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Sue Prentice

Why You Need to Join Threads Now: The Text-Based Platform That’s Changing the Game of Social Media

Who is this for? (4minute read)
The blog brands or SME who are looking for a new way to connect with their audience, grow their brand, and join the hottest conversations on the internet. It’s also for anyone who is curious about Threads, the new social media app from Meta that’s made Elon Musk somewhat uncomfortable.

Threads: The New Social Media App That’s Taking the World by Storm

If you’re looking for a new way to connect with your audience, grow your brand, and join the hottest conversations on the internet, you need to check out Threads. Threads is a new app from Meta (formerly Facebook) that lets you share text updates and join public discussions with people who share your interests. It’s like Twitter, but better.

Threads launched on July 6, 2023, and in just four days, it reached 100 million users, according to the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri. That’s comparable to the growth of Chat GPT, the popular chatbot app that uses artificial intelligence to generate realistic conversations.

So, what makes Threads so appealing?

And why should you join it as a startup or SME owner?

Here are the top five reasons to hop on Threads and start sharing your thoughts with the world.

1. Threads is simple and easy to use

Threads is designed to be a minimalist and focused platform for sharing text updates. You can log in using your Instagram account and your username and verification will carry over. You can also customize your profile for Threads separately from Instagram.

You can post up to 500 characters per thread, and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long. You can also reply to other threads, repost them, or like them. You can easily share your threads to your Instagram story or any other platform you choose.

Threads has a clean and intuitive interface that lets you browse threads from people you follow, as well as discover new creators based on your interests. You can also search for topics or hashtags to join relevant conversations.

2. Threads is a positive and creative space

Threads is built with tools to enable productive and respectful conversations. You can control who can mention you or reply to you within Threads. You can also filter out replies that contain specific words or block or report abusive profiles. Threads enforces Instagram’s Community Guidelines on content and interactions in the app.

Threads is also a place where you can express your ideas and opinions freely and creatively. You can use text, images, videos, links, emojis, and more to make your threads stand out. You can also join challenges, prompts, games, and other fun activities that spark your imagination.

3. Threads is compatible with the open web

Threads is not just another walled garden of social media. It’s part of Meta’s vision for an open and interoperable internet that connects different platforms and services. Threads is working toward becoming compatible with the open social networks that use open standards and protocols such as ActivityPub.

This means that you can potentially reach and interact with users from other platforms that support these standards, such as Mastodon, PeerTube, or Pixelfed. You can also own your data and move it across different services without losing your connections or content.

4. Threads is a great way to grow your brand

Threads is a platform where you can showcase your expertise, personality, and values as a brand. You can share useful tips, insights, stories, or opinions that resonate with your audience. You can also engage with them directly through replies or mentions.

An Opportunity to Blow up Brand Potential

Threads can help you build trust, loyalty, and awareness for your brand among potential customers. You can also drive traffic to your website or other platforms by including links in your threads. You can also collaborate with other creators or influencers who share your niche or vision.

Big name brands and big personalities are wasting no time. Should your brand be there too?

5. Threads is where the action is

Threads is where you can find the latest trends, news, memes, jokes, debates, and more on the internet. You can join the conversations that matter to you and your audience, or start your own. You can also learn from other creators and experts who share their knowledge and perspectives.

Threads is where you can have fun, be yourself, and not take yourself too seriously. You can experiment with different formats, styles, and tones to see what works best for you and your brand. You can also challenge yourself to be more creative and original with your content.

“Brands are racing in to gain followers and lead the way! This shows people love something new – it has Club House, TikTok energy. This time there’s a difference your fans come too, directly from Instagram”

Sue Prentice

How to get started with Threads

Getting started with Threads is easy. Just download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store and log in using your Instagram account. Then follow these steps:

  • Customize your profile:

Choose a profile picture, bio, colour scheme, and display name for Threads.

  • Follow some accounts:

Follow the same accounts you do on Instagram or find new ones based on your interests.

  • Post your first thread:

Tap the compose button at the bottom of the screen and write up to 500 characters of text. You can also add a link, photo, or video if you want.

  • Join a conversation:

Browse threads from people you follow or discover new ones based on topics or hashtags. Reply to threads that interest you or like or repost them.

  • Share your threads:

Tap the share button on your thread and choose where you want to share it. You can share it to your Instagram story, copy the link, or share it to another app.

That’s it! You’re ready to join Threads and start connecting with your audience and the world.

         100 million users in 4 days. Wow! The world was blown away with the speed ChatGPT attracted users and now Threads.

Of course if you’re a Twitter user, you’ll know Elon Musk is not a fan of Threads. Knowing Meta does own WhatsApp and also Messenger, it could totally dominate further.
How does Threads differ from Twitter? You can’t send direct messages to anyone at the moment. And you can choose who can view your posts more easily. Also, Threads doesn’t have any hashtags or trending topics feature, and you can’t change your threads after you publish them.

In summary, Threads is a new social media app that lets you share text updates and join public conversations with people who share your interests. It’s simple, positive, creative, open, and exciting. It’s also a great way to grow your brand and reach new customers.

If you’re a startup or SME owner, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

Join Threads to be a part of the conversation and start sharing your thoughts with the world. You’ll be glad you did! We did.


