Social Media for Business: 12 Simple Ways to Use Social Media to Market Your Online Store

During the past decade, social media has become a go-to platform for many entrepreneurs to promote their business.

For one, it is a free marketing platform. Second, social media enables two-way communication between you and your customers. Social media is also an excellent way to encourage your customers to spread the word about your business.

However, we understand if you find social media marketing overwhelming. As such, we have listed down 12 different ways you can use this platform to promote your business.

Choose the Most Effective Platforms

Every brand is different. Therefore, they need to find which is the best platform that will work best with them.

If your brand is more on the visual aspect, tapping into Instagram or Pinterest is a great idea. But how about other platforms out there?

At Voy Media Marketing Agency NYC, we always advise our clients to start with one or two channels first. This helps reduce the overwhelming feeling they get. It also prevents them from spreading themselves too thin.

After all, a business owner should focus on making his business grow instead of promoting his products on social media.

When determining the proper channels to use, you need to consider your customers and your business's needs.

You need to create social media accounts on the platforms that your target audience use. That way, they can easily connect with you.

It would help if you also did some research on sites that best fit your products. Let's say you're a video production company. Then, Youtube here is perhaps the most obvious choice.

Provide Value

The most successful marketers out there didn't build an engaged following on social media by simply posting links to product pages.

Users on social media want more value from the pages that they follow. Therefore, sellers need to come up with content offerings that provide value to their followers. What's in it for them?

You can accomplish this goal by figuring out which topics people often care about. Think of how your products and services can help solve everyday issues. And then publish relevant content regularly.

But you also beware brands also have to be careful not to act in a very promotional way. Although promotion is vital, this shouldn't be tempered with various other posts that don't make any sales pitch.

So, highlight your brand's offerings. It's also essential that you focus on your company's more unique aspects or products. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to create long-form content.

Create a Calendar

Scrambling to post at the very last minute eventually leads you to produce low-quality content.

A lack of organization in this area will eventually cause you to create repeated posts or a dull social media presence.

Coming up with your own social media calendar is one of the excellent ways to achieve your marketing goals. It also allows you to monitor your progress.

Create a regular content calendar for every social media platform, planning out your posts in advance. Include links, hashtags, images, and other social media content forms.

Build Relationships with Influencers

When people think about influencers, the first thing that usually comes into mind is celebrities and athletes. However, partnering with these people won't probably fit your marketing budget if you're starting.

But influencer marketing is one of the fastest ways you can acquire more customers in a digital world. How can you implement a strategy like this? Well, you can partner with micro-influencers instead.

Although these kinds of people may not have millions of followers, you can still get them to post your content for a couple of hundreds of dollars.

Offer them a free product instead in exchange for a post about your brand. You can effectively use this strategy because micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement metrics with their followers. And that is despite the fact they are not celebrities.

You might also consider working with local influencers in your area if you're a small business. It's also likely that your followers will be interested in supporting your brand.

Share Product Videos

Visual content also works exceptionally well with social media.

Video content, for instance, is a great way to grab the attention of your audience. It also lets you showcase your personality while excitingly conveying your marketing message.

It stands out as users scroll through their feeds on social media, and they're likely to view and engage with it. This also allows you to say more than an average post without coming off as too overwhelming.

For the best results, come up with interesting, narrative-driven video content.

Share User-Generated Content

Sharing user-generated content online helps you drive brand awareness.

Let's say you regularly publish posts on Instagram. Consider posting images of people wearing or using your products. And then tag the people in your photo.

This allows you to expand your brand's audience reach. That's because when you tag a person, it is likely that they will share it with their audience. This means that more Instagram users will notice you.

Also, do you know that 92% of consumers will trust a referral even if it comes from people they know?

Without a doubt, user-generated content can be one of the best ways you can gain more followers. It is up to you how you can turn these new followers into loyal customers.

Run Contests and Giveaways

Similarly, running contests and giveaways are often a no-brainer if you want to boost brand awareness.

Coming with low-barrier contests can be an immense help in spreading the word about your business, especially if the mechanics are straightforward. Thus, these are the ones that usually drive the highest engagement.

If you're starting out running contests and giveaways, we recommend that you go with this route.

Consider Paid Advertising

You can run paid advertising campaigns on almost every social media channel.

Although there's a price tag attached to this strategy, this is vital- especially in an era with organic reach is slowly declining.

Because PPC is one of the main ways retailers use to drive traffic on social media, you must know audience targeting and personalization.

Fortunately, many social media platforms give advertisers various targeting parameters. This ensures that people who can see your ad are those who are likely to transact with you.

