How to Build Your Brand and Increase Sales Through Social Media

Image by sheela2010
Image by sheela2010

Building your brand can sometimes be difficult. You need to establish credibility and a consistent social voice in order to build up your brand. You need to build a reliable and helpful presence that encourages interaction and provides service to create value for your customers. Developing your brand can lead you to increased sales, which is particularly important if you focused on ecommerce marketing.

Gaining customer trust is a key when developing your social brand. This can be achieved through providing information that customers are searching for as well as handling any customer complaints that occur. This last part is particularly important, you need to be transparent with your customers about issues and respond to these issues publicly. Potential customers want to see that you are vested in customer’s opinions and that you are quick to respond to any issues they experience.

If you have an ecommerce store such as a website or a Facebook store, being transparent is key as customers may have a lot of questions about your products and it is easy to ask you about them while they are on your Facebook page and viewing your products. Make sure that you answer their queries as quickly as possible as that is when they are in the shopping stage and they might be more likely to purchase.

You also need to position yourself as an expert in your industry. The better information and service that you can provide to your customers they better they are going to trust you and the more likely they are to purchase your products and services. Offering great recommendation and then backing it up with information from you and others can be useful in establishing yourself as an expert. When customers are able to see value in what you are providing they will seek out your advice more frequently.

As we have already briefly touched on listening and responding to customers is a way that you can provide value to customers. There are many businesses that create a page and post information but they don’t truly listen to their customers and respond to their comments and questions. Monitoring your social media channels and being ready with answers to questions and responses to comments is going to assist you in both your efforts to build an effective brand and to increase sales.

By listening to customers you can determine what they are interested in and tailor your social approach and provide the information they are seeking. You can also use this to determine what products they are interested in so you can effectively promote those products that are in your Facebook shop or you can offer discounts on those products knowing that is what your customers are seeking.

How do you use social marketing to enhance your brand?

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Use Social Media for Social Selling During the Holidays

As we are gearing up for Cyber Monday many of us are left wondering how to we let our customers know about our promotions and special offers in our Facebook store app. We believe you can effectively use social media channels to promote your products and your store.

There are several different ways that you implement your promotion strategy through social media. The first one we are going to look at is the different option you have for the promotion of specific products from your Facebook store. Some social selling apps, such as ShopTab, offer an easy “Promote” tool that enables you to feature key deals and products on your Facebook page.

product_wallpost_shareddeal

When you view your products in your Facebook store you will also notice there are options to Tweet about your product or to Pin it. When you click the “Tweet” an auto generated message will appear along with the link to your product. Here you can customize your Tweet and quickly post to your Twitter page.

Twitter_promote

When you click “Pin it” a dialog box will appear that will again enable you to create a message and provide a link to your product. You can add it to one of your current boards or create a new one specifically for your item.

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Now that we have taken a look at specifics of what you can do through your Facebook store app we are going to look at a few general rules of thumb to use social media to effectively drive sales to your Facebook store. You need to use your social media channels to be engaging with your customers and fans. According to Social Media Today, there are 3 rules of engagement to be successful in your social selling efforts.

  1. Don’t focus on sales, provide value. People are on social media to find interesting things, get more information, and to have their questions answered. Answering questions and interacting with your customers is a great way to promote your Facebook store. The most important thing to remember when engaging with people on Facebook is to be authentic. Social users know when you are being yourself and they respond to authenticity.
  2. Interact and build relationships. Answering questions and providing value to people helps to develop relationships. Using social media gives you a unique opportunity to communicate with people in different geographic areas and enables you to expand your customer base.
  3. Listen and take in information. By monitoring keywords and conversations you can determine what is relevant on social media and drive new sales to your Facebook store. Social media also enables you to track your competition so that you can effectively compete with them.

We’re in the middle of the holiday selling season; take the time to use social media the correct way and you will realize sales results in this new dynamic sales channel.

Sources:

  1. 1.       Hall, Amy (2013). 3 Rules of Engagement for Successful Social Selling. Retrieved from http://socialmediatoday.com/amynhall/1917321/3-rules-engagement-successful-social-selling.

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Social Traffic Drives Revenues

Revenue Per TransactionLet’s talk about your social media strategy for just a little bit! At ShopTab, we are firm believers that social media is not only an extension of your marketing plan, but an essential element to drive quality traffic that can produce revenue. By placing yourself and your business on social outlets you are opening yourself up to a new audience that you may not reach via paid online and offline marketing options. Most importantly, this audience is opting into hearing from you and your company.

