Increasing Sales Webinar Series: Social Media

This free webinar was presented by Attracta on September 4th, 2014.

The fifth in our “Increasing Sales” series, this webinar will cover how to use social media to promote your site and products. We’ll review marketing your products on sites like Pinterest, as well as converting your “likes” to sales. Additionally, we’ll go over how to get started with social media if you don’t already have a social media presence for your site, and creative ways to boost your fan base online.

Presented By

Joe Knipp Attracta Managed Services Team

Greg Webb Attracta Managed Services Team

Important Links & Resources from this Webinar

Webinar Transcript

Joe:                 All right, thanks for joining us for today’s webinar.  Today’s webinar is all about using social media to increase sales through your website.  My name is Joe Knipp, I’ve been in web development for the last 15 years.

Greg:               My name is Greg Webb.  I am one of the lead consultants for Attracta over here, part of an SEO team that has successfully ranked over 10,000 sites in the last four years.

Joe:                 We’re going to give you some insights on what you can do on social media for your website.  Today, we’re going to focus specifically on increasing sales via social media.  We intend to do a webinar series all about using social media, all about using social media for your business.  Today, let’s just focus on how you can really use social media to increase sales.  We’re going to cover Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, all of which you can drive sales in different ways.  Before we get started I do want to mention that we actually have a pretty cool service that can save you some time.

We create social profiles on a large number of sites for you.  You just give us your site name and a preferred user name and our team will set up profiles for you, then send you the passwords, so you’ll have access to them.  That gives you a bit of an SEO boost, also; because, you’ll get a link from each profile to your site and if you’re familiar with SEO links are good for SEO.  It does benefit that way as well, but also save you a lot of time in registering and creating profiles.  It’s pretty cool and we’ll post a link to that service below this video on our site.  We will be posting this webinar on our site with links to everything that we talk about, any services that we offer that may help you out with this.  Let’s get started with Pinterest.

Greg:               All right.

Joe:                 Why is Pinterest important?  Many of you might say, okay, I’m familiar with Pinterest.  You might even have an account, but you probably haven’t considered using it to sell your product yet.  That’s a bit of a mistake and we’ll talk about that in the series a little bit.  If you think Pinterest is all about just fashion and recipes, you’re actually a little bit wrong about that.  Everything from travel, sports, humor, especially important products.  There are a lot of subjects that get covered by Pinterest users, especially as the reach of the site grows.

There’s 17% of people in the US go on Pinterest once a month.  We’re getting close to 40% of Internet connected women in the United States are Pinterest very, very often.  Forty-seven percent of online shoppers in the United States have purchased a product that they saw on Pinterest.  Again, very important to have a presence on Pinterest for your products and for your brand.  Also, the average Pinterest user has a household income of over $1000.00 a year, so these are affluent people.

Greg:               One hundred thousand.

Joe:                 One hundred thousand dollars a year.  These are affluent people who can afford to have expendable income and can afford to purchase these items.  In a comparison with Facebook, the average order from Pinterest is double of what the average order from a Facebook sale is.  Pinterest is very, very important there.  Some must haves for your Pinterest profile.  You need to create a business account, not a personal account.  You can convert an existing personal account to a business account.  Pinterest has added analytics for business accounts as well.  That lets you track how your account is performing as far as how your sales are going through your account.

You do have to verify your site.  It’s as simple as uploading a verification file.  Then you want to make sure that you add the Pin It button to all of your product’s pages.  Add a description to each product.  Most people don’t bother to change the description, but it’s good to have a unique description of the product.  The Pin It button is so people can simply click that button and they’ve pinned it to one of their boards.  It encourages people to pin your products on Pinterest.  Some advanced Pinterest integrations.  We’ll talk about Rich Pins a little bit.

Rich Pins are extremely powerful.  You basically add meta tags to your site to tell Pinterest the price, the availability and other details about the products.  You can edit your pages by hand and add these tags in, but it’s probably best to just use a shopping cart plug in that can automatically add the tags.  We’ll link to a few of those below the video.  Again, we’re going to post this on our website, so you’ll be able to review this webinar and check out any links to any of the stuff we’re talking about.  We’ll also link to instructions from Pinterest site on what you need to do once you’ve added the tags.

We’ll explain this in depth further.  With Rich Pins when someone pins your product on Pinterest everyone will not only see your product photo, but they’ll also see your site name and icon, so you get more clicks.  It’s more eye catching that way.  Plus, they will see a live in stock indicator.  This lets them know you actually have this item available for purchase right now.  It’ll also display their current price of the product.  Very useful that way.  This encourages people to just click through and buy your product.  From our tests a product with a Rich Pin is significantly more likely to get purchased through the Pinterest applications.

The best part though, if you ever run a promotion or a sale on your website, Pinterest will detect that automatically, so that’s where this advanced integration very, very important.  It will alert anyone who’s previously pinned your product, that it is on sale.  Imagine if someone sees a cool t-shirt that was pinned and then they re-pin it, later they’ll get a notification letting them know, hey this t-shirt is now on sale.  The click thru rate comes back and buy from those notifications is astronomical.  Again very, very important stuff.  Another cool thing about Rich Pins if you add the meta tags to your site and people have already pinned your products, all of your previous pins become Rich Pins automatically.

Those price drop notifications will apply to anyone who previously pinned items from your site, as well as future pins.  Real quick just an example of a Rich Pin.  This is just kind of what it looks like here.  You see there’s extra information in here.  It lets you know where you can buy it.  It’s in stock.  That’s the current price.  All this great stuff here.

Greg:               I actually have that chair at home.

Joe:                 Nice.  Then price drop notification just to give you an example of what that looks like here real quick.  It kind of shows you good news, this thing that you’ve pinned here is now on sale for 15% less.  Very, very useful stuff with the advanced Pinterest integrations.  Running your Pinterest profile.  You’ve got your products all linked up with Rich Pin technology all set you.  You’ve got the Pin It button set up.  You’re encouraging your visitors to pin your products.  That’s very important, but it’s also important to run that business profile that you’ve created.

You want to make sure that you’re continually keeping that up-to-date and fresh for your users.  Number one rule:  Don’t make your Pinterest nothing but a dump of all of your products.  It’s perfectly fine to promote your products, but you need to work those in with other content that people will find engaging.  An example, if you sell office supplies and just post pictures of paper clips and pens all day, you’re not going to make a splash doing that.  One good way to encourage engagement is to create an inspiration board about your industry.  For office supplies you might make a board called Cool Office Toys, where you post pictures of nerf guns and other fun stuff even if you don’t sell it directly.

You make it fun, make it more engaging to your users.  You might have a modern office inspirations where you re-pin photos of modern offices.  These types of really cool photos will get people interested in your boards and then you can ease them into pins of the products that you sell.  Again, create engaging content for your users and then just kind of sprinkle in your products that you’re selling there.  The easiest way to do this is really just look for people who are already posting interesting stuff.

Maybe people who are pinning pictures of cool modern offices and then just re-pin those.  The people you re-pin from are going to take note and they will likely start following your profile as well.  That increases the likelihood that they will re-pin your products and lead to more sales due to the viral way that Pinterest displays popular items.  Before anyone will pin anything of yours you’ve got to make sure that you’ve got good descriptions for your pins, especially like your product pins.  We already mentioned that Pinterest users aren’t likely to change their product descriptions when they pin something, which is good news; because, it means that there’s a high chance that whatever you write will stick around with your link.

Good solid original content.  You want to make sure just with anything else, with SEO, anything that you’re doing, don’t try to over optimize.  Make sure that you’re keeping it natural.  Keep it useful to your users.  You never want to key word stuff the description of your pins.  Something like a description like cute and modern leather notebook is going to work a lot better than leather bound executive notebook, notepad, paper, tablet.  Sale notepad and paper with hash tags and things like that.  We’ve found that hash tags are falling from fashion on Pinterest.

Be sure to use those sparingly too.  You want to be very careful with how you’re using hash tags.  A lot of people they discover the hash tag thing and then just hash tag everything.

Greg:               Go a little bit overboard.

Joe:                 Yeah.  Be careful with that kind of stuff.

Greg:               Use it in moderation for sure.

Joe:                 If you just spend a little time running your Pinterest profile every day and you drill your followers, you’re going to build an army that will post about your products for you.  This can really, really pay off.

Greg:               All right, I’m going to talk about Twitter which is for many people kind of the Goliath of all the social networks and it’s a little bit intimidating; because, it is for text savvy users and it does move very quickly.  If you don’t stay up today with Twitter, it’s easy to get left behind.  You know this is great if you’re selling a virtual product.  It’s not going to be a great fit for every single company out there, but if you have an online subscription or a web based service, Twitter is a great way to promote that.  A lot of Twitter users are not going to be your core Facebook users.

They’re a little bit more tech savvy.  They kind of know what’s going on in the tech world.  For that reason the age group is getting a lot younger for Twitter users too.  It’s a great way to connect with a younger audience, that’s new.  They’re favorite celebrities and TV shows and stuff like that.  Just keep that in mind when you’re doing any marketing.  Just know your target audience and make sure that you cater to them.  One thing about Twitter, just be prepared for a lot of noise.  This is; because, the average Twitter user is going to see thousands and thousands of new Tweets per day. The volume is ever increasing.  It’s a little bit overwhelming.

It’s easy for Tweets to sort of all through the cracks and maybe not get as much exposure.  You just need to get in the habit of posting multiple times per day, so that the likelihood of your Tweets getting noticed goes up a lot more.  All right, so using Twitter for prospecting.  This could be really good for prospecting.  It’s something that we call brand management.  You can search for recent Tweets.  You can look for people who are complaining about your competitors.  Everybody loves to complain online right?  Then you can kind of go after that and maybe give them a discount for your own service, you know the people that are complaining about your competitors.

That’s a good way to get them over to your side of the ship.  Now another popular trick is to search for people who are Tweeting things like does anybody know where I can get cheap office supplies, or does anybody know where I can pick up a stapler down the street or something like that?  Any open ended product really question, if you can find those and you can respond to those quick enough, those are great ways to get your brand out there.  It’s a real easy way to make a conversion.  Now there’s another thing that you can do and that’s again, just look for people that are unhappy with your own service and just follow them immediately.

This is a rule that you can apply not only to Twitter, but Yelp or any other place where people leave reviews or post their opinions on your service.  You know on Facebook, you can’t just easily hide those negative posts and hope that the people go away; because, on Twitter they have a very loud voice.  It’s probably a lot better idea to respond quickly and publically so that you can get your problems resolved out in the open before it goes viral.  There’s been a lot of cases of big brands out there that have kind of gone on the defensive when somebody was criticizing them and it absolutely blew up in their face.

Whatever you do, just avoid that.  Another thing about Twitter it is public, so this is great if you want to investigate potential leads.  If somebody signs up for a free trial for your service and you want them to convert over to become a paid user then you can find them on Twitter.  There’s a lot of services that will take an e-mail address and give you that person’s matching social profile and by the way we will link to that below this video when we’re finished and you can investigate that a little bit further, but yeah using a service like that is great.  It’s easy to find people and get an idea as to who they are based upon their profile and that sort of thing.

Now these people may have posted recently that they were having problems with a competitor of yours and they’re looking for alternatives, so again this is a really great way to reach out to them when the time is right.  Hit them with your sales pitch and they’ll be a lot more receptive to that and much more likely to convert to become a paying customer.  Now one other thing I want to mention is looking at your competitors or potential partners, it’s a great way to tell what’s going on with them.  Potential business partners that is, it’s real easy to monitor, as a monitor on what’s going on their side of the business.

What kind of issues or complaints are popping up over there?  What kind of products are they promoting or services?  You can pretty much use that to gauge when it’s a good time to launch a full on assault.  Now one thing that a lot of people have questions on and maybe even some difficulty with this as well.  It’s just growing your Twitter followers, you know growing your audience.  Beyond using Twitter for just prospecting and reaching potential clients, it’s a great way to build up a base of followers that really care about your brand or your business.

Now one good way to do this is to look for people who are in your industry.  Let’s go back to our office supply example again; because, it’s so interesting.  It’s probably good to go out and look for blogs where people are writing reviews on pens.  Believe it or not, yes that does exist, people are actually blogging about pens.  Find those people on Twitter and reach out to them.  It’s a great way to get them interested in your brand.  Now obviously you want to follow up with those people.  I’m sorry not follow up, but obviously you want to follow with them on Twitter.  A lot of people aren’t automatically going to follow you back, but again that’s just; because, of the high level of noise on Twitter.

There’s so many people following and unfollowing every day, it’s kind of difficult to keep track of that.  Here’s a trick.  Try favoring one of these people’s recent Tweets, especially one that is relevant to your industry or your website.  Now these people will get an e-mail saying, your Tweet was favored.  Then it has a follow back button right there in the e-mail.  You know everybody loves to feel popular.  This is when the message is going to really strike a nerve with that person and the chance of them following you back is a lot higher if you favor their Tweet or something like that.

The take away here is you just want to catch, excuse me you want to cast a very wide net and do this quite a bit.  We’ve found that it’s a really effective way to get people with clout to start following you and then hopefully they’ll start re-tweeting the things that you post.

Joe:                 That’s a great breakdown on Twitter.  Let’s get into YouTube a little bit.  How can you use YouTube to sell products?  A lot of people will just skip over this.  They kind of feel like it’s a bit of a time wasting site.  Pinterest is great for physical products.  Twitter is great for virtual or on-line products, as well as there’s some great ways to prospect on Twitter that Greg has just touched on there, but now let’s get back in to YouTube.  YouTube has a few tricks up its sleeve that we’re going to cover real quick.  The first one is that YouTube has real SEO value.  Since Google owns YouTube it gives the site top ranking for quite a few terms.

You’ll often notice that if you search through Google, a YouTube video will be part of the search results.  Again, Google owns YouTube, so that’s kind of how that happens there.  Just having a link to your own site in the description of the YouTube video can do a lot for your own websites SEO.  We found that those back links are very powerful.  We actually have an inexpensive service where we will create a YouTube video and post it.  Then we’ll also include a short description and a link to your website.

Again, we’ll be posting all this information on the website and there will be links below the video to any services, any helpful links that we’ve discussed here.  If that’s something you’re interested in, it’ll be there.  Another thing is YouTube videos appear with a thumbnail in those Google search results.  When you see a YouTube video pop up, it’s very clearly, there’s a video there.  A lot higher engagement; because, of that.  People know oh this is a video.  It might explain this product or show me this product a little bit better.  YouTube really stands out in the search results.

You can’t get a picture next to your search listing any other way, so again these videos are very eye catching, very high engagement; because, of those thumbnails that Google puts in with these videos.  Google used to let you put in the thumbnail for the other video service, but a few months ago, they’ve kind of locked it down so only YouTube results are showing that video thumbnail and preview.  A lot of power with YouTube there again.  Finally, YouTube is great for brand awareness.  You may have heard of, you may have never have heard of Blend Tech Blenders.

Chances you’re one of the millions of people that have watch the Will It Blend videos that they put on there.

Greg:               Those are great.

Joe:                 They throw, he just, Will It Blend, and they put an iPad in the blender.  They turn it one and at the end of it they’ve determined yes it blends or no it doesn’t blend.

Greg:               Spoiler alert.

Joe:                 Yes.

Greg:               Usually it always blends.

Joe:                 It usually blends.  Those videos, again hundreds of millions of views from just this guy’s clever idea to take his blenders and just throw random objects in there and put it on YouTube.  This company Blend Tech probably was a niche product with very limited customer base and now they have hundreds of millions of views and Blend Tech has become a little bit of a household name.  Just kind of an example of a creative way you can get into YouTube.  How do we sell with YouTube?  The biggest thing is that you aren’t going to have any excessive.  You just post videos of your product.