Strategic Planning in 2023 and Beyond Involves Sustainability

Who is this for? (6minute read)
The blog provides the key elements of sustainability in strategic planning while also emphasising the importance of authenticity and avoiding greenwashing. In a 6-9minute read, gain valuable insights for ecopreneurs, brands, eCommerce founders, business owners, and retailer owners who want to align their business strategies with sustainability goals.

Strategic Planning in 2023 and Beyond Involves Sustainability

Sue Prentice

Strategic planning is how an organisation’s executives outline their vision for the future and determine their company’s targets. It consists of figuring out how the management team should meet the company’s targets to ensure the company achieves growth and progress.

The purpose of strategic planning in companies may be to create strategic marketing plans to enhance revenue and profits, increase awareness, position themselves above competitors, or improve their overall look through entire rebranding. The management and operations teams collaborate to determine the targets, describe the steps, allocate tasks, and assess the effort’s performance.

Getting Clear on Vision, Mission and Purpose.

Before we continue, we’ll pause to continue, we find we’re often needing to clarify the meaning of vision, mission and purpose for the brands we work with.

Although they are related and often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings and serve different functions in defining an organisation’s goals and direction:

1. Mission: A mission statement describes an organisation’s primary purpose, outlining its core function or the reason it exists. It addresses what the organisation does, who it serves, and what value it brings to its stakeholders. A well-crafted mission statement should be concise and focused, providing a clear understanding of the organisation’s objectives and guiding its daily operations.

2. Vision: A vision statement is a forward-looking declaration that describes the organisation’s long-term aspirations and desired future state. It is an inspirational and motivational statement that paints a picture of where the organisation wants to be in the future, usually in 5-10 years. The vision should be ambitious but achievable, serving as a guiding star for strategic planning and decision-making.

3. Purpose: An organisation’s purpose goes beyond its mission and vision to encompass the deeper meaning and impact it aims to create in the world. It reflects the organisation’s core values, beliefs, and its commitment to making a difference in the lives of its customers, employees, and the broader community. A clear and authentic purpose can help an organisation connect with its stakeholders on a more profound level, driving engagement, loyalty, and long-term success.

“Our mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” – Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia

Are Purpose and Sustainable the Same Thing?

And purpose-driven brands and sustainable brands can be related, but they are not necessarily the same thing.

Purpose-driven brands are those that have a clearly defined purpose, often focused on making a positive impact on society, the environment, or the lives of their customers, employees, and stakeholders. Their purpose goes beyond profit-making and informs their decision-making, strategies, and business practices. A purpose-driven brand can have a wide range of objectives, such as addressing social inequalities, improving healthcare, promoting education, or fostering community development.

Sustainable brands, on the other hand, prioritise environmental and social responsibility in their business operations. They aim to minimise their negative impact on the environment, use resources efficiently, and contribute to the well-being of society. Sustainable brands often incorporate ethical sourcing, fair labour practices, and environmentally friendly production processes into their business models.

“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” – Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

While a purpose-driven brand can be a sustainable brand if its purpose centres on environmental and social responsibility, not all purpose-driven brands are necessarily focused on sustainability. Similarly, a sustainable brand may not have a broader purpose beyond its commitment to minimizing its environmental impact and promoting social responsibility.

Reasons Why Sustainability is Vital in Strategy Planning

There are specific reasons why sustainability is an essential component of strategic marketing planning:

  • It creates resilience from a social and environmental perspective. Social, environmental, and regulatory constraints influence organizational decision-making. Strategic plans will help the organisation achieve stability regardless of the future internal or external social impacts.
  • It promotes innovation in an organisation since the strategic marketing planning team may identify opportunities for innovation. A product or project undergoes a cyclic process. The process includes everything from the resources and manufacturing techniques employed to the finished product’s operation, lifespan, and disposal alternatives.
  • It allows an organisation to adapt to the constantly changing environmental dynamics. These dynamics include but are not limited to new technological disruptions, population expansion, the effects of climate change, resource restrictions, and new business models.
  • It’s why customers want to shop from you!

Your brands sustainable future @beyondpoints

Integrating ESG Factors in Sustainable Strategic Planning

Incorporating ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors into strategic planning is crucial for sustainable brands. ESG factors offer a comprehensive framework for evaluating a company’s sustainability and ethical impact, which is increasingly important to investors, consumers, and other stakeholders.

By integrating ESG considerations into strategic planning, sustainable brands can:

1.Demonstrate a commitment to a holistic approach to sustainability, addressing not only environmental concerns but also social and governance issues.

2. Identify and manage potential risks and opportunities related to ESG factors, making their business more resilient and adaptable.

3. Enhance their reputation and attractiveness by showing investors, customers, and other stakeholders that the brand is aware of and actively addressing critical sustainability issues.

4. Improve long-term financial performance, as companies with strong ESG profiles have been shown to outperform their peers in various studies.

5. Considering ESG factors in strategic planning helps sustainable brands align their operations, policies, and goals with the expectations of an increasingly environmentally and socially conscious market. By addressing ESG factors, sustainable brands can create a positive impact on society, the environment, and their bottom line.

