Social media and e-mail, for all of their popularity, can only offer so much reach to potential customers. You can have the perfect sale at the perfect time using the most pristine analytics possible but lose conversion because your message got lost along the way.
How can you be sure your message will get in front of as many eyes as possible?
- Consider using some of the most popular retweetable and repeatable words on Twitter and Facebook.
- Avoid words that will land your message in a customer’s spam filter
The 20 Most ReTweetable Words & Phrases (according to DanZarrella.com) are:
|how to||top||blog post|
|check out||new blog post|
According to spam filter experts, there are at least* 55 words or phrases you want to avoid in your e-mails include:
|#1||Accept credit cards||Affordable|
|All natural||Apply online||Bargain|
|Best price||Billing address||Buy direct|
|Click /Click Here / Click Below||Click to remove||Congratulations|
|Cost / No cost||Do it today||Extra income|
|For free||Form||Free and FREE|
|Free leads||Free membership||Free offer|
|Free preview||Full refund||Get it now|
|Name brand||Never||No Hidden Costs|
|One time / one-time||Opportunity||Order / Order Now|
|Order today/ Order status||Orders shipped by priority mail||Performance|
|Please read||Price||Risk free|
|Sales||Satisfaction guaranteed||Save $|
|Save up to||Special promotion||Urgent|
You may obviously need to use some of the words above in your next e-mail, however, be sure to use the word(s) sparingly and never put a word like Free or Now in all capital letters. Increased frequency or repeated use of these words can highly increase your chances of an email landing in the spam folder.
Many third party email systems like Constant Contact, iContact, and AWeber automatically pre-check your email for you against a spam database and then give it a “spam rating”. The rating is supposed to help you gauge how your email stacks up against other spam and thus provide an idea of whether it will be caught in spam filters or not. I highly recommend one of these types of services if you are not already utilizing a third party system.
*This list was adapted from http://www.marketingforsuccess.com/wordstoavoid.html. For a list of 250 words and phrases to avoid, take a look at Words and Phrases that Trigger Some Spam Filters at http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt8/spamfilter_phrases.htm
With all of the information available about how to make your site appear at the top of a search engine results page, one could assume that as an e-commerce site, you’re pulling out all of the stops to make that happen.
What if you’re doing everything and you’re still not on top? Consider what you’re doing with your social media campaigns.
By now, you should know that the two biggest things you can do with your site to help optimize your site are:
- Make sure you are using the correct keywords and phrases.
- Make sure you are linking to your current content.
Linking to your current content is the perfect entry point for social media.
Consider the upcoming holiday season.
Let’s assume you’re on Twitter and Facebook. Are you posting at least a few times a week to invite people to your site to check out your products or services? Are you online asking questions of your readers or followers? Are you asking them to take action?
Consider hosting holiday specials on your site. Use your Facebook fans and Twitter followers to get the word out about the specials and any contests you may have coming up.
The more you entice potential customers to come to your site, the more inbound traffic you’ll receive. This, in turn, results in higher search engine rank.
I’ve mentioned 1800-Flowers.com before as a best practices site, but other sites that have grabbed the social media ball and have run with it include Lands’ End, Ulta (cosmetics), and Old Navy.
With a simple flick of the wrist and a few key strokes, these brands are reaching out to customers as one of the most pivotal times of the buying year.
Shouldn’t you be doing the same?
We’re going to revisit 1-800-FLOWERS.com’s Facebook example to further illustrate how the e-commerce site has integrated Facebook and other social media sites to communicate with its past, present and (hopefully) future customers.
You can see from their Facebook Wall Page that 1-800-FLOWERS.com includes both its website URL as well as its Twitter address right at the top of the page. This is a great idea if you fans or visitors that use both Facebook and Twitter. It also shows that you’re not just limited to one form of social media communication.
1800 Flowers Facebook Wall Page
Notice the top wall post on this screen shot. The article link with supporting text is a great way highlight an exciting sale or promotion taking place on the actual site. Social media users will not stand for e-commerce sites only pushing sales down their throat. If you want to secure a sale, try throwing a dose of human spirit into your posts and not a repetetive “Buy my product now!”. Take a second to also notice how the site didn’t leave its Fan’s “Hey Everyone” post on its own. They’re showing some care and human interaction by responding back even if that’s the only response.
1-800-FLOWERS.com is good to include its Twitter address on its Facebook page and does a great job of interacting with customers on its Twitter page.
1800 Flowers Twitter Page
Again, human interaction is key here. The folks at 1-800-FLOWERS are right on with their fun and appreciative twitter responses. There are very useful Twitter tools available that allow you to keep track of when your Twitter name is being used or written about which is a great way to interact. Imagine what those consumers feel like when they see that their post was heard by the folks at the site they purchased from. You’re almost as good as sold for their next purchase.
Another best practice worth pointing out here is that not every Tweet needs to fill all 140 characters. Notice how some Tweets are as simple as “That’s Fab! Spread the Word Please :-)” while some include a condolence and thank you for purchasing from the site. A great way to keep your consumers engaged with you and your site can be seen near the top, where a giveaway winner was highlighted and others were instructed to stay tuned for more at a future time.
1-800-FLOWERS.com does a good job of pulling its social media all together by including a link to its Facebook Fan Page right on the front of the site.
1800 Flowers Home Page
While not every e-commerce consumer uses these social media tools, those that do will appreciate the social media savvy.
While 1-800-FLOWERS.com does a good job of integrating its social media, there are two things I noticed about their social media use that I would add or change:
- Include a link to Twitter on the home page. Avid social media users will appreciate that they can find the site on multiple platforms.
- Take down the link to the blog our update it with a current link. The blog link found on the Facebook Information leads to a dead blog that appears to no longer be in service.
Have you found examples of good e-commerce social media integration? Be sure to share them in the comments below.
In case you haven’t heard yet (although that’s hard to believe), this past Friday Facebook launched vanity URLs to their subscribers.
What does this mean for you?
Well, much like Twitter does already by allowing you to direct followers to a url that looks something like this http://www.twitter.com/VoomVentures so too does Facebook now.
If you have a Facebook profile you can now set a username for that profile and turn your previously long numbered link into a shorter more meaningful one. So what used to be http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1234567890 now might look like this http://www.facebook.com/YourNameHere.
If you have created a Facebook Page then you may have to wait for a vanity url. Currently, Facebook is only allowing Pages to select a vanity url if they have over 1000 fans as of May 31, 2009. Word has it that restriction will be lifted near the end of July 2009 and Facebook will enable anyone with a Page to reserve vanity url.
Statistics show that during the first 3 minutes after launch the site had already reserved over 200,000 names and after 15 more minutes went over the 500,000 mark. After one hour it went over the 1,000,000 mark and that continues to climb.
In short, if you haven’t reserved your url yet you might want to do it (providing the one you want isn’t already taken now). You can reserve your Facebook username here.
Facebook surpassed MySpace as the largest social network last year sometime and continues to explode. Now with yet one more previously missing link added (the ability for Facebook users to choose a unique vanity url) they look poised to stay on top for a while and have now put a stranglehold on Twitter. Both could be considered a form of micro-blogging with Facebook offering a large variety more of “social applications”.
So if you have a store and associated Facebook profile or Page you should consider reserving a username of your choosing before it’s too late. It would be a shame to have marketed your business and developed a name for yourself only to have another person come in and lay claim to a domain with your company name in it.