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

Why Selfies Need to Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

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Since visuals continue to drive customer engagement all small businesses need to take advantage of the selfie phenomenon. Sharing these types of photos can help a company connect its brand identity to customers. How can you use selfies in your marketing strategy?According to Research this word has been around since 2004 when the selfie hashtags first appeared on Twitter. Taking this type of self-portrait became easier when in 2010, Apple introduced a front facing camera on its iPhone.Since visuals continue to drive customer engagement all small businesses need to take advantage of the selfie phenomenon. Sharing these types of photos can help a company connect its brand identity to customers. How can you use selfies in your marketing strategy? Show personality. Customers traditionally rank authenticity as a top trait they seek when doing business with any company. Selfies by their very nature are personal. Their content usually says a lot about the people who work at the company. They are much more effective for connecting to customers than posed photographs. For example, a selfie of employees at the office or a related event can be a powerful message that says, “We like to work here, and we support the company’s mission.” Become human. It is much easier to connect with a person than an abstract concept like a company. Posting employee selfies shows that there are real people behind the brand. This helps create a powerful emotional connection for anyone considering the company’s product. Customers value transparency, and selfies can accomplish this. Remember, prospects buy from whom they know, like and trust. Selfies can strengthen these factors. Give social proof. When customers post selfies with a company’s product, this is the social proof or recommendation that other prospects crave. It acts as a perfect advertisement, since it's not from the company. Logically, customers do not pose with products they do not like. Share a laugh. Humor can be used to promote almost any brand, and funny photos have a greater chance of spreading around the Web. Ask employees and customers to ham it up when they are in front of a camera. Encourage customers to submit selfies by having a contest and rewarding them with prizes. Tie these photos to a Twitter or Instagram hashtag or have a specific Facebook page or Pinterest board for the contest. The selfie risk. Pictures can get posted that a company doesn’t want associated with its brand. While you can edit selfies posted to your company's site and social media pages, you can't control what other people are posting to their sites. Your best defense is to be aware of what's out there. Wishing you every success.

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

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 #64 - Preparing For The 4th Quarter - Part 4 of 14

Build Your Database:

It’s a very busy time of year but don’t forget to capture customer contact info to grow your database.Barbara"Building Customer Database"

Day #17 - Why It's Important To Collect Customer Information

  • Getting a person's email address and cell phone number allows you to recontact them directly and inexpensively through email, text messages and calls. You can send them email newsletters, alerts about sales and invitations to events.
  • If you have their mailing address, you can send them direct mail postcards, letters, brochures, catalogs.
  • If you know what they've purchased, you can recognize what other products/services you offer that they don't buy that would be relevant to tell them about. This is called cross selling.
  • If you know what and when they last purchased, you can anticipate when they might be ready to purchase again and proactively send them information at the right time to make it easy for them to place their order or come in again.
  • If you know if they are married or have kids, you can identify other members in the family who you could sell to.
  • You can isolate prospects and nurture those new business leads."Customer Information"
  • You can also use this information to identify your most profitable customers to give them VIP service; your new customers to nurture them until they become loyal; your steady customers who always buy the same thing (to try to get them to buy other products/services); the customers you wish you didn't have because they don't pay or don't pay on time or are cause a lot of angst whenever anyone has to deal with them (so you don't spend any money sending them any marketing or promotional offers). You get the idea. You can customize and tailor your marketing messages to be most relevant.
  • You can also track and measure your marketing to know what works and what doesn't.

" We'd like to stay in touch and keep you up-to-date with our events and special promotions. Can we have your email address and/or Twitter account, or are you on Facebook?"Barbara

Day #7 - Is The Social Media Craze For Retailers?

In a nutshell, yes it is.

Take note:

"There are many unique listening opportunities for retailers. Below is a framework for how retailers should think about listening through social media:

  1. In-Store Experience—Shoppers actively discuss their experiences at brick and mortar locations online. Find out what consumers are saying about shopping experience, employees, return policy, store layout, and more.
  2. Website—Understand how consumers are using your website regardless of whether or not you sell products online. Are they using it as an informational or coupon resource? If it is a transactional website, what are shoppers saying about the shipping charges and delivery windows?[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]Social Media for Retailers
  3. Products—Learn how shoppers feel about your product selection, availability, pricing and quality, as well as private label brands.
  4. Marketing—From brand health ,to community relations to coupons and circulars, listening to social media gives retailers the opportunity to gauge awareness of corporate initiatives and marketing."

A Social Media “How To for Retailers" | Nielsen Wire , Have a look Barbara [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]