Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category


Growing Your Social Media Presence in 2014

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

As we bid adieu to the first month of this New Year, it’s time to really buckle done and grow your social media presence beyond 2013!  2013 proved to be a fruitful year in the world of social media, and 2014 will more than likely be another huge year in the social world. Social media is a tricky animal, as it can be significantly complex and is in a constant state of change.

In order to achieve results in the social world, it’s important to develop and implement a strategy and framework that will help lead to a strong social media presence! Of course, you could always leave your social media management to the professionals. But, one thing is certain- now is the time to revisit your social media strategy and jumpstart your 2014 social presence! Here are a few helpful tips and tricks that can help you grow your brand in 2014:

Social Media Tips

  • It’s inarguable that social media is one of the best tools available for building a professional brand that has personality. Every social network imaginable is a potential blank slate for you to build your brand upon. If you’ve created all of the proper accounts, but perhaps threw in the towel on trying to manage them (neglecting, or potentially even damaging your social media presence), consider dusting off those old profiles and getting back in the game! Now is the time to make your online presence known and start being active on all of your social networks.
  • Create the absolute best social media profile you can, using visually appealing images, and keeping your profiles polished and professional. This should further echo throughout each and every post. Consider your social media accounts to be the windows to your website or online business. If you present your social profiles in a professional and aesthetically pleasing way, visitors are more likely to learn more about your business or brand, and even visit your website, which could lead to conversations and an increase in overall traffic.
  • When managing your social presence online, consider yourself a “curator”, and not so much a salesperson. Become an influencer of the social world and share original or just plain awesome content! Sharing a balance of original content, as well as interesting content from other sources is a healthy way to engage your audience and raise brand awareness.
  • Engage your audience! It’s important to actively reply to your fans and show them that they’re a valued part of your business.
  • Business is a dog-eat-dog world, regardless of size. Chances are that your competitors are also using social media. Monitor your competitors and stay on top of social media trends, so as to not fall behind. Staying on top of trends and what your competitors are doing is a great way to keep your social presence fresh, relevant and effective.
  • Explore other networks! In 2013, many social networks grew in popularity, like Instagram and Vine; however, these networks existed for quite a while until they finally hit it big. If you notice a new social network or networking tool emerging, consider striking while the iron is hot.

The most important thing you can do to raise your social media presence in 2014 is to be consistent and active! What are your particular social media goals for 2014?

#CactusChat is Alive! Get your eCommerce Marketing Questions Answered in Real Time

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Cactus Facebook ChatWith just under 50 days left until Christmas, is your eCommerce store ready for the holiday shopping season? Before you fall prey to holiday myths, ask our Internet Marketing experts on the critical and crucial questions that make your Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas sales zoom. Join us on Thursday, November 14th for a live chat!

If you thought last year was busy, imagine having nearly one week less in between Black Friday and Christmas to market, sell, and ship. Just 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year make for a much shorter holiday shopping season than last year’s 32 days; but don’t let that stop you! Last year, many retailers were promoting holiday sales well before Halloween. This year should be no different, as merchants eagerly attempt to snag as many pre-holiday sales as possible.

So how do you beat last year’s performance with even less time? Where do you find reliable answers to your internet marketing questions?

On Thursday, November 14th at 3pm EST, Solid Cactus’ Internet Marketing experts will host a live chat on Facebook to answer your questions. Questions can be sent in starting today through Facebook, Twitter, comments below, or email

Experts from our Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and Email Marketing teams will be on hand to address, answer and debunk your questions. Here are some examples of common myths that we’ll also be covering:

  • Do you need to make any changes to your comparison shopping feed when adding gift cards to your site?
  • Why are meta tags valuable in making your organic listings stand out for the holidays?
  • How do negative keywords reduce your PPC budget?
  • Is it possible to send email blasts too often during the holidays?

There are three ways to participate: you can send in a question in advance, the day of, or simply be a spectator.

  • RSVP to the Facebook Event and attend the day of.
  • Follow @SolidCactus on Twitter for highlights from the live chat.
  • Email your question to
  • Bookmark this post for a live Twitter feed, which will be posted to this URL as the event goes live.

Build a Loyal Facebook Fan Base with “Get Me Likes” from Solid Cactus

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Get Me LIkes is a great way to build your Facebook fan base by offering your shoppers an incentive in exchange for a like.

Get Me LIkes is a great way to build your Facebook fan base by offering your shoppers an incentive in exchange for a like.

Building a base of loyal customers is something that every eCommerce store owner strives for. Repeat customers who spread the word about your business to their friends and family is a priceless form of advertising.

One way of building brand loyalists is to take advantage of the most popular social networking site today, Facebook. If you’re like me, you probably spend a great deal of time every day going through your news feed seeing what your friends are up to, “liking” Facebook pages for your favorite businesses and posting pictures of what you just had for lunch.

Facebook is a community, and it’s one that your business should be a part of. If you’ve been putting off creating a Facebook page for your eCommerce store, why not take a few moments and do it now. With the holidays just weeks away, it’s more important than ever to have a Facebook page for your customers to “like” so you can market to them for little or no cost.

Once you setup your Facebook page, you need to get your customers to “like” it. There are some simple things you can do to get the ball rolling:

  • Email Your Customers – It’s that simple! Send out an email blast to your customer list letting them know you’re now on Facebook and invite them to come over and “like” your page. Let them know that by being a part of your Facebook community they will be the first to know about special fan deals, Facebook only offers and other incentives reserved just for your followers.
  • Add an Icon – Add the Facebook icon to your website that clicks through to your Facebook page. I know I’m one of these guys who looks for the social media icons on stores and websites so I can click through and be one of their followers. Typically icons are placed either in your store’s header, footer or underneath your navigation bars. Don’t forget to include the link on your blog as well!
  • Email Signatures – You and your employees probably send out a good amount of email each day. Take advantage of that by adding a link to your store’s Facebook page in your email signature. These days, a link to your Facebook page is just as important as a link to your website.
  • Speak it! – If you have an auto attendant that greets callers when they dial in, consider adding a “be sure to visit us on Facebook” line to your script. Another way to get the word out it to ask your customer service representatives to remind customers on each call to head over to Facebook and give your page a “like.”

Once you’re Facebook fan base starts growing, it’s time to keep them engaged. I recommend businesses post to their company’s Facebook page at least once a day. If you don’t have the bandwidth to do that, post at least three times a week or talk to us about our managed Facebook service.

When it comes to posting, you want to create unique content that your visitors will find helpful, informational, and fun! You want your posts to grab your follower’s attention so they will engage, comment and hopefully share with their network of friends.

One word of caution with content… don’t oversell! Nobody likes to see every post from a business be a sales pitch. Sure you can announce new products, share a demo video and promote the big sale you’re having, but don’t over do it. Take time to post about the group of employees who went bowling last night, the pizza party you had for the warehouse team, a great review you got from a customer and fun things going on within your company.

It’s important that you continually keep growing your fan base so your reach spreads. The ideas I shared above are great for kicking off your new Facebook page, but you need to keep that momentum going year round, and I’ve got just the thing that can help.

Straight out of the Solid Cactus development lab is a new product designed to help grow your fan base, appropriately called “Get Me Likes.” This is a feature I’m really excited about, as it’s a cost-effective way to get current and potential customers to become one of your Facebook fans.

Here’s how it works. We install code on your store that teases visitors, in an unobtrusive way, to give your Facebook page a “like” in exchange for a coupon code they can use right away. They click on the little teaser window, it opens up, they click the “like” button and they’re given the code. Once they close the window, the widget disappears and it won’t prompt them again.

You get a fan, your fan gets a discount, and you get a sale!

What can be better than that?

If you’re running your store on Yahoo! Small Business, Network Solutions eCommerce, Monster Commerce or 1ShoppingCart Stores, we can install Get Me Likes for only $199. We have three different standard versions you can choose from, or for just $399, we can style Get Me Likes to match the unique look and feel of your store.

Like I said earlier, there’s no better time than now to start building your fan base so you can market to them during the holiday shopping season. Watch the demo video below, and contact us at 1.888.361.9814 to have Get Me Likes installed on your store.

See you on Facebook!

Scott Sanfilippo is co-founder of Solid Cactus and spends way more time on Facebook than he will admit. When he’s not posting pictures of what he had for lunch, you’ll find him sharing his decades of eCommerce experience with our top clients to help them become successful online.  Click here to become one of his Facebook friends.

Embrace Internet Culture to Increase Audience Engagement

Monday, October 7th, 2013

If you attended our “Marketing That Works Together” webinar, you may have seen this little fuzzball in our presentation deck. You might have even wondered if there was a story behind its inclusion.

We’re no strangers to using cute animals and Internet humor in our presentations here.  There’s also this little guy, for instance (from another webinar deck):

Our whole team here at Solid Cactus understands the value of tapping into Internet culture and leveraging it to get attention. We’ve given talks devoted to that very subject, in fact.

Web culture runs on an attention economy and, perhaps fittingly, its attention span is seconds long. Look at your Facebook feed and you’ll see proof of this in action. As a result of that short attention span, the Internet runs on image memes and animated GIFs, and there are certain varieties of this content that are surefire hits: pictures of cats, animated GIFs of cats, pictures of animated GIFs of cats and animated GIFs of pictures of cats.

I came perilously close just now to describing memes as “digitally transmitted units of lexical currency” but I’d rather try and talk about the power of memes in a way that won’t make all of our eyes glaze over. Did you watch Breaking Bad on Sunday? You probably did. Do you know other people who watched it? Odds are, you can talk to them about the episode by using verbal shorthand, phrases like “stevia” or “Marty Robbins,” for instance. It’s easier to have that conversation because you’re starting from a shared point of reference. That’s what memes are – a shorthand that conveys a shared experience.

When thinking about how include web culture in your communications, the best place to start is considering your audience. We knew most of the attendees at our webinar would be web-savvy and active on social media – we wanted to share something with them that reinforced that we are, too. The image also set the tone for the webinar – we want to share good, actionable information with you, but we also want to keep a light, fun and welcoming tone. Our Webinar Cat sends that message to our audience in a way that the audience is receptive to. And of course, the multiple balls of string representing each of our marketing services ties back into the central idea of the presentation: that multiple marketing channels all feed back to one central source.

Webinar Cat also has a little bit of history at Solid Cactus. Our team originally used him in a presentation we gave at a local college a few years ago. Again, our audience were digital natives who were strong social media users (college students) and we wanted to do something that felt audience appropriate. Everybody here on the Internet Marketing team loves our unofficial ‘mascot,’  so when we brought our webinar series back, we all agreed that he’d be a great addition to our deck. We hope you liked him, too!

From the Cactus Playbook: Top Free Social Media Tools used by the Experts

Monday, September 16th, 2013

In today’s world of social media optimization (SMO) there are many different social networks that a business can utilize. From Twitter to Tumblr, here are some of our favorite social media tools that can help you manage your businesses’ SMO.

Facebook Insights: Facebook recently updated Insights to include a new layout design, making it easier to review data. With this free tool you can see what types of posts are working for your Facebook page, discover details about your fans and much more. Use Facebook Insights to gather data and plan future posts. Built into your Facebook business page, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be taking advantage of this beneficial tool. Shorten, bookmark, organize and share links with other users, all before sharing them on your social media networks. is a great way to keep all of your links organized. In fact, once you begin using this handy link shortener you won’t want to stop! Managing multiple websites? Create bundles, and save links from different websites in their own bundles. You can even see how popular your shared links have become.

Hootsuite: Manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts, track brand mentions and analyze traffic, all from one convenient location. Hootsuite allows users to add multiple accounts from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress, Twitter and more! While this tool is free, there’s also a paid version.

PicMonkey: Whether you need a Facebook cover photo or want to create a graphic for Pinterest, you can easily do so using PicMonkey. When you arrive at the homepage, you’ll see that you can either edit a photo or create a collage.

Create a login and sign in whenever you need to create and edit a photo, or just create a photo on the fly without using a login. PicMonkey has many different fonts, overlays, and other fun add ons for your photo creating needs! While there is a free version of PicMonkey, the paid version comes with a large selection of additional options that can only be used by PicMonkey Royale members. All of the Royale member options are highlighted with a crown.


PicMonkey-2 Wondering how popular your favorite hashtag is? Looking for hashtags to use when tweeting from your brand’s Twitter? is a Twitter hashtag search engine that shows you how popular a hashtag is, while providing you with top recent tweets for that hashtag and related hashtags.

Simply search for a hashtag in the search box for that hashtag’s popularity, a web of related hashtags, and the top recent tweets for that hashtag.




Rafflecopter: Interested in running a giveaway on your Facebook business page or blog? Rafflecopter is one of the easiest ways to run giveaways! This handy tool has both free and paid versions. With the free version, users are able to choose from several giveaway options, including: Tweet about the giveaway, Like a page on Facebook, follow a Twitter account, leave a blog post comment, and invent your own options. The paid version includes all of those options, as well as: create a poll or survey, join a mailing list, follow on Pinterest, and pin an image on Pinterest.

Pinterest Web Analytics: In order to have access to Pinterest Analytics, you must first verify your account as a Pinterest for Business. After doing so you’re able to see a variety of metrics, such as the daily average number of pins, pinners, repins, repinners, impressions, reach, clicks, and visitors. You can also see your website’s most recent pins and most repinned pins, helping you to better understand what types of pins your audience enjoys the most.

Twitter Analytics: There’s a plethora of useful information you can find using Twitter Analytics. You’re given two options for viewing your analytics: timeline activity and followers. The Timeline option shows a detailed list of your tweets. You can choose to view the best tweets, good tweets or all tweets, and in each view it will display how many times each tweet has been faved, retweeted and replied to.

Viewing Twitter Analytics in the followers option allows users to see a graph which displays the increase (or decrease) of followers over the course of a few months, the most unique interests, top countries and states, top interests, gender, and accounts your followers follow.

Google Analytics: Whether you’re an eCommerce store or simply a blog, you should definitely have Google Analytics installed on your website. This free tool shows you tons of Google goodies, and reveals how people are arriving to your site, searching your site, leaving your site and more!

Which tools do you use in your SMO efforts? Which tools would you like to learn more about? Are there any tools you’re interested in that weren’t mentioned in this post? Leave a comment below, tweet us on Twitter or let us know on Facebook. We’re interested in what you think, and want to know how we can help you and your social media optimization efforts.