Many targeting options of various sites these days include dimensions such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Interests
  • Languages
  • Location

Moreover, social media platforms allow sellers to target custom and lookalike audiences. These are social media users who have interacted with a brand that is similar to yours. It also refers to people who share the same demographic and psychographic as your existing customers.

With various ad formats and targeting parameters, it's almost unforgivable that you don't know the ins and outs of social media advertising.

Engage Followers

To get your posts translated to traffic and sales, you need to engage or connect with your followers as a retailer.

When people have positive interaction with your business, they'll recommend it to other people. But to form a meaningful connection with your audience, everything doesn't have to be about sales.

You can talk about general topics which are often related to your niche.

That way, if you'll post something related to sales, later on, they'll more likely engage and interact with your brand.

If you want a follower to post something about your content, then responding to them will make them feel part of that dialogue. It will also make them think that you're interested in them.

Utilize Hashtags

Hashtags have already been a staple for a lot of sites on social media.

Hashtags are commonly used on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This is to provide users the means to improve organic discovery by reaching out to people who use these terms.

However, note that hashtag etiquette is often different for every site.

Although it's okay that you post nine hashtags or more on Instagram, this doesn't often work with Facebook.

That's why you must take time learning how hashtags are used in a specific social media platform that you're using.

Use Shoppable Posts

Although linking your online store to your Instagram Page isn't always easy, there are still other ways that you can work it out.

One of the excellent ways to do that is to publish photos on your Instagram Page or stories. You can even come up with a video clip featuring those products, then linking your online store in your Instagram bio.

By doing this, you're letting your customers send you a shopping inquiry without hassle.

Build a Community

Rather than getting as many followers as possible, you can look at your potential and existing customers.

These are the people who will likely repost your content, like your posts, and eventually become paying customers.

When you build a community around your brand, people will likely engage and promote your content.

When you use social media for marketing your brand, you need to ensure that you're visible to your target audience. By taking the tips listed above into heart, you'll likely develop a system that enables you to produce engaging content constantly.

AbanteCart Named Best Shopping Cart Software Company of 2021 by Digital.com

The AbanteCart was highlighted among the most efficient solutions to help manage online stores and generate sales

Digital.com, a leading independent review website for small business online tools, products, and services, has named AbanteCart among the best shopping cart software companies of 2021. The top systems were selected based on core features and integration capabilities.

AbanteCart and all software solutions were expected to offer tools that integrate seamlessly with most websites. The study also evaluated platforms with user-friendly functions, such as order tracking and online reviews, to enhance the customers’ experience. Additional requirements include abandoned cart saver tools that automate reminder emails to customers who leave the site before finalizing a transaction.

Digital.com’s research team conducted a 40-hour assessment of over 60 solutions. To access the complete list of best shopping cart software, please visit https://digital.com/shopping-cart-software.

ABOUT DIGITAL.COM

Digital.com reviews and compares the best products, services, and software for running or growing a small business website or online shop. The platform collects twitter comments and uses sentiment analysis to score companies and their products. Digital.com was founded in 2015 and formerly known as Review Squirrel. To learn more, visit https://digital.com.

How To Save An "Almost" Lost Revenue With Website Popups

If you’ve ever owned an ecommerce site, you know it can be difficult to reduce bounce rate.

You did everything right. Your website has high-quality visuals, compelling copy, and it’s optimized for SEO. Yet, it’s not enough to make new customers sign-up stay in your online store.

It happens all the time: Potential customers come but go quickly.

The result is a missed chance at conversion and a loss at potential revenue.

To solve this problem, consider using website popups.

Why Use A Website Popup?

Website popups may seem annoying—but they can be effective.

Sumo analyzed approximately 1,754,957,675 popups and found that the top 10% with the highest performance had an average conversion rate of 9.28%. Furthermore, the average conversion rate for all the popups was 3.09%.

Having a website popup gives you another opportunity to convert customers and get them along the sales funnel. As a last resort, you can use it to offer a discount, free shipping and downloadable content so visitors sign-up or make a purchase.

At the very least, an email sign-up will give your business more opportunities to get in touch with leads or prospects. Then, you can make them move along the sales funnel.

So today, I'll show you how to utilize website popups to recover lost revenue.

1. Exit-intent popup

An exit-intent popup appears before customers leave your online store.

Some people may find these popups irritating. Yet, there’s no harm in using it to reel in first-time site visitors. After all, they were about to leave your website anyway.

