26 May

Experimental ideas – The future of Retail

As featured on connector360, our little sister website, we will now bring you a collection of innovative ideas from retail industry.

To receive our full list of retail case studies, please email team@socialmedia.ie

1.  Avenue Imperial created a digital retail experience which makes you feel like you are shopping in a store while you are browsing on your computer.

2. Technology helps to improve customer service in many ways – the interaction between iBeacon and Google Glass could be the future of retail and may change customer shopping experience forever.

3. Thanks to this Pizza Hut digital table you will be able to create your personal pizza like a real chef!  You will never be bored while waiting for your meal again.

4. Are you confused when buying clothes as there is so much choice? C&A helps solve this problem with its Facebook “Likes” campaign.

For more stories like this, please follow us on Twitter @socialmedia_ie

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12 May

connector360 Instagram Plan #Instaplan

So you want to use Instagram for business but don’t have a plan? Well as we are so generous, we are sharing our little sister connector360 Instagram research and plan aka our #Instaplan! We would like to present our planning for our new Instagram account. It shows marketing, art, music, entertainment and a bit of our lives into the office. We do everything thinking of you, clients, friends and Partners. We hope our content is engaging images, reviews, tips, tools and trends.

Follow us @connector360 and get to know more about this Irish based  family called connector360.

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24 October

connector360 – Clients & Projects Continue to Grow

connector360, creative agency and sister company to SocialMedia.ie, continue to grow their portfolio with the addition of clients such as Pair Mobile, Flogas, Ridge Consulting and Martino’s Trattoria as well as ongoing work with Eurocycles and Euro Baby, Griffith College and CIS Ireland.

connector360 Case Studies

Pair Mobile - Smartphone covers and accessories: View Study

Allianz GAA – Sponsorship of GAA: View Study

Griffith College Dublin: View Study

Eurotrek Group – Eurocycles & Euro Baby Stores: View Study

Flogas – Natural gas providers in Ireland & the UK: View Study

Visit us at connector360

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13 June

10 Killer Tips For A Sales Focused Website

Your company website is your virtual shopfront – the place online that anyone interested in your product is likely to arrive at.   Here you highlight the unique value your products can offer everyone in your target market.  As with anything that can be sold online, new markets may open up for your business worldwide.  Of course with opportunity comes competition.  Now you may not be competing only against your rival across town but with similar firms from Melbourne to Milan.

As some online shoppers will never set foot in your own physical store (if you have one), you must wow them and woo them through your website.  The question we ask today is – once they visit, do you make it easy for them to move from curious, to interested, to sold?  Here are 10 tips to help improve user experience and increase sales.

 

Tip 1: Get Your Landing/Home Page right! - Once visitors click onto your homepage or through an ad to a specific landing page, make sure they know (a) where they are and who you are (b) what they can do while on your site, and (c) why they should stay longer.

 

Tip 2: Write great copy - Ensure your copy and content is persuasive and highlights the value of your product.  Does it

  • read well and is understandable by everyone?
  • focus on benefits for the customer, not just features?
  • provide answers to any fears or uncertainties visitors may have against purchasing?
  • give clear instructions on how to buy?
  • provide information on what happens after buying (delivery, returns process)?

 

Tip 3: Use product images - This seems an obvious point, but a text heavy site with no product images or visual cues often has visitors nodding off if they haven’t already clicked away.

 

Tip 4: Offer less products per page, with better description - Rather than following a ‘something for everybody’ approach and offering dozens of product alternatives, maybe try to focus on fewer.  This way you can zero in on the benefits of each in more detail.  Some web design guru’s give advice that for online retailers, 4-6 items on any one page is the magic number.  Did you know that Amazon follow the rule of 6?  They limit their highly effective ‘customers who bought this also bought these’ list of related items to a max of 6 per screen.

 

SocialMedia.ie importance of testing

Tip 5: Test/Change which benefits you use to sell each product - You may be very proud of a certain product benefit.  Do customers feel it is equally as important to them though?  Test different benefits within your headline or sub header and see what visitors are responding to in biggest numbers.

 

Tip 6: Test layout of any call to action - anything from the headline, copy wording, placement on page or even colour scheme of any ‘call to action’ box or button can increase response rate.  Tweak, test, repeat!

 

Tip 7: Reduce clicks to get to sale - Ensure that visitors don’t have to jump through too many hoops to avail of a free trial or make a purchase.  The longer the ‘click trail’ they have to follow, the more likely they are to baulk.  Simplify when possible.

 

Tip 8: Offer time sensitive offers/stocks etc - This is a great way of keeping your website up to the minute, and keep customers coming back to your site.  A timely offer can make your product look scarce and exclusive to potential buyers.  Google loves websites that update content often too, so it won’t do your SEO any harm either!