Avoiding Pitfalls: Accidental Greenwashing and Ensuring Authenticity

While embracing sustainability in strategic planning offers numerous benefits, it is essential to avoid pitfalls like “accidental greenwashing.” Accidental greenwashing occurs when a brand unintentionally overstates or misrepresents its environmental or social impact, leading to misconceptions about its sustainability efforts.

To build a genuinely sustainable brand that appeals to mainstream consumers, consider the following best practices:

1. Be clear on your brand message and authentic purpose: Communicate your commitment to sustainability and the specific actions your brand is taking to give back to the planet authentically. Ensure that your sustainability initiatives align with your core values and are integrated into your business operations.

2. Leverage social media for starters and other newsworthy media channels to display the impact your brand is having: Provide evidence of the tangible outcomes and positive changes your sustainability initiatives have generated. This proof can include metrics, case studies, and testimonials that demonstrate the real-world impact of your efforts.

3. Emphasise ‘buying better’: Clearly articulate how purchasing from your brand contributes to a more sustainable future and supports your customers’ values. Highlight the unique features and benefits of your products or services that promote sustainability and set you apart from competitors.

4. Market intentionally without greenwashing: Be transparent and honest in your marketing communications, avoiding exaggerated or misleading claims about your sustainability efforts. Focus on showcasing your genuine commitment to sustainability and the steps you are taking to make a positive impact.

“We have an opportunity to help build a world where everyone has enough food to eat and no child goes to bed hungry. Where every child lives to their fifth birthday and has the right to a happy childhood.” – Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever

Sustainable Strategic Marketing Planning

Sustainability in strategic marketing planning involves managing finite resources to achieve the most optimum outputs despite the limited resources. The strategic management of limited company resources should be equitable and inclusive. As a result, sustainable strategic marketing planning, as identified, is a future-oriented cyclic process executed in the following chronological order:

1. Sensitising the organisation’s teams

2. Formulation of a mission and vision

3. Stakeholder and resource mapping

4. Conducting market research

5. Analysis of market research data 6. Plan alternatives

6. Formulation of the sustainable strategic plan

7. Monitoring and evaluation

Sustainability in strategic planning will help to navigate through the ever-challenging terrain, making businesses resilient to internal and external environmental and social shocks. The inclusivity of stakeholders, customers, and team members in the planning phase helps promote problem-solving innovation. Furthermore, different players will have a stake in formulating the final sustainable strategic plan for the organization. By avoiding accidental greenwashing and ensuring authenticity in your sustainability efforts, your brand can build trust and credibility with consumers while contributing to a more sustainable future.

When To Hire A Digital Marketing Specialist

If you’ve been managing your company’s online marketing in-house, you may find it increasingly challenging to keep up with the latest digital marketing advancements, with ChatGPT breaking the news headlines almost daily in 2023 and generative AI a hot topic just as an example. The global digital marketing industry is expected to reach USD$786.2 billion by 2026, with a compound growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9% during the analysis period. This data shows how digital marketing is where to focus for businesses to grow and succeed in today’s competitive landscape.

If you’re unsure whether it’s time to hire a digital marketing,agency to assist with your marketing efforts, here are some key considerations:

  1. Your in-house team is overwhelmed

Running a business can be challenging, and it’s common for team members to be fully occupied with their responsibilities. If your in-house team is struggling to manage their workload and consistently falling behind on deadlines, it may be time to seek professional help. A digital marketing agency can supplement your in-house staff and manage your entire marketing campaign from start to finish, allowing your team to focus on other critical aspects of the business.

  1. Your marketing efforts aren’t yielding results

If your marketing campaigns aren’t producing the desired outcomes, it’s crucial to identify the underlying issues and adjust your strategy accordingly. However, if you’re still not seeing results after making changes, it might be time to hire a digital marketing agency. They have the tools and expertise to pinpoint the area of focus, create clear goals and develop personalized campaigns that address your specific needs, while increasing your online visibility and conversions.

When To Hire A Digital Marketing Specialist

Wrong niches, unrealistic expectations, lack of knowledge, and misguided plans are a few reasons online marketing campaigns fail. If you’re constantly under pressure with diminishing returns or unsatisfied with the overall performance on key KPI’s such as:

  • Click through rates
  • Leads / Sales / Conversions
  • Bounce Rates – Visitors deflecting too quickly from your site
  • Social Media engagement
  • Declining CTR on email
  • Store conversion and AOV rates

It’s time to see extend and consider what an Agency can do for you.

Hire A Digital Marketing Specialist

  1. You’re launching a new product or service

Launching a new product or service can be both exciting and challenging. With a competitive market and the constant need for innovation, businesses must ensure their product launch strategy is well-planned and executed. Hiring a digital marketing agency can provide significant benefits in this regard, as they have the expertise and resources to help create a comprehensive and effective launch plan. Here are some key aspects to consider when working with an agency for your product launch:

I. Strategic planning: An agency will help you develop a robust and well-planned strategy for your product or service launch. This includes researching your target market, analyzing your competitors, and setting clear objectives and goals for the launch.

  • Develop a launch timeline and milestones
  • Identify the ideal customer profile
  • Determine your unique selling proposition (USP) and key messaging

II. Leveraging owned data: Agencies can help you utilize your existing customer data to identify trends and insights tha inform your launch strategy. This may involve segmenting your audience, identifying opportunities for upselling or cross-selling, and creating personalized marketing campaigns.

  • Use customer insights to inform messaging and targeting
  • Plan a stepped release for different customer segments
  • Optimize customer engagement through personalized content

III. Omni-channel approach: A digital marketing agency will help you create a cohesive omni-channel strategy for your launch, ensuring your messaging is consistent across all channels, including paid media, owned media, and earned media.

  • Coordinate messaging and creative assets across all channels
  • Develop a paid media plan that maximizes reach and ROI
  • Ensure a seamless customer experience across touchpoints

IV. Funnel testing and optimization: Agencies can design and implement funnel testing to ensure your marketing efforts lead to conversions. This involves creating different versions of landing pages, emails, and ads, and monitoring their performance to optimize your marketing funnel.

  • A/B test landing pages, ads, and other marketing assets
  • Analyze performance data to identify areas for improvement
  • Continuously optimize for conversion rates and ROI

V. Social media marketing: An agency can help you develop and execute a social media marketing plan that aligns with your overall launch strategy, creating engaging content and ads that resonate with your target audience.

  • Craft compelling content that showcases your product or service
  • Develop a posting schedule that aligns with your launch timeline
  • Monitor and engage with your audience to foster brand loyalty and advocacy

By partnering with a digital marketing agency, you can ensure your product or service launch is well-executed and has the best chance for success.

You’re planning to expand your business.

As your business grows, your marketing needs will evolve. What worked in the past may not be as effective now, and you may need to explore new marketing channels to reach a broader audience. Omni-channel marketing, an integrated strategy that uses multiple channels to engage customers, can be particularly useful. However, managing such a campaign can be complex and time-consuming. A digital marketing agency can help you plan and execute a cohesive omni-channel marketing strategy, ensuring a seamless experience for your target audience.

A digital marketing professional can help you plan and execute a smooth, cohesive omni-channel marketing campaign. Here’s what you can expect from them:

  • Identify the best marketing channels
  • Analyze your target market
  • Know your business’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Provide detailed insights and recommendations

Partnering with the best digital marketing partner can mean the difference between success and failure.

In conclusion, hiring a digital marketing agency can provide numerous benefits, including taking your business to new heights and achieving your desired return on investment (ROI).

If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced digital marketing agency, look no further than Beyond Points!! Our holistic, data-driven digital marketing solutions will give your business the boost it needs. Contact us today to discuss your marketing goals!

5 Rookie Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Establishing a social media marketing strategy is essential for any business today. Research shows that over 4.26 billion of the global population use social media, and this figure is expected to grow to nearly six billion by 2027.

With such a vast potential customer base, businesses are clamoring on to utilize the power of social media to reach a broader audience and promote their products or services. However, social media marketing isn’t an easy feat. A simple mistake can quickly derail your entire strategy.

In a recent study, 90% of startups fail due to various reasons, including poor product and market fit, cash flow issues, and poor marketing strategy. Moreover, 22% of those businesses that failed don’t have a solid marketing plan. If you’re not careful, your business could quickly go down the same path.

Some mistakes could doom your social media marketing efforts before they even get off the ground. Here are five rookie mistakes to avoid:

Not clearly defining and deeply understanding your target audience

Sometimes, promoting your business to everyone online can be overwhelming. After all, you want to reach as many people as possible, right? But this method may not be effective and could lead to waste and failure. Trying to target everyone could result in a scattered and unfocused message that’s unlikely to resonate with anyone.

Instead, you need to focus on a specific target audience and niche down to remain relevant. To identify your target market, below are some questions you should consider:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their pain points?
  • How can you help them?
  • Their motivation and where they spend their time?

Answering these questions will help you create content tailored to your target audience. You can also create a buyer persona or maybe a few, a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. According to a report, 90% of marketers say that buyer personas have helped them better understand their prospects. And 82% of businesses successfully take advantage of this resource.

Defining your target market is a fundamental step in effective social media marketing. Without a clear insight, you’ll likely be wasting time and resources on tactics that don’t work. So, take the time to determine whom you’re trying to reach before you plan and execute your marketing strategies.

Content for content’s sake. Keep them engaged!

Once you’ve identified your target market be sure you create value in your content that they’re interested in. Before publishing anything, there’s one crucial factor one must consider: what’s the purpose of the content piece?

Your content should always have a purpose, be it to educate, entertain, or inspire your audience. Of course, it should be relevant to what you’re offering and make sense.

To narrow down your search, here are a few things to remember:

  • Your content should be interesting, informative, and highly valuable.
  • It should be shareable and relevant to your potential customers.
  • Using high-quality videos is essential, with images and infographics to make your content more visually appealing.
  • Platform appropriate

Taking the time to create high-quality, engaging content will help you stand out from the competition. Did you know Meta delivers only 4-6% of your content to your most engaged followers organically! So it’s vital to reel them in and make use of the many placements and create specifically for those engagers where they like to hang out most. It’ll also give your audience a reason to stick around and follow you.

