Being Authentic On Social Media

KIEV, UKRAINE - AUGUST 26, 2013: Collection of well-known social media brands printed on paper and placed on plastic signs. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and Tumblr logo.

Here is a question to ponder: how many times have you gone on to Facebook or Twitter and been frustrated with a brand or company that you follow because the message comes off as disingenuous or impersonal? This kind of thing happens all the time, and we here at Shoppost came up with what we call the “ABA” rule: Always Be Authentic.

At first glance, appearing to be genuine may seem cut-and-dried, but it’s more complicated in our very suspicious world. Sure, it may be straightforward with with your personal profile to a population who knows you, but for brands and businesses, it can be a bit trickier. First of all, being transparent is important. People sense when they are being led or lied to by a company. Maybe not all the time, but you only get one strike before your image is irreversibly tarnished, so don’t take the chance! It’s the quickest way to lose customers, revenue, and ultimately trust, which social media is built upon. People don’t want to connect with other people or brands if they feel there is a lack of integrity. To assist you in, to use a phrase from the 60’s, ‘keep it real,’ we figured it would be a good idea to write out a few guidelines for merchants and brands to follow. We hope this is will help create a better social and customer experience for your brand.


Engage Your Social Audience


The number one way to engage your audience is to be a positive source for information. And for fun, you can layer in some entertainment. A great example of this would be the use of memes in your social postings. What is a meme you may ask? According to Wikipedia, a meme is “an idea behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Some of the most well known brands use memes as an effective way to reach their audience. If you want to make one for you own campaign, head on over to Meme Generator and get started. They are super easy to make and it’s easy to let your creativity run wild. Also, remember that when you are reaching out to you followers, leave actual comments and engage with them, not just liking posts.

Use Real Images

We recommend that you not limit your account to graphic and stock photos. Instead, use photos of real people – you, co-workers, happy customers. You don’t need to filter everything through photoshop; just use undoctored (albeit good ones!) to convey who you and the company are. Every picture doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to tell something and connect with your followers.

Provide Guidance

This is your business and your opportunity to demonstrate your command of the industry. Social media is the best chance you have to really convey that type of authority and set the tone for your brand. This can be done by sharing industry relevant information in addition to promoting your company.

Be Human

Last but not least, remember to be human. Give your social media accounts a human voice and personality. It is all too easy for a brand to create a social bot and interact with their customers passively, but this can lead to some disastrous effects. It’s ok to automate some aspects of your social media accounts, but by all means, do not do this when actually starting a conversation with a customer.


Here is a quick recap of the main points:

  • Engage your audience and be a positive source for information
  • Use your genuine images
  • Provide guidance to your customers by being the authority that you are
  • Sound like a  human by using your voice.

The first bullet point is by far the most important because without an audience, you will have no one to promote your brand and ideas to. And without engaging your audience, most folks may assume your account is nothing more than spam.

So what approach to social media has worked for your business? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Five Steps for Effective SEO

SEO Concept. Poster on Old Paper in Flat Design with Long Shadows.

You have hired the right team to design and build your website. You’ve spent countless hours making sure your product or service is the best it can. Then it hits you – how are you current and potential customers going to find out about you and what you have to offer?

For e-commerce businesses, one common answer is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Everyone has heard of it, but not everyone knows how to use it or how it works. So we here at Shoppost thought it would be important to give you some tips and tools for making SEO work for you and your business.

  1. Define Your Keywords

What words and phrases are you customers likely to use if they were searching for you? Brainstorm your list, then research how often those terms surface. Find keywords that are searched by lots of people and those that are unique to your business. It is best to avoid much industry jargon since much of your customer base may not even know it, that is, of course, unless you are targeting people in your industry!. This is the list that we are going to be using for visible and invisible pages. Also, consider any words that could have to do with your company’s geographic area. For great tools to come up with needed keywords, you can use Soovle or Wordtracker.

  1.  Visible Pages

You have your keywords, now let’s start using them. The first place to try them out is on visible pages, or pages that will be read by your potential customers. You should really think about how you want visitors to navigate through your website and learn from it. Placing keywords in your headlines and subheadlines is a great place to start. Further, focus on what you are placing in the first paragraph, since that just may get picked up by search engines. If location is important to your business, then create a unique page for each area your business serves. For more detailed information, check out the Google starter guide.