 

Tip 9: Promote shareability - using sharing buttons on your site allowing visitors to share an offer or product with their social network can be great exposure.  An example would be a clothing or art & design site allowing Pinterest pinning to special interest community boards to gain you viral attention the easy way.

 

Tip 10: Be your customer! – The more input you have had in your website design, the more a labour of love it will be to you.  Try to take off your designer hat and wear a visitor’s hat instead.  Use your site like they would.  There may be holes in user experience that you are not seeing, looking from the inside out.

 

These tips will get you thinking about your website and any potential for improvement.  It may be purring like a kitten to your eyes, but tweaking, testing and always looking at every change from a user perspective can glean even those small improvements that can snowball into better sales.

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11 April

Digital Trends Seminar Launching at 6:30 today

Our Quarterly Digital Trends Seminar is launching today at 6:30pm.

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Come spend an evening learning about top trends like Digital Marketing Analytics, Digital Video, Device Proliferation, sCommerce and much more.

This seminar will be available online via Livestream. If you’d like to watch our seminar online, then visit our Twitter account, we’ll tweet the link to the stream at 6:20pm.

Click here to visit our Twitter account so you can join!

 

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11 April

Social media facts #1 – Vine Video

This is the first in our series of Social Media fact videos that we’re going to release once every 2 weeks. We hope you enjoy!

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08 April

Free SocialMedia.ie Quarterly Digital Trends Seminar

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If you ever wanted to know how your consumers will behave in the future you can’t miss the Quarterly Digital Trends Seminar, organised by SocialMedia.ie which will let you know all the latest top trends in digital, social and mobile marketing.

Come spend an evening learning about top trends like Digital Marketing Analytics, Digital Video, Device Proliferation, sCommerce and much more.

The SocialMedia.ie Quarterly Digital Trends Seminar is available online and offline.

socialmedia_ie-digital-trends-seminar

 

What: SocialMedia.ie Quarterly Digital Trends Seminar

Where: Digital Exchange, Crane Street, Dublin 8, Ireland

When: Thursday, 11th April, at 6:30pm

How to Apply: apply here.

 

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12 February

Social Media Advertising Options on Facebook

Welcome back for part 2 in our series on advertising your business through social media. This week I’ll be looking at Facebook and showing you why it’s such a good option for your organisation.

Facebook

Facebook Ad

Ads appear on the right-hand side of your Facebook profile and newsfeed. They take the form of ads from the specific company and require no social interaction. It’s very simple and can be used to transport the user to your organisation’s website or even your Facebook business page. This can easily be initiated from: https://www.facebook.com/advertising

When promoting your Facebook page, you’re able to select where the user wll end up when they click on your ad. To get the most Likes, sending them to your timeline is usually the best option; there they can see the summary of your organisation and easily Like your page. On the other hand, if you want to promote another part of your page, you can easily send them to another area of your page. Be careful to make sure the user knows where they are going before clicking on the ad; it might be considered annoying and unwanted otherwise. If people expect one thing in the ad, and land on a page unrelated to what they saw in the ad, they’re much less likely to remain on the page and engage with your content.

Sponsored Story

These work as  a result of someone interacting with your ad and what you are promoting. Usually they appear as “John Doe Likes your organisation”. Sponsored stories can be beneficial because they appear on all this user’s friends’ newsfeeds; bringing awareness of your brand to there conscious, that they might not have been the case otherwise. Many companies track higher clickthrough rates from this medium than other types of Facebook advertising; just goes to show the power people have on influencing others, even through social media.

Promoted Posts

Another nifty tool the wonderful people of Facebook have created is promoted posts. These allow you to promote a post that already exists on your page. The idea is raise awareness or draw attention to specific offers or announcements on your organisation’s Facebook page. You can promote any post that has already been posted to your page (you just might need to look back a bit if it’s an old one).

Please note: when you’re posting something to your page with the intention of promoting it in the future, you cannot change the copy of the ad generated. All this means is that the first line of your ad will be the promoted part; so keep it exciting and eye-catching so that it engages with your target audience. A lot of companies use this method of advertising to draw attention to some piece of corporate social responsibility work they took part in or to advertise their latest deals.

Sponsored App

If your business has an app on Facebook, you can sponsor that app to get new users or increase it’s engagement with other users. When you click on the app settings, it will offer you the option to ‘Get New Users’. Here Facebook will generate an ad for you app and you can edit it to reflect the app’s benefits, before it goes out to new users. If you select the ‘Increase App Engagement’ option, your ad will be shown to current app users to increase their engagement with the app. It’s a simple way of promoting the app aspect of your company’s Facebook page.

