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.

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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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Custom Facebook Welcome Tabs

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At Sircle Media we have been creating custom welcome tabs for clients for over three years now.  Facebook tabs are created using iframes which means you can basically perform all of the same functions available on any external website, within the framework of Facebook.  This affords brands an incredible opportunity to engage with people on The Social Network.

Building a community is the number one objective on Facebook and one way to accomplish this is to create an environment, rich in content that users feel compelled to come back to.  By offering content and context about your brand you are able to “story tell” more and convert brand loyalists.

We often direct all new traffic through the welcome tab so that we can establish a more substantial first conversation with them. Otherwise they jump directly to your timeline and into a conversation that is already going on. We also use Welcome Tabs in many of our Facebook ad campaigns as they have proven very useful in converting likes.

These tabs are an important piece of our marketing puzzle as they accomplish a few mission critical things for our customers.

  1. They offer up additional content to prospects and customers
  2. They help showcase products available for purchase on our client’s website
  3. They capture email addresses for future email marketing
  4. They offer share buttons to help make the content on these tabs more viral

Here is a little video breakdown of how we approach making these tabs. Enjoy!  CLICK HERE


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Danielle Stevens Jewelry New Website


New Website Launch, : “Danielle Stevens is an independent, costume jewelry company based in New York. Founded in 2001 by designer Danielle Zackman, the company has emerged as a leading jewelry brand in the US, recognized by its uniquely trend driven and affordable designs.”

Danielle wanted a new website that offered a better user experience to her customers. She also needed a content management system that was easy to use so she could upload press and content on the fly. We created this website on the WordPress Platform and we employed Responsive Design so her fans would have a great experience on any device.

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Facebook Image Enhancement


Last week, Facebook changed the ways an image is shown when sharing links or Ads! If you haven’t noticed in the past, if you would have shared a link with your friends the picture would have only been the size of thumbnail. These images were not very dynamic or eye catching and were not too helpful in boosting click thru  rates.

With this recent update, the image will now be full-width! This new format that Facebook has introduced will impact Page post link Ads, Page like Ads, offer ads, and event Ads. It also is a continuation of a program where marketers were able to have three different Ad placements, including Page Post Like Sponsored Story, Page Post Comment Sponsored Story, and Page Post Ad. However, now they are all consolidated into a new Ad unit where the context would be on top of the image.

A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why it’s so important that your image stands out! With a strong image, people will notice and be lured in by your post or Ad even more. The larger/crisper the image, the more people will take notice and actually read the post and/or click/like the link.

Check out more about this new feature here!

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Google + Motorola= Advertising Genius

Moto X Lazy Phone Ad 3

When the Galaxy 4s was introduced to the world most were captivated by the many features it had to offer placing it in direct competition with the iPhone. Well now the new “Moto X” by Motorola is stepping up their game too. Being that Motorola is a Google owned company it makes all the sense in the world that not only the technology the best, but the marketing behind the Ad’s is pure comical genius. They have launched a few commercials portraying our smart phones as an actual “lazy” person making it relatable to consumers. Through this marketing strategy they have been able to play-up the dramatics and emphasize on how annoying our not so smart phones can sometimes be.

After getting to know you a little bit better and learning your voice the “Moto X” can answer all of your questions with three very special words, no not I love you but “OK Google now” followed by a command. Snapping a picture is made easier than ever before, with just two twists of your wrist your camera is ready to go. This phone is all about the details; it has “extras” you can’t live without and the option to design your own phone. Discover more about “Moto X” and judge it for yourself! Just when we thought AT&T was leading the race with their original and comical commercials Motorola one-upped them. The branding behind the phone, and the actual phone itself is nothing short of genius.

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Design Collaboration Made Easy!


For collaborating designers, sharing design concepts no longer has to be frustrating. Considering the overwhelming amount of technological advances we have experienced in the past decade its about time! It is a breath of fresh air for designers across the board to hear that there are finally free and secure online collaboration tools to make this process much easier, and less time consuming.

The Red Pen collaboration tool is not much different than a teacher in school marking up your essay with a red pen of course. Using this tool designers can upload, share, and get live feedback. Once a design is uploaded adding notes/revisions is simple, click anywhere and type! Revisiting Red Pen is made simple as well, the site remembers you as well as your previous uploads.

Keeping not just design teams, but also the relationship between client and designer in mind Skwibl has made it practically effortless for all parties to communicate. This tool allows designers and/or clients to collaborate, and revise in real time. It also tracks changes made to projects which gives the user a visual, they can actually see how much the project has evolved. Also, the discussion room feature takes away the headache of e-mailing back and forth because it is an instantaneous. Did I mention this app is also iOS compatible? We know how important that is!

These are only two out of fourteen new, easy to use, free design collaboration tools. Be sure to check out the other twelve: HERE!

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Sircle Media Launches Sircle.It


On August 1st, Sircle Media launched a new division, named Sircle It. We pride ourselves on being a full digital solution for our clients and we wanted to continue to follow through on that promise. Most of our clients start with a “strictly social” plan, but they quickly realize (with a lot of urging from us) that social is much bigger than Facebook and Twitter posting. It is all a part of a larger plan and you need to employ a more comprehensive strategy to make it all come together.

We decided it was time to bring all of that under one roof to make for a smoother transition for our brands. Sircle had developed some great working relationships with outside fulfillment partners (and we remain in close contact with them if/when there is a chance for collaboration) but now most work is managed completely by Sircle.  We definitely feel this creates a better offering for our clients. Ultimately we want to be able to have all of the players in place so we can create a workable plan and then execute on that plan seamlessly.

Screen_Shot_2013-09-23_at_9.22.48_AMWebsite Design and Development for the current times. This means responsive, CMS’ that allow for clients to update/improve content on their own.

Search Marketing Strategies that allow for our clients to be found on popular search engines. We employ strategic SEO and SEM plans that increase visbility and drive traffic to their websites.

Content Marketing Solutions that allow websites to be more meaningful, memorable and shareable. We employ strategic content marketing plans, including Facebook Ads, Blog writing and Blogger outreach programs that also tie in with social messaging to create a 360 degree solution.

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Personal Website: A Must Have!


Most people who are searching for a new job don’t realize that a personal website can be a real game changer. According to Workfolio, “56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool—however, only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website.”

Having this tool to highlight your accomplishments can offer the employer some more information than what can be found on your resume. A web page can allow you to show more than a piece of paper can convey, and it probably doesnt hurt (regardless of your industry) to show you have some digital chops and awareness.

More and more employers are starting to Google search their candidates for the positions they are offering and it would be a great boost if they stumbled upon your website. It shows that you are professional and serious about your job search. Just make sure your website is complete, up to date, and has no errors.

When making your personal website it is important to focus on: a professional headline, a brief bio, your resume, a professional summary/objective, samples of your work, results, links, a blog, videos and other relevant multimedia and testimonials.  It is equally important to ensure that it is well-designed and put together professionally. It can show your creative side and show off your personality.  If it looks poor though it can definitely have an adverse impact.  Make sure it “looks the part!”

A great way to highlight that you have a personal website is to put the link in your email signature, on your resume and cover letter, and on your social networking profiles.  This is true whether you are on the job hunt or not.  A professionally, branded website can make a big difference in succeeding at your current job as well.

Set yourself apart from others and start creating your personal website right away.  Control what others are finding when they search your name, because believe me they are. Sircle Media is here to help and can build a responsive personal brand website for individuals in any industry.  Here is a recent website we built for our client, Gregory Frank 

To see more about why job seekers should have a personal website and what they should have on it, CLICK HERE.


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Google Glass Parody


It didn’t take long for the comedy writers at Saturday Night Live to point their pens (read: guns) at the highly anticipated Google Glass product. This weekend Tech Correspondent, Randall Meeks (Fred Armisen) showed up on The Weekend Update to offer his insider review on the highly anticipated product.

I have read countless articles on the new and innovative release and know some people who personally have actually had the opportunity to test it out in the past few weeks.  The reviews online have been mixed and the personal accounts from those have used it have been good from an innovation standpoint (the novelty of it all) BUT sort of strange and uncomfortable from a usage POV.

Though I have yet to use it personally, this review by Randall Meeks seems to nail the strangeness of it all!



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Why You Should Consider Responsive Design


When the development of websites started to grow and gain popularity in the 1990s, the only objective for web designers was to create websites that were compatible with desktop computers.  Over the years however, multiple internet enabled devices have flooded the global market. With the increase in popularity in various versions of internet enabled devices, it is vital for companies to design their websites using responsive web design to interact and stay in touch with people.

It is predicted that 1.2 billion smart phones will be sold in the year 2013 alone!

responsive-design-example1What Is Responsive Web Design

The basic concept of responsive web design is to design once, but have it adjust to virtually any screen and device currently available, and even those not yet created. It does this by not focusing on what device is accessing it, which can quickly become a long list of variables, but instead seeing at which sizes the website design “breaks”, and adjusting it to not do so. By focusing on breakpoints, instead of device size, you are fixing the fundamental issues with the design. This creates a cleaner, more fluid design that reacts to itself, instead of the ever-changing landscape of devices.

This means, whether a device is as large as a Full HD Monitor, or as small as a Mobile Phone, the images, text, videos, animations, functions, and more will all adjust to fit and work accordingly. No matter where or from what device a user is visiting a responsive website, you can be sure that they are experiencing it properly.

Benefits of Responsive Website Design

Accessibility: Most smartphone users have their devices on them 24/7, which means that most people will use these devices to access a website on a daily basis. It is therefore vital to ensure that individuals can access your website no matter what device they use.

As a brand sets out to optimize their Social Media plan this is something that they must think about very carefully. Social Media is all about the sharing of content and each business hopes that their content and their products or services become worthy of being shared. With this is mind it is detrimental to that plan to have a website that is not easy to engage with when viewed on a non traditional, mobile device. While they might seem disconnected they all mold together to create a comprehensive make sense plan.

Cost: The long term cost of creating a responsive design is going to be less than having to create different versions of your website for the different device experiences. Although the initial cost of creating a responsive design is a bit higher, the alternative would be to create an application for every mobile platform in the market today; a task that will require lots of time and will cost more in the aggregate!

Stay Optimized: It seems like yesterday when the only resolution on computer monitors was 1280×1024 (or 1024×768, if you’re old enough). Today, HD screens with greater resolutions are all too common. Websites which were designed to specifically fit old PC monitors leave unattractive gaps of space on the sides when viewed through high resolution HD screens. Having a responsive design will allow you to fix this in the near term and will always keep you in the game because regardless of what new screen types are created, a properly developed responsive design will always be compatible with it.

Image: For a business to create and maintain a strong brand, it must portray a positive image to its clients, customers and/or prospects. A key component in branding today is having an amazing website with great content and attractive design. Businesses often spend a lot on their website to achieve the goal of leaving a lasting impression, so to not do the same for alternate experiences such as mobile and tablets would run counter to that strategy.  If you have an amazing desktop version for your website then naturally, people will expect the same in their smartphones, tablets and other internet devices. A responsive website design will ensure that your website meets this expectation by delivering on the same user experience that people get on the desktop version.

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