Social Media

Our social media marketing coverage addresses management tools, educational courses, platform tips, social analytics, and strategies for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more. We’ve interviewed merchants who rely on social media traffic, and vendors who provide specialized services.

  • Social Media

    Facebook Implements Timeline for Business Pages

    March 1, 2012 •

    At its first-ever marketing conference on February 29, Facebook announced sweeping changes to its platform that have direct bearing on businesses. One of the most important was the introduction of Timeline for business pages. Late last year, Facebook introduced Timeline to individual ...

  • Social Media

    Using Amateur Videos for Marketing Success; 2 Examples

    February 27, 2012 •

    In the past, if you wanted to make a video for your business, you had to hire a production company or ad agency, spend tens of thousands of dollars and, as often as not, end up with a product much different than you expected. Edits and retakes were costly, so you just left well enough a...

  • Social Media

    Ecommerce Comes to Twitter

    February 20, 2012 •

    Twitter has served as a marketing and customer service channel by small businesses for years. Now merchants can use it to promote ecommerce, thanks to a third-party platform called Chirpify and Twitter's own efforts to open its advertising platform to small companies. Chirpify, the Tw...

  • Social Media

    5 Free Facebook Welcome Tab Apps; Pros and Cons

    February 15, 2012 •

    A number of companies offer free apps that give merchants the ability to add custom content, such as a Welcome tab, to Facebook fan pages. In this article I review five of these apps, and discuss the pros and cons of each. 1. Woobox Custom Facebook Page Tab Facebook app provider Woobo...

  • Social Media

    How Does Facebook Make Money?

    February 10, 2012 •

    Facebook has finally filed its long anticipated SEC S-1 registration to take the company public. The filing is straightforward, lacking any surprises or innovative accounting techniques that other recent registration statements have offered. Nevertheless, the investment community and th...

  • Social Media

    14 Brands on Pinterest

    February 8, 2012 •

    Business is booming on Pinterest. According to data from Monetate, a testing and personalization firm, from September to December 2011 estimated unique visitors to increased by 429 percent. Total same-store referral traffic from Pinterest to five specialty apparel retailer...

  • Social Media

    10 Useful WordPress Plugins

    February 7, 2012 •

    Many ecommerce merchants publish blogs to connect with their audiences and enhance their search engine optimization efforts. WordPress is a robust blogging platform. Part of its appeal is the thousands of plugins that enhance its functionality. Here are ten popular plugins that I consid...

  • Social Media

    Google+ Scrapbook: Creative Examples from Top Companies

    February 6, 2012 •

    Google's new social network, Google+, is woefully lacking in customization options. One feature, however, the Scrapbook photo album — the row of five images across the top of the business page — is something merchants can utilize to showcase products and build brand identity. This art...

  • Social Media

    You Can’t Buy Real Followers and Fans

    February 6, 2012 •

    You cannot buy real Fans and followers. The practice of purchasing Twitter followers and Facebook Fans is called "cherry blossoming." It will not improve an online store's business and could destroy a merchant's reputation. Social media marketing has become a requirement for many retai...

  • Social Media

    How to Use Google+ Scrapbook Photo Album to Showcase Your Products

    February 3, 2012 •

    Google's new social network, Google+, is experiencing phenomenal growth. In just seven months since its inception, the network has more than 60 million users, according to published reports. It took Facebook four years to reach that amount. At first, Google+ was available only for indiv...

  • Social Media

    Facebook’s Open Graph and Timeline Could Help Ecommerce Merchants

    February 2, 2012 •

    People don't go to Facebook to shop. Many large companies have accrued millions of Fans, but — with a few exceptions — retailers don't generate many sales there. Two recent Facebook developments, however, could change this. The launch of "Open Graph" may allow retailers to better inte...

  • Social Media

    Google Integrates Google+ in Search Results

    January 27, 2012 •

    We all expected Google+ would factor into Google's search results. Now we know how. Google recently announced in its blog the integration of its new social network into search by including results from the searcher's Google+ friends and interests. This only works for searchers who ar...

