Social Media is no longer a hobby. It's a required tool for store owners.
Do you remember the first time you heard the word social media? How about the
first time you heard the name Facebook? Where were you when you heard about the
No matter where you were or how you heard about them, I bet you never imagined
that you could be using these "tools" for your business.
Yet, social media has evolved and your customers are on Facebook, they are
tweeting, they are blogging, they are reading blogs, they are watching videos,
and they are connecting with multiple companies every day.
Whether they watch the news, read the newspaper, or walk into their local
stores... customers are being bombarded with messages to connect on Facebook and
HUGE corporations are paying BIG money to promote these connections with new
and existing customers.
Many store owners are not doing their part to promote their own Social Media
The BIGGER problem...
Store owners are not taking advantage of the connections being made with the
billions of customers available through Social Media.
Every single email should include, "We would love to connect with you!" or "We
would love to talk with you!" or "Want to connect with us and find out about
great deals too?"
Whichever one you pick, include links to your Twitter, your Blog, your videos,
your Facebook Page, and/or any other Social Media Platform you are using to
connect with your customers.
Make sure the customer sees this information in the confirmation email and the
shipping status emails as well.
Remember - It usually takes 3 times seeing a message before your customers
respond or react to the messages they are seeing.
The second part of the solution...
When customers like your page or follow you on Twitter, start connecting. Thank
them for joining you. Ask them open-ended questions on a daily basis.
For our Now What Project Website we ask questions like:
What are your plans for today?
What are you sewing today?
What are your plans for the weekend?
Notice we aren't asking when they are going to buy from us again. We love these
customers and we want to get to know them. We like them and they like us.
By doing this, we have established the first part of the buying process... Like
Remember, they have to like, know, and trust us before they purchase.
We let them into our daily lives and they get to know us – that’s the second
Asking open ended questions help our customers get use to posting on our
Facebook Page. We do our best to get them involved as often as possible. We turn
lurkers into active fans.
When they make a purchase, they have no problem sharing their experience on
Facebook and Twitter. Our other fans get to see these comments and that helps
with the third process - trust.
Bing Helps People Make Decisions Based on Their Friends Decisions
Bing has promoted itself as the decision search engine. No longer will your
customer have questions and keep finding themselves lost in more confusion. When
they search on Bing, they find the answers they need.
The latest commercials from Bing show a new way of making the decision even
What do your friends think?
Now your customers are going to see their cousin Bobby Jo or their co-worker Sue
Ann "liked" a particular product or website. Great! The decision has become even
easier which one to pick out.
Store owners are not taking advantage of this major movement in social media.
As I said above, the time is now to start engaging with your customers. Ask
them what they think about certain products once in awhile. Encourage fans to
speak up about what they think and how they feel.
Promote your Facebook Page by picking out a Facebook Fan of the Week. This let's
your fans know that you care and appreciate them. Send your special Fan a gift
for being chosen. Ask them questions and let other fans get to know them and
help to create relationships.
Google Relies on Social Media to Help Weed Through the Spam
In the beginning Google's search engine was a popularity contest. If you had 10
links to your website and your competitor had 100 then they must be way more
popular than you are. There was a huge problem with this method of ranking
websites, the site with 100 links usually picked them up from some link farm and
the site was complete garbage.
Google learned over the years the little tricks of the trade and the spam
techniques that were being used to "trick the system." Today Google makes over
400 algorithm changes every year....that we know of. They are constantly
tweaking and fine tuning the algorithm to remove the spammy websites from the
One way to weed out the garbage is by using Social Media. When you write a great
blog article, people will tweet about it. When you create a great video, people
watch it and make comments. When you create great original content that is relevant to
your audience, it will be shared on Facebook, it will be liked, and Google can
use this data to determine whether or not your website should be ranked in their
Store owners aren't using social media to its full potential.
Start with a blog. The blog is going to be the home base operation for
everything that you are doing.
Next find out where your customers are the most. Depending on their age and
preferences, they may be on Twitter more than they are on Facebook. With the new
Google + that came out, you may find all your customers have moved there.
Either way, you need to find out where they are and get on there too. Start
talking with them - not selling them.
Build relationships with your customers with education. Everyone loves to learn
new things and if you are passionate about what you are doing, then you have
something that you can share.
How can your customers do something better?
How can your customers do something easier?
How can your customer do more with what they have?
Is social media really worth the effort?
As you know, I built a store about 5 months ago so that I could show store owners
what to do AFTER they've opened their online store. I have used only social
media to grow this business.
I am happy to report that the total sales have exceeded $47,000.
This is even after going through this major surgery which has really put me out
of commission for several weeks and put us severely behind on sales. Oh, and
this last weekend (June 9th) we had 200 people in our backyard for our son's wedding. So sales
are a little down :)
So now my question to you is...
How are you going to up your social media game and connect with more customers?
More importantly, how are you going to up your social media game and increase
Shawna Seigel (Formally Shawna Fennell but, I got married in 2010 on the Fourth of
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Here are some links to amazing articles for further reading:
the New Life Book Club where we are reading the Yahoo! Style Guide that shows you
how to write content for the web. It will show you how to write better
newsletters, blogs, and everything else.
We have a
Mastermind Group that
works together on weekly projects and to do lists.
We have the
Project that shows you a brand new website, shows you all the mistakes, fixes
the mistakes, and then shows you the increased conversions. Learn from these
This is an awesome rebroadcast from the New Life Event that I think you will enjoy. Learn how the Now What Project got started and much much more!
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Learn How to Use Social Media to Increase Sales and Traffic as Shawna and Rene explain how Social Media is no longer a hobby that is now a required tool for store owners and how social media tools can create more traffic and sales.
Time Management, Creativity, credit card processing, starting new sites, are some of the questions answered in this ecommerce Q and A. We also hear from Kat Simpson of KatsKloset.com about how one of her products she pushes on her shopping site benefitted from some TV exposure.
Google released a new blog post on their Webmaster Central blog with some guidance on how to build a high quality website and Shawna and Rene discuss how you can apply these guidelines to your online store.
Shawna gives us the 10 Most Important Questions About Blogging with Paul O’ Brien . They discuss if a blog really help you be found online? Is blogging considered social media, what the heck do you blog about, what platform should you be using and what are the 3 best SEO practices for your blog?
Shawna and Rene takes us through their Now What Project store, since they opened less than 8 weeks ago have seen sales go up 268 percent . and page views up over 900 percent. They detail how you can make it happen to your store too.
Shawna has a conversation with Melinda Emerson, The Small Business Woman at SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com about the ups and downs of starting a small business. What relationships should be built, and what to look out for when you start up.
Unfortunately the cold heart truth is that many Ecommerce businesses will fail. So how do we avoid it? Chris Malta shares with us: What is the failure rate for Ecommerce business compared to bricks and mortar stores? Number one reason so many Ecommerce sites fail?
Why do so many EBiz hopefuls just give up? What do you need to do to avoid this kind of failure?
Google Makes BIG Changes in its Focus on Content Farms in 2011, by launching two major algorithmic changes focused on content farms and low-quality sites or spammy sites that are noticed in Google search results.
Importance of Setting Proper KPIs and Goals as Yahoo! Web Analytics Dennis R. Mortensen gives his strong opinions about the importance of setting proper KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and applying appropriate subsequent optimization goals.
Ecommerce Evangelist Bob Angus from VeriSign discusses How Symantec and VeriSign monitor traffic on ecommerce websites? What should ecommerce sites be doing to keep themselves and their customers safe? Plus…Learn how you can receive the VeriSign Trust Seal for only a dollar.
Are Your Products Ready For Group Buying? Group buying websites have become the big web trend in 2010 and with good reason. Jeremy Kugel, CEO of Jasmere.com, tells us about group buying and how it can help your business grow.
Shawna speaks with Matt Siltala, Co-Founder of Dream Systems Media, about Viral Marketing. Matt explains the concept, ROI opportunities, industry benefits, marketing methods and some successful examples.
Greg Jameson, President of WebStores Ltd. tells us why video such a hot topic for store owners.
We also learn what it take to create a YouTube Channel including formulating topics, length and adding videos to your website. We also go into the production process, from editing to lighting to even green screens.
Mike Ober from Yahoo Small Business stops by to discuss the new features released earlier this month from Yahoo, as well as, best practices for Customer Registration. He also participates on the monthly site reviews.
Studies show that its less expensive to bring existing customers back than to attract new ones. So how can you take your existing customers and bring them back into your store to purchase again? Shawna welcomes the always popular Kat from Kats Kloset! Kat was recently named one of the top 6 Social Media Sellers by eBays blogger, Richard Brewer Hayes and is keeping busy trying to live up to that image.
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