Answer: Social Media for Merch by Amazon

Social Media for Merch:

Using social media for merch is a fantastic way to drive traffic and sales to your Merch by Amazon design listings. You will find below some useful tips and tricks, both paid and free, for gaining more visitors to your Merch t shirts. You can also find some great tools to help promote your merch sales pages in our Merch SEO & Social Media Tools page.

Always thank your followers.

With all the social media management tools today at our disposal, our interactions are becoming mechanical and extremely formal. We are forgetting that social media for businesses is a tool to make a business entity more humane.

By ‘thanking your followers and fans’ I don’t mean an auto-generated twitter response when someone follows or a simple ‘thank you’ when someone shares your content or retweets it.

Make your ‘Thanks’ heartfelt and meaningful.

An auto-generated ‘thank you’ note when someone follows you is fine, but when someone takes time to share your content with their friends or chooses to retweet your tweets they do deserve more.

What I would suggest is, to go through their content (tweets, facebook posts and their websites – if enlisted) and find something which you consider worthy enough to compliment them on or to share with your own audience.

If you like something they have posted, send them a message telling that you liked it and subsequently thank them, or share the content with your audience and then send them a message thanking them.

When you do that you have a very high chance of getting a fan for life, one who will always look forward to your upcoming content and would be happy to share it with his/her tribe.

Ask your followers and fans, ‘how can You help Them?’

Any kind of business is about understanding a pain point of a particular niche in the society and then providing your services or products which help people with that problem.

Through your social media networks – whichever they may be (Facebook, Twitter, G+ or any other) you share content relevant to your niche and depending on the quality of your content you garner a following in that particular niche and if you make it a habit to ask your fans and followers or even your mailing list, this one simple question you will have a considerable boost in your follower engagement.

The miracle question to ask is, ‘How can You help Them?’
Sometimes it is as simple as that!

Be active on weekends (but not in a spammy way)

When you think of it, not a lot of businesses are active on social media during weekends, as expected, since the ‘clients/customers’ are supposed to be inactive and non-interactive during the weekend.

People will not interact with you when you share promotional content with them on weekends (as the weekends are their getaways from all the noise on the interweb), but they are found to be active on social media between 5 PM and 9 PM on weekends.
on weekends.

Or you can check when your ‘tribe’ is most active during the weekends using ‘Tweriod’

Use this information to post helpful content. Don’t bombard them with self-promotion instead post something useful, something fun to do on a weekend.

On weekends I like to get together with my friends over drinks or a movie or dinner… and that is what a lot of people do.

Families on the other hand tend to get together for a home cooked dinner or go out for one. A lot of bars, restaurants have discount offers especially for weekends, search a few in your locality and inform your followers about these discounts.

It might not be anything related to your product or service but you are still providing Value to your followers.

MondayMorning routine

No one…including you, likes to be marketed to on a Monday morning but we all could use a little inspiration and motivation.

A simple Google search will give you enough inspirational quotes and memes about Monday morning to share with your followers…and you will be surprised to see how many of these get retweeted and shared.

When you do this, don’t forget to use relevant Hashtags like;

#mondaymorning
#mondaymotivation
#monday
#coffee
#dayofpositivity
#goodmorning

Personalize your links

It is not as much a strategy as it is a ‘Must Do’ for branding your business.

Consider it as a cosmetic essential for your brand.

The links of your Facebook page, Google+ profile can be personalized albeit it requires some basic parameters to be fulfilled like;
For having a personalized link for your Google+ business page it must be linked to a website. (By linking I mean, Google provides you a small snippet of code which you need to paste in your website’s homepage code)

For having a personalized link for your Facebook business page, you must have at least 25 fans.

It is a must since it helps people remember your brand, it helps you to print these links on your business cards and the links don’t look ‘ugly’ when you include them in your personal/business email signature.

Know Thy Followers

Your followers/fans are the lifeblood of your business. They buy your product or service; they recommend it to their friends and bring you more business and once they feel that you as a brand, genuinely care about them, they will become your marketers.

So make it a point to know more about your most engaged and prolific followers at least.

If you use LinkedIn, you might be familiar with it’s the ‘Notes’ feature, which enables you type in a few lines about your contact which helps you to remember how you met that person.