Event Sponsorship

Ever wanted to increase the attendance of one of your company’s social functions to the public? Event sponsorship is a very handy tool to do just that! Here Facebook creates an ad and shows it to people who are likely to attend your event. This has been proven to increase attendance rates at certain public events organised by organisations. A lot of people need to be reminded that upcoming events are there and available for them to attend. A little ad here and there can plant the seeds in their mind and chances are they’ll bring a friend!

Targeting & Optimization

I’d like to finish off by talking a little bit about targeting and optimization of ads on Facebook; I mean what’s the point in creating the message if it’s not effective and reaching the people you want it to reach, you know? So here are some targeting and optimization tips:

  1. Facebook allows you to target by location country (and sometimes city), as well as by gender. So keep this in mind when targeting a specific market for your ads.
  2. You can also target by interest! Simply pick the applicable interests to your ad and away it goes. Facebook can manage this because they track the interests people have stated they have, as well as following the pages people Like.
  3. Facebook know how many people are attached to each interest, location, or gender so you can check if your targeted area is too small and whether or not you should expand your niche.
  4. Facebook have also released Sponsored Results which allows marketers to sponsor their results in the search bar on Facebook. This means that when people search for something related to your sponsored result, your page, app, or event will appear in the search bar.

To get some help with your Facebook advertising, please contact us.

Felix McCabe (LinkedIn)

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14 January

Social Media Advertising Options on Twitter

Advertising your organisation has always been essential in business. Through the various social media outlets this can achieved and managed very easily and with little effect to your bottom line. Over the next few weeks I will be exploring the various methods available to you and your business; looking into the finer details and explaining the nitty gritty bits. This week we’ll be starting with Twitter, so let’s dive right in.

Twitter

- Direct Advertising
(1) Twitter Promoted Tweets
These are tweets, paid for by advertisers, that appear at the top of twitter search results or members’ timelines when he/she logs in. They look like regular tweets with a “Promoted” label and are relatively unobtrusive. They have the advantage of  reaching consumers who might not necessarily follow the brand being promoted. Promoted Tweets are quite cost effective as they operate on a cost per engagement (CPE) basis. This means that the advertiser doesn’t pay unless someone replies, retweets, favourites, or clicks on it.

(2) Twitter Promoted Trends
These are trending topic links that appear on the Twitter home page and reflect what Twitter considers to be the most popular, real-time conversations on Twitter. Advertisers pay a flat fee to promote their brands. When people click on a Promoted Trend link, they see a Twitter search results page listing all the tweets related to that topic. A highly relevant tweet from the advertiser, with the “Promoted” label, appears at the top of the search results page.

(3) Twitter Promoted Accounts
Similar to the “Promoted” tweets and trends, Twitter Promoted Accounts are specific Twitter account links that appear at the top of profile search results pages and at the top of the “Who to follow” section on Twitter. They cost a flat fee, include a “Promoted” label, and can be targeted by country. When people click on a Promoted Account link, they are taken to Twitter profile for that account and can decide whether or not they want to follow the brand.

- Third-Party Network Advertising
There are a quite a few advertising networks that enable companies to pay Twitter members to publish tweets on behalf of a brand. You can find just about any celebrity (like Kim Kardashian) to publish a tweet for your brand through a third-party advertising network. The most popular ones include Sponsored Tweets and TwtMob. This method allows some ease as someone else handles all of the logistics, payments, and so on. There are specific disclosure policies that publishers must comply with in order to stay out of trouble with Twitter and the law; so make sure to pay attention to these.

- Publisher Direct Advertising
Brands can approach individuals who have significant influence on Twitter and offer to pay them for publishing sponsored tweets. Advertisers can reach out to the publishers who already have the trust of their target audiences. Brands use direct advertising to raise awareness, drive specific actions, and attract new customers. Brands can negotiate price, timing, and messaging with individual tweeters and tailor tweets to the appropriate audiences.

To get some help with your social media policy, please contact us.

Felix McCabe (LinkedIn)

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29 September

7 Key Metrics to help understand your customers’ behaviour online

After nearly 80% of businesses across the globe rushed to mark their spot on social media platforms over the last five years (Harvard Business Review), many are left scratching their heads as to why their efforts have not been financially rewarded. Reports from a Harvard Business Review survey indicated that only the 12% of businesses that are reviewing the responses to their social media efforts through metric applications felt that they had optimised their social media usage and were benefiting from the results. Concluding that ‘if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it’!

