Facebook is gearing up to become much more than the leading presence in social media to date. It seems the social media moguls are ploughing ahead and dipping their toes in the online retail market. A US trial is taking place to send out real gifts from the Facebook platform. You can send gifts to your friends, ranging from cupcakes, stuffed bears and gift-cards for a cost.
Facebook has dabbled with a similar idea before, starting out small with sending virtual gifts to people, some free, and some for a small cost. The team are looking to go big this time, and have got some of the high-end brands on board during the trial. Starbucks – the leading coffee chain, Magnolia Bakery –New York’s most famous bakery (made even more well known through ‘Sex and the City’), and Gund – a huge bear retailer, are all in on the trial act. Only a small percentage of people are involved in the trial, but we’re looking forward to the outcome of this.
It seems like a natural progression for Facebook to take on, what seems like such a daunting task to the rest of us, with the gumption and drive of the big boys in business. With the social media platform notoriously known for working with companies to track what we shop for online, whilst browsing on and after visiting the site, we predict it won’t be long before we start seeing last nights browsing items pop up on the right hand side of our screens.
It has not yet been stated if and indeed when the trial will end, when the scheme becomes multi-nationals and inevitably world-wide. However, we can only assume that with Facebook being as big as it is, that it will only be a matter of time before companies sign up to the project. With shares in Facebook remarkably low considering the wealth the company holds, this is one way they are almost certain to make more on the advertising scheme of things, with top retailers paying above the odds to be listed on the social media pages.
As has been suspected for some time, the new addition of Google+ is indeed beginning to make it’s presence known within the SERP’s. SEO stars around the world are in a frenzy about how they can get ahead of the game and use Google+ for their advantage.
The main point of interest for the search results is the +1 feature which adds a kind of approval from users/customers for links and products or the whole site. This +1 is also said to feed into the main Google Algorithm and could possibly have positive effects on your rankings.
Not only that but with the various opportunities Google+ Pages offer including circles to share content and contact details, the potential implications of Google+ on your SERPS are phenominal.
I think this recent search says alot…
To find out more about how your business can use Google+ get in touch today and see how Bright Digital Minds can help you.
If you are about to launch an incentive for your affiliates there are a few things you might want to think about first;
Set Your Objective
Incentives are an easy method to improve affiliate marketing, and can be very rewarding for all those involved. In order to make an incentive successful, it is vital to recognise your objectives. Some programs are designed to promote brand name. Yet others are have the goal of gaining new affiliates, while others are made to promote productivity in current ones. Whether you have similar goals, or completely new ones, remember to think about what you want to achieve whilst you design your incentive.
Making It Fair
Your program will be more successful if you make it fair. If you arrange it so that only a select few will be able to win (top affiliates, most sales etc) you will probably not be reaching your goal. In this circumstance, many people may not wish to participate, due to the feeling that the prizes are not easily reachable. If you create an incentive which offers different levels and types of prizes, more participants will be able to get a reward for good work. Remember, the goal of the incentive is to either have your affiliates perform better or to attract more affiliates or for you to gain additional exposure. Many companies use their own products as incentives, which can often be successful, as your affiliates will get to experience first hand the products they are promoting.
In order to get the word out about your incentive there are a few tools you can use to ensure you get maximum exposure.
Other forums such as ABestWeb or AffiliateForum.com.au
Your own affiliate blog
Email your affiliates direct
Network email system
Monitor and Measure
After you implement your program, you will, of course, need to put measures in place to find out how well it is working. You will need to find out how much is being put towards giving out incentives as compared to how much your profit is. Obviously, the program will benefit your company more if you have gained something from the program as well. It will also be necessary to see how well your affiliates are satisfied with the prizes. You will get much information from monitoring increase in sales and other markers of better productivity. When these numbers are compared to number of prizes given out and who is receiving the prizes, you will get a better idea of whether your program is successful at the goals you had predetermined.
It might seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but when you set up your social media campaign, have a think about how you portray yourself. Continuous shouts about how busy you are or your recent client wins may not actually be the best way forward. Whilst the odd bit of bragging never did anyone any harm – do people really want to see you repeat your achievements over and over again? Think about how your brand is being portrayed. Similarly – continuous shouts about all your amazing products or sales or offers can do the same – you become a machine randomly blurting information. There is no opportunity for a RT or Share or even… a reply. Social media should encourage people to have a conversation with you, it should open up the lines of communication and have personality.
If your goals with your twitter and facebook accounts are to just fill the page with information in the hope that some will stick – you need to re-think what you are doing; ‘Spray and Pray’ to coin an old email marketing phrase just doesn’t work with Social Media. The people who are your fans or potential fans are online savvy, they know how the internet works and chances are, have their own opinions of what should be found on a twitter stream or fan page – so why not ask them? Get them involved! With things like facebook questions you can easily gauge what people expect to see online – do your research and use the results!
With new monitoring and measuring tools like facebook insights, you are able to very quickly see what is working and what isn’t – so make sure you use the information you have. Why not try asking questions or encouraging people to RT. Measure your response, if it doesn’t work, try something else.
Before you go out all guns a blazin’ – sit down, make some plans and then execute them.
If you need help or want to discuss your social media strategy, get in touch today and see how Bright Digital Minds can help you!