  1.  Invisible Pages

These types of pages aren’t typically aren’t seen by people, but they certainly are by search engines. There are typically places inside the HTML code to add this type of information and make it more searchable. Write this content as if it were a headline and use natural language while being accurate. This content is generally placed in two different tags, meta title and meta description. Title is used to briefly describe what is on the pages of your website and description explains what your site is all about.

  1.  Use images for search engines to see

Search engines search for images too, and can be much more effective if they are tagged correctly. You can add alt and title tags to your images. These are tags that live in your HTML code and are an effective way of telling search engines the topic of the page, giving it a boost in their rankings. Once those tags are added, be sure to describe what’s in the picture as well as adding a caption, which is the text that is seen right below the image.


  1.  Review and more

Now that all your tagging is done and the keywords and phrases have been added to your website, it’s time to start tracking your results. What you are aiming at is organic growth, which is when a potential customer finds your site using just a keyword search. Organic growth can be extremely valuable to your business as it is the result of people who are genuinely interested in what your business is offering. You can use Google Analytics to to track your clicks over time. If you have more questions on metrics,  check out our previous posts  metrics which you can find here.

As was mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are a lot of steps to take towards making your website optimized for search. But if you take the time to focus and understand each step highlighted above, then you will be well on your way to making SEO work for you.

If you are interested in learning more about common tools to use for SEO, this blog post from the Search Engine Journal is a great read and will easily get you up to date quickly.

Customer Spotlight: Daintier Custom Jewelry

Recently, I was searching for the perfect Mother’s Day gift. I hadn’t yet discovered Daintier Custom Jewelry, so unfortunately my mom got a last minute boring house plant. Had I known about Daintier Custom Jewelry she would have received a tastefully made simple floating locket with all of my siblings, nieces, nephews and children’s birthstones inside. Wilfrid Mazaorra, the owner of Daintier Custom Jewelry, has been using Shoppost to showcase her gorgeous custom-made jewelry. Wilfrid’s results have been outstanding and her story was too great not to share. She has a lot of great advice for any boutique looking to improve its social commerce and ecommerce results.

What or whom inspired you to start your Jewelry business?
I was a full-time Food & Beverage Associate during the day at a 5-star resort and a business owner by night and on weekends. After working 12+ hour days for over a year, I finally was able to go full-time with my business this month.

I have always enjoyed making, collecting, and admiring pretty things and sharing them with others. Deep down, we are all pretty and there is no shame in showing off.

I’ve always loved being creative and making things with my hands. When I was introduced to the floating locket and hand stamping by a friend, I fell in love with the meaning, skill and how many different unique designs that could be made. I started my business in April 2014.

I love every part of it from picking out supplies, to designing and making each special piece. My favorite part would have to be hearing the inspirational stories behind each necklace/bracelet.

I have been selling floating lockets and charms for over a little over a year now and I absolutely love doing it! These lockets are such a wonderful way to share special memories and events, remember loved ones, and show everyone all of the things you love and are passionate about. For me, it’s my 2 little girls, my husband, and enjoying everything each day brings us!

I love hearing your stories and I will always take the time to understand what you need and then help you to make your idea(s) a reality. I hope that you like what I have to offer in my shop.

How is your boutique different your competitors?
We strive to truly provide the best customer service possible. We take it upon ourselves to go above and beyond our customer’s expectations. We’re there 24/7 for them, any questions or concerns they have they can and they do write to us, or call us. And we have tons of reviews on our website that testifies to this. We like to see our customers, not just like customers, but as friends for life. We take our customers request to heart, and we do our best to deliver exactly what they asked for or better. We offer them live chat, emails, even our personal number, which 60% of our customer uses to contact us thru calls, texts or whatsApp. When they make a request to see the floating locket, or bracelet that was created for them, we take a picture and send it to them, and if they’re not completely happy or decided to add or take out a charm, we gladly do it for them, retake the picture and send it to them, to assure complete satisfaction. Not sure if any other company does that. But our customers are so thankful for that extra service we give them, just because.

What were your biggest struggles when you were first starting out verses now?
I first started my business on Etsy, I opened my shop in April 2014 and I was doing great for the first three months. I actually thought it was pretty easy, I was selling left to right, but then that’s when things change. Being the NEW shop and selling so much made my shop the target of the bigger shops, well… just one in particular, but she was enough. It was a rough two month of complaints and false accusations from her. I couldn’t take it anymore, it was very stressful, having a full time job, coming home to work on my jewelry, taking care of my two toddlers, made me very tired and depressed. I didn’t want to be competing, and that’s when I decided to end my relationship with Etsy and go solo. So I’m very thankful to this person, because I was able to do what I feared: Open my own website. Things do happen for a reason, we are very blessed. We also launched a men’s stainless steel line and we’re working on a kid’s line at the moment.