In the past Marketers and Business owners used arbitrary ways to measure the success of their advertising efforts; quantifying revenue, customer acquisition, frequency and volume of sales, but remaining clueless as to which advertising streams were successful and which were blindly draining their budget. Now, thanks to the evolution of WEB 2.0, marketing has become both a science and an art. With most marketing efforts now being conducted online, responses can be measured, collated and analysed to illustrate precise information about the effectiveness and efficiency of your actions.   A metric is a measurement system that can be used to measure an organization’s performance on activities.

A measurement can only be made in reference to a predetermined target; a key performance indicator (KPI). Marketing Performance Measurement (MPM) specifically analyses the efficiency and effectiveness of strategic marketing activities against the organisations goals and targets.   Customer engagement with a company’s website, social media and online advertising provides vital data on the behaviour, opinions and lifestyles of target customer segments. With insight into the journey a customer takes online; trends can be identified and translated into information about the performance of marketing actions. The diagnosis enables you to create a marketing strategy that adheres to the organisational goals and targets and build on customer relationships. Here are a few examples of metrics used to illustrate customer online activity:

  •  Bounce rate: the percentage of customers who leave a website without spending time on the landing or continuing to another page.

The reasons for this may be that the keywords they have used in a search engine have brought them there but it is not what they are looking for, or the sites they were previously on led them here, but again; it is not what they are looking for. Or, finally, they have been directed to your site because you provide the service they are looking for but they do not like the look of your site and choose to abort the process. Analytical reports can provide information regarding keywords and traffic sources therefore narrowing down to how many people are not warming to the site despite it sufficing their needs. If this is a high number then you may need to look at the aesthetic features of your site; what appears on the landing pages? Does it look professional? Is the navigation clear? Is the information about the products/services concise? However, if the reports show that there are a high number of visitors being directed to your site based on a keyword search that is unrelated to your products/ services then it is important to flex the content and remove the confusion. Each site page will have its own report of bounce rate so it will be clear what is working and what is not.

  • Conversion rate: the percentage of people who make a desired action on a particular page.

If the conversion rate is low there are a number of issues that could be causing the problem. Is the site easy to navigate? How many steps must be taken/ pages to click through to make a transaction? If the conversion involves a purchase then: Have you clearly displayed a security certificate? Is there concise information about the product/service (availability, location, quantity, returns and warranty)? Can they contact you? If the goal is to fill out a form or make an inquiry then: Have you provided an incentive for this action? (For example: a free subscription to a newsletter, or membership with customer benefits, expert advice). Overall, does the customer have an enjoyable experience transacting on your site which will encourage them to be a loyal customer? This can be measured by having a feedback or review application.

  • Traffic sources: which site the customer was previously on that led them to your site.

This may be a direct referral from a search engine, a referral from another site or a direct URL entry (implying referral from an off-line source). Understanding which sources are driving your traffic enables you to optimise your relationship with them. Similarly, understanding which keyword is driving traffic to each page can help you guide the right traffic to the right place.

  • Keywords: analysing which are the most popular keywords that are leading people to your site from search engines.

It is also of equal importance to be aware of keywords that are driving traffic to your site but result in ‘bouncing’. Keywords can be bought on search engines such as Google’s ‘Adwords’ but there is no reason why you can’t be as successful with an organic approach if you put a bit of time into it.

  • Click path: this analysis gives you a real insight into the customers’ behavior when visiting your site, such as: the sequence of hyperlinks one or more website visitors follows on a given site.

Click path reports can reveal a lot about why customers exit your site. If they were in the process of engaging with the desired goal but aborted the process then it is vital you investigate what is happening at that point (for example: pages taking too long to load, form is too long to fill in, payment does not allow for certain bank cards etc…). You can also analyse what content people are engaging with most, therefore verifying the quality and relevance of the topics.

  • Visitors: the number of new visitors and repeat visitors.

Content should be kept current so that visitors have an incentive to revisit the site. However, if visits are mainly repeat visitors then you may not be penetrating any new markets or communities. Being aware of this ratio encourages certain actions to take place.

  • Time spent on a page or ‘active’ time spent on a page: average amount of time that visitors spend actually interacting with content on a web page, based on mouse moves, clicks, hovers and scrolls; indicating areas of interest and irrelevant site clutter.

Metric programs will graphically display this information on a dashboard so it can be easily understood and communicated with Senior Management and team members. The real time metrics can be compared with other companies in the same field to measure the position of your company in the market. The potential that can be achieved by using metrics is; improved effectiveness and efficiency of a marketing strategy that results in increased revenue and market share. See how your company can benefit from a better understanding of online customer behavior with a BOSS Metrics 14 day free trial @ http://www.bossmetrics.com

Annelli Nealon

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