactions will be based solely on a customer’s use of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.” Even if you’re poor you can shop it, as long as you’re rich in social media.

Known as the Daisy, Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop, social media users who post using the #MJDaisyChain hashtag will be offered afp-daisy-marc-jacobs-2freebies in exchange, along with the best daily Instagram photo winning one lucky user a MJ handbag. Score! It’s not clear right now as to how much each tweet is worth, or whether they will be more valuable based on how many retweets you generate.

What can you expect at the pop-up? A lounge, photo booth, food, drinks, Marc Jacobs fragrances and accessories, and of course, a wifi lounge. Who knew your tweets could win you such amazing freebies?

The Marc Jacobs pop-up will take place from February 7-9 in SOHO during the upcoming Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week.





Add a comment

Tags: , , , , ,

Super Bowl XLVIII Ad Winners

The Super Bowl might be about football, but it’s also about the ads. This year we saw more storytelling, reunions, and awe moments. We have highlighted what we thought were the 2014 Super Bowl ad winners below.  Check it out

Esurance #EsuranceSave30

Esurance bought the first ad after the Super Bowl ended, which gave them the opportunity to save (just a little). The savings would go toward one lucky Twitter user. People who tweeted #esurancesave30 before 1 A.M. PDT Tuesday had a chance to win the money they saved by not running an in-game ad.

It sure was a a very clever way to use the money they had saved by running after the game and as a result, Esurance has been trending all week!



Known for it’s great ads year after year, Budweiser was under pressure to deliver once again. Days before the big event, Budweiser was trending for it’s awww-spectacular “Puppy Love” ad. There is no better word to describe the ad, than “awww” “As of 6 P.M. Sunday night, the commercial had received more than 36.2 million online views since it was released Wednesday,” according to ad tracker, Visible Measures. Well done, Budweiser.


NewCastle Brown Ale

Let’s be real, NewCastle knows how to be funny. This year’s ad from the British beer company features Anna Kendrick. They make fun of the Superbowl antics and even say it won’t air during the Super Bowl. As a result, they can’t use words such as “the big game” or of course, the “Super Bowl”. Kendrick also goes on to highlight the typical ads of the big event, describing them as “a beer commercial, babe, hot, you know? I mean I’m hot, but approachable hot” but goes on to analyze whether she is “beer commercial hot”. Kendrick spends the entire ad mocking the fact that they can’t say “the” word. It’s great. See it here.



Tim Tebow might not have scored big during his time in the NFL, but he was one of the stars during Super Bowl XLVIII. Tebow, a free agent since he left the New York Jets, was snatched up by T Mobile to be their Super Bowl frontman. “Everybody thinks I want a contract,” he says in the ad, before showing all the new hobbies he has racked up since his NFL days, including rescuing puppies.

“It was one of those few spots that had a point, entertained and was self-deprecating. I give him high grades,” said Jon Bond, CEO of marketing company Tomorro cqLLC. “It’s good for his career.”


Dannon Oikos

You may remember seeing Full House star, John Stamos in several commercials for Dannon’s Oikos brand of Greek yogurt. This year they have found a way to include co-stars Bob Saget and Dave Coulier for a Full House reunion. It was somewhat of a “racy” ad, with Stamos enjoying a sentimental moment with, of course, a lady (portraying his character from the show so well), when he spills some on his pants. The woman appears to consider licking it up, when they are interrupted by his fellow cast mates. This came out just around the time of the trio’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last week.

“They played it really well, because you’re thinking, ‘Oh, wow, Dannon is a family brand,’ and then they changed it up really quickly,” said Robert Tuchman, president of sports marketing company Goviva.


RadioShack #InWithTheNew

What a blast from the past! Radio Shack remembers the 80′s and has no problem wishing it was the 80′s again. The electronics store is in touch with the fact that consumers think of the store as out of time and out of touch. In their most recent  ad, two store clerks answer the phone, being told “the 80′s called and they want their stuff back,” followed by a mob, that included Cliff Clavin from “Cheers”, Olympian Mary Lou Retton, Hulk Hogan, and Erik Estrada from “Chips” that storms into one of the chain’s stores and dismantles it. Their goal? To revolutionize the store and brand to come out of the 80′s.

“It’s great to see a brand make fun of itself,” said Dean Crutchfield, a branding expert.



Chrysler crushes it with their latest ad featuring music legend, Bob Dylan that taps into the pride of Detroit and America. Chrysler, along with Coca Cola and Budweiser hit the patriotic notes this year. Dylan walked through the streets of Detroit explaining that the city made cars and that “cars made America.” He goes on to explain ”Let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car.”


What did you think of the ads this year? Which one was your favorite?


Add a comment

Tags: , , ,

LinkedIn Introduces Six Degrees of “How You’re Connected”

As a social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn is always trying to make new introductions. The newest feature they are trying out is a new twist on the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. “A game?” you might ask. The new tool officially versed “How You’re Connected” is a visual enhancement that helps members introduce each other. This feature will start rolling out to English members of the site today, while the networking site says the insights it will provide will be expanded “in the months to come.”

When you view a members profile, not only will you see who they are connected to, but how they are connected. It will look like this:


“Professional goals become more attainable when you’re able to connect and collaborate with others who can help you achieve them. Finding the best path to meeting these key contacts can be daunting though,” says Udi Milo, a project manager at LinkedIn in this blog post.

The concept, inspired by Bacon’s claim that he had worked with everyone in Hollywood, was to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon using six links or less. The idea was a twist on “six degrees of separation,” a common belief that everyone on Earth was six friends or acquaintances removed from everyone else.

LinkedIn has become a valuable tool for professional networking and it only continues to grow.

Add a comment

Tags: , , , , ,