E-Commerce DIY: Social Media Marketing

5 Ways to Improve your Content Marketing Posts.

By Sarah Sewell

5 Ways to Improve your Content Marketing Posts.

Let’s talk about Content. How many of you are putting thought into your content curation but you just aren’t seeing the results you’d like?

Let’s look at the top 5 reasons why you may not be seeing the engagement you would like to see and how you can fix it!

1. You’re creating content based on content others are creating.

Are you posting what everyone else is posting? Just following the crowd so to speak? This is YOUR business! There are no rules on what you have to post! Your audience doesn’t know what they need to hear & that’s why they need you! Your thoughts, your opinions, YOU matter! Being authentic is the best way to attract a following that will stay.

2. Posting in the wrong places! 

While getting specific on who your target market is you need to know where they’re hanging out! Being visible isn’t everything, despite what you’ve read! It is important, but it’s completely useless if you’re visible in the wrong places! Ask yourself today where are my people hanging out? What platform are they spending their time on.

3. Your heart is in the wrong place! 

Your intention is to sell. But, would you pay lots of money to work with or buy from somebody you don’t even know? Take a closer look at your intentions so you can connect rather than just sell! People don’t want to hear “Give me your money!” All the time. They want a reason to feel good about spending their hard earn money with you and your brand. Give them that reason.

4. You’re not confident. 

People pick up on your vibes and if you’re not confident in what you’re talking about, they wont be confident in you, your brand or your product. Take some time to think about why you love what you do!! What sets you apart, what lights you up! Remember sales is a transference of feeling from one to another. Confidence in yourself is necessary to build your business.

5. You’re not providing a CTA! 

Maybe you are providing value and great content! That’s amazing! You may be getting your viewers excited and ready to buy! However, if you don’t give them a call-to-action, they have no incentive to reach out to you! Instead they will see your content, maybe give it a like or heart but then move on. Give them a reason to comment, to follow you, maybe message you or click the link to BUY from you.

Brainstorm ways you can share amazing content with your audience this week! Remember, you’re selling yourself!! Posting curated content is a fantastic way to grow a following and build a brand but you must take care in how you are doing it to ensure you see the fruits of your labor. Happy Selling!

 

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3 Reasons why the Facebook Group Purge helps your Facebook Community.

By Sarah Sewell

3 Reasons why the Facebook Group Purge helps your Facebook Community.

If you admin a group on Facebook you may have noticed Friday that Facebook removed members from your community. Shock and outrage was sparked across Facebook Friday as many group admins lost anywhere from a handful to thousands of members. Nothing was "really" lost, but the number representing group membership may have been reduced.

Facebook sent an email out to many group admins with this message:

“We're making some updates to how members are invited to your group, and we wanted to share these changes with you. To help ensure people join Facebook Groups that are relevant and meaningful to them, you'll see the following changes:

 

Updated Group Invitation — Now, when people are invited to a group, they can accept or decline the invite. Before, people could be added to groups by friends who thought they might be interested in them, and they’d immediately become a member. Some people may have been added to your group, but have never visited it.

 

Invited Section — In the next few weeks, people who've been added to your group but have never visited it. Now will appear in the Invited section of your Members list, which only admins and moderators can view. They won't be considered a member until they accept their invite. This means they will no longer be included in your group's total member count, so you may see a decrease in your group’s total member count.

 

Reminder Notification — Because you're an admin, in the next few weeks you'll be able to send one notification to invited people to remind them to accept or decline the invite to your group.

 

Thank you for being a community leader.

Thanks,
The Facebook Groups Team”

Many group admin seemed initially upset. To wake up having a few hundred or thousand removed from their groups overnight had many admin taking to Facebook forums to express their outrage. What they seemed to miss is that these members never did contribute anything to their communities, in fact it actually held their communities back.

This update is a GOOD thing for your community!! It essentially removes those who never wanted to be added to the group in the first place! Before this happened many groups had a very skewed view of their membership. Alternatively some Facebook communities would encourage current members to add friends and family to the groups, WITHOUT their consent which means some Facebook communities appeared much larger than they actually were...until now. 

Let's discuss 3 reasons why this purge helps your community on Facebook.

1. Authenticity:

Would you want to join a community that has 16,000 members but when you are inside the community you get crickets when you post? A space that offers minimal content that serves you or the community itself? Wouldn't it be better to have a group with maybe only 800 members but with consistent content and posts and shares that create engagement within the community?

It's more authentic to have a group of REAL members, people who check in throughout the week and post to share with one another. Having an authentic space gives you real members and real members equal real engagement. 

2. Authority:

Your community whatever it may have been created for is to serve a group of people. More people will want to join your community if they see your group as one that has authority on a certain subject or topic. Real people who are really interested in joining your group will interact with your posts and ask questions to give you as a group the opportunity to be seen as an authority in your industry or hobby. 

Being an authority on a given topic or subject allows you to ultimately have more leverage in your personal or business development. Perhaps you want to write something, sell something or share something. You will be taken more seriously and be held at a higher esteem with some authority behind you on the given topic or subject.

3. Algorithm:

Everything on Facebook has an algorithm. Your personal page has its own algorithm, your business page has its own algorithm, and your Facebook Group has (you guessed it) its very own algorithm too. This means how your community interacts with the group tells the algorithm how to behave. If you have a popular group, with lots of interaction and people who post, comment and share you better believe that your group will get favor in being shown in the news feed of your group members.

Alternatively if you have a group and the content isn't being engaged with by members.. that too is training the algorithm! It is telling it that "Hey!! This content isn't popular!! It isn't being noticed, or shared, or responded too! There is a LOT of members in this group yet the percentage of interaction with the group isn't high. This MUST mean that the group is poor, the content sucks and no body wants to see it." Now this may of course not be the truth BUT if you have a lot of inactive members that is exactly what the algorithm is thinking. So, it won't show your group in anyone's news feed and you posting content (no matter how good it is) simply won't get the visibility it deserves.

Facebook isn't the enemy here. Facebook provides an AMAZING opportunity for people, businesses, content creators and more to connect with others all over the globe. Starting to see it as a friend and not a foe will greatly enhance your ability to use it more efficiently. The bottom line is don't act like a spammer, don't add people to your communities who aren't the least bit interested and who haven't given their permission. Grow your community in an authentic way, share content your specific audience will love to see and nurture the community with your time and care. This is how your group will grow in leaps and bounds with REAL members offering REAL engagement to give your group authenticity, authority, and will give the algorithm a heads up that your group is the place to be. 

Happy Posting!

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It's Black Friday Weekend! May the Odds be Ever in your Favor!

By Sarah Sewell

It's Black Friday Weekend! May the Odds be Ever in your Favor!

It's that time of year again, let the shopping madness begin! This week is the Super Bowl of commerce! Shoppers are excited they are going to find the very best deals and business owners are excited to make a lot of sales. It is essentially a win-win for both the customer and the seller! When it comes to E-Commerce however this weekend can be a roller coaster ride of emotions for online shop owners. 

60% of shopping done on Black Friday is done "In-Store" not specifically online. This however shouldn't be super worrisome because there is still a rush of customers shopping both in store and online over the holiday weekend. Let's go over some helpful tips to optimize that traffic and turn it into sales for your online storefront.

Engage your audience across Social Media:

Let's be honest, as a small business owner you don't want to even try to compete with the big box stores as far as advertisement goes. Big business is going to flood the marketplace with ads on TV, in Newspapers, Email Campaigns and promos throughout their own websites and stores. This is your time to capture YOUR market where they are most likely to be spending time, on Social Media. The week leading up to Black Friday you want to spend time connecting with your audience on your social media pages (Note: This isn't the time to spam your accounts with product listings, leave that for the actual shopping holiday days.) Curate posts that encourage engagement and interaction. Create a space that is enjoyable to visit.

Posts Tips & Suggestions:

  1. Give Thanks. Being the week of Thanksgiving the perfect post would be saying Thank You to your customers, fans and followers. Make this post heartfelt. You can create a graphic on Canva or make a video even using Animoto just be sure it is genuine and meaningful. Showing your appreciation for your customers lets them know they do matter to your brand.   
  2. Hold a Giveaway or Sweepstakes. Some of the most fun are "share your fave recipe" posts, or "share a photo of your holiday table". Let your followers vote on a winner or randomly pick a winner from random.org
  3. Share a Story posts always create a lot of engagement. Letting others share memories from their holiday traditions or photos from way back then! People love to talk about themselves and share stories, this is a great way for you to start a conversation with your fan base.
  4. Create a "What are YOU Thankful for" post. Be a light during this crazy holiday weekend and create a post encouraging others to share what they are grateful for this year. Thanksgiving week is a perfect time to show and talk about gratitude.
  5. Macy's Day Parade!!! What are MOST people in the US doing on Thanksgiving morning? They are watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade!! Create a post asking what their favorite float was, or maybe post in the morning asking what performance they are looking forward to!

Bonus Tip if you are a designer: Create some downloadable coloring sheets for the kiddos. Share on your social media free coloring sheets for the kids to color on Thanksgiving day. You are adding value and will surely create a buzz for your brand. Moms will also share like crazy! Little effort and work on your part with a crazy big return.

Creating posts that engage and build excitement ensures that when it is time to post your promotional ads or offerings your followers WILL see them and will more than likely interact with them and or purchase. Ads and promotions ONLY with no other value based posts will turn off your customers and will surely not get you the traffic and sales you seek.

It's important to curate your social media space to be one that is enjoyable to visit, a place where your customers don't mind spending their time. Time is precious today, it is important to use it wisely, would you want to hang out on a page that is only posting ads of their products with no other value? Social media is a place to build relationships and connections. Don't use it as a catalog or a magazine. 

Don't forget to use trending hashtags:

Remember this holiday sales weekend is the BIGGEST of the year! You want to capture as much traffic as you can from the frenzy! Using holiday hashtags can help you grab attention from those who may not be familiar yet with your brand. Be sure you are using the main hashtags people use to search and shop over the holiday weekend:

  • #blackfriday
  • #blackfridaysale
  • #blackfridaydeals
  • #blackfriday2018
  • #cybermonday
  • #cybermondaysale
  • #smallbusinesssaturday
  • #shopsmallsaturday

Bonus Tip: Schedule out your social media posts on Facebook & Instagram so you aren't having to interrupt your holiday festivities with having to post content. There are paid services that you can use but know that Facebook itself has a pretty awesome scheduling tool. Simply carve out a couple hours on Sunday or Monday and schedule out your content posts for the week. Try to observe the 80/20 rule when curating content: 80% value based content 20% promotional. You want to attract buyers to your pages, spamming your wall with your products isn't the best way to do this. 

Use "FOMO" Verbiage in your promotional or ad copy:

FOMO or "Fear Of Missing Out" is verbiage you use in your copy to create a sense of urgency. Proper placement of certain words and phrases can encourage the shopper to shift from browsing to buying. It lights a fire under their bum so to speak to make a decision now, verses later. This verbiage you want to use within your ad or listing copy when describing or explaining the deal you are offering.

Some examples include:

  • Hurry
  • Shop Now
  • Instant Savings
  • Limited-Time Offer
  • Save Today
  • Don't Miss This
  • This Weekend Only
  • Limited Number Available
  • Today Only

Please note: You don't want to overdo this. There is a fine line between creating a sense of urgency and spamming people. You want to encourage and guide the customer to move through the checkout process....pushing them and getting in their face isn't going to give you the outcome you would like to have. Be gentle and  kind but firm with a touch of excitement and encouragement.

Remember that while 60% of shoppers this weekend will be in store, they are going to be spending most of that time standing in line. What do you think they will be doing while standing in line for hours? They are going to be ON THEIR PHONES. This means that even though you may not have a physical store, you can still capture their attention even while they are shopping from another store!! Think about this when writing your ad copy! This is a good opportunity for you to connect with your audience and stay fresh in their minds, this way when they get home they can kick off their shoes and shop from you for all those things they didn't find while out in the big stores.

Some other last minute tips to ensure you maximize your sales over the weekend:

  • Make deals front and center on your site or Etsy shop, people shouldn't have to hunt for your specials. This is the one weekend where these sales are truly for your customer. You want them to feel like they are special and getting the sale of the year! Put your ads and promos on the banners, featured listings, or the front page of your website.
  • Make the deal or sale significant (dig deep 10-20% off just isn't enough) I wouldn't hold a sale less than 25% off, every other sale of the year is up to 20% off... Black Friday through Cyber Monday needs to be better than that!
  • Check your quantities and inventory! So many sellers lose sales because they weren't aware they only had 1 or 2 available listed on their site. Make sure you raise your quantities available so that you don't miss those sales!
  • Respond LIGHTNING fast to customer messages. Remember a customer can be in your competitors shop in seconds! Have your notifications turned on and your phone volume up, respond back right away to a customer inquiry to ensure you get the business and not your competitor.

Remember also if you don't see a lot of action on Black Friday don't let it get you down, Cyber Monday is the BIGGEST holiday of the year for E-Commerce, keep interacting and engaging with your fans and followers and launch an Amazing Limited Time Offer on Cyber Monday! Most consumers will be home or at work and at their computers, they will also have gotten the bulk of their big item shopping done and will be primed and ready to shop small for those extra special gifts for loved ones. Monday is truly your time to shine! Good luck to you all, Happy Selling and may the odds be ever in your favor!

 

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