The table below shows the behaviour of people and as Simon Kemp mentions in Datareportal, it’s worth noting why they go there. For example TikTok users want to be entertained and recent data from TikTok’s end of 2022 report shows people come away feeling the happiest after time on this channel. In contrast, LinkedIn would be information and news updates.

Not posting consistently -too frequently or infrequently

This practice could result in your content getting lost in the shuffle. More importantly, potential customers are likely to forget about your brand entirely.

Here’s a quick summary of how often you should post on your social media accounts:

  • Meta (Facebook)

With three billion monthly users, four to five times daily is a good rule of thumb if you want to stand out but woah that’s a huge time commitment for any SME right. We hear you! The secret sauce is meet them with content that they want to engage with and make it visible in different formats and placements of course ensuring the most energy is invested into video content. This can sound hard but take time to understand where to post within the platform however if you’re wanting to show up here, energy into organic is vital in 2023.

  • Instagram

It’s the second most popular social media platform, and Meta’s ad revenue is like a 55/45 split between Facebook and Instagram these days. eCommerce shopping is huge on Instagram so be sure you’re active here. With their newest rival TikTok taking  hold of video and good feeling engagement, your goal should be to come up with reels that can compete with the Tiktok’s viral content. If it’s any indication, Mark Zuckerberg has been working harder on IG reels engagement to catch up on Tiktok’s big lead and sliding into the mix this year is YouTube shorts.

Take a look at the following tips on how to make your IG reels go viral:

  • Keep it short and sweet – attention spans are now 7-13 seconds!
  • Be creative and original
  • Use trending audio but check commercial rights if you’re pushing with paid
  • Avoid being too promotional and salesy – nobody wants to be sold to
  • Stick to a theme or niche hashtag wisely and provide value
  • LinkedIn

It’s a professional networking site with 722 million users. People use it to connect with like-minded professionals and learn about new business opportunities. You should post not more than five times a week on this platform.

  • YouTube

According to Statista, over 694,000 hours of video were streamed on YouTube in a single minute as of April 2021. You Tube has more than 2 billion users globally. It’s the second biggest search engine after Google. Posting one video per week is the ideal goal. After all, this task isn’t an easy feat as it involves scripting, filming, and, more importantly, editing.

  • Twitter

According to Pew Research Center, 57% of users understand a specific event better when they see it on Twitter. To strike a good balance between annoying and informative, aim for three tweets a day. Twitter is getting attention right now due to Elon Musk making the headlines and his controversial take. Hey if there’s eyeballs, be seen!

  • TikTok

TikTok is took the stage in 2022 on social. It has 1.5 billion active users worldwide (Nov 2022) – perfect for promoting your brand, especially to a Gen Z audience. According to Hootsuite, 1-3 times a day on TikTok will benefit most brands.

If you’re new to social media marketing, it’s best to start organically to grow at least 1000 fans and gradually increase your posts’ frequency over time. Keep an eye on the data and engagement indicators to get a feel for what works best for your audience, and adjust your posting schedule accordingly. More people are using TikTok to search today too so keep this channel in sight! Bear in mind users go there to be entertained and data shows 99.9% of users exist on at least one other social platform. And 84% share their love with Facebook.

Keep up with new emerging channels we expect to see as gaming, metaverse and NFTs show up and the popularity of Messenger communication rises.

Know your competition

In this competitive landscape, it’s almost impossible to succeed in any industry without understanding what your competitor is doing, especially if they have a tonne of fans online. The same goes for social media marketing. Before anything else, conduct a competitive analysis to know what type of techniques your rivals have and the content they’re posting.

You can also use social media marketing tools to observe your competitors. These tools allow you to see the following:

  • When their potential customers are most active
  • How much engagement their posts are getting
  • What type of content gets the most engagement
  • Who their most influential followers are

Collecting this valuable data gives you insights into what’s working well for your competitors and where there’s room for improvement. You can then use this information to fine-tune your strategy.

Understanding Data and Key Metrics

Lastly, one of the most common mistakes is not measuring marketing results. Track and monitor your progress so you can identify what’s working and not. Without this information, you’ll have no way of knowing if your social media marketing efforts are paying off.

There are several key metrics that you can use to measure the results of your marketing efforts. Some of the most important metrics to track include:

  1. Traffic: The number of visitors to your website or the number of people who see your ads.
  2. Conversion rate: The percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  3. Revenue: The total amount of money generated from your marketing efforts.
  4. Cost per acquisition (CPA): The cost of acquiring a new customer or converting a lead into a customer.
  5. Customer lifetime value (CLV): The total amount of money that a customer is expected to spend on your products or services over the course of their relationship with your business.
  6. Return on investment (ROI): The profit or loss generated from your marketing efforts, calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the cost of the marketing campaign.

By regularly tracking these metrics, you can gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make informed decisions about how to allocate your marketing budget.



Avoiding these social media marketing mistakes will help you fast-track and set your company up for success. Don’t let these pitfalls trip you up – keep them in mind as you build and execute your social media marketing strategies.



3 Simple and Effective eCommerce Marketing Strategies for Boosting Sales

Recent statistics show that eCommerce spending is expected to reach 36 billion dollars in 2023. That is a massive 20% increase from 2022 and we want you to get a slice of the action.

