SocialCommerce_Superhero

5 Tips For The Aspiring Social Commerce Superhero

By | social commerce | No Comments

With San Diego Comic-Con in full swing, downtown San Diego has transformed into Gotham City with costumed superheroes and supervillains around every corner. This year we decided to embrace our inner geek and combine our love for pop culture with our passion for eCommerce and create a list of the top five necessary tips for the aspiring social commerce superhero.

Engage With Your Customers

First, let’s not forget that the main reason customers use social media is to be social. As a brand, your goal should be to become part of your target customer’s social network. In order for this to happen, you must foster meaningful and personal relationships with your customers through social media before selling to them. Whether this means answering questions or responding to reviews (both positive and negative), customers are more likely to make purchases when they feel that the brand genuinely cares and wants to ensure their happiness.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 10.33.41 AM

Image via: http://bit.ly/1oIDNke

Know Your Limitations

When advertising on certain social media sites, it is important to be familiar with each site’s specific regulations and policies. For example, your ads on Facebook may not include images with text that covers more than 20% of the image’s area. Facebook does this for several reasons including the fact that minimal text makes the content for engaging for users. It is also crucial that you are familiar with Facebook’s age appropriate content policies and ensure that your ads do not violate any of its “Prohibited Content” guidelines. So next time you are creating a Facebook ad, keep those limitations in mind and work with what you’ve got!

Image via: http://on.fb.me/1F0G32Q

Image via: http://on.fb.me/1F0G32Q

Utilize Retargeting Campaigns

We know that the majority of consumers use social media to research purchases well before actually making the purchase. By implementing retargeting campaigns, your brand remains front and center in the consumer’s mind and draws them back to your site when they are ready to purchase. Through repeated exposure, you will gain brand recognition with your customer and you will see an increase in conversions. Facebook tools such as Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences further help you target your ideal consumer audience. Custom Audiences helps strengthen existing connections by finding your current customers on Facebook using your email database. Lookalike Audiences help you make new connections by targeting people who are similar to your custom audience lists. These tools allow you to increase brand awareness and off-Facebook purchases.

Get Personal

Understanding your audience is key to successful social commerce campaigns and with developments such as Facebook’s Insights tool, it is now easier than ever to get into the mind of your target customer. Facebook Insights allows businesses to track their social commerce campaigns while using metrics such as “Likes” to gain valuable demographic and behavioral information about their customers. This assists businesses in understanding what messages, images, and rewards will be most effective in driving conversions from their customers.

Image via: http://bit.ly/1JXhhjE

Image via: http://bit.ly/1JXhhjE

Employ A Call-to-Action

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when creating social commerce campaigns is to implement a call-to-action with your message. Effective social commerce CTA’s make it easy for your customer to navigate from their social site to your website. With Facebook’s launch of “Shop Now” buttons at the end of 2014 and Pinterest’s newly implemented “Buy It” button, social media sites are making it even easier for customers to shop online and are further helping businesses drive conversions.

At the end of the week, the masked superheroes that currently fill the streets of downtown San Diego at Comic-Con will have to remove their capes and return to normal life. However, by following these five essential tips to succeed in social commerce, the aspiring social commerce superhero never has to take off their costume and can continue saving businesses from social commerce mistakes one day at a time.

If you need help with your social commerce needs, drop us a line and one of our many social commerce superheroes will come to the rescue!

Etsy & Kite

How Etsy & Kite Add Social Right Into UX

By | apps, customer experience, digital commerce, digital marketing, ecommerce, interactive marketing, social media | No Comments

Social media marketing is more essential than ever in the growing world of digital marketing. As Small Business Trends reported last year, 7 out of 10 consumers prefer a business with a social media presence, which is why companies are continually trying to find new ways to engage in conversation with their audience.

The recent trend is to integrate social platforms and campaigns right into their services, helping them boost engagement and retention in one fell swoop. Instead of trying to come up with the next hit innovation in the field, these two companies are applying the tried-and-tested techniques that consumers love on other platforms, right into their own service for more effective UX.

Etsy Makes eCommerce Social with Crowdfunding ‘Fund’

Fund on Etsy. Credit: Etsy Inc.

Fund on Etsy. Credit: Etsy Inc.

The company that prides itself in connecting creative entrepreneurs with their target customers is expanding into the profitable and viral sensation world of crowdfunding. Taking the idea behind Kickstarter, Etsy hopes that their Fund service will  ““help…sellers [continue to] grow their businesses and create new products. By funding a campaign, buyers can participate in a new product’s journey from initial concept to their front door, while forging even more meaningful relationships with Etsy sellers they care about.”

