Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Week 17 - Wrapping Up

Okay, it's hard to believe that this is the last week!

This class has forced me to be more engaged with social media and to poke around more than I used to. There are still things on IG that I have to ask my niece's help with but my overall opinion hasn't really changed that much. FB used to be the cool replacement of MySpace and now it is so much more than that and I can't scroll without seeing ads or political posts, so I barely go on there anymore and it is sad how different FB has become. However, I do think that FB and Twitter have become essential in getting millennial customers to talk/engage with millennials at a company and it's very strange to watch this change in communication in real time.

I definitely have a better understanding how to do business on social media, especially FB; I do find the layout and menus to be confusing on the business page and not that optimal to get around but it is nice to see how your posts engage with people and the analysis tools, simple as they are, can be very useful. I imagine that watching an ad or post that is converting people to customers can be quite addicting, especially when you start to see those $$$ but of course that takes time and effort. I try to think of the psychology behind it all because I don't use social media in this way and 90% of the time I could care less if a company is using social media or not, I mostly look at reviews and review sites, which Google Reviews can be a part of I guess.

In my opinion, one of the best parts of this class is actually the book. It is well written and in a way that anyone can understand and appreciate. I really enjoyed how they give real examples and use their knowledge to convey how to get real results, both directly and indirectly. Not only is social media a good way to gain exposure to customers, but it is also all about the customer experience (which is an area that I come from professionally and something I think people tend to forget about) and I really appreciate how the book stresses this point.

Thanks for a good semester!

Week 16B - Blog Post Comments

Blogs with comments this week:

Elena Cohen https://csit155-sp19ecohen.blogspot.com/2019/05/week-16.html

Israel G https://csit155-sp19-gutierrezi.blogspot.com/2019/05/week-16-post-1.html

Michelle https://csit155-sp19-michellej.blogspot.com/2019/05/week-16-post-1-future-social-media.html

Susan (I posted a comment and now I don't see it??) https://csiti55sp19sullivans.blogspot.com/2019/05/week-16-part-1-create-schedule-on-which.html

Matt https://csit155-sp19mdaigneau.blogspot.com/2019/05/week-16-part-1.html

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Week 16 - Strategy

When thinking about which social media platforms that I like the most, I actually like using Blogger as a way to communicate more information and expand upon an ad or just some fresh content to get people engaging and thinking about my brand. Social Media posts and people themselves only have so much time and space to get a point across so having the ability to expand content if the customer is interested is definitely a good idea. In regards to the main social media outlets, I definitely prefer Facebook and Instagram.

For promotions and analytics, I do like Facebook better because it acts like a second storefront or a simplified web page where people can interact with my brand, learn about it, "like" it, share it and even communicate with my company on a semi-instant gratification level. If you took your website and shrank it in to a preview thumbnail with some extra interactive features, that is what I imagine Facebook for business is. On the more casual and artistic side, I like Instagram because it's less complicated, it exhibits a more casual and relaxed user atmosphere and it is built around photography and videos - the best medium for advertisements! I still don't understand Twitter and I'm not sure I ever will but that is okay, I feel like Facebook and Instagram has it covered.

I think the epitome of businesses and the ultimate future strategy is to get enough people to like and buy from my business so that I can justify developing an app for it or maybe be a partner in another app? (Did I just think about a new business idea besides having Amazon?!?) I mean, do people even use email anymore when they are shopping around? Some of course do but I usually delete or scroll past those emails. An app, on the other hand, delivers notifications on your smart phone and provides a super easy way for someone to buy something, check coupons or rewards and share something on Facebook or Instagram; nothing gets easier than that.

For a small business, I would probably not spend more than a few hours each day on social media because I imagine that not much would be happening until I get more followers and customers to my business page. I may try to put more money in to a promotion or a post that is doing well and try to boost it to more people, but other than that I don't see myself on social media that much at first. Maybe I need to spend more time looking at my competitors! I think a daily routine of spending a couple hours each day, Mon-Sun to see if people are asking me questions, looking at analytics and browsing competitors for ideas. During most of the year I would probably run an ad or post a blog about once every couple of weeks. During busier times of the season such as the holidays and during important times of year to my business such as Earth Day I would probably spend a lot more time online, boosting ads, running promotions, looking at opportunities and writing content, about every day.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Week 15B - Optimizing

While I don't have a lot of interesting data to look at from my Facebook analytics such as demographic data, there are some good pieces of information that I can gather so far.

My top post for reach and engagement was the picture of the marshmallow over the campfire; with 14 post clicks and 13 reactions/comments/shares and a total reach of 64 people. One or two people from the class commented on how amazing the picture quality is and I definitely agree! This is probably why this post has the best numbers because people engage with amazing photography. I could probably boost this post through Instagram and/or Facebook and may see some good results!

As of today, total page followers is 85 and total page likes is 77. The "Posts" Page under insights is a cool feature that shows when my followers are online.The scary thing is, is that the majority are online for the whole day starting at 7AM - 9PM. These people never take a break! Also, it shows that Monday and Wednesday are the slowest/least amount of people during the week.

Besides demographic data being unavailable, that is about it for my Facebook Analytics. The top source for my page views turns out to be *** Drum Roll *** ..... claudiafaulkdesign.com! Funny how that works!


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Week 15 - Optimizing Yourself and the Company

These days it is more important than ever to know how your customer landed on your site, how they are "behaving" when they get there and who your customers are. When reading over he Google Analytics features page, I chose three main reports or features that I think would be the most important to me:

1. Behavior Reports - Probably the most important analytic report, different behavior reports tell me where potential customers spend most of their time, what words they search for and where they navigate to on the page. Knowing your customers inside and out is critical in developing a plan to increase conversion rates and increase traffic to your site by developing content that they are actively interested in.

2. Advertisement & Channel Reports - I want to know which advertisements best convert my customers so I can focus on what works and not what doesn't. Also I want to know which platforms best perform for customer engagement and click conversion... Does Instagram give me the best bang for my buck or Facebook or something else? Hopefully these reports will tell me these facts.

3. Audience Demographics - Again, I want to know my customer so I can develop a marketing and content strategy to engage and convert them. They could be a certain age range or perhaps mostly male, who knows. Maybe during the holidays most of my customers will be female; I can try to develop advertisements and social media campaigns to try to better convert shoppers during that time.

Also, conversion reports is an important analytic. In my current job, online conversion is really low on the website, around 1% and we don't know why. My gut tells me it is the shipping charges because we only ship priority mail or FedEx because our product is living plants. Having conversion reports hopefully tell me when the customer leaves my website... does it happen at checkout or are they just reading some content and then leaving? The more information the better!


Monday, May 6, 2019

Week 14 - Online Advertising

I had some minor trouble with Facebook but I decided on three ads that I think would be a good starting point: 2 Facebook ads and 1 Instagram ad. The objective for ads sets a baseline to measure against for performance; you don't launch a campaign or an advertisement without setting the objective or the goal of doing so; otherwise you wouldn't be able to learn and measure success or failure. At first, I think the main objectives are to capture customer information such as emails and to garner some attention for my brand. I'm trying to get people to engage with and react to my posts/images rather than trying to sell the product outright. This is important as I don't want to "cram ads down peoples throats."

This is the first Facebook Ad, which is a "boost post" and I chose this type because of the reactions that I got when I first posted it, a lot of people loved the image and I feel like it is a good way to not only sell my product but to sell the lifestyle and to get people thinking about camping! The "Shop Now" call to action is probably the best button to use for an ad like this and the headline reads, "Go Out and Explore." The objective here is to get people to click on the Shop Now button which would show interest in exploring my brand and website further.

The second Ad that I chose for Facebook was a "Form" ad to gather the customer's full name, email address and gender. When I tried to go back to the page where I could customize the form options, Facebook would just go back to the main Ad page. Then I tried to re-create the form and Facebook would just show me this same Ad, so I don't know. Anyway, this is a good way to get some information from my customers to start an email list and get some marketing campaigns going. The objective here is an obvious one: to capture customer data/information for my campaign lists.

Lastly, this is an Instagram "boost post" to try to reach more customers through there. I think this image is a good lifestyle image that could connect with a lot of people and may get some good interest. It has a shop now button as well that links to my website. The objective here is to see which platform performs better through posting an image. Furthermore, I would like to see if more females click on this ad and buy something, if possible.


Monday, April 29, 2019

Week 13B: Online Advertising

In my opinion, in designing a banner image or video on your Facebook profile needs to summarize the brand and lifestyle that is engaging and aesthetically pleasing. The use of a color palette, simple yet meaningful text and context, and simple design rules such as using shadow and lighting in the correct way carry a lot of weight when looking at an image. Also, using a simple comparison image that shows how your brand is better than another is a great way to offer a call to action to purchase your products or visit your website. Creating a short 10 second video is also a great option to increase engagement and show more content in a meaningful way; this can be shared via Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

For my business, I would definitely use the Form/Get More Leads advertisement to try to gather meaningful information from my customers that I can utilize in marketing, such as emails or zip code to see where most of my customers reside. I would also use the "Promote your shop button" for a special sale or event that I would have, in order to try to get as many conversions on to my website to buy my products, such as a Spring Sale for hikers and backpackers! Lastly, I would try to boost my Instagram and Facebook posts which eye-catching imagery to see how that would translate into engagement.

In my recent experience working for a small e-commerce company, boosting or marketing too much will turn away customers and it can lower your profits sometimes if you try to introduce a sale that people want to use on a previous purchase so you have to be careful. I think doing more seasonal promotions and constant new customer intro discounts is a great way to get people interested but not annoyed. For my business, I would probably try to focus on the holiday season, the launch of Spring and Earth Day, popular hikes in Autumn and maybe some products that would be useful or popular during summer vacations and camping.


Week 17 - Wrapping Up

Okay, it's hard to believe that this is the last week! This class has forced me to be more engaged with social media and to poke aroun...