Create a simple spreadsheet, where you list your most prolific and active fans and followers and their profile links.

Then go through their profiles. Treat them the way you treat your friends on social media. Wish them on their birthdays, comment on their posts, ask for their opinion. To sum it up, treat them like your best friends.

Create Niche related Magazines and share them

Do you know that you can curate and create niche specific magazines which are made up of blogs, images, articles etc. for Free and that you can also share them with your followers or simply use these magazines to establish authority and get new followers.

The magazine making services which I use and recommend to my clients are Scoop.it and paper.li

‘Scoop.it’ is to be used as a simple bookmarking tool.

When you surf your favorite blogs instead for bookmarking them, use Scoop.it which creates beautiful magazines from your curated content. Once created you can share them with your followers with a single click.

‘Paper.li’ is a service which enables you to publish a newspaper online.

The content of the newspaper is pulled from the sites that you bookmark (using a ‘bookmarklet’ which paper.li provides) or from your followers or from the participants of the various social media groups that you manage.

If you decide to try out only one strategy from this book, use paper.li for your business….at least go check it out. Right Now!!

Sign Up to ‘Vine’ and Use It

People wondered what the next frontier of micro-blogging was and it was Twitter who acquired the ‘answer’.

Acquired by Twitter in Oct 2012 and re-launched in Jan 2013, Vine is a mobile app (for Apple ios, Android and Windows) which enables you to shoot ‘Micro-Videos’ up to 6 Sec long and share them instantly on Twitter and Facebook.

These videos are similar to GIF images which keep playing in a loop and the 6 seconds idea is amazing as a report shows that 25% of people abandon a video after 10 seconds.

And, you don’t need to invest in a digital camera, microphone or hire a creative director for making a video, simply point your smartphone and shoot.

**Pro Tip:

After installing the app, when you sign up make sure you ‘sign up’ through your ‘Company’s Twitter account’

Vine Video’s Content:
#1 Small clips from your office – people working, intro of people behind the scenes.
#2 Sneak peek of an upcoming event, product launch, product in use etc.
#3 Short product demos focused on individual features.
#4 Product reviews.

If you could, film customers using your products

If you don’t use YouTube for marketing then install ‘Vine’ on your smartphone and do it… but don’t miss out on this.

If you can film your customers using your product and get them talking positively about it, there’s nothing like it…It will directly enhance your conversion rate.

Using ‘Vine’ you can share those videos on Twitter and Facebook, moreover if you tag the customer in the video, it will directly enhance your organic reach.

Frankly, you don’t even have to film your customers, film your friends and family using your product, service or content… smiling and then giving a thumb up!!

It’s very simple and can be done in the next hour or so.

Ask customers to share their videos

Once you have found the influencers and connectors in your niche  and have developed a good relationship with them, then you can use this strategy to a greater effect.

Until then, you could ask your customers to share a video while they are using your product or a video of them un-boxing your product after they received it in mail.

You can also distribute/offer a few freebies or samples of your product in return of an un-boxing video from the customer (be sure to inform them about ‘vine’ and how to use it, so that they don’t consider video creation as a daunting task).

Also as in the previous strategy get your friends and family to share their videos with your products, after all you do need to seed the tip jar.

Link your Google+ account to your YouTube account

This is a must if you use YouTube for video marketing.
Through your YouTube account you can link it to your Google+ business page.

When it is done, whenever you upload a new video and the comments you receive for your videos will automatically be pulled to your Google+ Timeline.

Also, any new video you put out will be indexed quickly by the search engines and also the search engine ranking of your video content will increase thus giving you more exposure.

You simply cannot write off Google+ from your social media strategy because, well…Google+ is Google.

Share interesting Infographics

We all know that a picture or an image conveys the message of a thousand words, Infographics, take it a step further.

Infographics are extremely engaging and fun to share, which will increase your customer engagement thus having a positive effect of Edgerank and organic reach.

You can find amazing Infographics to share with your followers at:
Visual.ly: http://visual.ly/
Alltop: http://infographics.alltop.com/
Daily Infographics: http://dailyinfographic.com/

If you don’t find one for your particular Niche or Category, you can create one at:
Easel.ly: http://www.easel.ly/
PictoChart: http://piktochart.com/

(Go through a few whitepapers or research studies performed in your niche and grab a few relevant and striking numbers mentioned in the study to create the Infographics.)

