Article Archive by Emily MacNair

October 13 2009

Holiday Tips for Your Site

by Emily MacNair

Believe it or not, it won’t be long until the holidays are here.  To avoid last minute headaches, now is the time to start thinking, planning, and even implementing website changes to get ready for the holiday season.  Many of these changes will help to improve the overall user experience; however, some may also have benefits from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective.

  • If your site has internal pages that are of particular importance this season, create awareness of those pages by modifying how users can navigate to them.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to re-organize your entire site. Instead you could feature links or images on your homepage that lead to your popular holiday products, featured items, etc.
  • We all love things that are free.  Consider offering free shipping, free gift wrapping, or a free gift with purchase.  Feature these types of offerings on the site as well as in relevant title and description tags.  The title and description tags are typically the text that is used to populate the clickable link and snippet of text on the search engine results pages.  When incentives are included, you increase the likelihood that someone will click through to your site instead of a competitor’s site.
  • Make sure your contact information is prominent.  This sounds obvious, but it’s especially critical during the peak shopping season.  If someone has an issue during the checkout process, the last thing that you want them to do is leave the site frustrated. Make sure you prominently feature your contact information, especially a customer service number, so that you can help to make the shopping experience as easy as possible.
  • Don’t forget about gift certificates.  If you offer gift certificates, these can be a good item to feature on the homepage for those who are unsure of what to purchase as a gift.
  • It’s also important to think about the things that you can do off-site.  Participate where your audience is currently spending time on the Internet.  This may be Facebook, Twitter, or within the blogosphere. Comment on blogs, especially blogs that are well-known within your industry. This could open up opportunities to generate conversations about your products or services. It may also enable you to get in front of a new audience that you haven’t yet tapped into.  Social media channels can also be a great tool to monitor what people are saying about your products or brand.
  • Build additional pages to enable you to target popular search terms, such as keywords with the word “gifts”. The search volume for “gifts” alone spikes around the holiday season, so take advantage of this opportunity where possible.
September 29 2009

Mobile App Considerations

by Emily MacNair

As social media marketing is becoming increasingly prominent for businesses, so is the development of applications, such as those that can be downloaded for the iPhone and other smartphones. If you are thinking about developing a mobile application, there are a few things that you should take into consideration.
First, think about what someone will do with the app.  Will it serve as a tool or will it be for entertainment? What is the value that users will receive from using the app?  In other words, what will entice them to come back?  If you have an iPhone, you probably know how it works. You download an app, use it three or four times, and then about a month later, you realize that you haven’t used it since the day it was downloaded.  So, from a marketer’s perspective, what will you do to entice downloaders to use the application more than once or twice?  Perhaps you’ll roll out a new and improved version after a few months. Or, maybe it will make sense to continuously add new content or features to the app.  Lastly, one of the most important considerations is whether or not a mobile app is appropriate for your company or business.  A lot of people have iPhones, but a large portion of your customers may not.  iPhone users are typically younger and more technically savvy. If you find that this is not your audience, consider waiting to build a mobile app and focus instead on creating a presence within established social channels, where your audience is already participating.

With the thousands of applications available for download, below are a few that are widely popular.

Kraft iFood Assistant
The Kraft iFood Assistant continuously builds brand awareness from the kitchen to the grocery store.  It offers how-to videos, easy recipes, tips and a built-in shopping list.

Chipotle Ordering
You can order favorite Chipotle burrito, pay for it from your iPhone, and then pick it up from your local Chipotle with this handy app.

B&N Bookstore by Barnes & Nobles
This app offers everything from book recommendations to finding events at your local store. It also allows you to use your camera to take a photo of a CD, book or DVD cover, and receive product details, reviews and ratings of that product.

SitOrSquat sponsored by Charmin
This app contains information on where to find bathrooms, changing tables, handicap access and other amenities that you may need on the go.

September 8 2009

Fan Pages and Text Messaging

by Emily MacNair

More companies and brands are on Facebook than ever before, and this number continues to grow daily.  The ways in which companies can interact with fans also increases continuously, making it difficult to say on top of the possibilities.

One feature that doesn’t seem to be widely known is that Facebook users can actually become fans of a company or brand page through a simple text message. If you are a Facebook page admin, you first need to edit the page to enable someone to successfully become a fan via text messaging. 

From a user’s perspective, to become a fan of one of your favorite pages (company, brand, musician, etc.), all that you need to do is simply text “fan PageName” to FBOOK (32665).  There is one catch… to successfully “fan” a page, a Facebook user must first activate their phone. This can be done through the Settings page shown below.

Does your company attend events or conferences? If so, this feature could be especially beneficial. You could promote your page during an event, and those interested could immediately become a fan of your page through a text message. It could also be a great way to integrate your social media marketing (SMM) efforts with other offline campaigns and promotions, such as TV and radio ads, to encourage page fans that way as well.

Posted in: Social Media

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