It’s a lot of work! We struggle because we’re a small business, my husband and I work very hard, he’s being a great support. He does a great job with our website and wonderful banners — by the way he takes all the pictures himself. Photography has become his passion. I’m so grateful for all his help, it’s not easy to be liked by google, and he has made that possible. We come up on page one on google searches, and that’s super huge to us!

What made you want to try Shoppost for the first time?
I love everything about Shoppost, I love that it’s truly easy shopping for our customers, they don’t have to go searching, you post it, they want it, and they buy! Can’t get easier than that.

Daintier jewelry

After creating many Shoppost’s and sharing them to your social networks, what did you see from your analytics? Views? Shares? Buy Referrals?
It was great, it shows how many post you’ve done, how many views, how many have been shared and something I love it tells who from where your views comes. Visitors by geolocation, Visitors by device.

What benefits did you see from using Shoppost verses just posting a picture with a link to your web store?
Because it gives them a way to buy right there, versus going to the website, find the page to the listing, and so forth. It’s shopping made easy.

What advice would you give another merchant that is trying to grow their social following and promote their brand?
Just like any business situation, the customer should be our first priority, always. We love to get our customers involve, so we do lots of giveaway. Also, staying on top of all the social media; doing a lot of networking, marketing. Giving to the community is a plus! We recently got invited to be a guest for a Cervical Cancer Foundation brunch for the NCCC Fight Like A Girl Miami. This is a great way to help the charity and also get your name out there. Also it’s a good idea to look for your local flea market or green market and find out about you renting a booth and sale your products there, it’s a good way to get your name out there, especially in your community. And definitely use SHOPPOST! It’s a MUST!


You can now embed product images directly on Twitter using Shoppost

Looking to get more eyes on your product tweets? Why not add an image or two?

After all, tweets with images get 2x the engagement rate of those without, and an average of about 35% increase in retweets.

Adding images to your tweets is now easier than ever with Shoppost. Rather than searching through your hard drive for an image and uploading it to Twitter, you can skip all that by tweeting from the Shoppost app. The image will show up right in the Twitter feed, and it only takes a couple of clicks.

When you connect your Twitter account with Shoppost, all of your tweets can now include up to 4 product images. You’ll be able to select from the existing product images that you’ve already added for the product in your e-commerce platform. Tweeting through Shoppost will save you time, get more eyes on your products and increase the engagement with your tweets.

Start using richer and more engaging tweets today with Shoppost!

Debunking social commerce

Air tickets or boarding pass, passports, touchscreen smartphone with online airline tickets booking or reservation internet application, magnetic compass, credit cards and pen on world geographic map atlas

Social commerce has had several false starts in the past. So when United Airlines VP of eCommerce Scott Willson recently said that “social commerce, for the airline industry, is bunk,” we took notice.

We wanted to clarify that yes, adapting social commerce to some industries can have its regulatory challenges. But with a little imagination, social commerce can fly the friendly skies and be used even for highly regulated industries. I probably don’t need to remind Mr. Wilson that it was some forty years after Orville and Wilbur took their first flight that commercial aviation was a significant and economically viable form of transportation. I think social commerce having a meaningful impact on the airline industry will be an appreciably shorter span.

Securing online purchases

In regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, travel or financial services, the need of protecting personal identifiable information is one of the key challenges to social commerce. But the beauty of what we’re doing at Shoppost is that by providing a platform that is fully integrated with your back-end, you can sell directly through social media while ensuring that your customer’s data is secure.

Targeting your customers

We’ve talked a lot about using Facebook or Twitter’s built-in advertising and targeting systems. It is quite a straightforward process to use Shoppost to target potential shoppers. For example, if you’re an airline that wants to sell a SEA ✈️ LAS route, simply create a shoppost that is tied to that route on your inventory management system and make it function as a disposable URL. Once you have “sold out” of that fare, the link is no longer valid, which makes it so only a limited number of people can buy the route.

Additionally, because Shoppost is tied directly to your inventory management system, order fulfillment is streamlined and payment processing is tied directly to the purchaser’s identity. A customer can simply click purchase right from Twitter and is taken directly to your checkout page.

