Pinterest Brings You Good News With New Re-Targeting Options And More!

Pinterest Updates

Pinterest is working hard to evolve their business model and develop the platform into a key hub for eCommerce. Over the past twelve months, the platform has released a range of new, business-focused tools, including native video, improved discovery tools and advanced ad tracking capabilities to better link on-platform activity to off-line purchases.

One of the most significant advances on this front was the introduction of remarketing and lookalike audience tools, which Pinterest unveiled back in June.

Pinterest Announces New Re-Targeting Options, Boosting Advertiser Potential | Social Media Today

For all those of you who are ardent pinners and have your business thriving on fellow pinners, we bring you some very good news, courtesy of Social Media Today.

Adding the capacity to re-target interested audiences is important – as has been demonstrated by the success ofsimilar tools on other platforms, reaching out to consumers who’ve already signaled some level of interest in your products, even by simply visiting your site, can be an extremely effective option.

And Pinterest has already found the same – according to Frank Fumarola from Pinterest’s product team:

“…advertisers using [Pinterest’s new targeting tools] have seen an 80% increase in clickthrough rates to their websites.”

The new targeting options have been so successful in fact that Pinterest is adding three new ways to help brands better target and focus their ad efforts.

Here’s what they’ve announced.

1. Engagement Targeting

The first new option will give advertisers the ability to target people who’ve interacted with their Pins, with the capacity to pinpoint specific engagement options – e.g. people who’ve saved a Pin, people who’ve re-Pinned a certain product.

For example, if someone saved your after school snack ideas, you could retarget them in the future with birthday party treats.”

The option will help advertisers reach users who are more likely to be responsive to their messaging, and ultimately more likely to spend. According to Pinterest’s data, people who engage with Pins are 2.2x more likely to make a purchase with that brand in the proceeding 30 days, while 87% have made a purchase after finding a product they liked on the platform.

2. Updated Website Tag

Pinterest is also updating their website tag to enable businesses to track more actions by their website visitors with which to target them on the platform.

“The Pinterest tag identifies 9 events – including signups, add to carts and purchases – allowing you to target people in more creative and effective ways. For example, you can find people who purchased running shoes from your site and offer them new exercise gear, or you can give someone that extra nudge to buy the sweater they added to their cart before the weather turns chilly.”

Given that 93% of active Pinners use the platform to plan purchases (according to research for Millward Brown), adding additional qualifiers to this type of ad targeting could prove very effective, enabling brands to better personalize and focus their outreach efforts.

The full list of events you can track with Pinterest’s new tag (as noted by Search Engine Jornal) are:

  • Page Visits: People who’ve visited one of your primary pages (e.g., a product page or article).
  • View Category: People who’ve visited your category pages.
  • Search: People who’ve searched on your website for products or store locations.
  • Add to Cart: People who’ve added items to their shopping cart on your page.
  • Checkout: People who’ve completed a purchase.
  • Watch Video: People who’ve watched your videos.
  • Signup: People who’ve signed up for your product or service.
  • Lead: People who’ve shown interest in your product or service.
  • Custom: A special event you want to include in your conversion reporting.

3. “Actalike” Audiences

Pinterest has also announced that their “lookalike” audiences will now be called “actalike” audiences.

“We’ve renamed lookalikes to actalikes because the audiences you target on Pinterest don’t just looksimilar, theyactsimilar too.”

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Importance Of Pinterest Analytics For Your Business

Pinterest Analytics

Not everything is fun and games. That’s a fact that been out in the universe since the beginning of time now.

Apart from keeping your Pinterest account up and alive with engaging content it is also essential to take a look at the analytics as well. A lot of us have sort of an allergic reaction when it comes to the word analytics. Little did you know that these analytics will help you gain perspective on how well or poorly your activities are performing.

Hootsuite has some  in depth knowledge to share when it comes to Pinterest Analytics and it’s importance to your business.