In fact, OptinMonster reports that an exit-intent popup could help businesses recover around 53% of abandoning visitors. Additionally, Backlinko founder Brian Dean shared that last-minute popups helped him snag 50,000 people to his subscriber list! 

Exit-intent popups have a lot of potential for your online business.

Of course, you’ll need to sweeten the deal by including free shipping and discounts. Otherwise, visitors won’t be compelled to make a last-minute sign-up.

For example, Optinmonster’s popup for Black Friday promotes its 60% off deals. What’s more, they included a countdown timer and the words “Limited Time Only” to compel customers to take up the offer.

Another thing we loved with this popup is the huge red “Claim My Discount!” CTA button. It definitely pressures customers to stay on the site and claim the offer.

2. Chat or support page popup 

Sometimes customers leave your site because they’re not entirely convinced about your offer. Sure, they’ve read the features page and pricing plans but it’s still not enough to seal the deal.

In this case, a popup that directs users to a chat or support page may be the best way to convince them to use your product. This is especially true for businesses in the B2B or tech space who sell complicated software.

Rather than a discount, a live chat with customer service or sales agent may provide them with the answers they need to move to the next step.

For example, Sumo has a simple popup that encourages users to talk to an expert. The easy-to-understand popup makes it easy for visitors to get in touch with staff members.

3. Refer-a-friend popup 

Sometimes the cost of trying a new product may dissuade customers from making a purchase.

Now, what if you could invite your friend to try the product—and both of you get a discount? Wouldn’t that be an amazing deal!

This is how a referral popup works. Basically, customers or brand advocates can refer a friend to use a product and service. If their friend makes a purchase, they can get discounts or freebies.

Unlike most traditional marketing tactics, referral marketing is perceived as trustworthy because we trust recommendations from our loved ones.

In fact, ReferralCandy found that word-of-mouth referrals are trusted by 86% of consumers, which makes it the most trusted marketing tactic. Plus, customers acquired through word-of-mouth spend 200% more than the average customer, and make as twice as many referrals.

For businesses, a referral pop-up means that you can snag two new customers, instead of just one. There’s also minimal effort required to get new customers along the sales funnel. It’s the ideal win-win-win scenario.

Here’s an example of a refer-a-friend popup from Uber. Users can get free rides or $20 off just by spreading the word to their friends. This encourages users to onboard their friends to the platform in exchange for free services.

Like Uber, most referral programs utilize two-sided referral incentives. Meaning both customers and their friends will be rewarded for the successful referral. By incentivizing both parties, businesses make it easier for brand advocates to convince their friends.

4. Thank you popup

Once your customer successfully refers their friends to your business, don’t forget to say thank you! Show your appreciation and express your gratitude. You can also use a pop-up to thank customers for the time and effort spent to successfully persuade friends and family to try a new brand or product.

For example, Glossier’s popup thanks customers for their successful referral and gives them a $10 store credit. Plus, they encourage readers to share again by providing them with a referral link.

Glossier uses the popup as another opportunity to instantly make more referrals through email, Messenger, and Twitter.

This goes beyond e-commerce though.  Tactics like this can be used by large and small businesses alike.

As Ron from One Hour Professor explains, “One of my best converting offers on my blog happens after someone has subscribed to my email list and I urge them to create an online course of their own.  I was shocked at how effective this has been, my conversion here is nearly double of any other pop-up I have.”

Conclusion

Popups provide you with a last-minute opportunity to connect with your website visitors. Exit-intent popups can lure people in through discounts, free shipping and downloadable content. In contrast, a chat or support page popup gives you an opportunity to get prospects through your sales funnel.

While exit-intent and support page popups are powerful, we highly recommend including referral popups in your marketing arsenal. This marketing tactic lets first-time users or loyal customers refer their friends so they can both snag the product at a discounted price. Hence, you get two or more new customers instead of just one.

Payment Gateways: How To Secure Ecommerce Transactions Safe

Payment Gateways: How To Secure Ecommerce Transactions Safe

Online shopping is extremely comfortable for both retailers and customers. In the recent decade, e-Commerce has grown significantly and continues to develop. By the year 2021 online sales will reach $4.8T globally, which is an astonishing number. It is also expected the number of online buyers will be more than 2 billion worldwide.

payment

Many factors contribute to such significant statistics, but one of the main ones is the security of online transactions. Both clients and merchants want to be sure of the safety of their funds. And the request for that depends not only on the fact that the deal happens virtually, but because the cyber attacks are also a huge issue. That’s why high-profile specialists like Ruby engineers are always in great demand.