Accurately represent your products

With our ability to present full images in Twitter and functioning as an image in Facebook as well as a full detailed description on the embedded version, shopposts are able to provide in-depth information about the product or service being offered for sale. This eliminates the risk of misrepresentation as well as provides a platform for any disclosures that need to be made prior to a sale. Consider financial advisors, for example. They are able to utilize social media to solicit new clients through shopposts while also fulfilling the SEC disclosure requirements.

With the oversight on regulated industries and the emphasis on security, making sure that your ecommerce systems are not only easy to use, but also protecting your customer is crucial. We are certain that with the proper configuration, social commerce can quickly move beyond bunk and into material results. If you’re ready to put social commerce to work, try Shoppost now.

Give us a call, Scott. Let’s see if we can fill up some middle seats for you!


Video created the social commerce star

Live streaming, life casting, on-demand video is quickly broadcasting its way into the retail sector.

It’s no longer enough to post a Vine video or short clip to Instagram. Consumers are quickly looking for spontaneous, interactive opportunities to connect with their favorite brands. Are you ready to use new services such as Meerkat and Periscope to broadcast to your customers?

Meerkat and Periscope pop up

Periscope for social commerce.

Using Periscope to live stream a product preview or new design is a great way to engage your audience on demand.

The first to appear in this latest wave of on-demand live streaming was Meerkat. It wasn’t the first. Services like uStream, Qik, and Kyte were early players in the so-called lifecasting movement. Meerkat’s rise was instantaneous and it quickly touched off the ability to broadcast live.

Services such as Snapchat had introduced “stories,” which enabled users to compile a series of snaps and Vine existed, but Meerkat was different. Quickly starting a live stream of video from your mobile device, while interacting with viewers in real time was important. As users experimented with Meerkat, some of the savvier marketing people began how to explore to use it to broadcast sales, product lines and even the crafting process.

Soon after Meerkat sprang up on the scene, Twitter announced it had purchased Periscope, which is another live-streaming service. Both services have quickly grown with millions of people and brands broadcasting in real-time. There’s pros and cons to both, but they are both great at instantly connecting you to your customers. So, how can you use Meerkat or Periscope in your store?

A turn on the catwalk

How can you use it to make your sales pop? These apps are a great way to maintain connection to your audience with organic and dynamic content. Being able to humanize your brand behind the camera offers the ability for your audience to provide instant feedback on a product.

You can even solicit real-time product development insight using live video. Invite your customers into the development or design process and let their voices be heard. While it is ultimately your vision that executes a product, it must also be something that there is demand for.

The ability to offer product support or how-to content on demand is an invaluable resource. You are able to respond to comments, demonstrate features and offer guidance on how to be most successful with your products.

Behind the scenes looks at the team, the archives or even the environment of your store or offices are a great way to connect to your audiences. Some of the first brands to utilize Periscope were focused on bringing viewers into their worlds.

Regardless of how you use on-demand video in your stores, sharing where your customers are is vital. There are a host of other benefits to using video in ecommerce and a lot of great resources are out there on how to connect to your audience in the figurative sense using video as well.

So what are you waiting for? Go fire up Meerkat or Periscope and then share the link. You can even tweet to us @shoppostco to showcase your video.


Six Reasons Your Business Needs to Take Advantage of Social Commerce

Starting an online business takes a lot of work, and once you think you have everything down cold, a new way of doing business suddenly emerges, throwing a lot of your hard work out the window. Social commerce is one of those changes. Although it hasn’t come into its own completely yet, it is getting there and quickly. In this post, we are going to look at six reasons why your business should take a serious look at using social commerce as part of your overall strategy.

Social Networks are where the majority of your customers are spending their time

As of April 2015, more than 1.44 Billion people log into Facebook each month. This incredible  number demonstrates exactly where people are spending their time online. The sheer potential audience alone makes Facebook impossible to ignore. The magnitude of potential customers is just too compelling; every merchant needs to have a strategy for this vast marketplace.

Frequency of social media site use

Shoppost works seamlessly within the Facebook newsfeed giving your potential and current customers an easier way to discover, share, and purchase your products. According to Pew, Facebook’s large base of users continues to be very active. Fully 70% of the site’s users engage daily (and 45% do so several times a day). Sharing where your users are becomes crucial in reaching your audience. Continue reading