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.

Analytics 101: The Shoppost Dashboard


In the last blog post I wrote I gave an overview of the types of metrics that are important to running your business and how you should read them. In this post I am going to get much more specific and talk about the metrics that we collect when you use Shoppost. Those metrics can be found on our dashboard when you log into Shoppost. The metrics we will be going over include social interactions, referral traffic, and where you visitors are coming from.

Become more social

02-social-reactions-310x450Socials interactions show the number of views, shares, likes, tweets, and pins that your Shoppost are getting after you have posted them on each network. This answers the question “Where am I having the most impact?” Combining this data with the data you are receiving from Facebook Ads will open a treasure trove of unique insights. For example, after posting a new product using Shoppost, you may see that you are having more interactions with Facebook. When you look at the data you may find that a few of your customers are sharing your post and thereby giving you an even greater reach. It’s this type of data that will give you a leg up to where you’re having the greatest success. And more success will lead us to our next important topic.


Your goal should be to have the shares lead to referrals, which is when your customers see your Shoppost and click on the buy button. Your goal of running a business is to obviously make sales and making sure you have continuous referral traffic is key. The dashboard also shows where most of your referrals are coming from so you better target your customers. 03-referrals-510x864

Armed with this information, you can find better ways to increase the quality of each customer visit which will hopefully lead to more sales, create a higher rapport between your customers and your brand, and target returning and new customers with your Google and Facebook Ad campaigns.That sure may seem like a lot of effort to get one customer to make a purchase, but the end result is well worth it.



Finally, the dashboard shows the geographic location of your customers and what type of devices they are using. Geo-location can give you a better idea as to where the majority of your customers are located and buying your products. Maybe you find that the most of your customers are in a specific region, this information could help to find some new customer leads. Now that you know where your customers are you can create custom advertising campaigns targeted to people in that area. There are all kinds of creative ways to use geolocation such as flash sales that only work for a specific region, or custom coupons to be sent to potential customers in that area. The bottom line is that businesses that embrace geolocation create new opportunities to reach customers in creative ways and even improve how their business runs.

Understanding the metrics of your business is one of the big keys to growing your business successfully. Knowing who your target market is, where they are, and how they are engaging with you your social presence and purchasing your products is an incredibly powerful tool to have at your fingers. And the Shoppost analytics dashboard is a powerful resource to have at your fingertips.

Customer Spotlight: Jon Allen Arts

Occasionally you meet a person that has a uniquely beautiful perspective paired with equally beautiful talent. Jon Allen is one of these rare humans. I was moved when I saw his online gallery of gorgeous metal sculptures. I knew he would have a wealth of good insight on how to monetize your passions and share joy. He is not only a brilliant artist but a hardworking entrepreneur. His simple and honest philosophy:

Art exists as an intangible theory when hands are idle; only an engaged hand can visually exchange the theory to others. – Jon Allen.

Q: What type of products do you sell?

A:  I sell my original metal artwork. Every piece is handcrafted. I make metal wall art in an array of sizes, colors and themes. We also have indoor-outdoor abstract sculptures that have been very popular as well as wall clocks. Recently, I’ve debuted some of my fine paintings as well and we’ll have a plethora of new items available in the new year that I’m really excited to share like beautiful jewel tone tables and fusions with wood & other organic materials I’ve been working with.

Q: What is your most successful Shoppost?

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.55.30 AMA: Shopposts are a great way to get instant feedback on an item so that in and of itself makes it successful for me. Regardless of whether those reactions happen to translate to sales instantly, I find value in the reaction itself. If something gets several likes and re-tweets, I know I’m heading in the right direction with something. My most successful Shoppost to date was probably a new gallery painting I debuted.

Q: How does social commerce fit into your overall strategy?

A: Social commerce is important to me now and I think it will only continue to be more so in the future. An online presence stopped being an option for me a very long time ago and I feel like social shopping is just the next logical progression. The marriage of social media and commerce has been a totally organic one for me and more importantly, for buyers. I think it’s as simple as us just delivering our message and content in the way that people want to receive it now and I will continue to evolve and adapt as technology and tastes do.

Q: What is your number one tip for successful social commerce?

A: My number one tip for successful social commerce is to always be yourself and remember that variety is the spice of life.

Red Ribbon Dancer from Jon Allen Art.

Q: How has Shoppost helped your success?