Social media provides you an opportunity that paid search, e-mail and other online methods are lacking, the opportunity to get to know your customer base. When you focus on the correct outlets for your brand you are building a community that ultimately could translate into revenue. Whether you have an existing website, or you’re trying to get your business up and running through social outlets alone, engaging in social is a MUST.

Daytona International Speedway saw early on that they needed to be where their fans where, and that happened to be on social platforms. They engaged in a social media strategy that focused on fan engagement and rewards. Using a Facebook store application also played into their marketing plans as well, allowing their fans access to their products and tickets while giving them the ability to share their passion about their purchases with their friends.

The emerging concept of social commerce is turning into a more acceptable outlet for shopping since people are using their friends and family to aid them in making shopping decisions. So why not allow them to have conversations around your products or services? Or even better, start the discussion about how a product is used or ask for options they would like to see.  That’s what social does for you. It places your brand at top of mind for existing and potential new customers. According to Internet Retailer’s research, they have discovered that “the value of each social traffic transaction is higher than that of e-mail and search traffic.” This validates that these conversations can turn into quality revenue opportunities.

Now we aren’t saying to abandon other aspects of marketing such as paid search, e-mail, etc…  We are encouraging you to make social media a part of your marketing plan. An easy extension to add on to your social media plan is opening a Facebook shop, allowing you to easily share your products and services. This type of application creates an opportunity for your conversation starter.  As in all things with your business, you will need to create a strategy for your social media plan and periodically measure your progress; this is the only way to determine if you are benefiting from the effort you are putting in.

Ultimately it is up to you to decide what is best for your business, but don’t miss out on this fantastic engagement opportunity to create a deeper relationship with your client base that can result in steady revenue streams.

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Six Tactics Guaranteed to Grow the Fans for your Facebook Store

Got ya! You saw six tactics and “BAM” you were sold. Don’t worry we will give you the six tactics, but we think most people quickly jump to tactics to fix things, instead of creating a strategy to drive their activities. We believe you should consider building an overall social strategy so that these tactics will have more value to your business.

In the first post in this series on Social Commerce Strategy, you set your strategy and determined your objectives. In the second post we figured out a number of ways to grow your audience but now you need to know how to keep them interested and active. We’ve seen many marketers rush the first two steps by moving to step three too quickly.  This can just be a waste of time if the planning hasn’t been given its due.  Putting the cart before the horse doesn’t work for the cart or for social marketing!

Here are six tactics as promised! To see more than these six tactics visit our social commerce strategy white paper “Return on Facebook” for over 20 stellar tactics for your Facebook shop as well as links to other websites for more tactics.

          Ask follower to post on your wall/home page and provide a free sample of a product for the most creative post.

          You don’t have to put all of your products into your Facebook shop. If you have a fully functioning website then use this as an opportunity to promote “on sale” items only available to fans by creating a special category for your store or even have it as the only category.

          If you have a Pinterest account, encourage your fans to post images onto your shared board.

          Create a “Featured” page that only has unique products or price specials available to your fans.

          Create packaged offerings (put two products together at a discounted price) that only are available to your fans.

          Introduce products on Facebook first, offer a special deal for these early users. Create urgency by defining a short time period for the offer.

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Below are the first two articles in this series:

Building your Social Strategy
Building your Social Audience

What are some tactics you’ve used to promote fan engagement on your Facebook page?

Image source: http://tabernaclefortoday.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/the-cart-before-the-horse/

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7 Tools to Improve Your Website Traffic and Conversion Rate

improve website traffic and conversion rates - ShopTabWhen it comes to your ShopTab and website, it is important to understand how your customers interact with your business and where they go on your site. While we encourage every ShopTab user and eCommerce business to utilize Google Analytics to track this information, we know it can often be difficult to determine exactly how visitors use your website from that  information.

We understand that you want to know what aspects of your site and your social activity are influencing your customers’ purchase decisions. We also recognize that you may not have the time or knowhow to decipher the data from raw analytics. So, we have put together a list of free and paid tools to help understand where exactly your customers react with your website. Get insight into SEO, social media, website usage interaction, and even insight directly from your visitors.

7 Tools to Improve Your Website Traffic and Conversion Rate

  • Website Grader – Free service to analyze your websites SEO and Social Media integration
  • SpyFu – Compare your Keywords and SEO tactics with your competitors.
  • SEO Book – Access a wide array of free and paid SEO tools and browser plugins
  • Five Second Test – Landing page optimization for your mocks and wireframes. Fine tune your landing pages and calls to action by analyzing the most prominent elements of your design. $20/mo for 100 responses or participate in reviews to receive points to use towards your own website.
  • User Testing – Test your website to targeted markets and even include specific instructions and questions about your site. $39 gets you feedback as a written report as well as a video where the user will talk you through their experience.
  • Userfly – Include code on your website to get advanced analytics of every function of how users interact with each page of your site. Plans start at $10/month
  • CrazyEgg – See where people are clicking on your website with their famous heatmaps. Plans start at $9/month.

