Effective Strategies for Increasing E-Commerce Conversions (Infographic)

By Thursday, December 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

While the last quarter of the year may be the season for ecommerce shopping, it’s important to have a sound strategy year round. An infographic from digital agency Data Dial provides a wealth of psychological tips for improving your ecommerce strategy and related outcomes.

Social signals are a powerful tool for engaging users and increasing conversion rates. Reviews are powerful social signals that can leave a lasting impact, as can social media recommendations from friends. Presenting a few negative reviews can also engender trust in your brand, especially if users can see a communication chain between brand and customer that ends well.

Users love bargains, so pricing decisions are important. Numerical figures tend to get a better response than lettered pricing, and displaying the savings to the customer as they are shopping can improve conversion rates. Don’t leave prices eternally static, and be sure to offer customers a range of options as they shop so as not to close off opportunities.

Photography and video resources can make or break a sale. Video is already gaining a reputation as a highly engaging medium. When it comes to ecommerce video can also reduce the likelihood of returns because it gives customers a more realistic and almost hands-on look at the product. Hi-def photography also allows users to thoroughly inspect products before the purchase.

For more advice on closing the sale at the point of checkout, and how to entice wary customers, view the infographic below.

New Year’s Resolution for Publishers: Rethink Your Social Content Strategy

By Thursday, December 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

With 2016 quickly approaching, we are all making promises to ourselves to make it a year in which we finally check off items on our to-do list. New Year’s resolutions are notorious for being forgotten (until the following year of course), and yet represent areas of opportunity for growth.

This year, I challenge you to make some resolutions in regards to your social media strategy and shed the unwanted weight of unappealing social content. Though rethinking a social content strategy can feel overwhelming, I suggest evaluating yours in order to start next year off on the right foot.

Only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Be one of them by following these 5 New Year’s content resolutions to ensure that this time next year, no untouched resolutions are rolling over into your list for 2017.

This will be your year to get smarter about the content you share. Cut out the unnecessary excess of tired old articles and determine which formats your audience eats up most. Cheers to 2016!

Shaul Olmert is the co-founder and CEO of Playbuzz. Playbuzz can be contacted at bizdev@playbuzz.com.

Times Square Led Facebook Check-Ins Last New Year’s Eve

By Thursday, December 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

New York’s Times Square is the unofficial epicenter of New Year’s Eve celebrations, so it comes as no surprise that it led Facebook in check-ins last New Year’s Eve.

Facebook said in an email to SocialTimes that more than 40 million users indicated that they were traveling to or checked in to destinations outside of their home cities, and the top six were:

  1. Times Square, New York
  2. Central World, Bangkok
  3. London
  4. Kaohsiung World Games Main Stadium, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  5. Paris
  6. Dream Mall, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The social network offered details on the top five spots from the more than 440,000 check-ins at Carnival in Brazil in 2015, adding that the 2016 edition is set for Feb. 5 through 10:

  1. Rio de Janeiro
  2. São Paulo
  3. Salvador
  4. Recife
  5. Praia do Forte, Cabo FrÍo

Finally, Facebook provided a list of the top six destinations checked into by European users traveling within Europe this past summer:

  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. Istanbul
  4. Barcelona, Spain
  5. Berlin
  6. Amsterdam

And the social network offered tips of how Facebook can be a valuable resource for users planning their next vacation:

Use Facebook Search to tap your network for destination ideas: You can use Facebook’s search functionality to browse posts from friends and pages you follow. Looking for a specific kind of vacation? Try phrases like “ski” or “beach” to see posts from friends of recent trips they’ve taken, or try something more specific—like “Hawaii”—to get ideas for specific attractions and travel guides from your favorite pages.

Get friend-fueled context on your next destination using City Guides: If you’ve already decided on a place to go, use Facebook’s City Guides to get ideas about what to do and see there. For each city, you’ll be able to see a list of popular attractions, recommended places to eat, upcoming local events, information about nearby cities and a list of friends who have been there, making it easy to instantly message them and pick their brain about their favorite spots.