It’s a genius natural integration that puts the creative marketing aspect right into the eCommerce marketplace, ensuring a full-service venue for their crafty user demographic to reach their strategic goals in the financing and development process. Right now, Fund is in it’s Pilot Program with limited sellers, but if users respond well Etsy hopes to roll out the service to all sellers soon.

Kite is Differentiating Themselves from the Competition Through Integrated Social Marketing

Kite Interface. Credit: Fast Company

Kite Interface. Credit: Fast Company

In the past month, there has been a slew of announcements about new News apps and platforms: from Apple News to Facebook Instant Articles, and the newly announced BuzzFeed News. Among those is Kite, but the difference between this app and the rest is that Kite plans to change the game of searching for reading material by disguising its full service browser-centric service into a standalone social network similar to that of Instagram.

Instead of using algorithms or having users navigate through an infinite amount of search results, the service plans to embrace both types of effective search curation used by other platforms, “social is one and the other is journalistic curation,” Users can follow trusted friends and personalities for easily-digestible reading suggestions from people with similar tastes and opinions they actually care about. It’s the equivalent of getting music recommendations from your credible friend who knows what they’re talking about. The best thing–the app will not redirect you to read in Safari:  it’s a specific browser designed with user-accessibility in mind, focusing on a minimal look that showcases the actual multimedia content right in app because we all know content is king nowadays. They hope to become their users’ primary browser, by focusing on the interactive social marketing approach in selling their service.

Need help integrating your social media platforms into your marketing strategy? Digital Operative can help you come up with the best method to ignite conversation with your audience. Contact our Marketing Team today.

Social Media

Social Media Takeover

By | digital marketing, social media | No Comments

Social media has become a prominent force for connecting people across the world. Marketers are catching onto this trend and now use these networks to advance their company’s goals. Here are the three aspects indicating why social media is here to stay.

Social Media use has grown steadily over the last few years

In the last five years, consumers and marketers have both increased their use of social networks.

  • 18 million Twitter  users in 2009, 302 million current users
  • In 2009, 17% of time online was spent on social media, now it is 28%
  • A majority of marketers were involved in social media marketing for a few months or less, in 2015 it is down to 22%
  • 56% of companies in 2010 used social media for 6 hours or more, 64% now fit this category

Social Media has real effects on companies and exposure

Companies recognize how valuable social media can be in promoting their brand, gaining attention, and improving sales. Oreo cookie made a splash with their “daily twist” campaign.

  • Oreo daily twist campaign made 100 facebook posts in 100 days relating to current events
  • 231 million media impressions created from 2,600 articles
  • Gained 1 million fans on Facebook
  • Increased share rate by 280%
  • Each post shared an average of 1,472 times
Image via Adweek.com

Image via Adweek.com

Canadian paint company CIL found their paint names weren’t appealing to men so they created an app for renaming colors.

  • In 45 days, 15,000 new names created from over 20,000 users
  • 1 million dollars in media exposure created
  • 100 million online impressions
  • 10% increase in sales

Psychology is getting involved

Psychology is now backing the effectiveness of social media use; studies have highlighted its impact on consumers.

One study from the University of California San Diego found that emotions carry over social networks. They tracked over 1 billion posts over a 2 year period, especially on rainy days when the posts were more negative. They found that these emotions were transferred to friends posts who lived in other cities or even in other parts of the country. This is a vital study for marketers because it demonstrates how the tone of a social media post can trickle down, so it is important to keep posts upbeat and positive.

Social Media is captivating the world’s attention and we are almost completely immersed in its web. Companies now recognize it as a crucial feature in their overall strategy. These social networks allow for a continuous dialogue which lets us to connect like never before. Social Media is the new standard, and it won’t be going away anytime soon. Drop us a line if your business is ready to improve its outreach and visibility.

Apple Music Logo via Consequence of Sound

Is Apple Music Spotify’s Largest Rival?

By | apps, digital marketing | No Comments
Header image via Consequence of Sound

During their annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled their new music streaming service, Apple Music–the latest entry in the recent music streaming wars. The service integrates some of Apple’s existing aspects, blending user’s iTunes library, the Beats Music app and an updated and more heavily curated iTunes Radio, adding up to serve as Spotify’s largest rival.

1.  Apple Learned and Improved Upon Their Competitors

Apple Music App

Apple Music App Screenshots (accessed via arstechnica.co.uk)

As the iPhone 6 release has showed us, Apple knows how to expand upon their competitors’ ideas. Noting TIDAL’s high cost mistake, Apple Music will remain at the user friendly $9.99/month costing the same as Spotify, but will retain the existing Beats Music Family Plan. To compete with leading service Pandora, Apple Music will launch the first live 24/7 global radio station entitled Beats1, which won’t be using algorithms but instead curated by leading DJ personalities such as Zane Lowe. The same level of customizable expert curation can be expected in the app’s recommendations and playlists “For You” tab. Apple is even going the extra mile by releasing the app on Android devices this Fall.

