September 11, 2014

HOW WE DRIVE TRAFFIC TO OUR WEBSITE.

By Kirsten Mesch

There are a number of ways that Happy French Gang drives traffic to our website and blog. There is direct access, referrals to the sites, social media (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.), and organic web searches. We use these to drive traffic...but how exactly are we managing to do that?

OVERALL TRAFFIC SOURCES

Notice on the above graphic (thank you Google analytics) that our social media brings much less traffic than the others. Because social media is a very effective way to drive traffic to our site, we could definitely utilize it more. A good way to do that would be to post frequently and at multiple times a day. The more you post to social media, the more likely someone is to see it at any time of day. Along with posting more frequently, it has also been proven that more people are willing to click on your tweets if there is a photo or video attached, so it would be helpful to include lots of photos!

DIRECT ACCESS
Direct access is pretty straight forward. People hear about the product and they go directly to the site to order or read the blog. Most of direct access comes from word of mouth, or from other websites or advertisements, and people write down the website to visit at a later date.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is one of the most important ways to drive traffic. There are a number of social media outlets that we use:

  1. Twitter is used to post product photos, exciting things happening with the company, and general life events happening. Whenever we post a new blog, we link to it via Twitter that way our followers are always up to date. 

  2. Pinterest is something that we are focusing a lot on. Anytime we post a blog, there are always photos on the blog, which we then pin to our Pinterest page. That way if people see a photo they like and they go to the site, they are directed to our blog. It is also good to pin a lot, and to pin often. The more one pins, the more likely they are to gain followers, and thus, the more likely they are to gain traffic to their website.
ORGANIC WEB SEARCHES
Organic web searches are search results listed on a search engine results page that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being advertisements. This may seem like something we can have no control over, but that's not true. With every post that we make, we give them keyword tags. This helps improve our SEO. The more keywords we have, the more likely our website is to show up on Google. For instance, this post has the tags 'small business,' 'social media,' and 'analytics.' If someone were to Google "small business analytics" there is a greater chance that this blog will be on the Google results listing page because of the tags. Another way to increase SEO is to post a lot. The more content you have on your site, the better your SEO and the greater your chances of showing up in web searches. We also make sure that our posts are tagged with similar keywords, and then use those keywords throughout our other social updates. This consistency helps to build up brand image and tie all of our social media outlets together - after all, we do have two Etsy stores, this blog, and the Happy French Gang website, so it is important to keep things consistent through each.

REFERRALS
Referral traffic is used to describe visitors to your site that come from direct links on other websites rather than directly or from search engines. Referrals are great, because it means that other websites have mentioned us. Whether it be a stockist, a blogger friend, or just someone that likes our products, we get mentioned by them and that draws people to our site. It is essentially free publicity, which you really can't beat. However, our referrals also come from advertisements that we place on Sunday in color, Chloe Fleury and Body Chemistry (click the links and check them out!). Happy French Gang is also always on the lookout for events to participate in in order to meet new people and spread the word about our product. More referrals come from:
  1. Instagram is great for posting photos of products and every day life. Our Instagram is linked to our Twitter account, so every time a photo is posted, it is also tweeted - again, just another good way to catch people's attention and bring them to our site.
  2. Happy Morning Blog is used to draw web traffic in a number of different ways. First, we post plenty of blog posts and give each post photos and labels. This will help to increase search engine optimization (SEO), and allow our site to show up in more organic web searches. We also feature local artists and store owners on the blog - interviewing them and showcasing their products. We also have a product video for the Zipillow. All of those things add content to the site and allow for greater search ability, therefore increasing the amount of hits the website will generate. 

Over the last six months, our referrals primarily came from our blog and events that we participated in. Very few referrals came from other blogs, Instagram or advertising.


Over the past three months, our referrals primarily came from Happy Morning Blog. Unlike over the past six months, where the majority of referrals came from events.

In the past month we haven't participated in many events, so our blog has been getting us the most referrals, however, we are also seeing a boost in referrals from other blogs.


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August 28, 2014

BUNNY + BLANKET GIVEAWAY ON INSTAGRAM

Hello! Today is the last day for a super fun giveaway: a paper bunny kit from Chloe Fleury and a cloudy blanket by Happy French Grang. Follow me on Instagram at @SandraDejanovic to participate and get a chance to win these cute items! Perfect for a kid room decor.

August 20, 2014

YUBA RIVER.

Nevada city is an absolutely cute little town close to Yuba River. I heard about this city first via Nikki Garcia, then via Renata Martins and finally via Chloe Fleury! It was too much. I had to go! We spent two days over there with friends and we just loved it. The cute town, the water, the landscape... Let's talk about this landscape. Amazing. I felt I was with Brad Pitt in the movie 'A river runs through it' ! Seriously, never saw before such a thing. Unfortunately I didn't take that much pictures. But I want to go back as soon as possible!
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August 17, 2014

HELLO.

Hi everyone.

I hope you're all doing great. My little family is doing really good under the Californian sun. On our way to a fabulous birthday party we stopped with Léon for a mini shoot. I wanted to immortalize his origami bow that his Japanese intern teacher made for him this week. It's so cute and he is really proud of it.

On my side the new collection is 70% done I could say. I'm still working on new designs and would like to find new fabrics for napkins. The website is under re-construction, and I'm really happy about it. You can already take a look over here. Thanks Ivan! We have a tagline now and the shop is better organized. Yay!
Also we're part of a new online shop GREAT.ly where you can find the boutiques of your favorite bloggers. And we got a really nice feature on Decor8! Please take look here

For the blog, a big change too. I renamed it! Bye bye Happy Morning Blog. Hello Happy French Gang Blog. It will be easier for everyone but especially for me! Unfortunately I had to put down my beautiful header and will try to find something that goes well with my brand's style in the next coming months. Also starting from September a new interview will be on the blog every week or two. Stay tuned!

Wish you a very good week!

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July 25, 2014

LE PONT DES ARTS.

Paris in summer is fantastic. During the whole week I spent there it was really hot and people were hot too! ahah!
No seriously, happiness everywhere, mini dresses everywhere (!) and couples kissing anytime! It was good and most of all people stayed outside on terrasse until 2 am even the weekdays. And I seriously miss that part in San Francisco. Streets are empty there after 10pm. Anyway the point of this blog post is to show you an evening in Paris at the Pont des Arts. It's a wood bridge and cars are not allowed. It's was a perfect night for a picnic at night with my friends. For the little story, 5-6 years ago the bridge had already some lockers and it was famous for that. But look today how it is!?! Apparently it became too famous! All the tourists add their locker! I think this bridge is totally loosing his romanticism! And guess what? One of the barriers of the bridge collapses on the deck side the day after we came! Hopefully nobody was injured. Usually in summer Le pont des arts was full of people singing and eating on that bridge but now that the view is blocked by the lockers I understand why it isn't full like before!
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July 21, 2014

ALICE EASTWOOD CAMPGROUD.

We spent the week end at Alice Eastwood Campground and it was fantastic. This spot is magical in the middle of the Redwoods. It's only an hour from San Francisco but I felt really far away from the city. That smell, the colors and of course the giants everywhere. There are some great hikes to do with the little ones. Big rocks, giant trees, nothing else needed. Follow the Fern creek trail and you will arrive to a place where the kids can play with the water. They loved it! This campground is really convenient for families with kids. There is everything... except electricity and showers but who cares?!) There is even a space to had your swing!
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July 17, 2014

PUBLIC RELATIONS & WEST COAST CRAFT


By Paulina Nassar, co-founder of West Coast Craft


Could you tell us about your experience with the WCC? Can you explain how did you end up hiring a PR team and how deep into the project you've actually hired them?
We use the incredible team at The Adventure School to help us plan our events. They were recommended to us through a mutual friend and after our first meeting, we knew that it was a perfect fit. They have been on board with WCC since the very beginning and are an essential part of our event and success. The Adventure School operates from a similar ethos as WCC: doing things a little differently than what’s expected and always with heart and spirit. As amazing as the team at TAS is, we still kept open the idea of hiring someone to specifically do PR for the show but had no recommendations to work from.  


How did you pick your team?
In what would prove to be a wonderful twist of fate, I struck up a conversation with a woman who mentioned that she did PR. I jumped at the chance to speak with her about hiring her for WCC and quickly set up a meeting. Alexis Cohen of Morning Sky PR ended up being the perfect addition to the WCC crew and her efforts to get out the word about our inaugural show and guide the PR strategy were and continue to be invaluable.  


In which circumstances would you recommend to use a PR team?
Before hiring Alexis, I had very little experience with professional PR and was hesitant about having someone manage that aspect of our show, especially considering how hands on we are as a team and how much we like to do ourselves. But the fantastic thing about working with Alexis was that she not only handled the more traditional PR routes that she is expertly schooled in, but also encouraged and helped us develop the more “guerilla” marketing techniques we did ourselves.

What did she do that you couldn't do by yourself?
The best thing Alexis brought and brings to the table is knowledge of how PR works: who to reach out to, when, and how often. She fluently speaks that language and has a great sense of how to promote yourself in a way that is authentic to your brand and your work. 

