How to Your Brands Can Handle a Social Media Goof Up?
If you don’t have a visible strong brand, customer loyalty will be hard to come by. The social media platforms have made the entire process of building a brand easier by enabling you to engage with your consumers and spread awareness about your product and service. However, social media is not without its share of negative consequences. Each and every brand experiences criticism on social media at some point or the other. In this digital age, following a wrong strategy can also damage a brand’s image. With all the goof-ups, the first step is to have a plan ready to get out of the situation.
Entrepreneur India lists out a few tips to help brands handle a social media goof up.
Accept and Apologise:
Every company needs to have an action plan to get out of a difficult situation, especially in terms of a social media goof up these days.
But keeping everything aside Sumit Mehra, Founder & Director, The Cloth Libraryfeels the most important thing is to be honest with your customers.
"Every brand has loyal customers and they deserve to know the truth. In case of a mistake, all you have to do is own up to it. Accept and apologize, that's all that is needed," said Mehra.
Be Responsive:
Social media goof ups are inevitable. Jainee Gandhi, Founder and Principal Consultant, Imagedge Academy, believes if a post or tweet has been offensive or is misrepresented, say sorry and delete it. 
"Whether it has been a mixup or a misunderstanding, it is from your company. So, accept your mistake. Last year during Mumbai rains, so many passengers were stuck at the Mumbai airport. One airline in particular (the one I was traveling) did not reply to any tweets on the progress. It’s a major goof up in times of sub calamities. Always respond to questions that are necessary," she 
Create a Counter-strategy With a Better Communication:
Social Media is the impetuous rage in today’s times. It is like an open book where irrespective of what an individual or brand posts online, it is bound to get analyzed, scrutinized, talked about or even trolled about by millions of other people. 
Sahil Chopra, CEO and Founder, iCubesWire emphasized that to extract itself out of the goof-up, the brand should come with a counter strategy that revives the online brand value.
"This can be done in two ways. Either they make a joke out of their own mistakes as a sign of acceptance & look past the matter or they create a counter-strategy with a better communication. Either way, the brand should shoulder the responsibility & emerge gracefully out of the goof-up. However, it depends on the situation & each goof-up should be handled in the ways best suited for the brand," he added.
Avoid Ignoring Negative Feedback:
As social media is one of the ace tools used by the companies to create their online presence and manage real-time communication with prospects and customers. It is important that this double-edged sword is given in the right hands as even the slightest of slip can literally kill your brand. 
Vaibhav Vats, Co-founder,, shared that companies should avoid ignoring negative feedback.
"The negative comments may not get much response from other users, which leads the business to think it is not a big deal. But the people who look at your social media profile, see these messages are negatively affected," said Vats.
Use Communication Skills:
Social media goof-ups can be costly, especially if brands have been positioning themselves as "experts" in their domain. 
Abdulla Basha, Co-founder, Social Frontier, suggests that brands must use communication skills in such situation. "If possible, use wit/humor to make the mistake seem less serious (depends on the goof up)," he added.
Address the Situation Immediately:
In case of a social media miss, Abhesh Verma, COO, nexGTv believes the first thing brands should do is to address the situation immediately.
"Posts, especially those could potentially be controversial, go viral very quickly. Addressing the matter proactively can mitigate negativity and also allows brands to set the tone of subsequent conversations at the very onset. In case the mistake is substantial, an apology should be issued immediately. It must, however, be ensured that the apology is not made without a proper understanding of the issue on hand since any critical communication created in haste or with faulty logic has the potential to backfire," said Verma
Growing a Niche Ecommerce Business for 5 Important Tips
As an ecommerce business owner, I get it: the internet is a loud place. There’s information on how to maintain customer loyalty, conflicting SEO practices, and a need to stay abreast of change in your industry. As technology advances and brings us new ecommerce features, such as advanced inventory management and custom APIs, we’re still overwhelmed with a wealth of information, sifting through it all and trying to figure out how to get ahead.
The ecommerce landscape isn’t slowing down. So, here are five tips to help you grow your online business in the new year.

Activate social media.

Social media is tricky for ecommerce business owners because of the amount of time it requires. These days, we’re told that being a social media success can help bolster brand awareness and sales, but in order to reap the benefits we must be active 24/7. However, there are only so many hours in the day. While having a strong social media presence has proven to be beneficial, not every owner has the time.
You don’t have to work every social media platform, but you should at least do one very well. Maybe you’ve chosen to beef up your Facebook presence because you want to take advantage of its strong advertising mechanics and large customer base. In that case, use the time you’ve allotted to social media to create a space where customers can exchange and share, and you can post announcements about your brand. Having a solid social media presence on at least one platform will go a long way to developing a brand following.

