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Ben
02-04-2014, 03:41 AM
Interesting article from a credible source, I'm going to look for a way of testing this on Volusion.

http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/split-testing-blog/removing-social-sharing-buttons-from-ecommerce-product-page-increase-conversions/

Marc_NY
02-04-2014, 04:02 AM
I always believe that social buttons and like while beneficial to some e-commercse sites that sell services or other items that cannot be described or shown discreetly can benefit from social media. But sites with certain types of products and services it can actually be harmful and actually distract people from what they are really there for. Personally I don't see a value in having someone like a idler assembly for a dryer. Now a new $1000+ handbag is a different story. I can see people brag about it on FB and like.

Here is a good example of being bombarded with shit on your first entry to the site. Talk about distraction.

http://www.laundrypartsmarket.com/882776_p/adc-882776.htm

You mean I have to like you to get a better deal?

How about a good deal without the fuss?

http://www.asnlaundryparts.com/27-285-385-steel-idler-assy-p/ad-882776.htm

Simple and to the point, no BS.

KKS
02-04-2014, 05:32 AM
I agree with Marc, depends on the site and products/services. Wish I could get rid of the Facebook button bubble indicating number of likes on products. Also would like more attractive buttons.

My products are the kind people like to share on Facebook or pin to Pinterest. I wonder if they would continue to do so without the buttons, and if removing the buttons would help my conversions.

If I remove the buttons to test, will I lose the current counts in the Facebook bubble?

KKS
02-04-2014, 05:35 AM
Marc, the other site you linked, when I tried to view the shopping cart, my browser gave me a warning page that said the page is untrusted.

Marc_NY
02-04-2014, 07:04 AM
Marc, the other site you linked, when I tried to view the shopping cart, my browser gave me a warning page that said the page is untrusted.

LOL, perhaps they should focus on that, rather than their FB page.

KKS
02-04-2014, 08:15 AM
LOL, perhaps they should focus on that, rather than their FB page.Yes, an expired security certificate is more of a pressing issue than Facebook likes.

I tested turning off the social buttons and turning them back on and didn't lose any FB like counts. Going to leave them off for awhile and see what happens.

Kitty
02-04-2014, 08:40 AM
I have always thought that the type of people who are addicted to FB and the like are more likely to get sucked back into FB by utilising a sharing button or a pop up that makes them log in to facebook and get completely distracted than to convert. At the risk of sounding very un PC it is like putting a syringe in front of an addict. Same with Pinterest Users I even have done it myself. Pinned something and then just got sucked back into surfing Pinterest and then lost interest in buying or ended up on another site.

I think social buttons can be ok but should not be completely prominent next to or in the close vicinity of your call to action to buy.

ritchey
02-04-2014, 09:13 AM
Social Signals are becoming more important for SEO. I agree it does not make sense for all sites, but its something that should be tested. Until you test, you really don't know.

What I have heard, is doing a light box with Social Buttons, where they don't leave your site is important.

What the site did with the two pop ups is dumb, but good for Marc's business.

There should have only been one pop up.

And test to see what time is most effective on a pop-up. Immediate, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or ?

KKS
02-04-2014, 09:20 AM
Social Signals are becoming more important for SEO. I agree it does not make sense for all sites, but its something that should be tested. Until you test, you really don't know.
Social signals are important, but people don't necessarily need buttons to share on FB or email a friend do they? They can still copy and paste the link, although an extra step (that I seem to do personally). Pinterest encourages users to add the easy pin button to their browser toolbar. Twitter does nothing for money site, but helps on my blog where I have social buttons.

Kitty
02-04-2014, 09:35 AM
If a customer takes an action to instigate a pop up I think it is ok but I really do not like it when I go on so many sites these days and either a survey instantly pops up (instant bounce from me) or even a coupon.

I agree with Ritchey about the importance of social without a doubt as far as many things go but placement and utilisation of buttons and the impact on conversion is another topic.

Solid Commerce
02-04-2014, 10:23 AM
I think that, as with many marketing issues, there's a fine line to be walked here.

Social sharing is definitely important. Social proof is a huge boon to just about any business that can leverage it properly, but that doesn't mean that EVERY business should be using EVERY social sharing option ALL the time.

It's already been pointed out in this very thread -- social sharing isn't really going to help you any if your products aren't social share-worthy. Like drier parts.

I don't know about you, but I'm QUITE active on Facebook...and I really don't think that I would ever, in a million years, post anything along the lines of, "Wouldn't you know I bought the most exciting drier part the other day!!"

Probably not ever.

BUT. You know what I might post? Even about the same product? I might very well be compelled to share something about that drier part if something about the buying process was able to convince me that I should.

I'm getting a wee bit ahead of myself.

Putting social sharing options on your product page can very easily distract from your number one goal -- getting people to add items to the cart, and then check out.

For this reason, I'd put your social sharing calls to action at the end of the checkout process. If your store is awesome, fun, and the checkout process is highly enjoyable somehow...your customers will be a lot more compelled to use those sharing options to broadcast how happy your store just made them.

Even if it's just for drier parts. If that drier part store does something to entertain or impress me sufficiently while I'm buying, then why wouldn't I share it with my friends? Even if it's just to say "Hah! Look at how funny this drier parts website is!"

The point being that social sharing can be beneficial, but it has to be used properly.

Use it on the proper pages. Offer it up when you know you've got something worth sharing.

Rick H.
02-04-2014, 02:22 PM
Let's take a look into the rear view mirror. Remember the old forums? Remember all the votes for Facebook like buttons and such? It was all hype. Hype that drowned out voices that wanted to get more important things done.

It's a form of mass hysteria.

Solid Commerce
02-05-2014, 04:34 PM
I dunno about that...

Forums are one thing -- being as they're really their own type of social network, in and of themselves -- but it's arguable that social media is here to stay.

At least, that's what a lot of marketing professionals have been saying.

For example: https://exploreb2b.com/articles/8-arguments-for-companies-to-stay-out-of-social-media-and-why-you-should-ignore-them

Of course, here on the forums? Yeah, social sharing buttons don't have a place. On the rest of the Internet, though? It doesn't really look like social is going anywhere, anytime soon.

GGG
02-05-2014, 08:04 PM
Of course, here on the forums? Yeah, social sharing buttons don't have a place.

Um, either I'm delusional after a very long day...or I'm seeing social buttons on this forum in the post above mine.

Thanks for the laugh, Solid Commerce ;)

In addition to demographics/products sold by site, I think you also have to consider the long term impact of the sharing...not just immediate conversions. Increased overall traffic, blah, blah, blah.

GentleBath
02-05-2014, 08:19 PM
The actual conversions on our site related to FB, Pinterest are always at the very bottom if they have even contributed at all, so I suppose for our products it is not a help for actual sales.

I read this article the other day that pretty much says Google is not counting the actual likes and what not. Many other things to worry about for sure!

http://searchengineland.com/googles-matt-cutts-facebook-twitter-pages-are-treated-like-any-other-web-page-on-the-internet-182370

KKS
02-05-2014, 09:12 PM
The actual conversions on our site related to FB, Pinterest are always at the very bottom if they have even contributed at all, so I suppose for our products it is not a help for actual sales.

I read this article the other day that pretty much says Google is not counting the actual likes and what not. Many other things to worry about for sure!

http://searchengineland.com/googles-matt-cutts-facebook-twitter-pages-are-treated-like-any-other-web-page-on-the-internet-182370
This just made my day and makes me want to ignore Twitter even more than ever. Facebook brings a fair amount of traffic to me, but not immediate conversions. Pinterest brings me traffic, but no conversions. Granted, I don't put a whole lot of effort into either and I know some stores are doing very well converting traffic from both.

Might be as one of the comments in the article suggested that Google is saying this to promote Google Plus. I can't seem to gain a foothold with Google Plus. It sort of reminds me of Twitter, more bullhorn and less interaction.

Granted, I am completely biased because I don't enjoy social media for personal use. I hate the juvenile race for Likes and followers, especially when I know many are bought.

GentleBath
02-05-2014, 09:37 PM
KKS - I know, it made my day too! I really think it is worth any spare time I have (or even don't) to write articles for my site. I swear that when I post a new article my traffic and sales get a bump! And... that is when I don't mind sharing on FB etc, and where I WANT the share buttons. Information I think is more worthy of sharing. And, I think Google agrees, it seems that 99% of articles about SEO are saying "content' is King! Now that is a goal that I would support working towards!

Kitty
02-06-2014, 03:20 AM
This just made my day and makes me want to ignore Twitter even more than ever. Facebook brings a fair amount of traffic to me, but not immediate conversions. Pinterest brings me traffic, but no conversions. Granted, I don't put a whole lot of effort into either and I know some stores are doing very well converting traffic from both.

Might be as one of the comments in the article suggested that Google is saying this to promote Google Plus. I can't seem to gain a foothold with Google Plus. It sort of reminds me of Twitter, more bullhorn and less interaction.

Granted, I am completely biased because I don't enjoy social media for personal use. I hate the juvenile race for Likes and followers, especially when I know many are bought.

Absolutely. Although no one with a single brain cell these days would risk buying likes particularly on G+ as google are extremely tough on people who do. I have known people who's profiles have grown too rapidly and it has resulted in Google stripping them of all their pluses on pages even including the pluses that grew organically which then definitely does have a negative impact on search and also bans and closures on pages which again would impact search.


I am finding this totally expected of Google, why should they promote Twits/FB what is in it for them...no money. I am not bothered myself as ironically G+ is the only social media I can get on with. Mainly because it started on a much more intelligent basis of everyone in SEO joining because of the obvious implications and none of the kids.

The landscape however is changed quite a lot now from what it was say a year ago, when I started before then for example it was easier to get a foothold, and you are now getting people coming in trying to use it just like facebook which definitely doesn't work as there is a very different kind of ecology there.

GGG
02-06-2014, 06:28 AM
I think it's especially important to focus your social efforts on your target demographic...where your customers are most likely to be found, then determine what your customers most enjoy from your social efforts, and build on it.

For us, that's Facebook. I've never used FB as a tool to 'increase rankings'...thankfully it looks like Google could care less anyway. Thanks for the link, Brenda :) I use it for branding, and I also use it as a research tool to see what other products we can provide that our customers may enjoy. We have an extremely good conversion rate from Facebook...so far all 'unpaid'. Thus, our 'like' and 'share' buttons will stay on our product pages...and I don't really care what the latest study says. I believe that every store is unique.

For us, Twitter and G+ not so much. Pinterest increases our traffic, but does little for conversions...merely branding. In fact, those tools are so inconsequential to my sales and my customers that abandonment due to the appearance of those social buttons on our product pages would be so minimal as to laugh at. Could I increase conversions/sales via those social outlets? Of course I can...if I choose to spend the time and money making a size 8 foot fit into a size 6 shoe. So please tell me what I would gain in the long run?

In my humble opinion...if you have a limited amount of time and budget, simply find the social outlet most appropriate for your store and go with it.

As to pop-ups...one or two, how many seconds, blah, blah, blah...from an avid online shopper's perspective (my individual demographic...just me)...I bail. I'm pretty sure I'd do so unless the pop-up said 'everything is free today'...they instantly remind me that I'm visiting a site who is trying to push me into buying a product, forcing me to join a FB page, forcing me to give up personal info for a coupon, and receive more spam in my email. For me...it's like walking into a brick and mortar with a commissioned salesperson hovering over your shoulder...back off unless I ask for your help.

I'm sure study after study will prove me wrong...and please no solicitations in my email/inbox to prove the error of my ways. It's my store and I do what I want...or not. Slowly, but surely.

KKS
02-06-2014, 07:54 AM
Kitty, you are definitely rocking the G+. I think you diagnosed my problem: I'm approaching it like Facebook. Seemed like Google made so many formatting changes to G+ last year that I was put off spending more time learning about the ecology.

Ben
02-06-2014, 10:35 AM
With my site, the day job and friends that I help out I've got Analytics access for about 30 sites, in every single one the conversion rate from Social is a tiny fraction of the site average. Other people are saying the same:


http://www.ecommercejuice.com/2013/06/does-social-media-traffic-converts-for-ecommerce-or-not/ - not a great article but they reference a report by Monetate who are credible.

Matt Cutts says social is unimportant for SEO (except *maybe* G+) and the data says it's not much use for driving sales.
There's an argument for brand awareness I suppose, some argue that it has a place as part of customer service but I'd rather not air dirty laundry in public.

Social is way down my list.

Kitty
02-06-2014, 10:39 AM
With my site, the day job and friends that I help out I've got Analytics access for about 30 sites, in every single one the conversion rate from Social is a tiny fraction of the site average. Other people are saying the same:


http://www.ecommercejuice.com/2013/06/does-social-media-traffic-converts-for-ecommerce-or-not/ - not a great article but they reference a report by Monetate who are credible.

Matt Cutts says social is unimportant for SEO (except *maybe* G+) and the data says it's not much use for driving sales.
There's an argument for brand awareness I suppose, some argue that it has a place as part of customer service but I'd rather not air dirty laundry in public.

Social is way down my list.

Agreed, I feel too that the place for CS is not on FB or any social media if customers have to resort to that there is usually something wrong.

Kitty
02-06-2014, 10:42 AM
Thanks KKS but sadly I need to get back on track as you know had other priorities and at moment my main priority is still getting responsive and need to do some restructuring then I can start focussing on G+ properly again.

GGG
02-06-2014, 10:49 AM
the conversion rate from Social is a tiny fraction of the site average.

Social is way down my list.

100% agreed, Ben. So I choose to prioritize the little time I spend on the social outlet that works the best for us.

Solid Commerce
02-07-2014, 12:27 PM
I'm happy to be seeing so much good info in this thread, as opposed to just SOCIAL IS DUMB! Makes me happy. :)

There are some comments above that are totally spot-on -- social is only helpful dependant upon your demographic.

For example -- if you're selling something like technology in the B2B space...maybe LinkedIn is a better place to focus your efforts than Facebook.

Of course, it's always important to remember that all marketing is ultimately B2H (biz to human), and that social can really help foster actual personal connections.

It's also a great way to give your brand exposure, build authority, and build trust in a specific niche. Of course, this is totally dependant upon whether your company and your niche are primed for a specific social network.

Google+ is super crazy important for SEO and online marketing in general, but that's its own nut entirely. Definitely worth cracking, though. Google+ is pretty interesting in terms of the ways in which the behavior of its users has helped it to distinguish itself from Facebook.