Dear Socially Stephanie,
I own an online clothing and home goods boutique. I have decent sales and a good following, but recently my search engine rankings have begun to decline, and I'm getting a bit bored with using Facebook and Pinterest as my main social sites. Any advice?
Fashion-Focused in Phoenix
My dear, I know how you're feeling. Google rankings are important, but for fashion, a little boost in your social media arena can go a long way for both sales and search engine results. Ready to learn?
Now, before you go and hire an expensive SEO professional (nothing against them, of course), I'm going to share with you some real get-your-hands-dirty, do-it-yourself type of strategies. Ready for the answer? Share more and get more people sharing from your website.
That's right. In this online SEO eco-system, it's all about the social shares. Don't believe me? According to a recent study, ninety-one percent of e-commerce retailers saw a lift in their SEO rank thanks to social referrals.
So, how're you going to get people sharing? Well, if you know me at all—and I think you do, because you wrote me—you might know what I'm about to tell you. First and foremost, you have to have a shareable site. That means you have to create awesome, trend-able, eye popping content that pulls your customers in like a moth to a flame. Yes, in true Socially Stephanie fashion, that means a blog is a great place to start. So get blogging.
Now that you have the content for others to share, let's get a bit down and dirty about other forms of social sharing that features your content. You probably think I'm going to say Pinterest, right? Yes, Pinterest is great for shoppers. I mean, hello!—the new motto for spenders went from "shop till you drop" to "Pin till you spin." But there's something even more powerful emerging on the scene that many don't know about. It's called Polyvore.
Polyvore allows users to create a collage of looks and items they want, with direct links back to purchase pages. Sounds awesome, right? It is! And it gets even better. As you know, a social site is only as good as its community. Well, the Polyvore community is influencing style trends across the entire web. With 20 million users, over 2 million sets created per month and 1 billion views per month, this is a network that you need to take seriously. If that weren't enough, Polyvore drives a higher average order than Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter COMBINED, at close to $400. Yes, the Polyvore-influenced have money to burn.
So, you ready to cash in? Here's what you need to do. Create sets, and a lot of them. You want these sets to be ready-to-buy looks that someone can click right on through and buy the whole look. You might even want to set up your online store so that you can purchase whole styles like you can at Ikea, with a Polyvore discount. You should also join a bunch of relevant groups, share within the community there, and get to know the influencers. Once you get seen by the right Poly-influencers and get them creating sets with your products, you'll be golden.
Oh, and last thing. Remember how I said 2 million sets are viewed 1 billion times a month? Well, many of these are actually viewed on other social sites and blogs. So make sure you embed your sets, as well as other sets from people who feature your products, on your blog. Cross promotion goes far.
Well, I'm off like a prom dress. Good luck!
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Illustration by Jesse Wells