Offer free shipping.

Offering free shipping can be a small way to begin to build relationships with your target audience. We offer free domestic shipping for our German cuckoo clocks. Some ecommerce companies offer free shipping over a certain purchase amount or on special items. Regardless of your company policy, the value of free shipping is clear to the customer. It entices shoppers to make a purchase.
In addition, offering free shipping can reduce the amount of abandoned shopping carts in your store. Many customers get to the checkout phase and are dissuaded by the additional shipping prices or popup costs. In the long run, free shipping can turn a casual shopper into a lifelong customer.

Share customer photos.

When you’re working with an ecommerce platform, customers can’t touch and feel your products. Instead, they have to rely on reviews or photos to ensure they’re making the right choice. For this reason, it’s important to share customer photos and experiences on social media and on your site. Prospective customers want to see real people using your products.
Sharing photos also allows past customers to feel more like they’re in the fabric of your brand. If a customer sees his or herself pictured on your website, they will feel more inclined to share information about your store to their friends and family.

Outsource, outsource, outsource.

As ecommerce business owners, we sometimes feel we have to be everything at once.
Outsourcing work is imperative to long-term success. You don’t have to be good at everything -- you’ve already proven yourself to be a quality project manager, simply by setting up and running your online store. However, if there’s something you’re not good at, ask for help. Whether it’s advertising, web design, or payroll, know when to outsource so you don’t burn out and can focus on what you do best.
I was able to scale my ecommerce company from initial launch to more than seven figures in revenue in three years by outsourcing our SEO marketing. Outsourcing can help a company stay nimble. If the work being done isn’t up to par or the scope of the project changes, it’s much easier to cut ties with a freelancer or consultant than a full-time employee.

Incorporate feedback.

The one thing that will never be outdated is collecting customer feedback. Your customer is a reflection of the state of your business. You need to find out what they want and like.
Many ecommerce platforms have a plugin or feature that allows you to collect and display customer reviews. If not, apps such as Yotpo can help integrate customer testimonials on your product pages. SurveyAnyplace and Typeform are also useful questionnaire tools to assess customer needs and perspective.
Customer feedback is a gold mine for how you should shape your brand and marketing. Do your current customers like your ads? Do potential customers approach you with more questions after visiting your website? Where are you losing people in your sales funnel? With the right feedback, you’ll be better equipped to adjust and implement changes in a way your customers will appreciate.
Using these tips will put you in a better position to grow your business and with developing a niche brand on an ecommerce platform.
Digital Marketing Expert Through Blogging
Almost a decade ago, I started a blog. It was a blog about motorcycles. I started that blog because I was bored as the company that gave me a placement offer was delaying my joining date. The decision to start a blog was the best career decision I have ever made in my life, ever. It has helped me shape my digital marketing career and made me what I am today
After having worked in leading start-ups in India as a digital marketing manager, I am taking steps to start my own digital marketing agency. I am yet to complete the company registration but already have 150 clients lined up, ready to sign up for my services. If there is one thing that I would like to attribute most of my career success to — that would be blogging.
But people are skeptical and find it difficult to believe that you can actually become a digital marketing expert through blogging.Here I’ll explain how blogging can help you become a digital marketing expert.
It would also answer the following questions that people keep asking me:
  • How do I land a senior digital marketer position at an awesome company?
  • How do I learn marketing tactics that nobody else is using?
  • How do I create a personal brand that will have companies approaching me to hire my services?
Digital marketing has several aspects to it. The market has grown so big that each of these modules needs a separate expert inside a company.
Some of the major modules in digital marketing are as follows:
  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Email Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Analytics
  • Integrated Digital Marketing
To become a true digital marketer, you should be able to conduct high-quality digital marketing campaigns to help build brands from scratch. And, to do so, you need to know how to leverage all the skills mentioned above. And, if you want to become a specialist in one of those skills, you need to go deeper in it and master it.
In digital marketing, we call this a T-shaped marketer. The horizontal line of the ‘T’ is knowing all the basic components to be a good digital marketer and the vertical line of the ‘T’ is becoming a specialist in one of the component.
To master one of the mentioned skills, it will take a lifetime and it’ll be almost impossible to do so with the traditional method of learning. You can only become a master when you successfully apply the knowledge, not when you complete the learning. And, considering the fast-changing nature of the skills, you’ll need to constantly learn and apply.
Now, let’s look into each one of the skills and how blogging can help you to master it.
Content Marketing:
Content marketing is the hottest skill that’s in huge demand. Content marketing is not just writing a blog post or article and publishing it online.
According to Seth Godin, content marketing is the only marketing that remains. It has gained more traction as more and more businesses are starting to realize the importance of it. And it is mainly because the ads are becoming inefficient by each day.
How can Blogging Help You Master Content Marketing?
The three important phases of content marketing are — planning, creation, and promotion.
You sitting down to put together the blogging calendar for a month is more or less equal to content marketing planning phase. With each blog post idea, you have a goal — what you want to achieve through that particular blog post and a plan — how you’re going to achieve the goal aka what to write in the post. If you’re not doing this activity, there is a good chance your posts will not be helping you to achieve your bigger goals.
When you start writing the blog post, you do a bit of research on the topic or idea, then create an outline first and then you set off to write the blog post, edit it and publish it. It is equal to the content creation phase. researching, outlining, writing, editing and publishing are the core steps of the content creation process. With each blog post you write, you’ll be able to refine each of the steps and in time, you’ll be mastering it.
Blogging doesn’t stop with publishing what you’ve written. Getting visitors to read, share and promote is the next important step. Most of the bloggers neglect this step or fail at this and that results in the premature death of their blog.
Experts recommend that if you spend 40% of your time in writing the blog post, then you need to spend 60% of your time in promoting it. When it comes to promotion, you have plenty of options - social media marketing & advertising, search engine optimization & marketing, email marketing etc. We’ll discuss them when we approach those skills. Here you learn the promotion phase of the content marketing.
It’s how blogging helps you to master content marketing.
Search Engine Optimization: Search Engine Optimization, popularly known as SEO is the most sought after and the most difficult skill to master. Google is tweaking its ranking algorithm 200 times a year which keeps the practitioners on their toes as the tactics that worked before could become useless at the instant Google pushes an update.
When you write your blog post, you would’ve done keyword research to pick the right keyword to focus and competitor research to know what kind of content your competitors have published. Those two steps are the starting of a good SEO process.
While writing the blog post, you’ll be using the ‘target keyword’ in the right areas to improve the ranking possibilities of that article. Also, you’ll be using it in the URL and anchor texts. It is the ‘on page optimization’ part of SEO.
Once publishing the post, you’ll be reaching out to influencers to promote your blog. You’ll use social channels to promote it. You’ll also consider tactics like using PR coverage or commenting or posting the blog post link in the communities or using social bookmarking etc. Those steps are part of the ‘link building’ component of the SEO.
So, while focusing on writing and promoting your blog post, you’re mastering the crucial components of SEO.
Search Engine Marketing:
If you really want to excel at blogging, you cannot just rely on the organic traffic. As it might take a while to receive the organic traffic to your new blog posts, you can leverage Google Adwords and Bing Ads to gain instant traction. Since you’ll be focusing on research or awareness keywords for ads, it won’t be costing you much. Also, you don’t have to focus only on Adwords or Bing Ads, you can try and test second tier and third tier players like 7Search, AOL search etc.
And, if you chose to use this tactic, you’ll be learning to create ad campaigns, writing adverts, measuring and optimizing the ads which mean, you’ll be mastering search engine marketing aka PPC advertising.
Social Media Marketing:
Social is an essential component to succeed in blogging and in earlier times blogging is considered as a social media activity because your blog posts can evoke comments, likes, and shares from the readers. To leverage social media to drive interactions, you need to learn the right time to post on social medias and to craft social media posts that get likes and shares. When you do it, you’ll be learning and mastering social media marketing.
Social Media Advertising:
It’s a known factor that Facebook doesn’t want to you get much of free likes and shares and the organic reach for the posts are diminishing by the day. Running successful social media ads have become a crucial component to succeed as a blogger. Many bloggers have failed to recognize this change and adapt to it and it has cost them, robbing many of their readers and the shares from them. This opens up the path to learn and master social media advertising.
Email Marketing:
List building and blogging go hand in hand and any successful blogger (or the ones who want to become a successful blogger) will focus on it. Also, as part of monetizing the blog, bloggers use email to support their revenue generation plans. Keeping the readers updated with the latest blog posts through weekly newsletters, engaging readers with email only contents and promoting products and services through emails are few of the email tactics commonly used by the bloggers. And those tactics are the most important components of email marketing. When you build, manage and engage your email list, you are also en route to mastering email marketing.
Marketing Automation:
Most savvy bloggers automate their marketing. When a new blog post is published, it is automatically posted on their social media profiles, submitted to ping servers and added to the sitemap. Also, they segment and show relevant content and ads to their readers based on the source of the visit. With email automation, they can tag, segment and promote relevant content and offers. All these are part of the marketing automation skill set and blogging can help you learn it effectively.
You need to know about your blog readers - where do they come from, what do they consume, where do they leave, how much time they spend and what actions they take and analytics tools like Google helps you with it. Mastering such analytics tools is important for a blogger to improve his game by publishing more blog posts in the topics that get more readership, likes, and shares. Every good blogger will be a pro analytics user.
Integrated Digital Marketing:
By now, you would’ve realized that becoming a successful blogger is not luck-dependent. it depends on how well you’re using the marketing channels and tactics together to achieve the best results. Using two or more marketing channels and tactics to achieve results is termed as integrated digital marketing. And, if you’re truly focusing on driving the best results to your blog, you’ll be automatically mastering the integrated digital marketing skill.I guess now, how you can become a digital marketing expert through blogging is clear.
If you’re serious about blogging and do everything it takes to make it a successful one, you’ll eventually end up becoming a digital marketing expert.
Tips to Creating an Effective Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a statement designed to get an immediate response from the person reading or hearing it. It’s used in business as part of a marketing strategy to get your target market to respond through action. It’s generally used at the end, or sometimes throughout, a sales pitch (i.e. a sales letter) to let potential clients/customers know what to do next if they’re interested in what you offer.
Many new home business owners leave calls to action out of their marketing materials or sales pitches usually for one of two reasons:
1. belief that the prospect already knows what to do if they’re interested in learning more, or
2. concerns that calls to action are obnoxious.
Whatever the reason, leaving CTAs out can mean losing money. Calls to action are essential in directing a prospect to the next step of the sales funnel or process.

What are Calls to Action Used In?

The most obvious uses for a call to action is in sales, such as “Buy now!” However, the sales process isn’t the only place a call to action can be helpful. Especially if you have a high priced item or service, in which it can take time to encourage someone to buy, a call to action that acts like a road map toward sales can be helpful. For example, “Call now for a free estimate.”
A call to action can be used to build your email list (“Sign up for a free report now”), increase your social media following (“Get more tips and coupons by following us on Facebook!), keep readers on your site (“Click here to read more about…”) and much more.

Typical Call to Action Phrases

Call to action phrases use action verbs, like:
  • Sign-Up
  • Register
  • Call
  • Subscribe
  • Donate
  • Buy
  • Order
  • Share
  • Follow
  • Download
  • Click here for
One useful technique to get people to take action immediately is to add a sense of urgency and the fear of missing out. For example:
  • Offer expires on Halloween.
  • Limited time offer.
  • Act now before supplies run out.
  • Respond before July 30th to enroll at this special price.

Creating a Call to Action

It is important for a businesses not to assume that the target audience automatically knows what is expected of them. You’ll get greater results by being clear about what the prospect needs to do. Make sure each page of your website, each sales conversation, and every piece of printed material (i.e. direct mail or brochures) contains a clearly defined and easily identifiable call to action. For ideas, check out established businesses marketing materials and websites to see how they convey their call to action.
Calls to action work best when they’re not complicated. Don’t make your potential clients and customers go through a maze or jump through hoops. While offering option (i.e. “Call or email us”) is good, don’t give them so many options or make it difficult for them to follow through on what you want them to do.
Finally, have an end goal for each call to action and how that call to action may fit with other parts of your marketing plan or get them into your sales funnel. For example, you may have a call to action to get a freebie by signing up for your email list, which is the initial goal.
But perhaps you use that email list to send sales letters with a call to action to “Buy now.” The email subscription is the first step in the ultimate goal of a sale.
Here are some tips to creating an effective call to action:
  • Clearly explain what the customer needs to do to respond (i.e. Subscribe here)
  • Clearly state what the customer will get by responding (i.e. Free report on how to save $100 a week)
  • Focus on benefits of taking action (i.e. save money now)
  • Offer a compelling reason for the customer to respond now or by the deadline.(i.e. this report is free only for the next 24 hours)
When doing a printed piece or designing a website or email marketing campaign, it is suggested to differentiate the call to action by making it bigger, using a different color, and outlining it with extra white space.
Don’t let it get lost in the rest of the marketing piece or content.
Sample Call to Action 
  • Free Gift: The first 100 people will receive a free gift. Order now before all the gifts are gone!
  • Free Trial: Sign-up by November 30th to take advantage of our 60-day free trial.
  • Price Increase: Our prices are going up on January 1st. Come in today to take advantage of lower pricing.
  • Automatic Upgrade: If you order within the next 30 days, receive an automatic upgrade to the premium package.
  • Discount Deadline: Order by the end of the week to receive 10% off.
  • Sale Incentives: We are overstocked! This Wednesday only, attend our liquidation blow-out event for deep discounts.

Track Results

Like many other marketing strategies, testing different options insures you’re getting maximum results. The same is true with calls to action. For example, do you get more email sign ups with “Subscribe Now” or “Get Your Free Report Now?” Test out a variety of options, switching them out one a time and then checking to see if one leads to more responses and sales than another.
Marketers and business owners who are seeking information on email marketing best practices often ask the same general questions. One of the most common is, “How often should I send?”
It’s an interesting question that has so many answers (check out this Ask Me About Email Marketing podcast episode to listen to a discussion on the topic). The answer that’s most commonly given is that it depends on your subscribers.
While there’s some truth to this, there are three basic guidelines that you can apply to just about any email marketing campaign in order to approach send frequency more strategically.
Those three guidelines are:
  • stop over sending emails
  • experiment with segmentation
  • and monitor your results

Stop Over Sending Emails

If you’re sending marketing messages to your email subscribers more than once a day, stop it – now. For marketing purposes, daily sending is acceptable in few circumstances, but I have yet to come across a campaign where sending multiple times a day is acceptable. If you are sending more than once a day for any of your campaigns, serious thought needs to be put into whether it’s truly necessary. Should you be sending fewer emails?
Sending too much is a sign of someone anxious for site traffic. Here’s a tip: shift the focus. Change that focus to driving sales instead of traffic. Enticing subscribers with offers on a weekly basis that they will be more likely to buy can yield better results than a daily email extravaganza with little change from day to day and, therefore, little value.

Experiment with Segmentation

If changing your email frequency sounds pretty scary, there are ways you can experiment while keeping the core of your campaign intact. One of those is breaking the list apart. That’s right, take a chisel to it and make it into two to three specialized lists instead of one large all-or-nothing list.
There are likely some users on your list who are constantly engaging with your emails; possibly even your daily emails. If that is the case, break them off into their own segment. This new segment is your highly engaged list, treat them special.
Everyone else gets moved into your standard list. An option for this segment of your audience would be a split test. Try sending two to three messages a week to one half and just once a week to the other half. The point is to experiment and keep a watchful eye on what’s getting your desired results.

Monitor Your Results

I promise you that sending too often will cause subscriber churn. If the subscribers don’t unsubscribe themselves, their email client will take care of it for you by filtering your messages into the junk folder. Also, just about every frequent sender I meet asks why their opens are so low. The simple answer is that they’re likely getting filtered out of the main inbox due to poor engagement.
Sending less emails opens many doors for providing better content and more value to your audience. Think of it this way: a retail shop wouldn’t offer 20% off coupons every day to its customers.
But offering it once every month would likely yield better returns. With email marketing, this translates to better returns on just a single email.
When senders choose to mail less frequently and have a more targeted campaign, their engagement metrics and results rise. If results haven’t changed or they are worse (hopefully not), try something new.
Whatever way you decide to alter your sending frequency, the key is reading the results. Again, don’t fret so much on the amount of site traffic you’re getting. Instead, point a laser focus on increasing engagement and/or sales.
There is no magic number for how many messages to send in an email marketing campaign, but there is a rhythm for every campaign. The challenge–and fun part–is finding the rhythm through experimentation.

Less Is More

Customers and subscribers are reaching a breaking point with managing the flood of emails in their inboxes while marketers are sending more and more emails. It’s a vicious cycle. But remember, oftentimes with email marketing, less is more. A well treated email campaign is usually highly engaged and performs better than a campaign that gets emailed the same thing on a daily basis. Avoid the really bad practices, experiment with segments and different email frequencies, then compare your results.