These resources can be a great way to understand what customers are really looking for in your website. See what works and improve on it to grow your business and get more sales. I personally use a variety of these tools on a weekly bases to help get digital marketing insights for some of my various clients. Try them out for yourself and let us know which you find to be most useful for you. Comment below and let us know your experience. What are some of your favorite online resources to help grow your business?

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ShopTab Interview with Web Retailer Patricia Pepe Founder of West Florida Components and Satisfied Customer!

Recently, I have had the pleasure of speaking with Patricia Pepe, retail business owner and vice president of the Internet Merchants Association, after discovering her praise of ShopTab’s ease of use on our Facebook Fan page.

Patricia Pepe

We were thrilled to find out her satisfaction with ShopTab service had surpassed her expectations with ease of use and setup. We wanted to properly thank her by showcasing her background, her business, and a little about why she thinks ShopTab is so great!

First, a bit about Patricia and her business ventures. West Florida Components is an internet retailer that was founded by Patricia in 2004. Its warehouse and offices are located on the west coast of Florida in historic Tarpon Springs. In addition to running West Florida Components, she is the vice president of the Internet Merchants Association a non-profit trade organization. The IMA’s primary focus is to educate eCommerce merchants to help grow their online businesses so we definitely recommend eCommerce Business Owners check out IMA. Patricia is also a frequent speaker on a broad range of topics relating to eCommerce and social media.  You can follow Patricia with West Floria Components on Twitter as well as Internet Merchants Association on Twitter too. (more…)

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Six Essential Social Media Tools for Business

Deltina Hay is the principal of Social Media Power, and founder of the new social media Website service, Plumb Social and recommends the following Six Essential Social Media Tools for Business:

1. Your Own Blog

RSS feeds are the backbone of the Social Web. You want your own RSS feed to publish to the Social Web so you can benefit from the exposure in the many RSS feed directories. A blog is the easiest way to have your own RSS feed.

Just starting a blog is not enough, however. You need to optimize your blog and your blog posts and keep your content fresh and engaging. You also want to integrate your RSS feed into your other social media tools.

You can start a free or nearly free blog at WordPress.com, Blogger, or Typepad, or you can install one on your site from WordPress.org.

2. A Facebook Presence

A Facebook “presence” consists of a Facebook profile and a Facebook page.

A Facebook profile is for an individual and should only be created for a key representative of the business, not for the business itself. (more…)

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Interview with Author of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization – How social media can benefit your business

An increasing amount of companies are beginning to monetize their presence in social media and  are taking advantage of the many resources available to small businesses on the web. Deltina Hay, author of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization, is the owner of the Austin-based literary press Dalton Publishing, the Web 2.0 development and consulting firm Social Media Power, and the social media optimized Web site service, PlumbSocial.

A long-time advocate of open source technologies, Hay has been programming and doing Web development in one form or another for over 25 years. Her graduate education includes computer science, applied mathematics, nonlinear dynamics, and psychology.

A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization provides insight into the world of social networking media such as blogs, social bookmarking sites, media communities and more to educate entrepreneurs on how to fully utilize social media.

Her book helps small businesses become part of the social media movement and shows business owners how to use tools such as Web 2.0 to establish their presence on the web. Business owners, authors, publishers, students, PR and marketing professionals can learn to apply and integrate valuable web tools such as Squidoo , YouTube, Facebook, WordPress, wikis, widgets, blogs, RSS feeds all by themselves.

(more…)

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Erik Qualman Interview – Author of Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business

Erik Qualman SocialnomicsAfter reading Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business the ShopTab team felt this book would be of great interest to ShopTab Facebook App business owners who are looking to leverage social media to engage with their customers.  We contacted the author Erik Qualman and wanted to share with you what we learned.

First a little background on Erik.  He holds a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from The University of Texas.  He is currently the Global Vice President of Online Marketing EF Education (the world’s largest private education company).  He was Academic All-Big Ten in basketball at Michigan State University and still finds time to follow his beloved Spartans while living in Boston with his wife.

After reading Socialnomics, which made Amazon’s #1 Best Selling List only after three weeks of publication, you can expect to learn how to properly engage with your customer via social media to improve your product or service and ultimately sell more.  There are several case studies in the book from various industries and sectors that help business owners better understand how to harness the power of social media. (more…)

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