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Social Commerce for the 2021 Holidays: How to Drive Growth with Video Ads – Business 2 …

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Studies show that 1 in 10 purchases are now made on social media, a clear indication that new digital touchpoints are emerging for online holiday shopping.

Mobile platforms are said to be the biggest driver on social media purchases, with 57% of consumers confirming that they have bought a product on social using their phones and tablets.

In fact, worldwide spend on social media advertising was up 50.3% at the peak of the 2020 holiday season compared with the same period the year before, according to the latest quarterly report based on Socialbakers’ platform data.

Video content, live streaming in particular, holds the spotlight as it propelled newer shopping capabilities on social media platforms. These social media shopping trends are bound to continue during this year’s holiday shopping season.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are expected to double down on new and exciting eCommerce features as the holiday season nears.

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As consumers start to get used to their purchasing decisions in the pandemic, the holiday shopping habits from the year before will become a routine.

This article will explore how brands can capitalize on social commerce through video ads and help them launch their holiday video campaigns on social media.

Social Commerce: What is it?

In a nutshell, social commerce refers to the brand’s ability to buy and sell products through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.

Brands will typically use social media video ads to promote their products, and shoppers can search and engage with brands directly on their favorite social media platform. Today, these social media platforms are taking a step further regarding a consumer’s online shopping journey.

Not only can shoppers look for their favorite brands on social media, but they can also now buy their products directly with just a few clicks. Social commerce includes an end-to-end online shopping experience from product research and discovery to checkout.

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With this feature, online consumers are now equipped to scroll through a brand’s social media page to watch video content, explore their products, and make a purchase without leaving the social media platform.

The acceleration of social commerce since the onset of the pandemic has created an opportunity for brands during this year’s holiday season. Brands can even curate personalized holiday-centric content that is tailored for their online shoppers. It helps increase brand loyalty, boost online sales, and provide personalized customer service for holiday shoppers.

Brands now have multiple opportunities to interact with existing and prospective customers through social commerce.

As such, social commerce is composed of various facets of the entire online shopping journey, which includes:

· Online Discovery – This is how online shoppers discover a new brand on social media.

· Loyalty – This occurs when consumers follow their favorite brands on social media.

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· Engagement – This starts when consumers like, share, and comment on the brand’s social media posts.

· Decision – This occurs when online shoppers will read reviews of different brands to influence their purchase decisions.

· Promotion – This happens when consumers discover new products with video ads.

· Social Proof – This occurs when satisfied customers share their stellar shopping experience on social media as they recommend their favorite brand to friends and family.

· Customer Service – This happens when online consumers access customer support through social media by using messenger, tagging brands, or chatbots.

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eCommerce VS Social Commerce: What’s the difference?

Social commerce essentially has the same roots in eCommerce as it possesses the same key features and functionalities. Both channels provide the convenience of buying and selling goods through a digital platform.

See also  US social commerce picks up; market size pales in comparison to PRC's

eCommerce refers to the online shopping experience of a website or an app. In contrast, social commerce refers to the shopping experience that takes place on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest.

Over the past few years, brands have started to leverage the power of social commerce to provide opportunities that will help drive more revenue for the holiday season. With an annual growth rate of 31.4%, the global social commerce market is expected to grow to USD 604.5 billion by 2027.

Studies show that around 30% of online shoppers will more likely make a purchase on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest. In addition, Pew Research showed that over 84% of online shoppers would review at least one social media platform before making a purchase decision.

A key benefit of social commerce is its “social aspect.” It opens a whole new avenue of engagement between brands and consumers.

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Online shoppers will typically discover new products through video ads on social media, and they are then redirected to the brand’s website to purchase. With social commerce, shoppers can have a more seamless online shopping experience as social media platforms allows their users to experience the entire journey within the app.

Every brand worth their salt knows that an effective holiday marketing strategy involves an omnichannel approach.

This gives them multiple opportunities for consumer touchpoints – thereby giving holiday shoppers a better chance to engage with the brand anytime across various devices and multiple social media channels.

These social channels need to have one cohesive approach to helping boost brand recognition, generate sales, and create one seamless holiday shopping experience for consumers.

Rise of Social Commerce for the 2021 Holidays: What to look out for?