Types of Pinterest Analytics

For your brand’s Pinterest presence, there are specific areas you can measure to determine how your posts are performing and ultimately impacting your bottom line.

Pinterest’s analytics tool is divided into three areas: your Pinterest profile analytics (how the content of your actual Pinterest boards and pins are doing), your audience analytics (demographics) and your Pinterest website analytics (to see what content from your website is being pinned). While overlaps exist, there are different metrics to track for each of the analytics sections, as outlined below.

Pinterest profile analytics

  • Impressions: the amount of times your Pin showed up in the Home Feed, search results, and category areas
  • Repins: the number of times your Pin has been saved to somebody else’s board
  • Clicks: the number of times someone clicks through to your website through a Pin)
  • All-time stats: top Pins from the last 30 days, Pins with high repins, Pins with high clicks, your best Pins of all time, etc.

Pinterest audience analytics

Pinterest audience analytics includes information about the people who follow, connect, and engage with you on the platform, with audience insights such as:

  • Country
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Metro (city)
  • Interests (other topics your audience is engaging with)
  • Boards that contain a high number of matching Pins
  • Other businesses your audience is interested in

Pinterest website analytics

To find out what content people like most from your website, Pinterest’s website analytics helps you track:

  • Impressions
  • Saves
  • Clicks (linking back to your website)
  • Date (to see activity from specific time periods)

As you can see, Pinterest Analytics is a comprehensive tool that offers you extensive options and areas to track both your Pinterest and website content. But why should you care?

Why Pinterest Analytics matter

You put a lot of blood, sweat, and many, many tears into the content you’re creating. You should know if it’s performing the way you want. Measuring Pinterest Analytics for business is a key step to ensuring that your time and resources are being used efficiently.

Our post How to Use Pinterest for Business discusses the importance of Pinterest Analytics and explains, “You can easily gather new data about your audience such as who they are, what they like, and what devices they use to Pin your content. Pinterest Analytics also shows how the Pin It button is performing on your website—and whether it’s directing referral traffic or not.”

Pinterest Analytics matter to you and your business strategy because they can:

  • Help you identify your main competition (under the Audience section where you can see other brands that your audience is engaging with)
  • Gather insights for your website (based on interaction with the Pin It button and content from your website being shared on Pinterest)
  • See how much referral traffic you are gaining through Pinterest
  • Understand how people are interacting with your Pins, better allowing you to create tailored content and engage your audience
  • Help you get to know your audience better with detailed demographics

As chief marketing strategist of Idea Creative Marketing Whitney Roberts explains, “Analytics are the single biggest guiding factor to social media success.” It’s hard to argue with that. With this in mind, the next section will show you how to put this into action and track your Pinterest Analytics.

How to track Pinterest Analytics

First and foremost, you will need a Pinterest business account to use Pinterest Analytics. You can do this simply by going to www.analytics.pinterest.com and linking your existing Pinterest account.

Once in your business account homepage, you can access the analytics portion by clicking on “Track what works” or by clicking on the main Analytics button in the top left-hand corner.

After you click on Analytics, you arrive at your overview screen, which gives you an overview of how your content is performing. You’ll get a breakdown of average daily impressions, average daily viewers, average monthly viewers, and average monthly engaged viewers you reach. If you have linked your website, you will also be able to see your overall website metrics here.

At the bottom of your overview page, you will see information about your “Top Pin impressions” from the last 30 days. You will also be able to see Saves, Clicks, Likes, and Pin Type in this area.

If you want to see detailed information regarding the activity on your Pinterest profile, hover over the Analytics button at the top of your profile and select “Profile” from the drop-down menu.

Pinterest analytics profile
Image via Pinterest

Here, you can switch between tabs to see your Pins with the most impressions, repins, and clicks. In their guide Pinterest Analytics for Business, Pinterest offers the following tips for transferring what you are seeing in your Analytics results, to action.