Express through images whenever possible

You will be familiar with images with a few lines of text imposed on them, could have a comic quote or you can have an inspirational/motivational quote.

One thing is for sure, they work.

They get liked, shared and commented on, more than a two line status update because they can be funny, inspirational, engaging and mainly because they acquire more real estate on your followers ‘Newsfeed’ and thus get more attention.

You don’t need to be a Photoshop expert to create those, there are many apps available for ios, android and windows, using which you can make an image within minutes.

Simply search ‘Photo Editor’ in app store.

Register your own Hashtags

This strategy is again more of a branding essential.

You can register and use one Hashtag for a brand as a whole and also you can register multiple Hashtags for micro-branding (one for an event you are hosting, one for a product launch, one for customer videos, one for customer Q&A etc.).

To register a Hashtag, go to Hashtags.org or Twubs.com

Once registered, make a habit of using your Hashtag is your Tweets and Posts everywhere, also encourage your followers to use these Hashtag.

Also, you could simply have a Hashtag registered for customer Q&A and educate/inform your customers to use that specific Hashtag for their questions, queries and grievances.

Understand one thing though, even if you register the Hashtag you don’t necessarily own it and you cannot stop anyone else from using it, so be careful while selecting yours and keep it short and relevant to your brand.

Pay attention to trending Hashtags

You can easily get the top trending hashtags on your twitter timeline, if they are relevant to your product or content, by all means use them in your tweets to gain more exposure to your tweets and thus to your brand/product.

Also, on the homepage of Hashtags.org you will find top trending hashtags classified categorically, pick out the top trending hashtags from your niche and incorporate them into to your tweets and posts.
Use up the entire limit, but be relevant

This Strategy is for those who use Instagram for marketing.
When you share photos on Instagram, you are allowed to have a maximum of 30 Hashtags associated with it.

Create a list of your niche relevant Hashtags ready to be tagged to your photo and make full use of the allowed 30 Hashtags.
Use Twubs.com and Hashtags.org to check for relevant Hashtags and their relative popularity and trend.

Have a Facebook Profile for your Customer Avatar

Creating your FB ad copy is one of the most crucial steps in FB marketing and you don’t need to start from scratch.

You can derive inspiration from other marketers and advertisers who are targeting the similar customer demographic as you wish to. For that purpose I advice my clients to have a Facebook profile created for their ideal customer avatar.

(Earlier FB had an ‘Ad Board’ which displayed Live and relevant Ads but FB scrapped that around April 2014)

You can create a Facebook Profile of your ideal customer, considering his interests, hobbies, the ‘about’ info, the relevant groups he joins, the kind of pages your ideal customer would ‘like’.

Once your customer avatar is established you will start seeing relevant ads in your newsfeed and creative inspiration for your next Ad copy will only be a ‘Log in’ away.

Also you can easily monitor what your competitors are posting on their pages, the kind of events they are hosting, the frequency with which they post etc.

(Facebook has recently rolled out the ‘Pages to Watch’ and ‘Interests’ feature, this makes it extremely easy to watch/monitor your ‘known’ competitors but there will be many other smaller players in your niche which you might not be aware of and having an ideal customer avatar gains you more exposure to what your competitors are doing.)

Need media coverage?? Facebook Ad targeting does it

Need media coverage but don’t have the resources and budget for getting your activities noticed… you need not worry.

Simply create a Facebook Ad targeted specifically at journalists and which informs them about your product or the upcoming event you are hosting or services which you provide.

**Pro Tip:

When doing this, opt for CPM instead of CPC, since with narrow targeting you will get multiple impressions.

The Facebook Ad targeting can be done by targeting ‘Precise Interests’ or by targeting Employer ‘Workplace’

Get the ball rolling yourself

When you share or post something on your FB business page make it a habit of ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ it through your personal profile.
You can also have your employees, friends and family, do the same. It will get the ball rolling. It is similar to a bartender seeding his tip jar.

Also. if the content on your page gains immediate ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ Facebook algorithms will pick it up and it will boost its organic reach.
Want more exposure…narrow down

After the recent Facebook algorithm changes many page owners have reported that their organic reach has dropped below 10% i.e. their content reaches less than (1/10)th of the people who have ‘liked’ their page.

