Why You Should Start a Shopify Store

While there are some enormous benefits to starting an ecommerce website, there may be even more benefits to doing it with the Shopify platform. In fact, many of the risks and the potential problems mentioned in this introduction that come with having your own e-store are minimized or eliminated thanks to the Shopify platform.

Whether or not you start an ecommerce business is up to you, but if you decide you are going to, you definitely need to do it using the Shopify platform. Here are just a few reasons.

  1.  Your store design costs normally would be thousands of dollars, for getting a website designer that not only has the skills to create a great looking website, but also to program all of the ecommerce functions you need including security. But with Shopify, there is no huge investment of thousands of dollars. You just pay one of four tiers of pricing and you get the perfect ecommerce website.
  2. You get the benefit of the entire Shopify team. You aren’t just getting a website template with Shopify, you are getting a ready-made store that has already had all of the bugs worked out and has been re-designed and re-worked so that it functions perfectly and has just about every feature that you could possibly want.
  3. The platform is so intuitive that you can start building your store right after logging in. You might have to look at the help pages to use some of the more advanced features but for adding products and customizing design as well as other basics, you can start doing it right away with almost no learning curve.
  4. You have some incredible security. By law, an ecommerce website has to take certain steps to protect a customer’s financial information, but you don’t just get sufficient security with Shopify, you get some of the most highly rated security features of any ecommerce platform on the market today. You don’t have to worry about programming security protocols or making sure that your site is protected on all sides from thieves who want your customer’s credit card numbers. Shopify does all the work for you.
  5. Shopify is designed to help you reach your SEO potential. If you were to pay a designer for a custom ecommerce site you would spend thousands of dollars or perhaps even tens of thousands of dollars and you wouldn’t get the features that you get with Shopify. One of those features is their search engine optimization. With Shopify, your e-store has the best chance possible to rank high in the search engines and bring you lots of organic traffic.
  6. You get analytics that tell you exactly what is going on. With Shopify, you can see exactly where your customers are coming from, what keywords they are using to reach your site and where they go once they get there, not to mention how long they stay. All of this information has one primary purpose – to allow you to tweak your Shopify site and your marketing and promotion efforts to get as many people coming to your site as possible and then getting them to stay there once they arrive. You still have to offer great products, but Shopify helps you market your site much more effectively and gets customers to show up, which is half the battle when it comes to ecommerce.
  7. Your site is already optimized for mobile and will continue to be optimized in the future. With Shopify, you get a responsive website that will work with any mobile device and as this quickly becomes the primary way that people shop, your ecommerce website is only going to get better, as the engineers behind the platform ensure that you always keep up with the technology.
  8. You get hosting with your site. Shopify has an advantage that many ecommerce platforms do not share – your site is hosted by them, and your payment gateway and other shopping cart features are already taken care of. Not only does this save you money since you don’t have to pay for hosting, you also will always have enough bandwidth to support your traffic and of course, you get security with the hosting that is unrivaled.
  9. Shopify is extremely reliable. Shopify didn’t get to their spot as the number one ecommerce platform by accident. They are so popular and so widely used because of how reliable the platform is. When your store begins to get more traffic, you will lose money for every second or minute that your site id own. Using Shopify minimizes the chances of this as much as possible.
  10. Shopify has numerous apps created for your use. The Shopify app store has some talented designers creating programs that you can use to make your ecommerce store even better. You can customize the appearance of your site and do a great deal with Shopify but with the app store you can create an unstoppable force in the world of ecommerce.

Maximizing Facebook's Potential

In this article, we'll go over a handful of tips that you can use to maximize your Facebook marketing potential, both for your brand or your business. Without further ado, let's get right into it.

1. Create a Facebook page that will truly represent your brand.

It’s as easy as signing up your personal account! Facebook page is designed to bridge your brand to your customers while giving them the opportunity to share your content with their community. Your Facebook page shall be an extension of your website and/or your brand. By creating a Facebook page, you can now directly interact with billions of users and potential customers.

When creating your Facebook page be sure that it will truly convey the message of your organization, be it for a charitable cause or for marketing promotions. Your page should paint a clear picture of what your following can expect from your brand and how it differs from other competitors. This page should best reflect of who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

Use the profile picture and cover photo wisely. Just like a logo, this will serve as a foundation of your brand. These are the two main sections that will catch your visitor’s attention. You want your audience to stay interested, get involved and leaves them wanting for more. Remember, this page will represent you in the Facebook community so make sure to make it unique, fun but relevant.

2. Optimize all parts of your page

Explore your Facebook page, you will be surprised how many sections you can actually use to your advantage. Just like your personal page, you can edit your profile on your Fan page. Provide a brief overview of your brand or services. Try to link wherever possible such as sections of “Overview”, “Milestones” and “Page Info”.You can also add a button to personalize your page. This can also be the easiest way to direct your visitors to your blog, website, or other offer.

3. Post relevant topics

To maximize the potential of your page you have to post topics that tell a story. The focus should be on your users and not on your brand. Be it an excerpt from your blog, a brand feature, a simple question and answer or product review, all of which should provide value to the lives of your prospects, customers or community members. This is a great way to give your following an opportunity to like, share and comment on your post.

Use this as a way to create interactions and buzz.In posting any update or status, always keep your customer’s benefit in mind. It’s about how much value you are genuinely adding to a person’s professional or personal life. Just remember to keep it brief but enticing enough to make your readers want more.