Thriving brands are considering how best to navigate the turbulent times we face right now. To stand out in a crowded online marketplace, e-commerce brands need to challenge their own status quo and focus on being customer-centric. This requires regularly evaluating and updating their marketing strategies to ensure that they are meeting the needs and preferences of their target audience. Consumers demand authentic value and are likely to purchase from purpose-driven brands. Considering ways that make sense for your brand’s uniqueness encourages visitors to stay longer and makes them more willing to pay a premium for your product or service.

This article is not how to develop your edge but rather a quick look at 3 simple and actionable marketing tips that deal with some of today’s typical challenges for eCommerce entrepreneurs faced with the challenge of supply chain, rising shipping costs and the growing challenge of ensuring a flow of user generated content is taking place for your brand.
As you read this write down one idea from each that makes sense to improve or implement and add a date you commit to execute, this way, your time will be well spent right here! Enjoy.

Creative Thinking and Pre-Sale Articles

Post pandemic brands are seeing an easing of the complexities in supply chain issue, the latest lockdowns in China and high energy and fuel are still challenges facing manufacturers today however managing inventory and balancing cashflow efficiently is a well-known business challenge. According to a report from Retail Dive, brands lose as much as USD$1 trillion a year in revenue through simply running out of stock through lack of inventory management. After all, the worst user experience is when shopper finds a product to purchase, adds to cart and discovers it’s out of stock!

So, what can you do if you’re in this position, you’ve had a run on a popular item and you’re going to be out of stock or your new product launch is delayed?

Run a Pre-Sale promotion!

A pre-sale article is a type of content that is published before a product or service goes on sale. It’s typically used for new product launches and a great way to boost cashflow. The purpose of a pre-sale article is to generate interest and excitement in the product or service, and to encourage potential customers to make a purchase when the product or service becomes available or even pre-pay for priority delivery. Pre-sale articles can take many forms, including blog posts, social media posts, or email campaigns. They may include information about the features and benefits of the product or service, as well as details about the upcoming sale or promotion.

Pre-sale articles can be an effective way to build anticipation and drive sales when a new product or service is launched. In this economic environment, it could be that pre-selling existing inventory involves promoting an offer to determine which item or service gets high enough demand to establish what is even worth replenishing if cashflow is tight.

The deliverables for a pre-sale campaign will depend on the specific product or service being offered, as well as the marketing strategy being used to promote it. Some common deliverables for a pre-sale campaign might include:

  1. A clear and compelling offer: This could be a detailed product description, a list of features and benefits that has a logical explanation for the pre-sale.
  2. Marketing materials: This could include promotional videos, emails, social media posts, landing pages, and other materials used to promote the pre-sale.
  3. Incentives for early adopters (new product only): These might include discounts, bonuses or other rewards for customers who participate in the pre-sale.
  4. A plan for fulfilling orders: This could include details on production and shipping schedules that carefully manage customer expectations.
  5. A system for tracking and managing pre-sale orders: This could include a customer database, an e-commerce platform, or other tools for managing orders and customer information.
  6. A plan for post-sale follow-up and customer support: This could include customer service protocols, warranty or return policies, and other measures to ensure customer satisfaction after the pre-sale period.

There are many creative strategies that can be put to work with Pre-sale articles.

The Need for User-Generated Content (UGC)

Perhaps nothing speaks of credibility more than actual customer social media proof in post that tag the brand and of course, authentic customer reviews from the buyers themselves. After all, they’re reflecting their own experience of the product or service for others to see —today savvy customers seek authenticity and will refer to UGC before deciding making a buying decision or whether to support the brand’s cause. User-generated content (UGC) can be a valuable asset for online direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands for several reasons.

Brands should garner UGC at every opportunity. UGC often carries more credibility than content that is produced directly by the brand, because it is seen as being more authentic and unbiased and therefore trustworthy. This can help to build trust with potential customers and increase their confidence in the brand.


Real customer reviews are almost ten times more valuable than brand-generated content or inputs from sponsored content.

UGC can also help to drive more traffic to a brand’s website and social media channels, as it is more likely to be shared by users than branded content. Finally, UGC can provide valuable insights for the brand, as it gives them a glimpse into how their products are being used and perceived by customers in the real world.

Retailers should the most out of UGC ensuring there is a flow of recent user content being displayed as reviews across all their products and services—including negative ones. We’re always proud to get a 5 star review however it seems questionable for users when they don’t see any other reviews rated lower than five stars. Receiving low-rated reviews is also an opportunity to improve and should always be promptly attended to by responding personally as the brand. Social listening is key because leaving messages floating around with no response can also indicate the brand is not caring or responsive to customer needs.

Need a creative way to generate a marketing campaign that brings high value user-generated content?

Host a contest or challenge on social media. Here’s how it could work:

  1. Identify a theme or topic related to your product or brand that would be of interest to your target audience.
  2. Invite your followers to participate in a contest or challenge by creating and sharing content around this theme. This could be a photo, video, blog post, or other type of content.
  3. Offer prizes or incentives for the best submissions. This could be a free product, a gift card, or some other reward.
  4. Promote the contest or challenge through your social media channels and email list. Encourage your followers to participate and share their submissions with their own followers.
  5. Select the best submissions and feature them on your social media channels and website. This could include sharing the content, tagging the creators, and giving them credit for their work.