According to a recent report, 75% of American online merchants have suffered at least one cybersecurity failure. It is not only a problem of data breaches but also an issue of trust from customers. The statistic shows that 17% of people abandon their shopping carts because they do not trust the site and 4% leave because of the lack of payment options.

That’s why e-Commerce transactions have to be safe and use payment getaways. Usually, all digital financial operations the same steps:

  • Authorization – customer types in the payment data; it is transmitted to a merchant’s bank, client’s bank, and retailer. The main goal is to state that the payment is not fraudulent and the payer has enough funds on their account.
  • Clearance – the payment data (without CVV) is sent from a retailer to the credit card association or bank involved.
  • Settlement – the money is transferred from the bank or credit card to the retailer’s account.

What is Payment Gateway

The next question you might ask is what a payment gateway is and how it helps to secure e-Commerce transactions. As Ruby engineers would say, it is a software service that ensures the connection between the retailer and the bank or other financial institution. It is a lot like a digital cash register, the safe third party in the deal.

There are several benefits of payment gateways both for clients and retailers, such as:

  • Security. It has an in-built encryption mechanism that makes sure that all the sensitive data is transmitted and stored properly. And a merchant wants to make sure that there are no data breaches as they are quite costly. 
  • Flexibility. A retailer can route payments to different accounts. So there is no need to transfer everything at one bank, you can choose what payments are directed to separate accounts.
  • Give more payment options. The most popular gateway solutions offer several options, including major credit cards and banks, and different digital means (Apple Pay or PayPal). It is great for those who cater to a wider audience and want to make sure that everyone can choose the payment method they are comfortable with. For those who sell products internationally, it is a must.
  • Credibility. Any additional security measures make customers trust you more. And when there is mutual trust, people tend to come back. This is how a loyal audience is built.

It is not surprising that more e-Commerce companies are interested in more secure transactions and search for a Ruby developer as an in-house employee or a freelance Ruby developer. Of course, the choice of a particular technology and programming language depends on the specificity of the project, but Ruby is one of the most common ones.  

Main Types of Payment Gateways

There are several major payment gateways providers, like Stripe, Square, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and others. A retailer can use them mainly in three main ways they interact with their website

  1.     Redirect. It is one of the easiest ways. In such a case a customer clicks on the “buy” button and is redirected to the payment gateway service page. For example, if you use PayPal, a client is redirected to the PayPal page where they put in all the information. After that, they are directed back to your website. The main downside of this option is that the retailer does not control all the steps. And for some customers, an additional step is taking too long. The less advanced users can be also scared off by it sometimes, but most people are quite aware of such methods.
  2.     Checkout Integration. In this case, a retailer has control over all steps. A buyer types in all the credit card information on their checkout page, then this data is transmitted to the payment gateway through API or other integration methods. For a customer it is not seen, everything happens on a backend. The purchase and authorization take place on your website.
  3.     On-site payments. Huge corporations and international businesses often choose to handle payments directly by their own servers. It is a valid method that helps to control all the data but adds a lot of responsibility. It also increases the development and support budget, including Ruby engineers salary.

The choice of the methods depends on the business, its budget, and goals. In any case, it is essential to care about security measures.

How to Secure Payment Gateway

The importance of security in case of transactions is obvious. It is a legal issue that helps to build trustful relations with customers, attract new ones, and make sure that the business will not be affected by any possible data breaches. There are several rules on how to add security to payment gateways, such as:

  1.     Choose a credible provider to integrate the solution into your company. If you have no in-house team of developers, consider hiring a freelance or offshore team that can help to power up your company. It is not a time to cut finances on security, search Ruby programmer cost, and evaluate what you can expect for your project’s budget.
  2.     Choose a provider that has high-level in-built security measures. Whether it is PayPal or Amazon Pay, the choice depends not only on the country you are working in and the fees. The provider needs to have a good reputation, great security measures, and an amazing score of zero breaches on its side. Also, make sure that the provider is PCI compliant. Depending on the method of integration with a payment gateway service, you might also need to be compliant. Namely, in cases two and three. If you use the redirect method, all the legal responsibility is on the provider as you do not hold or transmit any sensitive information.
  3.     Use HTML protocol for your website.
  4.     Make sure data encryption is on the top. Or hire someone who can make sure of that.
  5.     Incorporate SSL and SET protocols into your e-Commerce website.

Conclusion

Payment gateways serve as digital cash registers and make sure the safety of customers and retailers. They use advanced encryption technology to act as a protection between an e-Commerce website and a bank or credit card association. They are beneficial for companies as they add more security and trust of customers. But they should be implemented and integrated by professionals to make sure that all the advanced measures are on.