Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

The following are 7 surefire ways to help your business be more successful online in 2009 and the in the years to come. Each of these concepts is used by the most successful companies online. Are you applying them?

1. Budget for Customers – Regardless of economic conditions, you need to always be on the lookout for new customers and taking care of those you already have. With this said, start spending where they are. More than likely, more of your customers are online than you may have expected. Whether they’re actually shopping or keeping up to date on topics related to your industry that interests them. Do some quick research on this with Forrester or any other major research company that focuses on this topic. Remember the online universe touches direct online sales as well as in-store sales and phone orders. Don’t leave these valuable opportunities on the table. Your smart competitors aren’t.

2. Make the Most of Social Networking – Online social networks are a great place to “network” to cross promote your business with other companies and to get your brand in front of potential customers. Particularly when they may currently be more active online than they are spending money off-line – go where the fish are. Those that effectively create strong social networks now will be ahead of their competitors that continue putting such efforts off. Remember, the Internet is not a fad – and neither is social networking online.

3. Apply Your Analytics – Actively review your web analytics at least once a week to help gain insight into improving your site. Look for clues to increase your conversion rates, page views, keywords for the search engines, etc. Simply looking at your website’s stats without developing plans of action is useless. These are not the times for useless actions – carefully define the results you want to achieve and keeping working towards them.

4. Email with a Clear and Direct Purpose – Do away with the chit-chat newsletters for the sake of sending a newsletter and focus on gaining insights and generating sales. For your next email newsletter, offer a product your customers would really want to buy (not something you’re just trying to get rid of) and make the offer too enticing to pass up. Also, ask your customers about what interests them, what they want to hear more about and even how often. The more you can understand and segment your customers – the higher your conversion rates will be.

5. Make Organic Search Marketing Your Friend – Gaining significant traffic through the search engines via pay-per-click advertising is ongoing, unpredictable and expensive. Although SEO doesn’t produce results as quickly, it is critical to the long-term success of any website. Also, look into additional paths of search engine marketing such as marketing through online shopping marketplaces such as Google Product Search (AKA Google Shopping). Search marketing is something you can try for yourself. However, for quicker and long lasting results you are better off to hire a professional search marketer that is experienced with the in’s and out’s of search engine marketing. In addition to producing quicker results, this path can also save lots of time and money in trial and error efforts.

6. Use User Generated Content to Your Advantage – Does your website allow your users to leave reviews of your products? Does your blog allow visitors to leave comments about your wonderful insights? If the answer is no to either, or both, you’re missing out. User generated content can increase your search engine rankings due to additional on-page content, help build your brand through interaction, and even close more sales by allowing your customers to openly review the items you sell on your site. There’s a reason why the most successful companies online do this – it works. If you’re not doing it, what’s your reason?

7. Share Your Content for Maximum Exposure – All of us have some content that others are interested in and we should make it easy for them to receive it and share it with others. Syndicate your blog posts with RSS and provide content for others to use and share such as articles that link back to your website. As the old saying goes, “The more you give the more you get”, which is especially true online. The more links and references to your site and brand, the more successful you will be.

The days of “if you build it and they will come” never existed. Therefore, you need to be making a constant effort at increasing your reach online in order to succeed now and well into the distant future. Considering the millions of potential customers searching online for the products or services your company offers – what did you do today to gain their business? Hopefully your answer includes some of the 7 concepts above.

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Since the New Year is still young, it isn’t too late to add being more social to your list of New Year’s resolutions. Sure, you may not be able to devote endless hours a day to social media like the major players (or even an hour for that matter). However, even a little effort can pay off in the long-term with increased brand recognition and web site traffic.

The following Social Media Marketing checklist covers a minimum of what you should be doing if you’re serious about growing your online fame or web site traffic with social media.

Your  Social Media Marketing plan for 2009 should include:

  • Developing or improving your existing profiles on major social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.
  • Working at improving the opt-in subscription rates for your RSS feeds, email newsletters, etc. What can you do differently to get people to take action on your valuable info and share it with others?
  • Social bookmark your content until you break your mouse. Take advantage of social bookmaking sites such as stumbleupon.com, delicious and reddit.
  • Add the creation of more user-generated content on your blogs and web sites. Whether people comment on your blog or leave product reviews on your site – it’s more content that can help you rank higher in the search engines.
  • Create video and graphic content. This can include how-to videos for using your products on YouTube or photo galleries of your featured work or products on flickr.
  • Use syndicated RSS feeds, whenever and wherever possible on your blogs, web sites, or other social media applications. Get viral.
  • Ping! Are you using pinging services such as pingomatic.com to notify important sites such as Google Blog Search and Technorati that you have new content for them to index and share with others?
  • Optimize your social media marketing efforts for the search engines. Keep in mind optimizing doesn’t have to be a major event – simply add keyword rich text content your blog posts, YouTube video titles, and tweets on Twitter.

By diligently applying the above checklist to your online marketing efforts, you’re sure to grow your web site traffic – and ultimately your brand over time.

Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

Tired of searching Google for info related to eCommerce, SEO, Web 2.0, and other online business info? Try our new EPORIA Facebook page! It’s a good place to start connecting with others like you in the world of ecommerce!

EPORIA’s Facebook page is open to all readers of our blog, customers, and friends. Our Facebook page will allow members to interact, comment, and share ideas.

To join and contribute to our group on Facebook, you will need to have your own Facebook account and request to friend us. Facebook accounts are free and can be easily set up at www.facebook.com.

It is our hope that our space on Facebook will give some of the best ecommerce and online marketing minds in the country a place to network with each other on a more focused level than traditional webmaster forums.

To get started, visit EPORIA’s Facebook page today!

Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

More and more large brand names are expanding their online branding efforts to social media sites like Facebook.

 

Ironically, many smaller to medium sized businesses still aren’t following suit, even though this format is the cheapest one out there. Largely, many businesses just don’t know where to start.

 

So, here’s what you do to get started:

  1. Go to Facebook and set up an account
  2. Set up a Facebook page

It’s that easy. Now, here are tips to set up your page format. 

  • Offer a direct link to your website from your Facebook page
  • Provide a brief company overview of about 250 characters
  • Give a brief overview of the products or services you offer of about 150 characters

You’re done!

Remember keep it short and sweet. Facebook isn’t the place to be closing the sale; it’s a place to mingle with your customers and to make friends who will become new customers.


Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

Social media is being talked up everywhere as the newest thing in internet marketing, but it isn’t really new…  The only difference between online social media and old school word of mouth is the speed at which the word is spread. Modern social media allows you to grow your business faster through accelerated word of mouth marketing applications like social bookmarking sites and consumer blogs.

Online customer reviews and rating systems are just the larger scale, online version of asking a friend for a recommendation. This is among the oldest and most widely proven forms of social media marketing, used by the most successful shopping sites. Internet retailers like Amazon.com and Best Buy encourage customers to directly post reviews of products, whether negative or positive, because it converts online shoppers into buyers at a much higher rate than product pages that don’t have customer reviews.

Shop.org and Forrester have reported that just 26% of surveyed online retailers offered customer ratings and reviews on their websites, but 96% of these retailers rated the feature an effective method for improving online sales conversion rates. 96 percent!!

Look at a Best Buy page with reviews, such as their Small Business Lap Tops page. Note all of the reviews with stars. Which lap top would you be more likely to buy, a three star or a five star? You get the idea. Now, imagine how this would increase sales on your own website.

The ultimate goal for any online retailer will always be to drive qualified traffic to their site. With the rise of social media tools and social shopping sites, such as on-site customer reviews and ThisNext.com, this is becoming easier. Shoppers from such sites are already largely presold on what you’re selling before they arrive to your site. Once you have them, it’s a serious matter of the effectiveness of your online store. Is your store optimized to convert these valuable visitors into buyers?

In today’s increasingly social online shopping environment, your overall marketing strategy must address the socialization of the Internet shopping experience. Ecommerce retailers that do this effectively will continue to see great success well into the future. Conversely, those that are not making solid plans to step into the world of social media with a clear strategy will ultimately end up struggling to stay in business – or fail completely.

In order to be successful in social media and social ecommerce technologies, you must have a clear and preplanned strategy for your implementation. The core strategies your online business must apply include internal social media tools such as on site product reviews, as well as off site, customer-generated content such as customer comments on social shopping sites and blogs. Keep in mind that the greater the participation of your customers the greater will be the return on your efforts.

All of these things are not as easy as they sound. Chatting with your neighbor across the back fence was easy – your neighbor knows you. Effectively participating in social media to grow your business requires a significant amount of effort and skill, just like any other endeavor that leads to success. However, the sooner you begin taking steps in the right direction, the sooner you will build a brand that is promoted by your most important stakeholders; your customers.

What is your social media plan and what are you doing to make it happen?


Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

A recent McKinsey Global Survey found the following facts about how businesses are using Web 2.0, which is continuing to grow at record rates. As a matter of fact, comScore shows that visitors to Web 2.0 sites have been growing at double and triple digit rates over the last year.

  • More than 75% of executives say they plan to maintain or increase their investments in Web 2.0 technologies that encourage user collaboration, such as peer-to-peer networking, social networking, and web services.
  • More than half said they’re pleased with previous Internet investments, though some regret not boosting their own capabilities to exploit technology sooner.
  • Retailers, who have been cautious investors in the past, are stepping up their pace. Big name companies including Dell, General Motors and hotel chain Marriott using social media to increase their sales while reducing their customer acquisition costs.
  • These executives also offered insights into how and why their companies are using Web 2.0 and where these technologies may offer a sustained competitive edge.

You can read the full article at mckinseyquarterly.com (requires registration)

 


Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »