Archive for April, 2014

Pinterest May Be The Perfect Answer For Marketing Your Apparel Business

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

business marketing apparel

Social media is probably the best thing that has happened to businesses of all shapes and sizes. The viral nature of social media, along with the possibility of community and relationship building is an awesome deal that no business can afford to ignore. E-commerce stores that specialize in apparel are no exception.

You already know that many women are passionate shoppers and, apart from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, the social media network that they frequent the most is…Pinterest!

According to Craig Smith of Expanded Ramblings, more than 80% of all Pinterest users are women.

Pinterest is growing at an astounding rate. With more than 70 million users and 2.5 billion page views, Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks today. It saw a whopping 125% growth in international traffic in the year 2013 alone.

So, why is it the perfect answer for your apparel business?

Traffic and Engagement

Sarah Mincher posted an infographic on Social Media Today, which reveals that Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular of all social networks. It gained its first 10 million users faster than any network.

Shoppers who are referred to a site from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy. On average, Pinterest referrals spend 70% more than visitors from non-social channels. Call-to-action pins, on average, pump up engagement by an incredible 80%.

The average order amount placed through Pinterest is about $80 and the average household income of a Pinterest user is $100,000.

Clearly, it makes business sense to be on Pinterest. Given the visual nature of the medium along with the fact that most users on Pinterest are shoppers (or at least they have a tendency to shop more), it makes sense for your online apparel store to have a sustainable and growing presence on Pinterest. Plug in the combined power of other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and you have a lot going for you.

Traction through Visuals

We are all visual. The more visually appealing something is, the more we want it. Sure your e-commerce store may already have product images, but those are just sitting on your site looking pretty. Pinterest makes for a great channel for your visuals allowing your followers to engage, interact, comment, share, Pin, and even BUY. To get it right, however, you need to:

  • Make sure that your visuals are professional. Include real (and professionally rendered) photos for your products.
  • Include photos of real people – click pictures of your team, office and work life in general.
  • Avoid stock photos.
  • Bridge other social networks like Facebook and Twitter along with your Pinterest for maximum returns on your efforts.
  • Leave comments on other boards. Engage with others on Pinterest. Ask questions. Build real relationships.
  • Leave a social footprint on Pinterest by visiting, liking, sharing, and pinning. Have conversations. It’s called “social media” for a good reason.
  • Curate content that’ll be of value or interest to your followers on Pinterest. The more populated and engaging your boards are, the more followers you’ll gain.

Social Proof in Pictures

Suppose you sell T-shirts online, you could bring in real people wearing them and pose away – that will give you all the social proof you need! Create a gallery (as a separate board) on your Pinterest account and have your customers submit their own photos with apparel purchased off your site. You’d accomplish quite a few things with this simple initiative:

  • Say goodbye to cheesy model photos when it comes to your business. Real buyers with purchased apparel from your store make a lot more impact.
  • Potential customers get to see how the clothes you sell actually look on real people. This helps them to make better buying decisions, which is actually good for you.
  • “Buy” buttons allow for immediate purchase or at least direct links to product pages.
  • Pinterest is a social network. If they aren’t buying, they are sharing. What would you pay for engaging shares?

An Open Community

Newsletters are an inseparable part of your online business. Digressing a little from the world of apparel, Unbounce, Mailchimp, and Campaign Monitor have some great pins showing the effectiveness of newsletter and landing page optimization.

There are innumerable companies, large and small, that have used Pinterest to create a community around respective brands, products, and services. Each of these brands is an open board for the whole world to see.

Since Pinterest is visual and it allows for social traction, your own boards with pins make for a great and easy way for your customers to “check you out.” If nothing, you’ll at least succeed in building a passionate community around “fashion” or another niche your apparel fills.

Hannah Clark of Social Media Today has yet another list of five businesses that are nailing it on Pinterest. Can we take a few lessons from there?

A Parallel Channel

Pinterest works almost like your e-commerce store, if you think about it. Your pins can include a call-to-action, and emulate just about everything the product pages on your site can do!

You could balance your pinning and repinning while including rich pins on your site. Rich pins, such as article pins, can also help you with your content marketing strategy. Each of your product images can have product descriptions that you can optimize for SEO.

Working as a parallel and social channel for your apparel store, Pinterest falls straight into your marketing plan.

What social networks are you predominantly on? Do you have Pinterest as a part of your social marketing strategy? What do you do with it that makes a difference to your apparel business?

Republished by permission. Original here.