Browse lists of local restaurants bars and hotels, organized by reviews from friends and others: Get ready to eat your way around your chosen destination by reading reviews and ratings of restaurants in the area. Each restaurant page on Facebook includes a reviews section at the top. There, you can browse star ratings and reviews from friends who have been there and glean some inside intel about what to order when you go (don’t forget to try the foie gras!). You can simply search with a phrase like, “Restaurants in San Francisco” or access a list of a city’s restaurants on its City Guides page.

Readers: Where will you be for New Year’s Eve?

Photo via Visualhunt.com

Facebook Suit Against Paul Ceglia’s Lawyers Thrown Out

By Thursday, December 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Self-proclaimed Facebook co-owner Paul Ceglia may not be off the legal hook, but the law firms that represented him are.

Reuters reported that the New York State Appellate Division in Manhattan dismissed Facebook’s malicious prosecution lawsuit against DLA Piper, Milberg and Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, all of which represented Ceglia in his ill-fated and fraudulent lawsuit against the social network and its co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook said in the October 2014 lawsuit, Facebook Inc. et al vs. DLA Piper LLP et al, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, No. 16162:

The lawyers representing Ceglia knew or should have known that the lawsuit was a fraud—it was brought by a convicted felon with a history of fraudulent scams, and it was based on an implausible story and obviously forged documents. In fact, defendants’ own co-counsel discovered the fraud, informed the other lawyers and withdrew. Despite all this, defendants vigorously pursued the case in state and federal courts and in the media.

This discovery confirmed beyond any doubt that the lawsuit was based on a forgery. Yet even after receiving a warning letter from Kasowitz, DLA Piper and Ceglia’s other lawyers continued to pursue the fraudulent lawsuit.

The refusal of DLA Piper and Ceglia’s other lawyers to come clean even when withdrawing forced Facebook and Zuckerberg to continue defending a case the lawyers knew was a fraud.

But the appellate court voted 4-0 to dismiss the suit, saying that the law firms found experts to deny Facebook’s forgery claim, that Ceglia passed a lie-detector test and that Facebook’s allegation that the law firms lacked probably cause to pursue the case was “entirely conclusory.”

Facebook said it would decide whether to file an appeal, with a spokeswoman telling Reuters:

We are disappointed. DLA Piper and the other named law firms possessed evidence proving the case was based on forged documents and that Paul Ceglia’s claim was a fraud, but chose to pursue it anyway. We believe they should be held accountable.

And Matthew Dontzin, a lawyer representing DLA Piper, told Reuters:

(Facebook filed its lawsuit) to deter lawyers from taking them on. These types of bullying tactics have no place in the courthouse, and today justice was done.

Readers: Will the Paul Ceglia case ever go away?

Facebook mistakenly congratulated all these people on 46 years of friendship

By Thursday, December 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Something odd is happening on Facebook. The social network is congratulating users on 46 years of friendship with other users, which wouldn’t be that strange if some of those people weren’t a lot younger than 46

The message, as seen and reported by users on Facebook and Twitter, looks exactly like a standard “Facebook friendship” message — except it claims the two users had been friends for 46 years. It also appears the glitch always reports exactly the same number — 46 — prompting users to speculate why this happens, with answers ranging from someone at Facebook being drunk to a Unix bug.

See also: Facebook brings 360-degree videos to iPhone and Gear VR Read more…

More about Facebook and 46

Health, Travel, Money Lead New Year’s Resolutions on Social Media

By Wednesday, December 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Digimind, a social media monitoring and analytics company, has monitored social media activity throughout the month of December to determine the most popular New Year’s resolution topics in the U.S. and around the world.

Digimind found the top three New Year’s resolution topics were health, travel and money, respectively. Breaking the data down by region, health was found to be the most popular New Year’s resolution topic in the U.S and Canada, as well as in Europe and the Middle East, while saving money was the most popular topic in the Asia Pacific, and travel was the No. 1 topic in Latin America.

Other popular New Year’s resolution topics included exercising more and eating healthier, quitting smoking or drinking and spending time with family, among others. This is in keeping with recent data from Sprinkr, which found Twitter and Instagram users also expressed an interest in quitting smoking and working out more often (among other goals).

Check out Digimind’s infographic below for more.

Readers: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2016?

Top image courtesy of Visual hunt.