It’s not for infomercials.  You’re not trying to create a commercial for your product.  You need good solid interesting videos for people to actually sit there and spend their time watching it.  If that Blend Tech video was just simply a video of their blender, it might have gotten a hundred views, not a hundred million views.  Again, think of good creative ways to, how can I feature my product in a way that is a little bit unexpected.  It isn’t just a sales pitch.  You’re not just trying to ram your product down people’s throat.  You’re trying to engage users with YouTube this way.

What you can do is create informational videos.  Let me show you an example of that coming up.  Like support videos about your products.  Instead of making a video showing your product package.  Open it up and explain how to use it.  Obviously, this is only going to apply to certain kinds of products, but these videos can help your existing customers who are confused, but they can also give potential customers that little push or that little assurance about your product.  It really lets them see it and kind of has a hands on feel to it.

An example of that here is, and again here’s a Google search results page.  Here’s what I was talking about with YouTube having a little video thumbnail.  When you see this page obviously the product picture stands out.  The next thing that stands out, that’s going to catch your eye is right here, this video.  We can take a look at, this is just an inflatable life jacket.  You see here, it’s got 23,000 views, just because, it’s a little bit of a how-to manual for that.  Anybody who’s bought this can jump on there and actually learn about it, or anybody who’s kind of on the fence about this product can watch this video.

It can kind of reassure them that this is the kind of product they want.  We’re not going to spend too much time on this video, but that just kind of gives you can example there.  23,000 views of this product, but by doing kind of a how-to, how does it work kind of video.  What did I do?

Greg:               The thing about it with how to sell on YouTube is . . .

Joe:                 That’s it.  It’s all about being creative.  Try sending out free samples.  You don’t have to film the video yourself, things like that.  Just be creative.  Take your product and think, what’s creative?  Whether it’s funny or interesting or just some kind of different way to showcase your product without it just being a straight-up sales pitch.

Greg:               Yeah, those are really good points.  I think that rolls over into how to sell on Facebook too.  The whole takeaway from YouTube is again you don’t want to just force the hard sell down, if people aren’t ready for the hard sell, then definitely do not hit them with that.  It’s good to just post things that are interesting, but not really so dialed into your products.  Facebook is sort of the same way.  Now on Facebook pages are great for engaging with users.  Obviously, most people do have a Facebook page.  The audience is a lot higher than some of the other social networks out there.

Now one thing to keep in mind of, Facebook is going in the direction of making product promotion pay to play it, meaning in order for your ad to get any views, you are going to have to pay for some way to boost your post to make it more exposed to your audience out there.  There’s definitely a large budget that you need for Facebook, not really a large budget, but compared to some of the other advertising that you can do for free.  This is a little bit more on the expensive side.  Now there are two ways that you can get around just having to boost your posts.  One way to get around having to pay to boost your posts is to use re-targeting.

Now this is where you display your product ads only to people that have previously interacted with your website.  For instance, if somebody was on your office supplies website and they’re checking out the latest and greatest staplers, then they’re on Facebook and then they see an ad for their Swingline or Swingline X2000 model or something like that.  Then chances are they’re going to be a lot more open to clicking on that ad and purchasing the product; because, they’ve already been there on your site and they’re familiar with it.  Even if it’s something as boring as a stapler, believe me people are interested in buying that if they’ve already been on your website.

We did another webinar the other day on re-targeting, so if you want to learn more about this, please look that up on our website.  It’s a very powerful, inexpensive way to get some nice brand recognition out there.  Now the other way to get it on having to pay to boost your Facebook posts is increasing the edge rank of your posts.  Now edge rank and space is Facebook’s internal secret score that they give your page.  Pages with higher edge rank show up more frequently on Facebook without having to pay to boost it up.  Boost your edge rank, your pages will automatically go up as well.

Let’s talk about how do you actually increase this edge rank.  There’s a few different ways to do it.  The easiest way is to just encourage people to like, comment and share your posts.  Literally ask them to do it.  We do need a reminder sometimes that you should share the posts that are out on Facebook. Maybe post something like, like if you agree, comment if you disagree.  That’s just one common tact that people use to increase engagement and that in turn is going to increase your edge rank as well.  For products there’s a different way you can do it and you can try using share with your friends who would love this t-shirt.