Pinterest Photo via Shutterstock

The post Pinterest May Be The Perfect Answer For Marketing Your Apparel Business appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Repsol relieves Brufau of chief executive role

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Move comes in response to investor criticism but leaves Brufau as most influential figure

Catalysts set to rejig European industry

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

In Europe, three factors conducive to M&A have aligned but they could be negated if the US politicians remove incentives for tax emigration

Transforming Twitter With More Images Means More Social

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

twitter tagging

You’ve most likely heard the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and it appears that Twitter would agree.  It is now possible to tag multiple photos in a single tweet.

Twitter Tagging Photos

Twitter 6.3, the upgraded version of Twitter, brings multiple features which are expected to make use of the site more engaging. The most interesting among them is the ability to tag multiple photos in one tweet.

Twitter now allows users as many as four images in a single tweet and up to ten people tagged. The thumbnails of the photos you are planning to upload will appear in the Tweet composer. To see these photos full screen, simply tap them. You can also swipe each of them to move to the next image. The four images will appear in collage form in your tweet.

twitter tagging

Express Yourself Beyond 140 Characters

The limit anyone can use to express his or her thoughts on Twitter is 140 characters. So will the images take up some of the character space permitted? No, images are not counted under the characters so users can add images and, at the same time, express their thoughts in 140 characters.

Easy to Remove Tags

Not only can you easily tag individuals in photos, as displayed below, but you can just as easily remove them.  Just tap on the image to get a detailed view of the tweet. An ellipsis sign occurs at the end of the tweet and you can click on it to see the “Remove tag” option.

twitter tagging

Monitoring Your Profile

Users have the option to monitor Twitter tagging in images. You can visit the security settings of Twitter and set up who can and cannot tag you in a photo. You can selectively view and choose existing tags to determine the ones you want to keep and the ones you want to remove.

A More Powerful Social Media Platform

Allowing more images in tweets takes Twitter a step closer towards becoming even more social.

But the question remains: With the increasing changes, has Twitter’s metamorphosis towards becoming another Facebook already started?

Tablet Photo via Shutterstock, Screenshots via Twitter

The post Transforming Twitter With More Images Means More Social appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Mexico announces plans for oil and gas sector

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Legislative blueprint is expected to be approved and will open up Mexico’s energy sector to private investment for the first time in 76 years

Michigan Creates $6.8 Million Fund for Tech Startups

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

michigan pre seed fund

Economically speaking, the news concerning Michigan typically focuses on the purported death of Detroit.

To counter that negative trend, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is hoping to spearhead some new growth among high-tech startups. The Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0 is actually a continuation of a previous effort. It will provide $6.8 million. That’s $5.8 million to high-tech startups in the state and another $1 million to help universities transfer technology to the marketplace.

A previous Pre-Seed Fund invested $20 million in 90 firms beginning in 2007.

The money to fund Pre-Seed Fund 2.0 comes from the public sector. The initiative is being managed by a private firm called Invest Michigan. Invest Michigan President and CEO Charlie Moret says his company’s goal is to learn lessons from the first version of Michigan’s Pre-Seed Fund and make smart investments.

The idea is to invest in private companies that are barely off the ground. Moret told Small Business Trends in a recent interview that the goal is to back those that will eventually pay back the investment. This would make Pre-Seed Fund 2.0 an “evergreen” fund continuing to invest in new startups into the future:

“We can be that kind of catalyst to drive these companies. A big portion of the evaluation process is – are these companies going to be sustainable? We are looking for those with the most viable business plan.”

Invest Michigan hopes to find tech startups in some of the following areas: advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials, agricultural technology, alternative energy, homeland security, information technology, and life sciences.

New funding will become available in May first for companies that missed their chance to apply for the previous Pre-Seed Fund. Then the funding will be open to applications from new tech startups by June.  Moret says companies applying for potential seed money from the fund will hear their fate within 45 days.

In a statement announcing the fund, MEDC Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Paula Sorrell said:

“These Pre-Seed Funds are intended to help innovative companies take those last steps to become commercially viable and more attractive to private investors. With the wealth of entrepreneurial talent we have in Michigan, we want to make sure good ideas turn into businesses that help expand and strengthen the state economy.”

Michigan Photo via Shutterstock

The post Michigan Creates $6.8 Million Fund for Tech Startups appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Rio Tinto sues Vale and BSG Resources

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Miner alleges in lawsuit filed in the US that the pair were part of a conspiracy to steal mining rights in Guinea for an iron ore project at the Simandou concession

Rio Tinto sues Vale and BSGR

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Miner alleges in lawsuit filed in the US that the pair were part of a conspiracy to steal mining rights in Guinea for an iron ore project at the Simandou concession

Rosneft sits on $20bn cash cushion

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Russian oil company aims to reduce dependence on international debt and equity markets amid Ukraine crisis

Rosneft sitting on $20bn ‘cash cushion’

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The Russian oil company moves to reduce its dependence on international debt and equity markets in the wake of reaction to the Ukraine crisis

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