What are the positive / negative aspects? Your tips!
Our experience has been completely positive. We found someone who totally understands and supports the mission of West Coast Craft and is thrilled to be a part of it. 
 

How much work relies on you even after hiring a PR team?
I think that all depends on how much you want to do. In our case, we are very much hands on in every aspect of putting on this event, so we worked side by side with Alexis to achieve our PR goals. That also can help when it comes to staying within your PR budget. Under Alexis’ guidance, we took on those tasks we felt capable of and she was able to focus her energies where they were most needed. 

Finally do you think that small businesses, like the one who participate at your event, should hire one if they want to grow? At what stage of the company would you suggest it?
Of course, it comes down to budget and finding someone that you trust representing your business, but if you can find a way to allot some funds towards it and you find that person who really gets your business and understands your vision, then it is absolutely worth it. I’ve always felt strongly about hiring people trained to do a specific job to do that job. Alexis brings a valuable skillset to the table that has helped us achieve what we want for WCC and everyone involved in it.
Before hiring someone, I would absolutely make sure you know 100% what your goals are for your business- who do you want to reach? How often? Why? This will really help whomever you hire get you towards your goals in a way that is line with your vision.   

The West Coast Craft is a craft and design show featuring carefully selected designers, artists, and craftspeople inspired by the mood and aesthetics of the West Coast lifestyle. The next West Coast Craft will take place December 6 & 7, 2014, in the Herbst Pavilion in the historic Fort Mason Center on the San Francisco waterfront.


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July 15, 2014

WHITE DINER IN PARIS.

Last June in Paris I went with my friend to see the exhibition of Bill Viola at the Petit Palais.

Our plan was to walk to Notre Dame de Paris passing through the Alexandre III Bridge which is a street away from the Petit Palais. When a person dressed in white with a little trailer caught my eyes. I immediately thought it could be someone ready for THE famous French white diner. After that I saw some groups of white dressed people waiting together on the sidewalks next to the bridge. 

It was 8:50pm and we decided to stay and wait until 9pm. Look what happened:
  Hundreds of people walking together in one direction: the bridge! Happiness everywhere! Too bad I didn't capture the bridge in front with everybody waving their white handkerchiefs! Look at the bridge in front! Full of people too. A total of 6 bridges where involved and 13000 invited guests!

The forecourt of the Hôtel des Invalides was completely full. It gave me chills!
Look at that hat! There is a white dove on it! Lovely dresses, beautiful hats, pretty tables and champagne almost everywhere!
Paris style!

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July 14, 2014

BACK HOME, SWEET HOME.

Hello fellow readers!

It wasn't planed but yes... I totally left my blog aside for a few weeks during my vacation: oops! I ended up going to some places without access to internet or where WiFi didn't work that well and it was almost impossible to spend enough time and post something nice. Anyway, I'm back, relaxed, happy of the time I spent with my family and my friends. Usually when we go back to France, we're always in the rush, too little time to see to many people. This year it was different: I took 7 weeks off and as you can imagine I wasn't in a rush! even if I didn't see everyone I wanted. 

I flew there with my son and we spent half of the time in France between Tours, Brittany and Paris and the other half between Morocco, Serbia, Greece and Germany. My husband joined us on the trip for the last 3 countries. He was born in Serbia stayed until 14 yo and it was his first time back there in 13 years... His French family came also to Serbia and it was quite emotional for him to meet everybody there included very old friends. 
Now it would be lying if I told you that I didn't think about you. I met wonderful people in Paris and you should be able to see really nice interviews in the upcoming months. And... I also worked and I'm still working on the new collection for Happy French Gang. My first batch of weaving fabric from India should arrive next week. The process was (still is!) quite long and I'll be stressed until I see that fabric with my own eyes!
Anyway, the next 6 months are gonna be super challenging for me and I hope I'll achieve to do everything I planned! Fingers crossed! 

Also I want to add that any little like or share you do is REALLY important for me. I realized I never really thank you for that so: thank you all for encouraging me!!

xx


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June 19, 2014

MARRAKECH - QZADRIA SQUARE or PLACE DES FERBLANTIERS.

The Qzadria Square is quite close to the Bahia Palace. The square is known as the tinsmiths square and was originally called Place de Mellah and was part of the old Jewish marketplace. In the market you can find the best lantern makers of the city in their workshops crafting their products!
But my favorite thing for this place is that we can watch the storks living on the roof tops!
 
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June 10, 2014

BAHIA PALACE.

Finally my first post about my trip in Marrakesh, I will have much more to show in the next months. :)
Bahia Palace is a beautiful place to visit in Marrakech if you want to have a good idea of the crafts of the 19th century! Floors and ceilings are incredible! PINTEREST / INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK / BLOGLOVIN'
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