Like if your desk looks like this or like if your office looks like this or something like that.  It’s just a good way to increase engagement.  Now if you’ve ever seen Facebook and newsfeed articles that say Joe and one other friend like Acme Corp, that’s; because, that company has a high enough edge rank to allow their posts to appear to friends of people who have liked them.  You want to get to that point as well.  That’s pretty much it.  Just get people to engage with your brand and the more that people do that, the higher your edge rank is going to go.

All right, so let’s talk about running a contest on Facebook.  Beyond increasing your edge rank and your reach with viral content, there’s another way that you can promote your brand and your products and that’s by running a contest.  Now this works great; because, everybody loves the idea of winning something, right?  Who doesn’t want to win a vacation or a package or a free product or a giveaway or anything like that?  If you want to do a contest, you just need to add a contest app to your page.  That’s really all you have to do.  Now we recommend the app that’s called Wishpond.  We will actually link to Wishpond below this video when we’re done.

What this lets you do is create promos, contests, sweepstakes, literally any and all kinds of promotion that are tied to your Facebook page.  That’s what you can use this app for.  Now after you’ve installed the Wishpond app on your page, your users can be encouraged to like your page or signup for your newsletter for a chance to win whatever contest you’re doing.  Now we know that more likes equals more edge rank.  Obviously, that equals more visibility, so that’s why running contests is a big deal and it’s a great way to increase brand awareness.

Now another thing that you can try and this is what Wishpond supports as well and that’s by doing a photo contest or a vote contest.  I’m sure you guys have seen these on Facebook before as well.  Basically, what you do is you just ask users to submit a photo for the contest.  It can be either of themselves using your product or something like that.  One of your clients who makes sewing machines recently, one of our clients actually, they make sewing machines and they did a contest on Facebook where they asked people to submit photos of what they made with their sewing machines.

There were some pretty creative submissions there, but again that’s just an incredible way to increase engagement.  Now once you do get the photo submissions you do need to encourage the submitters to get votes.  Again, just make more posts on that encouraging people to get their friends to vote and again this is going to increase traffic on your Facebook page and the results are going to be more likes, more shares and you guessed it more edge rank.  Beyond that you can do a giveaway where people can enter to win your product or even just giveaway promo coupons or discounts or something like that.

Now it really works and users on Facebook have almost come to expect promo codes from the companies that they like and follow.  Just keep that in mind.  Promo codes, discounts, any sort of giveaways or contests, that is a great way to increase your brand awareness.

Joe:                 That’s kind of what we’re touching on today with our increasing sales through social media.  If anybody has any questions please feel to dump them in the chat box and we’ll do our best.

Greg:               Yes, give us some real world examples too.  If you have any questions on things that you can do to increase your social media presence for your brand just let us know, we’ll be happy to answer those questions.

Joe:                 The one question we have here is does our profile creation surface, do we create a Google Plus profile?  It’s a great question.  The answer is unfortunately, no we do not create a Google Plus profile for you.  There’s a handful of profiles that we just can’t create; because, of account ownership issues.  What we’re trying to do is create a bunch of social profiles.  Some of them aren’t going to be things that you’re going to log into every day to update.  It’s more about just increasing your brands footprint, getting some links to your site.  What’s great about it, is you can also log into those.

You can use some of these tactics we’ve discussed with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, which ones fit on these other social media platforms.  Certain social media platforms are going to have a more engaged audience for different types of products.  Hopefully, that answers your question there.

Greg:               All right, do we have any more questions here?

Joe:                 Looks like that might be about it.

Greg:               That’s it, yeah.  All right guys, well hey, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us on this webinar, hopefully you learned something.  Now again you can go to our website,  You can watch other webinars that we’ve done.  They are pre-recorded, I’m sorry not pre-recorded, but they’re archived and you can watch the recordings on the site.  If you need help with anything at all, do not hesitate to give us a call.  We’re here all the time, 888-639-8877.

Joe:                 All right, thanks for joining us today.

Greg:               Cheers, bye.