4. Visual content outshines the non-visual content

However creative and witty your status is, people will tend to be respond more to pictures and videos rather than just simple text. Visual content receives more engagement than any other type of post.Keep your post to 90:10 ratio, 90% visual and 10 % text.

You could also embed a video from your blog, this way your audience can get a preview of what your article or offer is about without leaving the Facebook site.When posting a picture or a video, always aim to trigger the curiosity of your audience. Emotions are a sure way to strike the customers’ attention: happiness,gratitude, or even fear.

Lastly, remember to stay on your branding. Not every post can benefit your brand.You may post an interesting visual but people may find it hard to connect it to your brand. This will only leave them disappointed, disengaged and may possibly result in a decrease in likes or interactions.

5. Fire up your exposure by giving away incentives.

Why not give your audience incentives to keep your following engaged and at the same time increase your exposure in the Facebook community? Features such as:discounts, contests, reward programs and giveaways can be perfect incentives depending on your target market. Providing them a chance to win a prize will definitely drive a ton of clicks that would result in an increase of your overall brand awareness.

Incentives, when promoted properly, will also increase brand loyalty and customer longevity. Just make sure to make your contest or giveaway mechanics as simple as possible. Making hard-to-follow rules or instructions will do more harm than good as people usually become turned off by complicated mechanics.

6. Share!Instead of posting directly, try sharing your page first

Brand pages tend to have a limited visibility so try sharing it to your page then re-share it to your personal page.Also, using hashtags is one way to share your Facebook content. These hashtags are not only for your Twitter and Instagram posts. These are also great tools to use in searching for content in Facebook groups, and increasing your visibility.

You can also breed potential sharing opportunities by extending your network.  A great example would be sharing other people’s content on your page. This may sound ridiculous but nowadays more and more people are sharing each others content, because after all, social media is all about sharing.

7. Facebook Advertising and Targeting Features

Facebook ads enable you to reach specific and targeted audiences. First of all,understand that there are many different advertising platforms available for you. You can choose from offer claims, local awareness, event responses, video views, clicks to website, website conversions, page post engagement, page likes, app installs and app engagement. Use Facebook ads to increase your website or brand exposure and drive traffic directly to your site or different offers.

Best of all, using Facebook ads doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, you just have to be creative in choosing. Try to use different advertising platforms and assess what service will best work for you. Monitor your results and always tweak the campaign.

8. Start a forum on your Facebook page

Remember when I told you to keep your audience interested? Keeping an active forum will surely boost customer engagement.  It can also decrease your site’s bounce rate or the single-page visitors. Be sure to offer a helping hand to your members and help them discover other useful resources and informational sites. This will positively reinforce your position in the community and will help you gain more“likes” overall.

9. Be visible in Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have tremendously gained popularity this year.Human nature dictates social interaction. These days, people are spending more and more time in groups when on Facebook. Groups are a great tool for you to use to interact with others, invite customers and subscribers, and even drive traffic to your website or blog.

In other words, the more active you are in Facebook groups, the more exposure you’ll get.In the long run, people will then start clicking through to your profile, your business page, and then your website or other offers.

10. Use Facebook tabs

This is another brilliant technique that will get people clicking to your blog site. By adding a Facebook tab, you can personalize the services you offer to your viewers through Facebook. This is the best tool that a prospective customer can use to explore your brand or services.

Furthermore, not all of Facebook's users would like to leave the Facebook site, either because they are active in a chat or engaged in other activity. If you're driving your audience to a landing page, or even content such as a video or pictures, sending the users into another tab will solve this problem.

Strategic Management To The Rescue

In truth, not a lot of companies are willing to admit to other people that they might be in trouble, that they might be a difficult place in which to work, or that they are having trouble retaining some talents and workers. If you're part of this type of company, then you probably already know what kind of trouble it gets into but leaves unacknowledged in the interest of keeping up appearances. Sometimes though, mistakes just keep being committed left and right, goals are left unattained, the employees themselves are most often left to themselves with no idea how they are important to the company. Confusion reigns, and if left unchecked, the entire company might probably just end up crumbling.

Strategic management may be just the thing that could help the company regain its focus and put it back in touch with its original goals and philosophies. Strategic management works to make sure that a company constantly has its eye on its objectives and clearly defines all the steps and requirements that it takes to complete its plans.

You will know that your company is in dire need of strategic management methods when it has begun to focus far too much on small and unimportant details that don't really contribute to the company's overall mission and vision. Think back on your original objectives. In the years that your company has existed, have you even gotten halfway through your list of objectives? Are you even close to becoming the type of company that you envisioned yourself to be?

Strategic management isn't rocket science, really, but the challenge you might meet in implementing it will lie in the mentality of the movers and shakers of the company, particularly if none of them are particularly interested in or responsive to change. The basic steps of strategic management sounds quite a lot like common sense, although given the number of companies out there that flounder at some point, people still need a refresher course on it to regain their focus. Strategic management involves sitting down and figuring out what your company's objectives are, determining your mission and vision, and laying down the steps that will help you achieve your goals. Every department will have their own strategies to craft, and all of these must be created in accordance to the overall goal of the company, not just planned solely according to the goals of each department.

If you notice that your company has been thrown off track, sit down again and look back on its original goals. Figure out if they remain relevant today or no longer are. Only then can you begin the process of determining the right plan of action.