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 //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 //www.wilsonweb.com/wmt8/spamfilter_phrases.htm
I’ve written several posts this year that explain how to use some of social media’s most popular functions. I’ve concentrated on Facebook and Twitter because they trend as some of the most popular social media sites in the world. While knowing how to use these sites is helpful, putting them to good use can be an entirely different proposition.
Similar to a business and its business plan, when you decide to start using social media to market your brand, you should also have a social media plan in place.
If you’re stuck on how to develop and integrate a social media plan, I’ve laid out five easy steps to get you up and running in no time at all.
Step 1. Alerts and Analytics. You’ll want to begin this R&D phase of your plan by checking your analytics, specifically, your keyword content. Keywords are not solely responsible for driving traffic to your site; however, they are a good indicator of what is leading people to your site. Once you’ve narrowed down your top 5-10 keywords and phrases, create email alerts with these words or phrases as topics. The alerts will keep you up to date on any online chatter taking place about your topics. Be sure you’ve also set up an “ego” feed to alert you whenever your site or url have been referenced on another site.
Step 2. Check out the competition to determine how you will use social media. Head on to Twitter, Facebook and any other social media sites you’re considering so you can see what your competitors are doing. Be sure to observe the frequency of their posts or updates, any discounts they offer as well as how they’re communicating with their followers or fans. Do you want to follow a similar track? Will you use social media strictly as a marketing vehicle — talking about upcoming promotions or discounts — or will you use it to communicate with current or future customers?
Step 3. Create your accounts and promote the heck out of them. Once you’ve done your competitive analysis, factored in your keywords, and have seen the online chatter, you should feel comfortable enough to set up your accounts and start talking. “Talking” can be as simple as a “Hi, this is our website and this is what we do” or “Have you seen this great article on how to use ornaments all year round?” or even a “Welcome to our Facebook Page, Did you know we’re also on Twitter and we have a blog too?”. Once you have your accounts set up and conversations started, make sure you’re letting people know you’ve got a presence there. Facebook and Twitter both have badges and widgets you can add to your site. If you’re sending out electronic alerts, make sure you’ve added your Facebook and Twitter profiles to them as well. You want to make your presence known so others will follow and friend you, thereby increasing the odds of new customers.
Step 4. Launch a social media-based promotion. One of the best ways to see if your social media plan is working is to launch a social media-based promotion. Once your social media sites have been running smoothly for a few days (or weeks, however long is comfortable for you), begin to use your new friends and followers as a means to make a sale. Offer a Facebook friends discount or do a Twitter promotion and watch to see if anything converts to a sale. If it does, then you’ve witnessed your first social media marketing ROI. Not sure what to discount? Check back to your keywords to see what trends high for you. That’s what you should be promoting.
Step 5. Review and revisit your social media plan often. Don’t rest on your laurels once you’ve converted a social media promotion into a sale. Continue to review your analytics to see how much traffic you’re getting from your social media efforts. Make sure you also don’t drop off the face of the social media earth once you’ve landed a sale. Keep the conversations going and continue to promote and review your progress.
Twitter’s recently added list functionality has turned the social networking site into a list-maker’s paradise.
If you’re asking yourself what the point is or why use a Twitter list if you’re an ecommerce retailer, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find a brief introduction to Twitter lists as well as reasons why web retailers might want to use them.
What are Twitter Lists and how do you use them?
In the simplest definition, Twitter lists are a way to organize – into lists — brands, associations or people you want to keep together in a group. You can put together up to 20 lists containing up to 500 users each of whomever or whatever you choose.
Creating a Twitter list is fairly simple. Using my own Twitter account, we’ll create a list for my Chicago Tweeps (that’s Twitter People for those not up on the Twitter lingo).
Once you’ve logged into your account, find “New List” on the right column.
Once the dialogue box appears, begin typing the name of your list. This name is unique to you in that it’s attached to your Twitter profile name. You needn’t worry about copying someone else’s list name.
You may include a description with your Twitter list if you so choose. This might be helpful if you choose to make your Twitter list public or if you need to remember why you put the list together in the first place.
Finally, choose whether you want to make your list public or private. If you choose the public option, other Twitter users will be able to see who you have on your list. If you choose private, only you will be able to see who is on your list.
Once your list has been created, you can now start to add people to it.
There are several options for adding people.
You can use the search function:
You can search for Twitterers you follow (click on the ‘list’ icon and check the list you’d like to add them to.)
You can search using other Twitterers’ lists. To do this, click on their list(s) in the right column to open up a list. Select individual Twitterers to follow or choose “Follow List”
If you chose to follow another Twitter’s list, the list will be added to your list of lists in the right column.
Why would you want to use Twitter Lists as an Ecommerce Retailer?
Twitter lists are a great way to organize the people you do business with. If you’ve been on Twitter for any amount of time, you’ll notice that it can be cumbersome to find and follow specific users you may consider important.
Twitter lists allow you to organize those users into easy-to-follow screens.
Say you have 900 followers. A third of your followers are customer-based; another third are vendor-based and the final third are industry-based.
With 900 followers, you’d have to be on Twitter all day long just to keep up with everyone. With Twitter lists, you can segregate your customers from your vendors and industry experts and concentrate on a specific group of Twitterers.
With Black Friday coming up, wouldn’t it be a great idea to call attention to your loyal customers (whom you have showing on a public customers list) and give them all a discount? Same goes for your vendors. If you love Paypal and your newsletter software so much you wish you could marry them both, why not give them the attention they deserve by pointing your followers in the direction of your vendor list.
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?