Category Archives: Facebook & Twitter

Tip Of The Week- WuFoo

Getting a customer to visit a website is hard! Most merchants who have stand alone stores spend small fortunes on Google Pay Per Click ads and hours of time building links and SEO to grab traffic.

Even harder is getting them to linger long enough to learn more about the store. Most users click through sites like they are channel surfing on TV.

How do we get them to stop?

Big companies do it with ‘personalization.’ They engage customers by using product relevant recommendations on page (think: customers who bought this item also bought XYZ) and they use product ratings and reviews. Once implemented on a site these tools can greatly increase site stickiness and improve conversion. The problem is that these software add-ons are costly to the small business owner. Combine the two add-ons and you can expect to budget at least $3,000 a month to implement. (If someone knows a less expensive solution, please email me and I’ll post it).

Of course it costs money to make money, and we should never lose sight of that fact.

But…. it might not be practical to jump in right away. That’s my dilemma. I’ve been setting up a Vendio store front (Vendio is offering an amazing shopping cart solution – for FREE). However, with free comes a price – LOL- not every bell and whistle is available. One missing add-on is a reviews feature. With Photobagstogo.com  I want to keep my budget modest, but still try and engage my users. So, I thought why don’t I create my own review form?

My form making abilities begin and end with figuring out how to do a Google Search for help. And I found the perfect (free) solution. The company is called WuFoo and they can be found at www.wufoo.com. WuFoo offers two free forms as a trial before you must subscribe to the service. Perfect for my budget! I set up the customer review form – then cut and pasted the code into the appropriate spot in the Vendio storefront template. Once the reviewer completes the form, the submission will be sent to me, and I can then go into the description and update it with the review.

You can take a look at it in action my looking at one of my products in my store at: photobagstogo.com

Of course, there’s a drawback – my time (think, sweat equity) – and, my biggest hope is that I get so many submissions that I have to hire someone to help me…. or, upgrade to a store that will support the add-on. Right now my concern is the lack of Captcha – the anti-spam coding that makes us all so crazy when we fill out forms. But, if I get tons of spam junk, I’ll add one.

That’s my tip: It’s two fold – keep visitors engaged by using reviews plus product recommendations. If you need a form, try Wufoo – it’s super simple. Make the form, cut and paste it and your done.

Up coming events as we roll into the end of September:

One – I’m off to try my new Droid scanning application out (my first phone didn’t survive the new Droid operating system upgrade). Once I do – Chris Madison and I are going to do a free Podcast on PocketProfit for Smart Phones. Watch for details.

Two– -Speaking of Podcasts – a very dear friend and treasure hunter is going to join me for a fun broadcast. Brian has a passion for thrift, second hand or charity stores and has been very happily selling his finds (the ones he can part with – LOL) on Craigslist. I’m dubbing him the ‘King of Craigslist‘ and he’s going to talk about what he looks for when he’s out scouting. Watch for details.

Three – We are officially launching our Web Sellers’ Circle series on How to Create, Produce and Sell Information Products starting the first week of October. This six week course will meet every Tuesday night from 5:00 – 6:30 Pacific Time from Oct 5th to Nov 9th. This is an exclusive series offered only to WSC members. They can join it live or watch the replays later. If this has been an interest of yours – now is the time to join The Web Sellers’ Circle. We offer monthly subscriptions of $27.95 a month or a Super Saver yearly rate of $125.00, you can afford that!

More In October:

The second annual eBay sellers Breast Cancer Charity Event happens in Oct. It’s called Bling My Bra and we invite everyone to come join the fun. To keep up to date please go to: http://www.facebook.com/BlingMyBra and ‘like’ the page or sign up for the newsletter. This will be lots of fun!

I’m a little traveled out this year – but I’d still love to make it to the Mobile Commerce Forum 2010. It’s happening in Chicago October  11-13th. The growth in mobile commerce this year has been amazing – kind of reminds me of those crazy growth days of eBay just a few short years ago. Is anyone going to this event? If not, does anyone want to sponsor me or send me as their representative? Mobile is quickly becoming an essential tool in ecommerce kit – and we all need to hear what’s coming down the line.

That’s it for this week.

Using Twitter & Facebook For Business

I know that social media is all the rage these days. You’ll hear every marketer and guru tell you that you “must be on Twitter and Facebook.” They tell you to get out there and be friends with others but they never tell you how or why. Without that important piece of the puzzle you wonder what the value of it is, and how it works.

Let me quickly tell you. Selling products is more than filling a need for a customer. It’s an exchange. Sometimes, it’s simply an exchange of an item or cash — but often, in the buyers mind, it’s an exchange of cash for a lifestyle improvement. That’s a pretty big thing to your customer and they want to know they can trust you to give them what they seek.

That’s where social media comes into play. Using blogging, facebook or twitter to show people who you are, what you know, and how you can help them builds trust in an otherwise faceless medium; the Internet.

The main focus of “being social” is to use these applications to build relationships with your customer. However, I think many of us are Twittering – or using Facebook or MySpace and not seeing the results we are looking for – because we are targeting or ‘friending’ the wrong group of people. In other words we are not targeting our segment of buyers.

Start thinking of who you have on your friends list – are they your family and friends – or your customers? Here’s the difference if you have friends and family, are they your purchasing customers? For example: It’s great to have all your family following you on Twitter, it makes you look very popular indeed. But those thousands of followers aren’t necessarily your buyers.

If you enjoy the ‘social’ part of social media, perhaps you should have one account to talk with friends and another account to build your list of potential customers.

You’ll get a lot more return on investment by following the one simple rule below.

SOCIAL MARKETING GOLDEN RULE: Spend your time on socializing with YOUR CUSTOMERS.

If you have time and energy left at the end of the day, spend the rest socializing with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are five more tips to maximize your social marketing:

  1. Focus your Tweets and Facebook posts on your business. Make the blurbs benefit your customer; “just in rare first edition Harry Potter” or “check out this blog post about Starbucks Collectibles” These types of tweets are much more interesting to your buyers than which conference you attended or what you had for lunch.
  2. Toss in an invitation to join your blog RSS feed, Twitter Account, Facebook or MySpace account in every email or package you ship to your customer and tell them what’s in it for them if they join. Super bonus — make it a handwritten invitation signed by you!
  3. Don’t waste your valuable time on sites that don’t return the investment. Check out the social media sites demographics before spending time building a following. Facebook is more likely to be your place if you sell products to women over 40 — Twitter if you are selling to Internet geeks and marketers — MySpace to the youngish rockers, etc.
  4. Post regularly — people love stability — but don’t take up all the oxygen in the room! Twitter & Facebook can seem like a really loud party with everyone shouting to be heard. Tip: People who post too much, get removed from feeds.
  5. Ask questions! Your clients and customers want to know you are listening to them more than anything else in the world! Set up surveys, invite them to reply to your tweets and posts and be open to comments.

Is Your Twitter Background Good Looking At All Resolutions?

One unique problem with designing your own Twitter background is that it will look very different, depending on which size monitor a viewer has.

Here’s a sample background displayed on three different monitor resolutions.

twitter1

Background displayed with a monitor resolution of: 1024×768

twitter2

Background displayed with a monitor resolution of: 1280X1024

Designing for multiple monitors can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have several different monitors around the house.

twitter3

Background displayed with a monitor resolution of: 1680X1050

Luckily there is a website that will show you what your background will look like on each site.

http://twtbg.me/

Using their mockup generator you should be able to design something that will look compelling across the spectrum.

Social Media Strategy and Marketing with Phaedra Stockstill

Phaedra Stockstill, Social Media Director for the Web Sellers’ Circle, was one of the presenters at Shawna Seigel’s Feb. 2011 New Life Event. Phaedra talked about social media and how to take advantage of it in your business.

Do you want to get started using Facebook and Twitter effectively? Are you looking for tools to make your social media time more efficient? Invest 40 minutes in Phaedra’s talk and your time will be repaid many times over.