Increase Instagram Followers for Your Online and Offline Store

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Run Hashtag Contests

If you want an Instagram hashtag of your very own to start trending, contests are one of the best ways to make it happen. Most people aren’t going to just use your hashtags because you want them to. But they WILL use your hashtags if they know it is how you are organizing and collecting contest entries. If there is something in it for the Instagram user, they are much more likely to behave in the way you want.

It’s very easy to setup a contest for your online store.  Have Instagramers post a pic or video on their account and then have them tag it using your specific contest hashtag.  

What is an Instagram Hashtag Contest?

An Instagram Hashtag Contest is one of the simplest ways to get fans interacting with your brand. It involves an individual posting their own picture on Instagram, then tagging it with a specific hashtag that your business has chosen.

All pictures uploaded with that hashtag are then displayed in a gallery page on your website or Facebook Page as well as being shown in one single stream on Instagram.

This type of contest allows you to deepen the emotional connection you have with followers. You get them communicating about your business to their own networks while also capturing user-generated content which you can then use for future marketing efforts.

What’s better than having fans as brand advocates? Not much at all.

Once in the gallery, all photos with the hashtag can then be voted on, shared or liked. This increases the reach of your contest and your business massively, allowing other users to discover you on the platform. You can then choose if you want to display submissions in the gallery based on most votes, most recent submission, or randomly.

 What makes an Instagram Hashtag Contest so effective?

  • Using a specific hashtag allows you to spread the word about a campaign, exposing your business to new users

  • It requires little effort from your business - the hardest part simply being coming up with a good, catchy hashtag and theme

  • You get rewarded with engaged followers and authentic images from the customer themselves, showing your business through their eyes

  • A prize of a $100 gift certificate is relevant and valuable to Instagram users (more valuable, even, than a specific product worth $100). It is also proportionate to the level of effort required for users to participate. 

  • They have asked users to tag their business in the photo, allowing all uploaded images to also be shown on their account in their tagged photo section. 

Any questions. Let me know

Keep in touch

Zuckerberg Faces Hostile Congress as Calls for Regulation Mount

WASHINGTON — After two days and more than 10 hours of questioning of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, there was widespread consensus among lawmakers that social media technology — and its potential for abuse — had far outpaced Washington and that Congress should step in to close the gap.But the agreement largely ended there. For lawmakers, the calculus is tricky: They do not want to infringe on First Amendment rights or hurt Silicon Valley innovation but are also unsure how to regulate this new breed of company, which wields enormous power by collecting vast amounts of private data from billions of consumers.“While Facebook has certainly grown, I worry it has not matured,” said Representative Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon and the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I think it is time to ask whether Facebook may have moved too fast and broken too many things.”Mr. Zuckerberg, composed but noncommittal about making any sweeping privacy changes, conceded that it was “inevitable that there will need to be some regulation.”I found this article fascinating.  How will all this impact retailers?

George Clooney and Rande Gerber just made a billion dollars

casamigos_family

casamigos_family

Interesting read:CNBC reports that Diageo will initially pay Clooney, Gerber and Meldman $700 million with the potential for another $300 million that will be based on the tequila’s performance over the next 10 years.“We created Casamigos Tequila 4 years ago for us to drink personally, and selling it for 1 billion dollars is something we never could have imagined,” Gerber added in his own statement. “We remain committed to our brand and look forward to our future with Diageo and continuing our work with our dedicated and passionate Casamigos team.”Not sure in what capacity they’ll remain with the Casamigos brand, which was named because it roughly translates to “house of friends.” Maybe they’ll just have to wear Casamigos T-shirts on a weekly basis? Perhaps Gerber’s kids can model them? Or maybe Clooney can get baby onesies made with the logo on it. Genius!PS. I didn’t know Gerber was married to Cindy Crawford.

Prevent Shoplifting

smart ideas Barb pic

Thinking that someone doesn't "look" like a shoplifter might lull you into a false sense of security.  Prevent shoplifting by removing as many opportunities to shoplift as possible.

Merchandise: Arrange aisles and displays so that employees have a clear view of a much of the store as possible. Utilize convex mirrors for areas that are blind spots.2 Put less expensive items closer to the door, more expensive items further away. This prevents a shoplifter from being able to grab expensive items and be out the door in a matter of seconds. Put security tags on merchandise that can only be removed at the cash register.

Learn Shoplifting Techniques: Limit the number of items that can be taken into the fitting room. Lock all fitting room doors so that customers must have an employee them. Require your employees to note how many items the person is taking into the fitting room. Shoplifters will sometimes use a fitting room to put on stolen merchandise under their own clothes. Note anyone who seems to be wandering in the store, or who seems to be watching employees and other customers closely. They may be looking for an opportunity to shoplift when no one is watching. Take note of a person wearing a baggy coat, especially if the weather doesn't call for it. They may be hiding stolen merchandise underneath.

Involve Employees: Have your employees greet each customer as they enter the store. A shoplifter is less likely to go through with his crime if they think someone might be able to identify them. Offer bonuses to employees who catch shoplifters and alert security. Let your employees know that shoplifters often work in teams, with one person distracting the employee while the other one shoplifts. Tell your employees avoid distractions and to watch other customers at all times. If you have more than one employee, train them so that only one deals with a dominant customer while the other watches the store floor.

  Good-luck! -Barbara

Building Professional Window Displays

How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Focus Attention

 Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package. 

Mask Distractive Background

 What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper. 

Keep It Clean

 A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers. 

Present The Correct Quantity

 Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile. 

Elevate

 Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.  

Use Signage

 The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”,  they think they have to have a slogan -not true.  ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ). 

Add Trim

 Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!

Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara

6 Ways To Create A Culture Of Innovation

Reward employees with time to think, while providing them with the structure they need.  

 Thank Soren Kaplan for this great article on creating a culture of innovation...

  • Be Intentional With Your Innovation Intent

  • Create a structure for unstructured time

  • Step-In, Then Step Back

  • Measure What’s Meaningful

  • Give "Worthless" Rewards

  • Get Symbolic!

Business man teamwork , eps10 vector format

Business man teamwork , eps10 vector format

Every organization is designed to get the results it gets. Poor performance comes from a poorly designed organization. Superior results emerge when strategies, business models, structure, processes, technologies, tools, and reward systems fire on all cylinders in symphonic unison.Savvy leaders shape the culture of their company to drive innovation. They know that it’s culture--the values, norms, unconscious messages, and subtle behaviors of leaders and employees--that often limits performance. These invisible forces are responsible for the fact that 70% of all organizational change efforts fail. The trick? Design the interplay between the company’s explicit strategies with the ways people actually relate to one another and to the organization ...Link To Whole Article 

 No Rubber Stamps:

Every company’s culture is inherently different. So when you’re cultivating innovation, you’re cultivating a unique system. Which means you have to be thoughtful about your approach. Whatever you do, it should align with the values of the company and with the company’s goals. And in each case, you have to make it easy and rewarding for the people whose roles and dynamics influence the very innovation culture you’re trying to cultivate.Share your story of  ways you have created a culture of innovation !Look forward to hearing from you.

Best Barbara

Buying Signals

smart ideas Barb pic

smart ideas Barb pic

When Buyers Are Ready To Buy,They Will Tell You. But Not With Words ...

They will, however, send loud non-verbal signals All you need to do is be able to read them! ...

Customer Signals:

When customers come into your sights, whether it is a retail store, at an exhibition or in any other environment, they will be sending you signals.

The Signals That They Send Will Include:

  • I am just wandering around with no real interest in products and intention to buy.

  • I am interested in this product, but am not currently anxious to buy.

  • I am very interested in this and might well buy it if you can answer a few questions.

  • I want to buy this, now!

When They Are Not Ready To Buy:

When a customer is not ready to buy, it does not mean that they will not buy, but it does mean that you will need a different approach. Do remember also that if there are many customers around, spending a lot of effort selling to one customer may mean that you miss out on a lot of other easier sales.

Avoiding Eye Contact With You:

When you look at them and they immediately look away, they probably do not need assistance right at this moment. Do watch what they are doing, because they may need some help soon.If they are handling a limited range of products, spending time looking at things, then it may be a good idea to stand nearby, relaxed and ready to help (not anxious and ready to pounce). When they look at you with a longer glance, move toward them. If they keep looking, keep moving in and start the sale.

Making 'Not Now' Excuses:

If they say 'just looking' or otherwise indicate that they don't need help, then make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. Still keep an eye on them to see if their demeanour changes.

Casual Handling Of The Product:

customers-buying

customers-buying

If they are casually picking up different products and dropping them back, perhaps not tidily, it can be a big nuisance for you as you tidy up after them (when they have left) but this may well be a symbol of a bored browser. As ever, keep an eye on them so you can move in when they change how they are behaving.

Looking At Many Different Products:

If they are wandering around looking at almost random products, spending a similar short time on each one, then they may again be a relatively bored browser.

Moving Around Quickly:

When they are moving quite quickly around the place, they may be scanning for something or may be wandering. If they slow down, watch more carefully and move in when they are showing more signs of interest.

When They Are Ready To Buy:

 When the person is ready to buy, or at least they are showing some interest, then you should also be ready to pick them up and move them towards the final close.

Spending Time Looking At One Product Type:

When they are looking at one type of product, and especially if you have a broad range from which they are browsing only a small category, then they may well be interested in buying. Perhaps they need advice, so ask if you can help them decide.The longer a person looks at one product type, the more likely they are to buy it. They are investing their time, which is a sure sign of interest.

Looking Around For Somebody To Help Them:

If you see them looking around, catch their gaze, and perhaps raise your eyebrows a little to signal that you are ready to help. If they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows too, move in to sell.This is particularly significant if they are holding the product or have just spend time looking at a limited product range.

the way you buy

the way you buy

Asking Questions About The Detail:

If, when you offer help, they get into more detail about the product, then they are likely to be becoming more interested.If they ask about the functionality of the product, they may well have a checklist of things they are seeking, so ask for details of what they are seeking. You can also ask more about how they will use the product, from which you can advice on the best buy for them.

Asking About Price:

This is a good buying signal. You can tell them the price or you can ask how much they are looking to spend today. If they tell you, then you can help them find the best value for the money they have to spend.

Using Possession Language:

When they pick up the product, they are getting a sense of owning it. This continues when they talk about how they will use the product -- which is a good reason for encourage this talk. Look for 'I' language. Get them to use it. Ask how they will use it. You can even talk about it as if they already own it, although be careful of being unsubtle and pushy.

Asking Another Person’s Opinion:

When they ask another person what they think about the product, they are likely thinking about buying the product and are seeking confirmation.You might thus find yourself selling it to the second person also. Think about this when you are making the initial sale -- include whoever else is there in the sales talking, though do watch for whether the main seller wants to be the main focus or appreciates others being included.

Body State Changes:

Any transition in non-verbal communication will typically signal a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. If they suddenly relax after asking questions or discussing the product, this may well signal that they have changed mental state. Other signals includes changes in body position, gesture, skin tone, style of talk and so on.

Touching The Money:

If they touch their wallet or purse and especially if they get out cash or credit card, this is a very strong signal for you. Get to them and ask if you can help. If they say they want to buy, just take their money (and do beware of 'un-selling' the product by your over-zealous and non-needed sales patter). Great info! Share this with your staff it's all part of improving their skills and knowledge on "How To  Sell more Effectively ". Need Sales Training for Your Staff? Contact me today!

Best Barbara

Marketing Tips for FaceBook

smart ideas Barb pic24 Ways To Market Your Brand, Company, Product, or Service Inside FaceBook


 

 fb_icon_325x325A large and growing portion of some of the most valuable demographics are spending more of their time and attention on Facebook and less on other social media channels.

Not only are  college students and teenagers fully engaged in Facebook, but adults, professionals, and people from around the world now constitute a substantial portion of the Facebook userbase as well. Most marketers lack a comprehensive understanding of the vast array of explicit and implicit marketing channels Facebook offers – most of which are viral.

The goal here is to provide an introduction to what’s possible on Facebook to the spectrum of marketers from brand advertisers to volunteer grassroots evangelists.

Facebook offers many ways to get the word out and bring the people in.

Here’s how to get started.  See link to complete article

Marketing Tips on FaceBook

Best,

Barb

Day #126 - Kids Health Gift Challenge

 The Canadian gift industry has just launched the Kids Health Gift Challenge, a fundraising campaign to raise money for the SickKid’s foundation.  They have set up a page for Retail News with a fundraising goal of $500.Retailmakeover is putting   their  support behind this great cause : Click here to check it out and help spread the word! SickKids DonationsWe  invite you to help make this goal a reality.Thank youBest;Barbara

Day #121 - Partnering With Canadian Cancer Society

I am very proud to let you know that:

WALLTALK is Partnering with the Canadian Cancer Society

Ronda Pegnam, president of Walltalk, a leading manufacturer of decorative quotes and words for walls, announced that the company will partner with the Canadian Cancer Society commencing with the April Daffodil Campaign. This initiative, which will run until the end of 2012, aims to raise both awareness and money by manufacturing and selling two specially marked inspirational wall décor quotes to their retail customers.Ronda Pegnam, president of Walltalk, a leading manufacturer of decorative quotes and words for walls, announced that the company will partner with the Canadian Cancer Society commencing with the April  Daffodil Campaign. This initiative, which will run until the end of 2012, aims to raise both awareness and money by manufacturing and selling two specially marked inspirational wall décor quotes to their retail customers. From the sale of each quote sold, $1 will be donated to the society in support of cancer information and support services.WWW.WALLTALK.CADon't forget to have a look at Shoppetalk today;BestBarbara