A: It’s an exciting new way for us to deliver information about and access to our items in a way that people are very comfortable receiving their information now. With Shoppost, we get to bring information to them in the social media channels our customers turned friends and potential new customers already finds their news, stay connected to their loved ones, and where they seek entertainment. Connecting with people on their turf on their terms is always a success because they’re a relaxed, open, and generally interested audience.

Q: What results did you see from using Shoppost?

A: We are relatively new at using Shoppost so I don’t have a lot of data to speak to the conversions, but so far it seems like an excellent way to attract more traffic. It’s an absolutely risk free way of potentially getting not just the piece at hand seen but my entire Etsy shop presented to a new audience.

Q: Any additional thoughts on social shopping?

A: What’s great about social shopping is that people can really get a sense of who they’re buying from. Purchasing art is already a unique buying experience by virtue of the fact that its art — it is obviously a very personal and subjective preference on the shopper’s end and it’s personal for me because I’m the one who conceived and crafted it. The potential buyer may already feel like they have a sense of something personal about me just based on the work itself. But beyond that, social shopping allows people to shop immersed in the context of who they’re buying from and I think that matters to people now more than ever before. You’re not just going to get to see a small thumbnail photo of me and get blasted with links to my work; you can also see how I interact with people and how I value those interactions. There are also insights and sneak peeks into my process on some of my social media posts that just seem so natural to have beside the opportunity to buy they very product you’ve seen me creating or working on. (And yes, you may also end up learning what my must see cat video of the moment is, but that’s just a bonus!)


Shoppost Customer Spotlight: Trendy Baby Wearing

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of customer spotlights where we will highlight Shoppost users that are taking an innovative approach to social commerce. Enjoy! 

Every day we get inspired by our Shoppost users’ creativity and passion. We love seeing success stories of small businesses rising to the top. Recently, one of our Shoppost users, Barbara Reggio, founder of Trendy Baby Wearing, did just that. She started out with a passion and a clear vision to bring parents and babies closer together. Her zeal and enthusiasm drove her to create an online business selling Baby Slings, Baby Teethers and Wrap-Scrap Accessories that is thriving today. We wanted to know if she had any advice for other small businesses or tips for leveraging social media. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to ask our “baby wearing visionary” a few questions about her success.

Barbara Reggio, founder of Trendy Baby Wearing, showing off one of the many items available through her Shoppost

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Boost your sales during the holidays!

Are you prepared for the upcoming retail holiday season? Every year, online merchants get ready for the inevitable onslaught of customer orders on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That may sound a bit scary, but fear not because Cyber Monday can help push merchants and online retailers into the black and create an extremely profitable holiday shopping season.

I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to help boost sales, but first let’s go through a rundown of some trends that happen during this time of the year.

Social media has a guaranteed impact on your holiday sales.

Social media has a guaranteed impact on your holiday sales.

Activity on Black Friday/Cyber Monday can be exhilarating with many merchants seeing an average increase of new orders by 135% in 2012 alone. This change is incredible and can mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful year. You should also be prepared, provided you have great marketing and social strategy, to see revenue go up (average of 28%) and visits to your site increase too (average of 68%).

So what should you expect from Black Friday/Cyber Monday? On average, 48.9% of your customers will be expecting free shipping and 31.9% will want coupons for all of your merchandise. And remember, it has also been forecast that e-commerce sales will increase by 14% over the five year period of 2012 – 2017. That is a huge increase in sales and no doubt social commerce will play a huge roll in this impact on the bottom line.

So, how do you take advantage of the extra traffic and potential new customers? Here are the top ways to utilize social commerce to boost sales this holiday season sales.

‘Tis the season for social

Make your content easy to share quickly, especially since just 1% of your audience can drive up to 10-20% of your online traffic. And Shoppost makes the sharing from anywhere even easier and when your customers share your content, your visibility increases. And the visibility increases to people who have the potential to be new customers.

Make your sales easily sharable and trackable.

Make your sales easily sharable and trackable.

Keyword research and selection for your brand must be carefully used along with your SEO strategy. Convert more customers by offering coupons or other incentives through your targeted  campaign. Remember, many of your customers may be expecting deals on many of your products or services and creating coupons can enable direct targeting of your customers even further. One absolutely fantastic resource for creating this type of campaign is Facebook Advertising which you can use to boost your Shopposts.

Social retargeting toward your brand advocates and influencers will boost the awareness of your products a great deal. Many key influencers are early adopters who can help spread the word of your brand and products to a great majority of potential customers. Knowing who they are and targeting them specifically will increase your chances of getting your brand known. And this is especially important right before the holidays.