What you’re seeing: “50 percent of my impressions are from people using smartphones and tablets.”

What you can do next: “I’ll work with my website developer to make sure that my website looks good and works on mobile devices.”

To access your audience analytics, go back to the “Analytics” button on the top left-hand corner and select “People you reach.” Here, you can click on the “Demographics” or “Interests” tabs to see who is looking at and interacting with your content.

As Pinterest explains, “Knowing where your audience is from, what languages they speak, and what gender they identify with can help you target your content. For instance, if you see that a large portion of your audience speaks French, you may have some new marketing opportunities in France.”

As seen below, you can also filter your audience information by different audiences (i.e. followers or all Pinterest users), as well as by the device they are accessing Pinterest on.

Besides demographics, the ‘People you reach’ area of Pinterest Analytics allows you to see what your audience is interested in. Click on the “Interests” tab to see:

  • Interests: get more ideas about what kinds of content your audience responds to
  • Boards:  see how your audience organizes your content and considers your brand, which allows you to get ideas for your own organization and portrayal of brand
  • Brands: find out what other products and services interest your audience to gain insight into what might be a popular move in the future

For this area, Pinterest offers the following suggestion on how to take action with your information.

What you’re seeing: “It looks like home decor, art, and travel are my followers’ key interests.

What you can do next: “I’m going to take more photos of my products in the home to reach Pinners who are interested in home decor.”

Image via Pinterest
Image via Pinterest

Finally, you can use Pinterest Analytics to see how your audience is interacting with your website content on Pinterest. Click on the “Analytics” button at the top left-hand corner again and select “Activity from (your website).” Here, you will see your metrics regarding the content people like the most from your website, what they are Pinning, what they are saving, and what they are clicking on. If you want information from a specific timeframe, you can easily do that here too by selecting a date range in your results.

Image via Pinterest
Image via Pinterest

If you aren’t seeing this, you may not have connected or confirmed your website. If you need help with this, Pinterest provides thorough guidelines on their Pinterest for Business page.

The ability for Pinterest to increase traffic to your website is something you don’t want to ignore, so Pinterest offers the following questions you can ask yourself to ensure you’re taking full advantage of this capability.

  1. Is it easy to Pin from my website? Make sure there’s a Pin It button on your site.
  2. Can people Pin from my mobile site? A whopping 75 percent of usage takes place on a mobile device, so make sure your site is optimized for this.
  3. Have I told people that I’m on Pinterest? Add a Follow button to your website so that your audience can easily find you on Pinterest.
  4. Am I staying active on Pinterest? Your followers get notified when you are active, which can help bring them back to your content.

Now that you know the basics of how to use Pinterest Analytics, there are some handy tools that can streamline the process even more.

Pinterest Analytics tools

Curalate

Curalate uses image-recognition algorithms to identify images your audience most wants to see, tracking the results as it goes. As their website explains, “Our image recognition technology surfaces which of your products are resonating on Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook—so you can give your fans more of what they want.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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Generate More Traffic To Your Website – Pin It!

Pinterest Strategy - Web Traffic

Pinterest is a free website that requires registration to use. Users can upload, save, sort, and manage images—known as pins—and other media content (e.g., videos) through collections known as pinboards. Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform. Users can browse the content of others in their feed. Users can then save individual pins to one of their own boards using the “Pin It” button, with Pinboards typically organized by a central topic or theme. Users can personalize their experience with Pinterest by pinning items, creating boards, and interacting with other members. The end result is that the “pin feed” of each user displays unique, personalized results.

Content can also be found outside of Pinterest and similarly uploaded to a board via the “Pin It” button, which can be downloaded to the bookmark bar on a web browser, or be implemented by a webmaster directly on the website. They also have the option of sending a pin to other Pinterest users and email accounts through the “Send” button. Some websites include red and white “pin it” buttons on items, which allow Pinterest users to pin them directly.

Become A Pinterest Ninja!