By hosting a contest or challenge, you can generate high-quality user-generated content that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience. This can help increase engagement and build buzz around your product or service.

Below are a few more ideas for generating user-generated content easily:

  1. Host a Q&A or AMA (Ask Me Anything) on social media: Invite your followers to ask you questions about your product, industry, or anything else, and then answer them in a live video or written post. This can help generate engagement and content that is directly relevant to your audience.
  2. Run a social media hashtag campaign: Choose a specific hashtag related to your brand or product, and encourage your followers to use it when sharing content related to your brand. This can help create a centralized hub of user-generated content that is easy to track and showcase.
  3. Offer a photo or video contest: Invite your followers to share photos or videos featuring your product or showcasing how they use it in their daily lives. This can be a fun and engaging way to generate user-generated content that is both creative and authentic.
  4. Encourage reviews and testimonials: Encourage your customers to leave reviews or testimonials on your website or social media channels. These can be valuable sources of user-generated content that can help build trust and credibility for your brand.
  5. Collaborate with influencers or micro-influencers: Partner with influencers or micro-influencers who have a large and engaged following in your target market. Encourage them to create and share content featuring your product or brand, which can help generate high-quality user-generated content and reach a wider audience.

Is Free Shipping Critical for D2C Online Stores?

Online buyers often get turned off by shipping costs. It’s a competitive marketplace online and free shipping is widely expected. There are several reasons why free shipping is a vital conversion consideration for online brands today:

  1. Customer expectations: Many online shoppers have come to expect free shipping as a standard feature of online shopping. In fact, a survey conducted in 2021 found that free shipping was the most important factor for 76% of online shoppers when deciding where to make a purchase.
  2. Competitive advantage: Offering free shipping can help an online brand stand out in a crowded market and make it more attractive to potential customers.
  3. Increased conversions: Offering free shipping can lead to increased conversions (i.e., more sales) because it removes one of the common objections that shoppers have when considering making a purchase (i.e., the cost of shipping).
  4. Customer loyalty: Offering free shipping can help to build customer loyalty by creating a better shopping experience for customers which increases the likelihood of them returning to the brand in the future to repurchase – remember, repeat buyers is when profit happens!

How are brands able to absorb free shipping with rising fuel costs and increases in delivery charges?

There are several ways that brands can absorb the cost of free shipping despite rising fuel costs and increases in delivery charges:

  1. Offer free shipping only on orders above a certain amount: This allows the brand to offset the cost of free shipping by requiring customers to spend a minimum amount before they are eligible for free shipping.
  2. Include the cost of shipping in the price of the product: This allows the brand to absorb the cost of shipping into the overall cost of the product, rather than charging it as a separate fee.
  3. Use less expensive shipping options: Brands can negotiate better rates with carriers or use less expensive shipping options, such as standard ground shipping rather than expedited shipping.
  4. Use a fulfillment partner: Brands can use a fulfillment partner, such as a third-party logistics company, to store and ship their products. This can often result in cost savings due to the economies of scale and negotiating power of the fulfillment partner.
  5. Increase prices: As a last resort, brands can increase their prices to cover the cost of free shipping. However, this may not be a popular option with customers depending on the circumstances and relationship and can potentially lead to a decrease in sales.

It may require a combination of these strategies and higher level agency help to craft a strategy for your particular needs.

New data shows according to Forbes after surveying 3000 customers that “half of the people surveyed reported they altogether avoid retailers that do not offer free shipping, and 77% have abandoned a purchase due to unsatisfactory shipping options.”

Some buyers are willing to add more items to their cart to qualify for free shipping. We agree that it is possible that offering free shipping can increase the average order value (AOV) on a Shopify store. However, it’s important to note that free shipping is just one factor that can affect AOV. Other factors, such as the price and quality of the products, the effectiveness of the store’s marketing efforts, and the overall shopping experience, can also play a role in AOV.

In addition, it’s worth considering that offering free shipping may not always be the most effective strategy for increasing AOV. For example, if the cost of offering free shipping is too high for the store, it may not be a sustainable long-term strategy. In this case, it may be more effective to focus on other strategies for increasing AOV, such as offering bundle deals or cross-selling related products.

In conclusion, successful eCommerce stores understand that boosting sales and improving customer satisfaction requires more than just advertising. Improving the overall customer experience is a cost-effective approach that can have a lasting impact on the success of a brand. ECommerce stores can improve the customer experience through email notifications, showcasing proof of satisfied customers, and offering free shipping. By implementing these creative marketing ideas, eCommerce stores can effectively drive sales and build customer loyalty.

Ready to gain a competitive edge? Click here to learn our four-step brand growth plan and connect to learn more about a customized plan to work with this year and beyond.