Making certain that your overall experience is optimized for mobile is a vital aspect of ensuring that your traffic is converting. In one day, Alibaba sold $9.3 billion in merchandise. The company noted that of those purchases, it had shipped 278 million orders — 43% of which were placed on mobile devices.

illustration of monitor laptop and cellular with blank screen

Having a mobile-optimized experience is vital for holiday success.

Using a mobile-optimized website, ensuring that your shopping cart and checkout interfaces function well on mobile devices and minimizing the steps to get from product page to checkout will all help avoid shopping cart abandonment. And that’s where Shoppost comes into play. The content you share through shoppost is able to function an all mobile devices because it is browser based and it provides a streamlined checkout process.

Finally, be sure to measure, analyze, and optimize your results. Having a trusted analytics platform set up so you can understand who are you are reaching, when you are reaching them, where they are located, what strategies are working, and why your campaigns are or are not working is incredibly important for a successful campaign. Shoppost also offers it’s own detailed social analytics so you can better track where you are making the right conversions using social media.

The holidays can be a time of immense pressure and stress for merchants, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Having the correct strategies in place and knowing where you are targeting your potentially new customers will help your brand survive both Black Friday and Cyber Monday successfully.

The 5 Must-Have Apps On Shopify For SMBs to Drive Sales

Set of Flat Design Icons. Mobile Phones, Tablet PC, Marketing Te

As a SMB owner you already know that it’s important to reach your customers where they are – online. Remember when buying things online was actually considered a novelty and “cool”? Now, everyone can buy anything from luxury items to toilet paper right in the comfort of their living rooms.

For retailers like you, this means that it’s more important than ever to make sure you’ve established a strong presence online to capture the attention of your potential customers and drive sales. You might think, “Sure, I know all of that, but how do I actually do it?” Well, believe it or not, establishing an online store is actually pretty easy with the help of online platforms like Shopify

Shopify is an easy-to-use e-commerce platform designed to help small businesses set up a webstore. What’s great about Shopify is there’s no programming involved It does it all for you which allows you to focus on what you like most in the first place – be that making homemade jam, customized jewelry or cool t-shirts. You can use Shopify to manage all aspects of your shop: uploading products, customizing the design, accepting credit cards, and viewing their incoming orders and completed transactions.

Another cool thing about Shopify is its expansive app store, which offers a wide variety of tools designed to enhance your online presence, reach more customers and grow your business. Here are the top 5 free apps to help you drive sales online:

1. Product Reviews
Did you know that 90 percent of customers say that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions? Retail giant definitely got this right! If your customers like your products, they’re happy to tell others about it – therefore, it’s important that you capture all those good things! Produced by Shopify, this app allows you to easily add product reviews to your store, giving you a great way to engage with your customers to gauge their feedback, and in turn, encourage sales from new customers once they see how other people are with your products.

2. Plug-in SEO
A good SEO strategy helps your business be less of a needle in a haystack. Since a good portion of online product discovery comes from Google searches, you need to make sure your online store is optimized. This plug-in checks your store’s homepage SEO automatically on a regular basis, so you wouldn’t have to spend time doing manual checks and focus instead on actually improving your site.

3. Shoppost
We spend 114 billion minutes a month on Facebook in the U.S. alone, which isn’t too surprising given how fun it is to keep up with friends and interesting things on social media. Everyone from your best friend to your mom is using social media– and that includes your customers. Since they’re there already, shouldn’t your products be there, too? Shoppost allows retailers to easily sell their products in Facebook’s newsfeed via an interactive post. It turns your Facebook followers’ newsfeeds into a virtual “window shopping” experience, not to mention it’s free, easy-to-use and makes the selling process as easy as post, shop and done. Go ahead and give it a try!


4. Chimpified by MailChimp
Email marketing is a common (and not to be overlooked) way to engage with your customers on a regular basis. As consumers, we’re used to receiving email offers, coupons and promotions from big retailers like Nordstrom and Macys Chimpified makes it easy for SMB to level the playing field with larger retailers via email. With this app, you can create targeted email campaigns based on buying behaviors to promote your store, notify them of special offers and promotions, or send recommendations to customers based on their purchases.

5. RetailTower
Now that your Shopify store is up and running, how do you get more people to check it out? RetailTower provides integration between your store and shopping comparison engines; it automates feed submission the popular shopping engines such as Google, Amazon, Bing, TheFind and more. In other words, people can find your products even if they are not searching for your site. Reaching more prospective shoppers is now a piece of cake.

Do you have other favorite apps on Shopify? Let us know!