Shoto Introduces ‘Album Match’ for Sharing Photos With Friends on iOS

By Wednesday, December 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Shoto has released the latest version of its app on iOS, which allows users to share photos with their friends, and combines their friends’ photos with their own into the proper albums. The Version 5.0 update includes an ‘overhauled design’ for the app, and introduces Album Match, a new feature for identifying photos users may wish to share.

With Album Match, the Shoto app recognizes which friends were with a user when taking pictures at a particular location, and creates an ‘album match’ for combining each user’s photos from the same event into a single album. Once a match has been identified, users request access to their friends’ photos by tapping on their avatars. When a friend approves the request, the original user receives the friend’s photos instantly.

The app also features an ‘album completeness’ progress bar on each album, which indicates whether or not the album could potentially contain more content from friends. That is, the progress bar indicates when there are additional photos from an event that friends have yet to share.

Elsewhere, the update includes a redesigned Library, which provides a timeline of a user’s own photos, and those their friends have shared with them. Users can search their Library to find content. Finally, new icons on photos quickly tell users if those photos are private, shared or public.

Shoto CEO Sachin Dev Duggal told SocialTimes:

Shoto 5 is our big push in truly letting you get the photos you didn’t take. Whilst others sell you on this fear of missing out, you always end up getting a sharing app that doesn’t really get you the photos from friends. Our Album Match technology precisely tells you who has photos and let’s you ask for them by a single tap. All the photos pool into a single album.

Shoto is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store.

Video, Snapchat, Data Narratives: Here’s Where Social is Trending for 2016

By Wednesday, December 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

If Snapchat and video are still scary for you and your brand, you’re probably going to struggle in 2016. A wide-ranging study by Spredfast shows how taking a Facebook-and-Twitter-only approach to social is outdated, and that new and emerging tools could be a great fit for your business.

In Spredfast’s Smart Social Report, the company took a look at social performance by vertical. Spredfast noted that businesses can look to sports leagues and teams to lead the way when it comes to embracing a cross-platform approach.

Looking at Q3 2015 performance, many sports leagues have taken to Snapchat, Instagram, Google+ and other platforms than Facebook and Twitter to great success, Spredfast explained:

Leagues from every corner of the sports hemisphere recorded wins in Q3, continuing to serve as standout examples of how to push the edge with new networks in smart ways.

Here’s a look at the platform performance of some other brands in other key verticals.

Video was also a key component of marketing strategies in 2015. That is definitely not going away in 2016.

If you’re wondering who to study to get a better sense of what works in terms of video on social, Spredfast studied the strategy and statistics of several prominent brands and sports teams, showing who posts most and whose videos are most effective.

Spredfast fêted the Houston Rockets on Instagram, Tim Horton’s on YouTube and Foot Locker on Twitter for having sound video strategies.

The company’s report also noted that video statistics should be read seriously, and looking for trends with the data:

Many social networks provide data on where viewership drops off within a video. Take a look at your own video content: are there common visual or narrative elements at these points? If you post the same video to multiple networks, but the drop-off point varies between them, consider producing multiple versions optimized for the intended audience.

To read the full report, click here.

Sidecar to Close Ridesharing, Delivery Service on Dec. 31

By Wednesday, December 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Ridesharing and delivery service Sidecar will close on December 31, according to a blog post from Sidecar co-founder and CEO Sunil Paul.

Sidecar was founded in 2011, and allowed users to connect with drivers in their personal vehicles. In February 2015, Sidecar expanded to offer same-day delivery for packages, restaurant orders, flowers and groceries.

Paul wrote:

Long ago we conceived of the technology that gave rise to the rideshare movement. And nearly four years ago we invented what is now known as “ridesharing” with an app that connected riders with everyday drivers in their personal vehicle. People loved it. It was safe, convenient and affordable, and it quickly caught on …

Our vision is to reinvent transportation and we’ve achieved that with ridesharing and deliveries. It is, however, a bittersweet victory. Shutting down the Sidecar service is a disappointment for our team and our fans. The impact of our work, however, will be felt for generations to come. We changed transportation law, and created a new mode of transportation that has transformed cities and made life easier and better for millions of people.

Sidecar’s ride-sharing and delivery operations will cease at 2 p.m. PT on December 31. Paul said the closure will allow the company to ‘work on strategic alternatives and lay the groundwork for the next big thing.’

Readers: Are you sad to see Sidecar shut down its ridesharing and delivery service?