For brands looking for ways to increase their online sales for the 2021 holidays, social commerce is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to do it.

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From the introduction of Facebook Marketplace way back in 2007, social commerce has grown into such a massive online initiative with shoppable pages, buttons, and product tags. In 2021, most of the popular social media platforms have social commerce opportunities for brands.

Besides creating a seamless holiday shopping experience, here’s what brands can look out for in social commerce integration for the 2021 holiday shopping season:

· Accelerated consumer growth.

The effective use of social commerce channels will help brands reach their target market more effectively during the holiday season. With around 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide, driving consumer growth is essential, especially during the peak of holiday shopping.

· Increased search rankings.

Studies showed a direct correlation between the increased engagement on social media and a brand’s impact on website traffic. In addition, social signals such as likes, shares, followers, and brand mentions have been proven to increase a brand’s organic search rankings. Therefore, driving engagement on social media will also improve a brand’s overall online presence and visibility.

· Drive authenticity, engagement, and brand loyalty.

Social commerce initiatives improve relationships with the target audience and allow brands to sell and promote products to new consumers. Brands can leverage this holiday opportunity to drive awareness to online holiday shoppers and build loyalty for their holiday promotions.

This is also a good opportunity for brands to create personalized and localized content to enhance their customer service experience. Locally relevant ads are perceived to be highly personalized and can dramatically increase local businesses’ consumer engagement. Shakr can help brands connect with holiday shoppers in a whole new meaningful way with their hyper-personalized campaign creative at scale.

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· Livestream shopping is changing the game.

Livestream shopping has been booming over the past year. It allows brands to connect with consumers and highlight holiday products and promotions in a manner that cannot be done through conventional eCommerce initiatives. Brands can answer direct questions from viewers, demonstrate products, and sell merchandise live. It’s also an opportunity for holiday shoppers to see the faces behind the brand and foster a deeper connection with consumers.

See also  Pinterest might now be the best place to start a small business

· AI-enabled social shopping.

With AI on the rise in the tech industry, brands are seeing how consumer data can help inform their holiday social commerce strategy. In addition, AI-powered smart selling tools such as social media automation can help brands efficiently manage their social commerce platforms during the holiday season.

Essential Social Commerce Platforms to Consider for the 2021 Holidays

Instagram

Instagram is still one of the most popular platforms for social commerce. It’s naturally visual and interactive, making it the ideal platform for social shopping. Holiday shoppers can just follow their favorite brands and discover new products with Instagram Ads.

· New Feature: Limited product release for a certain period

Instagram now allows sellers to release limited quantities of products for a short period of time. It’s a great feature for holiday promotions as it creates a greater demand for the product. By taking advantage of this feature, brands can generate buzz around their holiday products and gift guides during the peak season.

Facebook

Facebook has been ramping up its social commerce capabilities over the years. This platform has a massive potential for brands in terms of growing their followers and increasing their online sales. Not only are brands reaping the benefits of targeted Facebook Ads for the holidays, but they can also create Shop Now stores to improve sales and support with automated messenger bots.

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· New feature: Shopify and Facebook integration

Facebook’s Shopify Integration gives brands the ability to manage the Facebook and Instagram storefront in one place. This integration makes it easier for brands to engage with customers and at the same time manage their eCommerce inventory in one location.

TikTok

TikTok has had exponential growth over the past year since 2020. The platform has shown great popularity among the younger generation, and it allows users to create short-form video content. Research shows that 36% of the Gen Z audience on TikTok have made a purchase based on the video recommendations on the app. This is an excellent opportunity for brands that want to target the younger generation for the holiday season.

· New Feature: Shoppable Ads

TikTok recently introduced its Shoppable Ads feature along with a feature that allows brands to showcase their product catalog. As one of the most popular social media platforms today, brands need to stay on top of the new in-app shopping or video ad features that TikTok deploys.

Pinterest

Pinterest is not just a social media platform. It also works similar to a search engine like Google and Bing to rank popular content on the platform. For example, whenever a user searches for a product or outfit inspirations, the algorithm determines the best content that matches their search.

· New Feature: Shopping Lists

Pinterest now enables users to save their Product Pins on a shopping list. This feature will easily allow holiday shoppers to find products that they are interested in. Pinterest will even send out notifications that remind consumers about the products that they saved.

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Tips and Tricks for the 2021 Holidays Social Commerce Success

TIP 1: Engage with the audience where they are through localization.

Social commerce is the perfect tool for brands to have genuine interaction with their holiday shoppers in real-time. Holiday shoppers want to feel that there is more to just buying the products. They want to be engaged with brands they genuinely care about. Social commerce features can give a sense of community among the brand’s local audience.

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TIP 2: Leverage audience engagement and insights.

Social media offers vital insights about the brand and its target audience during the holidays. By exploring a range of features on social media platforms such as direct messages, hashtags, mentions, and location tags, brands can gain valuable information on audience behavior and preferences for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

TIP 3: Invest in festive video ads copy and visuals.

The holidays are indeed a season for gift-giving. As such, brands also need to maximize their social commerce strategy with festive copy alongside eye-catching visuals. Brands need to create one cohesive and identifiable holiday visual identity to help holiday shoppers easily recognize the brand as they explore their feed and browse their product catalog where they can potentially make a purchase.

TIP 4: Consider promotional video ads.

Since social commerce is a relatively new feature on social media platforms, it might be uncommon for holiday shoppers to go directly on social media and purchase specific products. Most purchases made over the holidays on social media are impulse buys from product discovery. Brands need to keep in mind that video ads that showcase holiday promotions tend to sell better on social media.

TIP 5: Leverage shoppable AR tech.

Over the past few years, shoppable augmented reality (AR) technology has been one of the most popular features among social media platforms. With TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat launching the ability to use AR filters, brands have been using this technology to help enhance the digital shopping experience of their consumers.

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Video Ads Strategies to Drive Social Commerce Success for the Holidays

STRATEGY 1: On-brand social media stories

The story feature on social media is being used by hundreds of millions of consumers every day. And there’s a reason why stories are popular – it allows users to share experiences in creative ways. It’s a great feature to keep holiday shoppers engaged and curious in the days leading up to the Mega Sale Days. Brands can make stories a new type of digital storefront where holiday shoppers can have sneak peeks of the brand’s holiday product catalogs and promotions.

STRATEGY 2: A clear and well-thought video content calendar

The Mega Sale Days on social media are filled with product offers, all vying for consumer engagement. A study from Mention revealed that video content gets the most engagement on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. It was found that video ads are better at driving views and engagements than photos or image carousels.

Now brands no longer have to spend too much time creating those perfect video ads for the holiday season.

STRATEGY 3: Personalized video ads

The clamor to gain a consumer’s attention has never been as competitive as it was today. This is why personalization and localization make a big difference for brands during the holidays. It’s a great strategy that helps brands cut through the noise of massive online holiday campaigns this year.



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Author: Slye Joy Serrano

Follow @SlyeJoy

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Slye Joy is the founder of Content Hacker, a full-service content marketing studio in Manila. He is also the Content Marketing Manager for Shakr, a leading creative technology platform for creating great video ads online. Slye frequently writes about trends in digital marketing, human resource, and international relations. He is a… View full profile ›


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Social Media Marketing Trends To Watch In 2022

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Marketers aren’t clairvoyant but they can keep a finger on the pulse of trends. To help brands stay ahead of the competition, HubSpot Blog surveyed more than 1,000 global marketers from B2B and B2C brands and a handful of industry experts to create a 2022 marketing trends guide, covering privacy and AI to social media and SEO. Ahead we break down HubSpot’s findings on social media marketing trends.

As HubSpot notes, 79 percent of Americans have some type of social media account while there are 3.7 billion social media users worldwide, making it a regular part of people’s lives and a critical tool in enhancing any marketing strategy.

Live Content Will Be A Leading Social Media Format

Among the social media marketers HubSpot polled, 68 percent reported that audio chat rooms such as Clubhouse are the most effective social media content while 59 percent report the same for live video.

Ninety-six percent of those investing in live audio content intend on spending the same amount or more on it through 2022. Live video, on the other hand, is reported by 9 percent of respondents as driving the largest return on investment (ROI) of all social media formats. These formats enable brands to connect directly with audiences in a meet-them-where-they-are context while discussions range from current issues and events to the brand’s stance on those issues to the products and services themselves. 

The authenticity and dynamic nature of this format can’t be matched as heart-to-heart conversations may be interspersed with expert opinions, Q&A-style discussions, how-tos and entertainment.

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TikTok Will Continue To Gain Brand Interest

TikTok began to go viral roughly three years ago, sparking a new medium through which brands can connect with audiences without sounding sales-y. The social media app now boasts 1 billion global users and caters to a vast array of audiences. Having recently launched a number of advertising and marketing features for businesses and creators, TikTok has positioned itself front-and-center in the race to secure the highest quality content, the highest number of users and creators and brands that will continue engaging with it for marketing purposes.

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Sixty-seven percent of marketers intend on increasing their TikTok investment in 2022 and 10 percent of marketers who employ some sort of social media into their overall marketing strategy intend on investing the most in TikTok throughout 2022.

Most Marketers Will Concentrate On Three To Five Social Media Platforms

Of those social media marketers polled, 64 percent use three to five platforms, 11 percent use one or two, and 7 percent use seven or more. Managing three to five platforms allows brands to expand their reach to a variety of audiences while allowing for their marketers to engage with each one without exhausting their bandwidth or producing low-quality content.

In order for a brand to determine how many platforms to be on, i.e., how able a social media marketing team will be at building an effective and engaging strategy, HubSpot suggests answering the following:

  • How many social media marketers are on your team?
  • Which social media platforms have audiences that best align with your brand’s targets?
  • How much time will it take to master a strategy on each of the platforms?
  • Which platforms, if any, will not benefit the overall marketing strategy right now?
  • Which platform’s content, if any, can be easily repurposed? (such as TikTok and YouTube Shorts)

Influencer Marketing Will Evolve From Trend To Common Marketing Tactic

When HubSpot asked global marketing professionals which trends they planned to invest in for 2022, 34 percent said influencer marketing, ranking it first and above other trends like mobile web design and short-form video marketing.

While 57 percent of respondents that currently leverage influencer marketing say influencer marketing is effective, 46 percent of them plan to increase their investments in 2022. Additionally, 11 percent say influencer marketing is the top ROI-generating trend they’ve tested.

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More than 56 percent of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers, according to HubSpot.

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Video Marketers Will Keep Content Short

HubSpot found that short-form content is the second most effective trend marketers are currently utilizing. Short-form content requires less bandwidth and aligns well with the fast-paced attention spans of online audiences in a variety of demographics

More than 31 percent of global marketers currently invest in short-form video content, 46 percent of them consider the strategy effective when it comes to performance and engagement. In addition, next year 89 percent of global marketers plan to continue investing in it or increase their investment.

Permanent Social Media Posts Could Overtake Ephemeral Content

Brands have observed that permanent social media content—namely standard posts, videos and live events that live on a platform’s feed and can be viewed again days later—might be more effective than ephemeral content such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

HubSpot’s survey results show that 44 percent of global marketers plan to increase their investment in permanent social media content, while 8 percent say it generates the most ROI compared to other marketing strategies they leverage. Meanwhile, 25 percent of respondents cited ephemeral content as the “least effective” trend they invested in.

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Lastly, 37 percent of marketers said they plan to decrease their investment in ephemeral content.

However, HubSpot cautions against writing off ephemeral content completely as it can still provide other brand awareness benefits and unique content experiences.

According to Kelly Hendrickson, a social media marketing manager at HubSpot, Instagram Stories’ fleeting design and fun editing options give brands a new strategy for producing content that varies from their other social media content.

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“Instagram can organically serve up a wall post across a wide span of time, so there’s less of an opportunity for brands to be timely (who wants to see New Year’s post when they’ve already given up on their resolutions?!). Since Instagram users are more active on weekdays, during the standard workday, it seems users are looking for a break,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson urges marketers to remember that the combination of a running clock and a lively audience presents a big opportunity for brands to lean into quick, in-the-moment content that showcases the light-hearted side of their brand, adding that succinctness and clarity are key in content.

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Getting the Most Out of Shopify

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The growth of your online business in Shopify significantly depends on how well you use the e-commerce platform. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of competition in the e-commerce industry itself, and it requires patience, intentionality and transformational skills to move to the top right in the categories where you compete. Many marketers who use Shopify for eCommerce encounter strategic and tactical issues using the platform. At TopRight, we’ve studied the most common issues facing marketing executives and we provide tips and techniques to help you get the most out of Shopify. Here are a few of the most common marketing challenges you could encounter while using Shopify:

  • Mediocre sales conversion
  • Insufficient traffic to your site
  • Difficulty interpreting Shopify analytics
  • Unrealistic predictions of sales and traffic
  • Misalignment of inventory management
  • Failure to target and identify customers

Importance of a Clear Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy acts as a playbook for your business and how you make investments in you Shopify store. It helps keep your business pointed in the right direction and allows you to make informed decisions. Without a strategic marketing playbook, it’s easy to get lost and encounter obstructions. A stragegic playbook can help guide you to responding to challenges and navigating barriers you may encounter with your Shopify store. Specifically, it can help you:

  • Estimate sales potential
  • Promote your goods and services better
  • Attract new customers
  • Maintain good connection with existing customers

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Shopify

Of course, understanding the analytics on your store isn’t sufficient to assure success. You need to turn data into insight and devise strategies to drive traffic and conversions. Here are a few tips to guide you through the development of a winning marketing strategy to get the most out of Shopify.

1. Invest in Your Own Shopify App

Most successful Shopify merchants have optimized their app to tell their brand story. A Shopify app is a powerful way to give customers a reason to care about your store and the products you offer. Your brand story also helps you build connections and engage with other prospects on other ecommerce platforms and social media sites. Making this simple investment enables you to connect, reach and engage more potential customers.

If building your own app is an obstacle, you can use tools like Pocketfied – an easy app builder that lets you conveniently manage your store. You can have your own published app within a day, even if you don’t have any design and coding skills.

2. Use Shopify Resources

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Shopify offers resources to help you become a more effective marketer and entrepreneur. It provides guides, podcasts, and even an eCommerce University to learn new skills. Use these resources to learn more about the Shopify platform and get ideas on how to work on the platform more effectively and efficiently.

3. Promote Your Store on Social Media

Social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter represent significant opportunities for you to boost brand awareness and drive traffic to your store. However, social media marketing is highly saturated – it take a lot to stand out from the crowd. Many Shopify merchants use social media to showcase their goods and services. You need to develop a good and structured approach to get an edge and drive results.

See also  Social Commerce Market SWOT Analysis by Growth Factors, Applications with Industry Forecasts ...
  • Make a business page or account on all relevant social platforms.
  • Follow accounts and market to users within your target audience.
  • Integrate your shop in your accounts so shoppers can easily buy without leaving the social platform
  • Post meaningful content regularly including: videos that showcase your products; special pricing promotions; new product launches; and private/ exclusive store events

4. Leverage Email Marketing

Email remains one of the best ways to connect and engage with customers. When properly used (not abused), emails can serve as the backbone of your customer conversion strategy customer conversion strategy. Here are a few tips on how to use it appropriately:

  • Be creative with your emails so you can easily attract interest and give people a reason to care
  • Send out cart abandonment details to remind customers about incomplete or unfinished transactions.
  • Be professional and respectful – don’t send too many promotional emails. Thoughtless interruptions drive customers away.

5. Create a Website and Start Blogging

Write compelling content that will attract and encourage readers to go to your store and check out your products. Don’t just focus on your products and services. Make content about related topics and issues where you can smartly and smoothly promote your products. Think about topics that would be of interest and value to your audience. Content can be a gift if it is positioned properly with your customers.

Advertisement

Research what your customers care about, what they want or what unmet needs they may have. Again, don’t overload your blog with sales messages and stories about your business. Instead, focus on the relevance of your products to your customers’ lifestyles. What can you do to make them the hero of your brand story?

6. Invest in Paid Advertisements and Affiliations

Depending on your budget, be sure to set aside some money for paid advertisements. Online advertisements, clickable or not, will drive traffic to your store and boost your store’s visibility. These are usually posted on online platforms like social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Additionally, you can use Google Ads to get your store to appear on the top page of search results.

You can also develop affiliations with other Shopify stores and businesses so they’ll help promote your store and products. For a small percentage of a transaction, an affiliate marketer with help will drive traffic and potential customers to your store. However, remember that you’ll be sharing your revenues or paying them for their cooperation!

The Takeaway

Story, Strategy and Systems alignment can be a heavy lift when you launch a Shopify store. There are many pitfalls and issues you may encounter. But if you focus on telling a simple story, formulating a clear strategy, and leveraging Shopify best practices, you can navigate these challenges and successfully give your customers a reason to care, listen, engage and buy from your store.

Advertisement

The growth of your online business in Shopify significantly depends on how well you use the e-commerce platform. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of competition in the e-commerce industry itself, and it requires patience, intentionality and transformational skills to move to the top right in the categories where you compete. Many marketers who use Shopify for eCommerce encounter strategic and tactical issues using the platform. At TopRight, we’ve studied the most common issues facing marketing executives and we provide tips and techniques to help you get the most out of Shopify. Here are a few of the most common marketing challenges you could encounter while using Shopify:

See also  Social Network Marketing Market SWOT Analysis, Key Companies – Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn ...
  • Mediocre sales conversion
  • Insufficient traffic to your site
  • Difficulty interpreting Shopify analytics
  • Unrealistic predictions of sales and traffic
  • Misalignment of inventory management
  • Failure to target and identify customers

Importance of a Clear Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy acts as a playbook for your business and how you make investments in you Shopify store. It helps keep your business pointed in the right direction and allows you to make informed decisions. Without a strategic marketing playbook, it’s easy to get lost and encounter obstructions. A stragegic playbook can help guide you to responding to challenges and navigating barriers you may encounter with your Shopify store. Specifically, it can help you:

  • Estimate sales potential
  • Promote your goods and services better
  • Attract new customers
  • Maintain good connection with existing customers

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Shopify

Of course, understanding the analytics on your store isn’t sufficient to assure success. You need to turn data into insight and devise strategies to drive traffic and conversions. Here are a few tips to guide you through the development of a winning marketing strategy to get the most out of Shopify.

1. Invest in Your Own Shopify App

Most successful Shopify merchants have optimized their app to tell their brand story. A Shopify app is a powerful way to give customers a reason to care about your store and the products you offer. Your brand story also helps you build connections and engage with other prospects on other ecommerce platforms and social media sites. Making this simple investment enables you to connect, reach and engage more potential customers.

If building your own app is an obstacle, you can use tools like Pocketfied – an easy app builder that lets you conveniently manage your store. You can have your own published app within a day, even if you don’t have any design and coding skills.

2. Use Shopify Resources

Advertisement

Shopify offers resources to help you become a more effective marketer and entrepreneur. It provides guides, podcasts, and even an eCommerce University to learn new skills. Use these resources to learn more about the Shopify platform and get ideas on how to work on the platform more effectively and efficiently.

3. Promote Your Store on Social Media

Social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter represent significant opportunities for you to boost brand awareness and drive traffic to your store. However, social media marketing is highly saturated – it take a lot to stand out from the crowd. Many Shopify merchants use social media to showcase their goods and services. You need to develop a good and structured approach to get an edge and drive results.

See also  Pinterest Is Adding A Bunch Of New Features, Helping Brands Advertise Themselves On ...
  • Make a business page or account on all relevant social platforms.
  • Follow accounts and market to users within your target audience.
  • Integrate your shop in your accounts so shoppers can easily buy without leaving the social platform
  • Post meaningful content regularly including: videos that showcase your products; special pricing promotions; new product launches; and private/ exclusive store events

4. Leverage Email Marketing

Email remains one of the best ways to connect and engage with customers. When properly used (not abused), emails can serve as the backbone of your customer conversion strategy customer conversion strategy. Here are a few tips on how to use it appropriately:

  • Be creative with your emails so you can easily attract interest and give people a reason to care
  • Send out cart abandonment details to remind customers about incomplete or unfinished transactions.
  • Be professional and respectful – don’t send too many promotional emails. Thoughtless interruptions drive customers away.

5. Create a Website and Start Blogging

Write compelling content that will attract and encourage readers to go to your store and check out your products. Don’t just focus on your products and services. Make content about related topics and issues where you can smartly and smoothly promote your products. Think about topics that would be of interest and value to your audience. Content can be a gift if it is positioned properly with your customers.

Advertisement

Research what your customers care about, what they want or what unmet needs they may have. Again, don’t overload your blog with sales messages and stories about your business. Instead, focus on the relevance of your products to your customers’ lifestyles. What can you do to make them the hero of your brand story?

6. Invest in Paid Advertisements and Affiliations

Depending on your budget, be sure to set aside some money for paid advertisements. Online advertisements, clickable or not, will drive traffic to your store and boost your store’s visibility. These are usually posted on online platforms like social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Additionally, you can use Google Ads to get your store to appear on the top page of search results.

You can also develop affiliations with other Shopify stores and businesses so they’ll help promote your store and products. For a small percentage of a transaction, an affiliate marketer with help will drive traffic and potential customers to your store. However, remember that you’ll be sharing your revenues or paying them for their cooperation!

The Takeaway

Story, Strategy and Systems alignment can be a heavy lift when you launch a Shopify store. There are many pitfalls and issues you may encounter. But if you focus on telling a simple story, formulating a clear strategy, and leveraging Shopify best practices, you can navigate these challenges and successfully give your customers a reason to care, listen, engage and buy from your store.

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Ifeoma Ozoma: US tech whistleblower helping others speak out

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Being a whistleblower comes down to careful preparation but also an eye trained for dirty tricks, said Ifeoma Ozoma, an ex-employee of several Silicon Valley giants turned revealer of tech world wrongdoing.

“I planned it like a program or product launch. Obviously the experience is something very personal, but I approached it like work,” she told AFP.

While Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has become a figurehead for the fight against social media’s faults, there are others in the tech world, like Ozoma, who have also taken big risks to stand up.

An African-American, former policymaker relations specialist for Google, Pinterest and Facebook, she continues to work for ethics in tech, but from the outside, via her consulting firm Earthseed.

She has marked a first big success via the recent adoption in California of a law she co-sponsored, called “Silenced No More.”

Starting in January, this law will prohibit employers from using confidentiality clauses to prevent victims of harassment or discrimination in the workplace from speaking out.

In mid-October, she posted online a guide for whistleblowers.

“The difference with tech companies and other industries is on the power that they wield, but also they pretend they’re better for workers, consumers, society than more traditional industries,” she told AFP. “That’s just not borne out in reality.”

– Keep the emails –

A Yale University graduate in political science, the 29-year-old was born in Alaska to Nigerian immigrants.

She left Pinterest at the end of May 2020, with six months of salary, after months of making complaints internally and also to the state of California, accusing the social network of discrimination and racist retaliation.

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She said the company paid her less than if she had been a man, but she also complained about their lack of action after a colleague posted her personal details online to expose her to anonymous harassment.

In mid-June 2020, as the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movements were in full swing in the United States, her damning account on Twitter of her experience sparked a scandal for the company that had largely avoided controversy.

“Pinterest, told a number of reporters that the CEO had no knowledge of me being doxxed… and I was essentially making up a story about him being aware,” Ozoma said.

“I knew that it was something that would probably come up later. And so I had the emails,” she added.

The accused firms try to discredit whistleblowers by many means, said Libby Liu, the director of Whistleblower Aid which is working with Haugen.

“They will throw up against the wall every discrediting thing they can think of, through like every media organization on the face of the Earth,” she added.

– Losing their health insurance –

The whistleblowers that come forward often have a lot to lose.

“Just one example here in the United States — because our health care is tied to our employment — when you decide to whistle blow, you’re also making a decision for yourself and for your family to lose access to your health insurance,” Ozoma said.

“That is not a small thing to ask of people,” she added.

Whistleblower leaks and damning media reports have tarnished Big Tech’s image, but they have had limited tangible consequences for Silicon Valley.

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In fact, Haugen’s oft-repeated accusation that Facebook puts profits over safety is not entirely new.

“There are countless nonprofit organizations and reporters, who reported on the exact same thing for years,” said Ozoma. “It remains to be seen whether anything fruitful will come of it.”

But from anti-sexism protests at Google in 2018 to warnings from former top Facebook officials, the pressure for change is steady.

After Ozoma spoke out at Pinterest, other female workers did too.

The company paid $22 million in December 2020 to Francoise Brougher, its white, former COO to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit.

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