But do you know that the facebook posts have an option of targeting the posts according to gender, relationship status, education, age, location, language and interests.

We have found that if you publish a post on your business page and target it according to these segments you will achieve a broader reach.

**Pro Tip: Use Location targeting as frequently as possible, it works the best.

For a few business pages it is activated automatically while for many pages it needs to be activated manually, here’s how to do it;

On your business page Click on ‘Settings’
Click on ‘General’
Click on ‘Targeting and Privacy for Posts’.

Then ‘Check’ the ‘Allow targeting and privacy options when I create posts on my Page.’ Box.

Click on ‘Save Changes’ and targeting is enabled.

Then when you want to post anything on your page you will have the targeting option available.

Affordable Branding

Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Google Adwords, Bing Ads… all have came forth as the next frontier of advertising and have provided low cost options to traditional advertising mediums.

Yet the traditional media’s haven’t become obsolete, neither have the prices of a 10 second slot decreased. That is because the brand awareness and brand recall that a 30 second TV commercial can garner is unparalleled.

But, the closest you can get is by using Facebook Ads.
Create a simple facebook ad about your product or service, target it broadly based on interests and industry and opt for CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and let it run for 4-5 days every fortnight.

You will observe that your targeted facebook accounts will be getting multiple impressions of your Ad, which is exactly what we want.
When you stop getting impressions for your ad, change the image and ad copy slightly and re-run the ads.

Find your Influencers and Connectors with this amazing tool

The tool I use for finding the influencers and connectors within a particular niche is, followerwonk.

You can access it here: https://followerwonk.com/
Here’s how to find the influencers and connectors in your niche;

Go to followerwonk.com
Click on ‘Search Twitter Bios’
Click on ‘more options’ which is located just below the search box.
Enter the keyword for your niche in square brackets ‘[]’ in the main search box
Enter ‘Location’ in round brackets ‘()’
Hit ‘Do it’
It will generate a list of twitter accounts.
Click on ‘Social Authority’

People with High number of followers and High Social Authority will qualify as the influencers within your Niche.

Click on ‘Tweets’People with large number of followers and High number of tweets will qualify as connectors.This is for the free version but for the pain registration, you’ll be able to download the entire report as a CSV/Excel file.

Using the ‘to:@handle’ search query operator

This strategy works extremely well for finding ongoing discussions to which you could contribute and also is an amazing lead generator if used properly.

In the Twitter search bar simple type, ‘to:@xxxxx’
Here ‘@xxxxx’ is the Twitter handle of a major brand or a competitor in your niche.

Consider the following eg. (to:@HealthyLiving34)

This ‘to’ operator shows you tweets sent to the user i.e. the brand you are monitoring, these could be questions, requirements any sort of issue.

You should jump into the ongoing conversation and offer quality answers and advice.

If the customers/followers are unhappy maybe you can tell them about a better alternative (YOU).

Tweet when the followers are there to listen

The Life of a ‘Tweet’ is not more than a couple of minutes.
Once you tweet, it will remain in the visible area of your follower’s newsfeed for at most a couple of minutes and then will be pushed down by other tweets and will be lost into obscurity.

Also if your follower is not active while you tweet, he/she will never see your tweet.

So the simple solution is to tweet when your followers are active…and yes!! It can be done, using a simple tool called ‘Tweriod’.

Here’s the link: http://www.tweriod.com/

It has a free version which analyzes up to 1,000 of your followers and paid version for more followers or you can get a onetime detailed report of all your followers for $5.

Tweriod analyses your followers and tells you at what times of day your followers are most active. Schedule your tweets at that time for more exposure and follower engagement.

Answer relevant questions

Answering relevant questions is a sure way to establish you as an authority in your respective niche.

The first step is to find out the relevant Hashtags in your niche, those that people use while conversing about and within your niche.

Make it a habit to search these relevant Hashtags and then skim through the results to see if anyone has asked any questions related to the niche, which you can answer. Then provide brief and relevant answer to the query.

Keep up the habit and rest assured that this habit alone will suffice to establish you as an authority and gain you a more loyal following.