2. Industry Connections & Credibility

accessed via arstechnica.co.uk

Iovine at WWDC Keynote (accessed via arstechnica.co.uk)

Apple is using their rolodex to use by integrating their resident talent, and reaching out to high profile musicians to bolster the new brand. When the powerhouse company bought Beats By Dre last year at the price of $3 billion dollars, the company also acquired founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, as well as Trent Reznor as expert consultants. Those names sure do go a long way in gaining artist credibility and connections. Iovine was even in attendance at the keynote to announce the service. He believes “technology and art can work together…at least at Apple.” Artists Drake and The Weeknd also made surprise appearances in support of Apple Music during the keynote announcement, two hit names that were left out of the star-studded TIDAL announcement roster.

 3. App Awareness in Prime Real Estate

Apple is rolling out the app before their next iOS 9 update. Instead of waiting until the Fall, the new service will launch June 30th with front-page placement. Apple Music will be on all Apple mobile device home screens in the prime dock position, serving as a convenient billboard to all  iPhone and iPad users.

 4. Providing an Integrated Social Media Experience

apple-2

Multi-Platform Capability (accessed via Consequence of Sound)

Apple Music will introduce a new aspect to their service that Spotify currently does not have: a social media platform where artists can communicate and share exclusive content and behind-the-scenes multimedia with their fans. Connect essentially integrates elements similar to Twitter, Facebook, and SoundCloud directly into the app. It’s another way Apple Music is incorporating the human touch to their service. Another great feature about Connect is that it will aim at a larger audience, allowing both signed and indie artists to use the platform, something that TIDAL went under fire for not including upon initial release.

5. Using Their Name and Brand Power To Good Use

screenshot via apple.com

Apple.com Home

Apple has always been the company that changed the way people listen to music, from the iPod to iTunes, both changing the way the record industry markets music. With this new service they can be on top in the latest music frontier. They’re not branding Apple Music just as a service, but as an ecosystem– “one complete thought around music” with the standard “elegance and simplicity” that Apple is known for. By using their strengths and reputation as an industry powerhouse, Apple has always been the forerunner in marketing and ecommerce strategies with their new products, and Apple Music is not likely to disappoint.

Apple has years of tried-and-tested experience behind their marketing strategy, and has learned to integrate their strengths into their campaigns. If you’re interested in building the most effective strategy that takes into account your business’s strengths, Digital Operative can certainly help you reach your goals. Contact us today.

InstagramAds

It’s About Time Instagram!

By | digital marketing, social media | No Comments

For a year and a half, Instagram has made their advertising platform for the VIP, the best of the best, the chosen few that were hand selected by CEO Kevin Systrom. But, as of last week, that’s all changing — Instagram ads are becoming available to the general population of advertisers.

Why Is Instagram Advertising such a big deal?

Instagram has over 300 million active monthly users — up from the 200 million active users it had just one year previous. With 300 million users, Instagram needed to ensure it was pleasing users and marketers alike. Things need to be made seamless and shop-able (even Pinterest joined the bandwagon this week with their “Buyable Pins”). People come to Instagram to get lost in the beauty of everything they see, to find inspiration and fashion ideas. This is the perfect place to target consumers for things they are interested in and places they want to visit.

Advertising On Instagram

With more than 2 million advertisers currently using Facebook to market their business; it was only going to be a matter of time before Instagram followed suit. Instagram will introduce an ads API over the next few months, so it can be used as in the same manner of Facebook — for buying, managing and measuring success. For those Instagram advertisers, this will make it that much easier to expand their brand reach, virtually overnight.

Image via blog.business.instagram.com

Image via blog.business.instagram.com

Ecommerce on Instagram

Not only will you be able to target consumers by the basics of age, location and gender, but you will be able to target them based on their likes. Like Facebook, you will be able to engage with specific audiences that are interested in your brands and similar brands. This is an important ecommerce move as people want the convenience of shopping and clicking through what they are interested in. Not only will advertisers be able to market one item with a static picture, but Instagram rolled out carousel ads, which makes it that much better — advertising multiple items and views all within the same ad. It’s almost like Instagram knew what they were doing, before it actually did it. From a user’s perspective, think of how much easier it will be to learn about a brand and product. All information and the power to buy, is just one click away.

Image via blog.business.instagram.com

Image via blog.business.instagram.com

We’re excited to see the development and progression of the Instagram Ad API. Facebook keeps getting better and better with their advertising platform, so we know Instagram is going to be held to the same standard. If you want help with your social media marketing, we have a savvy team, so drop us a line and let’s start Instagramming.

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