4 Ways To Improve Your E-Commerce Business’ Customer Service

Customer service has always been a key aspect of any business, but it’s particularly important to note how it applies to eCommerce businesses. If done right, you can encourage your customers to return for a second experience and purchase multiple times from your online store, maximizing your customer lifetime value. Good customer service boosts brand values and becomes an extension of the marketing arm to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, your bottom line. A good customer experience can improve your brand’s public reputation and is an important part of creating brand advocates.

Successful brands do customer service well!  Read this 5-minute blog and get four proven ways to help improve your customer service today.

Before we get started, it goes without saying that it’s important to establish clear goals and objectives for the customer service team. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page with regards to what is expected of them. Secondly, brands should train employees on the brand’s values and how to deliver excellent customer service. This will help employees feel confident in their ability to provide great service and represent the brand in a positive light.

Measure the relevant metrics

Metrics are quantitative data that measure certain aspects of a business. In particular, metrics allow you to look into different factors of your customer service from an objective perspective.

Here are some examples of metrics associated with customer service:

  • Net promoter score (NPS)helps understand the power of referrals or the likelihood of a customer recommending your business to others; it’s not only an indicator of customer satisfaction but also business growth. The question to ask is ‘how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?’ You may allocate the responses into three groups: 0-6 will be the detractors, 7-8 are the passives and 9-10 are your promoters. Then, calculate the following equation: NPS = % of promoters – % of detractors. A higher score means they’re more likely to promote the brand and vice versa. Calculations involve subtracting the percentage of detractors or customers who’ve criticized your business from those who promoted it organically. Apple is a benchmark at 75.
  • Review Rate is the number of customers who leave positive reviews divided by the number of people who purchase from your store. Great customer reviews play an important part in influencing people to make a buying decision when they visit your store greatly improving your store conversion rate.
  • Returning Customer Rate (RCR) is an important metric as it’s well known that retaining a customer is less expensive than acquiring a new one. By maximizing this customer service KPI, you can reduce costs, or assign them to other channels that will grow your business.It is calculated by dividing the number of repeat customers by the total number of customers. A high rating implies your customers are loyal, trust your brand and like your product, assuming you’ve got a logical second and third product to offer.

If you wish to improve your eCommerce business’ customer service, keep track and measure these metrics. It’d allow you to determine whether you’re truly improving your customer service and delivering on the brand promise.

Brand Touchpoints – Set up different ways to connect with your business

One of the best ways to show the quality of your customer service is to respond quickly to customer queries and make it easy for customers to contact you. The worst customer experience is being told to wait for a response or engaging with Live Chat widgets only to find there’s long delays where they need to chase you to find the answers. Consider offering additional services, such as personalized product recommendations or one-on-one consultations with a product expert, to enhance the customer experience. There is increasing awareness about personal data and identity and customers have to be able to choose the communication channel that they feel most comfortable using. Automation should not be underrated when it comes to customer service, FAQs can be handled accounting for a large percentage of enquiries on the fly, totally satisfying and moving customers down the funnel to purchase. Providing various options to communicate is vital:

  • Video chat
  • Live chat
  • Messenger Apps
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Text messaging
  • Mobile or Phone
  • Voice activated service
  • FAQs

Listen and act on feedback

Often the gold lies in the customer feedback. The feedback typically has to do with your customers’ experiences. When a customer takes time to share their experience, it’s important to action and improve where applicable. Not only will you be solving the potential issue, but you’re also showing your customers that you’re a brand that listens to the customers.

Include self-service customer care in your store

The idea of self-service is often well-regarded by customers. It’s convenient and eliminates any difficulty of contacting customer support. According to Zendesk, 69% of consumers first try to resolve their issue independently, but less than one-third of companies offer self-service options. You can integrate a few elements that promote self-service if you wish to enjoy its benefits without the downsides. These elements may include:

  • FAQs: Customers often ask similar questions about a brand. With a page dedicated to answering these questions, customers don’t have to ask and wait for customer support.
  • Chat Automation: These are automations built to hold a conversation and engage with customers instantly with the advantage of being available 24×7. You can integrate this self-service element by simply enabling it when no agent is available if you do have live human support at times.
  • Knowledge base: A knowledge base is a section of your store dedicated to providing valuable information about your company and its products and services. It’s different from an FAQs page that only answers common questions. A knowledge base may contain answers to deeper questions, such as what your products are made of.

The FAQs page helps by getting visitors to know the company, while chatbots answer their more specific questions. Lastly, the knowledge base is where those that are truly interested in buying your products and services go. With these three elements set up, you can, in theory, serve customers with little to no effort.

Wrapping up

“68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service experiences.” – Hubspot

Customer service might only be one aspect of a business, but it has more impact on a business than you may think. It can greatly influence a brand’s ability to grow revenue and earn a good reputation while impacting employee and customer retention. That’s why successful companies spare no effort to improve this aspect of their business. It might be difficult, but it’s undoubtedly well worth the effort, so be sure your brand is doing what it can to reduce friction. To get the most out of your time with us today, write down 1 key item you’ll implement today and tag us with your takeout on social. Thanks for stopping by Beyond Points.


  1. “8 Ecommerce Metrics to Measure Customer Experience”, Source:
  2. “What Is Omnichannel Customer Service? Definition, Importance & Strategy”, Source:
  3. “The Importance Of Self-service For Greater Customer Satisfaction”, Source: