Social Media Unplugged Conference: What You Missed

Social Media Unplugged

On Saturday, Jan. 29, Sidetrek Productions presented a one-day conference in Vancouver on real world social media strategies and implementation. The speaker line-up included representatives from some of the biggest players in social media in Vancouver, the country and the world.

Following is our recap of the highlights.

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How About Some Respect, Miss Friday?


The Virtual Miss Friday website states: Professional online business services. While the site looks professional — and the services probably are, too — it fails to treat visitors with respect. Three pop-ups. Three!

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Is Poor Website Design Holding Your Business Hostage?

Poor design

Online visitors form a first impression of a website quicker than the blink of an eye — literally. It typically takes humans 300 to 400 milliseconds to blink. Meanwhile, scientific research led by Dr. Gitte Lindgaard at Carleton University in Ontario reveals websites have as little as 50 milliseconds to establish a first impression — a mere 1/20th of a second. That’s it!

This is crucial information for any business because once a visitor forms an impression on a subconscious level, he or she will selectively search for information confirming that impression. People do this because we all want to prove we have good judgement. So, if our first impression of a website is negative, we have a tendency to mainly seek and see the negatives, regardless how good a business’ products and services might actually be. Alternatively, if we immediately like what we see, we’ll look for positive information to reinforce that impression.

So how do you avoid making a bad first impression on the Web? Easy. Get a good designer.

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What Really Motivates Us?

Know Your Audience: Shoplifters Love Free Things

Shoplifter promo - Webcopyplus Web Copywriter

Features Versus Benefits

Features Versus Benefits - Benefits Sell in Web Copy

Website visitors don’t buy products or services; they invest in what the products or services will do for them.

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Copywriters Need to Know the Customer

Copywriters Need to Know the Customer

To write persuasive web copy, copywriters need to think like customers. It makes it easier to figure out what benefits and features the targeted audience cares about, and build key messages to motivate them to take desired actions.

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Websites Need to Accommodate ‘ROPO Customers’

ROPO Customers

While it’s obvious websites drive online sales, business owners need to recognize the Internet also influences purchases made offline.

In fact, 97% of consumers use the Internet to research products or services in their local area, revealed a Kelsey Group Study, which was released in March 2010. Marketers label these consumers research-online-purchase-offline customers, or ROPO customers.

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Listening to Customers Through Social Media

Listening to Your Customer Through Social MediaOne of the most important steps to take before speaking to your customers through your web copy is learning what they want, and what opinions they have about you and your competition.

But what if you don’t have the budget to pay for expensive research data or conduct focus groups?  Targeted market surveys can cost up to $10,000 to reach a sample of just 1,000 people.

The advent of social media over the past decade has resulted in more and more people voluntarily sharing the valuable information market researchers pay for on sites like Facebook and Twitter. eMarketer predicts that the number of Twitter users alone will skyrocket this year to over 18 million, and March 4, 2010 marked the 10 billionth Twitter status update.  That’s 10 billion times people have posted information online for all to see about what they are doing, thinking, and buying.

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Using Fear to Persuade

The article Web copy motivators notes fear is a powerful influential factor on and off the Web. But, as Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive notes, it can also be counter-productive.

Research has demonstrated that fear-arousing communications usually stimulate the audience to take action to reduce the threat. However, Author Robert Cialdini explained, “When the fear producing message describes danger but the audience is not told a clear, specific, effective means of reducing the danger, they may deal with the fear by ‘blocking out’ the message or denying it applies to them.”

As a result, they may be paralyzed into taking no action at all.

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