Jump-Start Your Social Media Strategy

Jump-Start Your Social Media Strategy

Social media is the best tool to mobilize marketing efforts of small and large businesses. The following tips will help you get your retail store‘s social media marketing on track.

Social Network Focus

Although you may wish to have all your accounts on social media, this could have a negative effect. Instead of spreading your efforts across multiple social networks, focus your efforts on one. Nichole Kelly, founder of Full Frontal ROI recommends that your company first determine which social network contains the greatest concentration of your target demographic. This can be done using tools such as Follower Wonk (free advertising platform on Facebook) and LinkedIn’s enhanced search features according to Social Media Examiner.

If your business is involved in arts and crafts, Pinterest might be the best site. To launch a successful social media marketing strategy, you need to find out what your competitors are doing.

According to the Washington Post, Mark Weinberger, who is the soon-to-be CEO at Ernst & Young, said that “if you don’t have other perspectives, you will probably make the wrong decisions.” Although executive Weinberger refers to business teamwork, the statement can also be applied to indirect teamwork among competitors in social networking strategy. Competitors don’t have to be enemies. Take their lessons and learn from them.

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Facebook

You should make sure your business is active on one the most widely used networking sites. You can learn more about Facebook and how it can help you further your interests by searching for your rivals. What are their posting habits and how often do they post? How are they communicating with customers? Customers can become fans of your business by creating a Business fanpage. Your business will grow online the more fans you have. Every fan’s friend will find out that they enjoy it. Businesses must maintain their profile regularly. They should post new content, offer promos, give tips, and announce any changes to business products or services.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional social network. Learn how your competition uses LinkedIn after you have reserved your company name. You may be able to search for and connect with customers you know well. This will allow you to get a recommendation from customers that will be displayed on your page. Ask for recommendations from vendors, clients, and suppliers. Ask customers to give a recommendation after they have completed a transaction. According to Mashable.com, the more recommendations you receive, the higher your LinkedIn profile appears in search engine results. Also, you’ll want to search the many LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your products and services. Create your own group if there isn’t one.

Social media marketing does not require capital investment. This opportunity can be used by retailers who are willing to invest the time to manage and research social media.

Guide to Product Listing Ads

Google Product Listing Ads is a form of advertising that uses the pay-per click (PPC) model. This type of promotion offers more opportunities than traditional text-only ads, which were long the foundation of PPC advertising. Businesses can use Product Listing Ads to include rich product details such as merchant name, product images and price, along with a message. This allows for fast and free shipping on all orders. Only the advertiser can control the text of the promotional message. If the conditions are right, Product Listing Ads can help sellers gain greater visibility in the Google Shopping network and within standard Google Search results.

An advertiser must create a Google Merchant Center Account and link it to their AdWords account in order to use Product Listing Ads. This can be done within the Merchant Center by clicking Settings > AdWords in the menu navigation (shown above).

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Advertisers don’t need to add additional keywords or text to Product Listing Ad campaigns. Google will show the most relevant products based on a user’s search query. Relevance is determined by many factors. This includes product information fed to Google through Google Merchant Center. It can also take into account such factors as name and description.

Standard search results with product listing ads have shown higher click-through and conversion rates. An image can make an ad standout from other pages. Links that are generated by the merchant’s product feed to Google link to each listing, creating an ideal landing page.

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Advertisers should create a separate campaign group to optimize Product Listing Ads. This allows them to manage budgets and gives them options not possible with other campaign structures. To ensure that your Product Listing Ads remain active in search results, you must not only create a separate campaign but also remember a few other things. Merchants must submit a new product feed every month to Google.

Feeds are subject to expiration within 30 days. Merchants should submit feeds again at day 28. Feeds that have expired will cause the products to be removed from the product listings. It will take some time for them back to become active. Merchants can have Google automatically fetch their feeds at a specific time each month to avoid this. Google will not pull an expired feed if the feed hasn’t been updated recently.

Merchants should ensure that each product has a valid UPC code. Feeds can be accepted at first without UPC codes. However, if any information is not present, they can be removed from the listings.

To allow a feed to pass validation, it must contain two additional elements: the tax and shipping information of the retailer. Either retailers can submit shipping and tax information per product within the feed, or they can create a storewide policy to tax and ship from their Google Merchant Center account. This is more convenient for stores with a standard tax and shipping policy. You can set up Merchant Center accounts by clicking Settings > Tax and shipping from the left navigation bar (shown above).

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Merchants are now able to advertise with product listing ads. These benefits include:

* Higher traffic and leads. Businesses that use Product Listing Ads report higher click through rates than standard text ads. Advertisers have reported double to triple click through rates compared with traditional ads.

More qualified traffic. More product-oriented information in ads (image and price) allows shoppers to make better buying decisions early in the purchasing process. This results in less click waste and a higher likelihood that shoppers will complete a purchase.

Easy management. Google matches the search query with the Merchant Center feed to find the most relevant ads. The management of the feed is limited to making sure it stays current on a monthly basis.

* Wider reach. Product Listing Ads can be used to advertise multiple products from one merchant so that they appear in search results simultaneously. It is also possible to have a regular text advertisement alongside these listings. The chances of getting the click increase with more coverage on the search page landscape.

With the recent additions of Google’s enhanced search campaigns, the search landscape is constantly changing. It will be exciting to see where this form of advertising evolves. One thing is certain: Product Listing Ads are a great way to get results. There is very little management involved, which is a relief for many merchants.

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