Folks its time to up your Pinterest game. Check out these awesome strategies that will help you direct more traffic to your website through Pinterest, put together by Simply Measured.

The Pinterest 411

Before we get started, it’s important we set out the basics. There are a few things you ought to know about Pinterest before diving in.

  • Understand your target audience. That way you’ll reach more of the right people. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes: what would they be searching? Design your title and captions accordingly.
  • Don’t focus on followers. Pinterest is the only social network where followers really don’t matter. It’s all about re-pins, likes, and comments: basically, it’s about the engagement.
  • Pinterest is a powerful search engine. Especially with new updates such as Smart Feed, Pinterest tailors the way pins are viewed on a user’s feed to help provide more relevant content based on their Likes, Interests, and Boards they follow. This is a great way to optimize your content and give you a competitive edge (you can find out more about how it works hereand here.).

Got it? Awesome. Now let’s get your Pinterest pumping!

#1 – Amp Up Your Pinterest Profile

It’s simple, really: the better designed your Pinterest profile, the higher your number of referrals. By optimizing your profile in every way possible for your visitors, you’ll receive more engagement on your posts and, consequently, more jumps over to your website.

Sounds good, right?

So let’s start at the beginning. Some of these are going to sound simple. Yet, you’d be surprised at how often they are overlooked.

And as Pinterest continues to expand, these starter steps will become more and more crucial.

  • If you have a personal account, convert it to a business one. It’s free and easy to do, makes you look more professional, and opens you up to many more services than you’d receive on a personal account (just like Pinterest Analytics, where you can track your performance).
Pinterest Analytics
Pinterest Analytics are also available in Simply Measured reports.
  • Add keywords beside your name. For example, instead of writing your name, add a keyword you’re known for. Take a look at how I did mine: Pauline Cabrera – Web Designer. Whenever people search for the word “Web Designer” my profile shows up in the “Pinners” list.

Pinterest Profile

  • Look Savvy. Build trust by completing your profile. Make sure to include links to social networks, verify your website URL, create a custom URL, and upload a profile picture relevant to your industry.
  • Add important keywords to your bio. This can help boost you up in Google search rankings for people searching for those keywords, as well as pinners using the Pinterest search engine. Every little bit helps!
  • Add your location. This will help you boost local traffic, if that is a priority for your brand.
  • Turn off your “Search Privacy” settings. You want your boards and profile to appear in search engine results, right? Then you need to make sure you turn off this setting within your Account Settings.
  • Don’t abuse keywords. You’ll just look spammy. Make sure your keywords flow naturally through your profile.
  • Put your best boards in the top row. As a general rule, you should always keep your most attractive or important content “above the fold” on your website (the part of the screen that is first visible to visitors). That way, visitors are more likely to stay on the page and scroll down to see more. These could be your most popular or updated boards, or those relevant to current events.

#2 – Create and Optimize Your Boards

Next, it’s time to get creative and boost your visibility. Having a visually appealing and powerfully communicative set of boards will grab your visitor’s attention, hold it, and drive visitors towards your website. You’ll need to optimize your boards to make sure you reach your target audience.

Now we’re getting to the fun part.

  • Prettify your boards. Clear, organized boards with gorgeous cover photos make for a Pinterest account that is irresistible to follow.
  • Use descriptive titles with keywords. Your Pinterest board could show up in the first pages of Google’s search result if it’s optimized for the search. So, make your boards as descriptive as possible. The more specific, the better. Take a look at this example.

Pinterest Google

When you search for “30th Birthday Ideas,” a Pinterest board shows up in the first page of the search results. Amazing, right? So when people click that, the owner would send traffic to the pins added in it.

  • Create more relevant boards using targeted keywords. For example, I’ve created a general board called “Social Media Marketing,” but will also create targeted ones such as “Pinterest Marketing for Bloggers” and “Facebook Marketing for Small Businesses.”

Create a spreadsheet where you can brainstorm keywords that are relevant to each other and refer back to it for inspiration. You can even use the Pinterest search suggestions to find the keywords that regularly crop up together! (For an even more advanced approach, give these tools a try:http://keywordtool.io/ or https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner).

#3 – Pin Like a PRO

Building on this, you’re now ready to get pinning. And remember: it isn’t as easy as just pinning images here, there, and everywhere. You need to be on your A-game if you truly want to harness the marketing potential of Pinterest.

  • Use large, tall, eye-catching images. All your images should be 735 pixels wide by 1102 pixels long: if your images are smaller than this, they’ll be overlooked by a Pinner’s home feed. I use Photoshop to resize, or Canva if I’m in a hurry (a great resource for non-graphic designers!).
  • Write a detailed and thoughtful description with your main keywords.Avoid stuffy descriptions. Use keywords that make sense alongside genuinely interesting content.
  • Add the correct URL’s. Always use the actual URL rather than the main one. Pinterest doesn’t allow URL shorteners like bit.ly, so avoid using those.
  • Use search-friendly file names for images. Google can’t read images. What it can read is your image file names. When you’re saving the images you want to upload, use file names with one or two keywords. Basically, don’t save with the default numbering from your camera: change it to something like “chocolate-wedding-cake.jpg,” or whatever it is your image features.
  • Implement rich pins. Rich pins are gold for businesses: these “super” pins allow you to include additional information (such as price, availability, and location) about the image, pulled directly from your website. So they automatically update as your site does, standing out and make shopping and finding information far easier. Find out how to add your own here.
  • Use a catchy title. Pins that feature “How-To’s,” checklists, and infographics always work well for me. The key is to not give all the information away in the image, to help you get more click-throughs.
  • Avoid hashtags in the pin description. Pinterest has officially announcedthat if you use too many hashtags in your pin description, it could demote your pin’s search ranking. Why? Because they see it as spammy. So, avoid it like the plague.
  • Use different images and titles. It’s important to find out which works best. For me, I like to experiment with various visuals to see if one outperforms the other. It’s paramount for your own market research to find out what your audience finds most attractive. Here are some examples. Based on Pinterest Analytics, the left one sends me more traffic than the right one. 

Blog

#4 – Pin Strategically

You wouldn’t implement a business plan without a strategy, so why should your Pinterest marketing be any different? A strong strategy for your Pinterest activity will enable you to maximize your return by attracting a higher percentage of viewers and, as a result, more traffic to your website.

But how do you do that?

  • Pin regularly. As with all social media, an active and consistent presence will increase your chance of generating traffic and make you a trustworthy source. Courtney from Bufferapp found that between 5 and 30 pins per day is optimal. The best times to post are 2:00 – 4:00am and evening hours every day, as well as 5:00pm on a Friday and 8:00 – 11:00pm on Saturdays. It’s also worth making use of Pinterest scheduling tools such asTailwind or Viraltag. They’ll help you figure out the best times to post throughout the day.
  • Schedule your pins. It helps you avoid flooding your followers’ feeds, spacing out your content and keeping it fresh and continuously updated. Again, use Tailwind or ViralTag to schedule your pins.
  • Pin multiple types of content. I’m talking infographics, GIFs, and videos, as well as straight-up images. Show variety and keep your page exciting and dynamic.
  • Re-pin your best pins to different boards or group boards. Maybe some new pinners haven’t seen your best content yet? This is a great way to bring it to their attention. You may use the Pinterest Analytics or Tailwind analytics (if you have one) to find out your top pins.
  • Track your performance. Use Pinterest Analytics to see how people are describing your pins and what they are pinning alongside your content. This can be useful in knowing how to arrange your boards. You can also track the demographic of your audience and that can be useful in planning the type of content to post in the future.
  • Avoid self promotion. Pinterest has said that it is “…designed to share content you love, so don’t use it purely for self promotion.” And that means no selfies.
  • Don’t just pin the same content on two boards at the same time. At least give a few hours’ delay between the two.
  • Fix broken or dead links. Pinterest focuses on the quality of user experience, so if you’re not managing dead links or expired pages, expect consequences. You can use tools like Board Booster or Pin4Everfor help with this.
  • Share pins related to current trends and events. It’s been reported that pins based on trending topics receive a 94% click-through rate… so it’s worth staying current.  

Still not sure what’s the best content to be pinning? Check out these interesting stats on how to determine what to pin:

  • Over 80% of pins are re-pins. Be that extra 20% that gets re-pinned daily. Pin as much directly from your website as possible, or upload images on their own.
  • Different days of the week have varied “most popular” topics. Mondays are best for fitness, Tuesdays for tech, Wednesdays for quotes, Thursdays for fashion, Fridays for humor, Saturdays for travel, and Sundays for food and DIY crafts.
  • Tutorials, guides, DIY, and recipe pins receive a 42% higher click-through rate than other pins.
  • Medium-light images receive 20 times more re-pins than those that are dark.
  • Images without faces get re-pinned 23% more than those that contain faces.

#5 – Delete or Optimize Underperforming Pins

This is a tricky one. While it’s important to only hold onto boards and pins with high engagement (as this helps your profile scores–and hence your website traffic–shoot up), it can be difficult to know when to cut the ties. Why? Because there’s always the risk that you’ll delete a pin too soon and lose out on sudden traffic.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It can take time for your pin to make its way around, due to Smart Feed.

So how do you get around this?

For me, I always try to optimize my pins with low engagement (think those with 1 – 2 pins or comments). Then, get promoting.

One way to do this is by joining some “pinning” trains on social media (Facebook and Google+ groups) where admins post threads encouraging members to pin other people’s pins. Give it a few weeks and see if you gain any response.

If your pins are very old and outdated with really low engagement, delete them. And if they look spammy, get rid of them!

Here’s another handy method for you to quickly get rid of your low level content using Board Booster:

  • Create a temporary public board in your Pinterest account. This will be the new home of your low-engagement pins.
  • Using Board Booster’s Pin Mover, set the query to move all pins with less than 2 re-pins to the temporary board. Set tool to search multiple boards and duplicates (this could take any anything up to a few hours!)
  • Run the search. Keep in mind that Board Booster will charge 1 cent for each moved pin.
  • You’ll now see that all the pins in your temporary board have less than 2 re-pins. Delete the board and the pins in them.

#6 – Make Your Website Pinterest-Friendly

What’s the use in making your Pinterest the most superbly optimized network ever for your brand if your website isn’t doing its bit?

You need to make sure that your site is perfectly geared-up to complement your Pinterest. The two need to work hand-in-hand.

  • Use Pin It hover buttons on your content. Remember: the higher engagement on your pins, the more visible you are to Pinterest. This is down to Pinterest Smart Feed, which shows the “higher quality” pins (AKA, those with larger levels of engagement) at the start of a search. Drive engagement on every platform. Take a look at the featured image on this blog post; see how I have the “pin” button? That shows up when people hover over my images. I’m using SumoMe for this.

SumoMe

  • Add a follow button. The more followers, the more chance you’ll receive new re-pins.
  • Include “pinnable” images in every blog post. You know the drill: visually enticing, tall, and with text.
  • Fill out the ALT tag on your images. This is the information that Pinterest pulls in for the Pin description. It needs to be short, interesting, and keyword-rich. Don’t bother repeating the post name. Instead, give an engaging introduction or ask a question to your viewers. Here’s a tutorialon how you can do this. See the ALT text part?

ALT

#7 – Get Social

As with all digital marketing, community management is vital in raising engagement and boosting traffic. You need to keep it as social as possible and really put the time in to spread the word about your brand.

  • Be responsive. Reply to your comments and like pins of people who have re-pinned your content. Remember to tag their names when responding to comments. Just dedicate about 10 minutes to this per day. It’s totally worth it.
  • Follow people in your niche. In particular, influencers and those who post quality pins.

#8 – Link Up with Established Pinners

It’s a foolproof Pinterest tactic. By collaborating, you’ll find it easier to not only curate boards, but also grow your own followers.

You can do this by:

  • Creating your own collaborative boards and getting others to join you.
  • Joining high-value group boards. Check out pingroupie.com to find some cool ones!

#9 – Use Promoted Pins

Promoted pins bring attention to your most important content and helps you to create traffic and engagement campaigns. But if you’re investing money in those pins, you need to make sure you are amplifying their effectiveness.

Ready for the good news? It’s easy as pie!

  • Use your most compelling images with a text overlay.
  • Include detailed descriptions with a call to action.
  • Promote images with the vertical aspect ratio – the bigger and more dominant, the more noticeable they will be on pinner feeds. The result? More click-throughs. 

 

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Selling on Social Media – How to Capitalize on Word-of-Mouth Buzz via Contextual Commerce this Holiday Season

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According to eMarketer, US retailers can expect a happy holiday season in 2015, as eCommerce sales are expected to rise by approximately 13.9% since last year’s holidays. This year, one of the most exciting drivers of growth is “contextual commerce,” a phrase to describe shopping that can be completed in other digital channels outside of merchants’ online shopping sites, for example, via social media. The great promise of contextual commerce emerges from the power of data, especially data delivered by devices like smartphones and wearables that capture consumers’ behavior when exploring in both digital and physical spaces. “Contextual commerce” aims to help connect merchants and consumers in both of these spaces, presenting purchase options at the very moment of discovery. Tightening the relationship between discovery and purchase holds previously unimagined potential for merchants to find new prospective customers, target them with the right message at the moment of truth, and to drive immediate conversion.

Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are examples of consumer tools that are gathering vast data on our general interests, our product browsing history, and our purchases. But to the consumer, these are valuable tools to interact with friends and family, and to discover new things in the world, including new products or services. This intersection of word-of-mouth trust and discovery is exactly what is so potentially valuable to sellers. The data about our preferences and those of our friends and family can be harnessed to drive increased relevance of the product information presented. Then, with highly-relevant discovery in the context of their trusted experiences, consumers will be able to make purchases with just a few taps from within a social media app, rather than having to click through to another website to make a purchase, enter a credit card number and shipping information, and on and on. Transactions that used to take two to three minutes will be completed in less than ten seconds.

But how can merchants take advantage? Quite simply: Merchants will soon be able to activate a “buy-now button” directly in these tools – for example – within a social media feed. To cost-effectively participate in these channels, merchants must determine how to merge this brave new world of digital commerce with their existing social media strategies and broader advertising business models. As such, below are some thought-starters on ways for merchants to optimize their social media strategy to help find new buyers and increase sales this holiday season:

 

1. Create interactive product experiences distinct to the channel

Tools like Facebook make it easy for users to comment, share, rate, review, and – of course – see images of products. Merchants should take advantage of this, and enable their marketing to be shareable and work within the context of the user experience in that channel. Not only is it a more engaging form of marketing, but it drives trust with consumers, as shoppers find interactions and feedback from other consumers more trustworthy and authentic than traditional marketing or advertising. In short, shoppers trust the voices of other consumers who have experienced your products, and these tools can help you create an authentic and trustworthy discovery experience for your prospective customer.

 

Read the rest of the article on Inc 

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How to Capture More Email Leads With Social Media Contests

E-MailsDo you want to capture more email leads?

Are you running social media contests to grow your email list?

Whether they’re run on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, social media contests and giveaways are a great way to collect emails.

In this article you’ll discover how to make sure your social media contests and giveaways attract and convert more email entrants.

Why Collect Emails as Contest Entries?

You know social media is effective, but it’s rented land. Your email list is something you own.

The good news is that you can use social media contests to collect emails for that list by asking people to enter with their email address.

capture email leads with social media contests

Find out how to capture more email leads with social media contests.

Once collected, you can use those email addresses to target your marketing on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Here are a few ways you can multiply the number of email leads your contests generate by making them as participant-friendly as possible.

#1: Put Winning Within Reach

If your social media sweepstakes and contests aren’t generating the email entries you need, the issue may be that people don’t believe they have a real chance at winning.

Here are three ways to help people understand winning is a genuine possibilityand therefore worth the time it takes to enter with an email address.

1. Offer Multiple Prizes

Past research on maximizing sweepstakes and contests for consumer value shows that offering multiple smaller-value prizes can be more effective than offering a single high-value prize.

Why? People weigh their chances of winning before they enter a contest.

Say your contest offers a new car as its only prize. Most people think about how many people will enter, feel their chances of winning are minimal and decide not to enter.

sweepstake with multiple winners

The most effective contests offer multiple lower-value prizes so there are more chances to win.

Offer a number of lower-value prizes in place of or in addition to your grand prize to raise the odds someone has of winning.

2. Level the Voting Field

“Enter with a selfie of you and your dog! The selfie with the most votes wins!”

At first sight, this contest seems okay—it’s simple and easy to understand. But it’s not ideal. The conditions are intimidating for entrants who don’t have a large online network.

See, in order to win the prize your potential subscriber needs to collect the most votes. Say he has a cute puppy but not many friends who are part of the platform your contest is running on. He does the math and thinks he’ll collect relatively few community votes, loses interest and doesn’t enter.

Instead of choosing winners based solely on community votes, include a jury round in the process.

sweepstake with jury round

Add a jury round to your contest so all entrants feel like they have a fair chance to win.

If you let people qualify for the final round by collecting community votes, and then have a jury award your prizes, everyone will feel like they have an equal chance to win.

3. Separate Entry and Voting Rounds

Would you enter a race if the other runners each got a one-mile head start? I’m guessing not.

The same logic can be applied to social media contests that require people to upload something (a picture, video, music or a story) for a voting round.

If these periods overlap too much or are run at the same time, people worry about catching up with others who have already collected lots of votes. They know they’re behind and they don’t enter.

sweepstake with separate rounds

Separate uploading and voting periods give everyone the same chance at winning.

To make sure everyone has a fair chance at collecting votes and winning, you need to have separate rounds for submissions and voting.

Open your contest for voting only after you stop accepting submissions so all entrants start at the same baseline.

#2: Incentivize Voting

If you only focus on motivating entrants to share their email address by offering a prize, you’re missing out on a big source of leads—your voters.

To capture voter leads, add a layer to your contest that asks voters to register with their emails in exchange for being entered into a related prize drawing.

sweepstake with voter incentives

Voters are more likely to engage if they have a chance of winning too.

As a bonus, you can gain even more engagement for your contest when you add an entry for someone on each day they cast a vote.

#3: Give Bonus Entries to Get Social Shares

“Thanks for entering! Now share this with your friends!”

Marketers often make the mistake of putting sharing icons and prompts wherever they can; for example, just after someone enters a contest.

Getting people to enter your contest, sweepstakes or giveaway with an email is only half the battle. The other half is to get the people who enter to share your promotion with others, whether you’re trying to attract voters or more entrants.

The issue is that most people won’t share a contest if it means decreasing their own chances of winning the prize.

The solution is to create a win-win for both you and the people who enter your contest.

sweepstake with sharing incentives

Sharing is caring. Sharing that’s beneficial for both sides is even better.

Use a social media contest, sweepstakes or giveaway tool that lets you award extra entries or points to people for each share they post from your contest.

The more people who know about your contest, the more email addresses you’ll receive.

Source: [socialmediaexaminer.com]

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