  • Social Media

    Top 20 Brands on Google+ for Jan. 2012

    January 24, 2012 •

    Google+ launched brand pages in November. Already many companies, groups and organizations have established large numbers of followers on the social network. To check Google+ brand page rankings, you can now use Zoomsphere, a statistics site for major social networks. Track followers, ...

  • Social Media

    5 Ways Blogging Is Better than Social Networking

    January 19, 2012 •

    Blogging has long been an online marketing staple among businesses. In recent years, however, many businesses have focused on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But blogging can benefit businesses in ways those cannot. This article outlines five such methods. 1. Blog...

  • Social Media

    6 Innovative Ecommerce Uses of YouTube

    January 18, 2012 •

    With over 3 billion videos viewed every day, YouTube is a great place for online merchants to find customers. However, there are many different ways to engage those customers. Here is a list of innovative uses of YouTube by ecommerce merchants. Some provide product information; others...

  • Social Media

    How to Use Pinterest for Your Ecommerce Business

    January 16, 2012 •

    Learning the ins and outs of popular social sharing site Pinterest takes only minutes, but can have a positive effect on ecommerce marketing. Pinterest may be the hottest property in social media sharing, with a growth rate that rivals Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It also has the po...

  • Social Media

    4 Essential Social Media Tools

    January 11, 2012 •

    Social media is an important marketing component for many ecommerce merchants. As such, effectively managing engagement on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube is critical. The following is a list of four tools that I use for my own business — and my clients' businesses....

  • Social Media

    Use Pinterest to Raise Consumer Interest

    January 10, 2012 •

    The visually-oriented social bookmarking site, Pinterest, lets users share pictures and video, and presents a new opportunity for online retailers to engage potential customers. Pinterest generated more than 11 million visits during a single week in December 2011, according to Experian...

  • Social Media

    Google+ Adds Multiple Administrator Capability

    January 9, 2012 •

    Google's new social network, Google+, has added a much needed capability to its businesses pages: multiple administrators. This feature functions similarly to Facebook Pages in that it allows a business to have more than one "manager" — to use Google's term — who can update its Google+...

  • Social Media

    Using Social Buttons to Enhance Search Engine Optimization

    January 4, 2012 •

    Social "signals" increasingly influence search results in both Google and Bing. The search engines are coming to consider social signals as more indicative of how searchers value a page than traditional link signals — though links remain very important to search engine optimization. In ...

  • Social Media

    Social Media Users Look for New Products and Offers, Survey Finds

    January 3, 2012 •

    Social media users connect with companies on sites like Facebook to learn about new products, find exclusive offers and contests, or just play games, according to a new survey of about 1,300 consumers. Consumers also have high expectations for online customer support. The Chief Marketi...

  • Social Media

    Facebook Replaces Profiles with Timelines; Implications for Merchants

    December 28, 2011 •

    Facebook will soon make a dramatic change to individual user Profiles, turning them into “Timelines,” which Facebook calls “a new kind of Profile.” Rationale for ‘Timelines’ Facebook says its motivation for the ...

  • Social Media

    Understanding YouTube’s New Redesign

    December 21, 2011 •

    The major social networks are all in redesign mode. Facebook is rolling out "Timelines," a more picturesque version of user Profiles. Twitter has completed a major redesign, which I covered last week in "Understanding Twitter's New Redesign." And now YouTube is changing its appearance a...

  • Social Media

    Understanding Twitter’s New Redesign

    December 14, 2011 •

    Twitter has just launched several enhancements that include a major redesign of its layout, the introduction of Facebook-style brand pages, embeddable tweets and a redesign of its mobile and Tweetdeck apps. Dubbed “Let’s Fly” — Twitter describes it in a blog post — the goal of the rede...

  • Social Media

    21 Twitter ‘Brand Pages’

    December 14, 2011 •

    Twitter has launched "brand pages" as part of its recent redesign. Brand pages feature large customizable header images and highlight a top tweet with an embedded photo or video. Twitter is launching brand pages with 21 marketers: American Express, Best Buy, Bing, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola,...

  • Social Media

    5 New Social-Shopping Sites and Apps

    December 12, 2011 •

    When it comes to making product purchase decisions, customers are increasingly relying on each other for information and advice. That is not a new behavior, as people have always relied on the influence of friends. It's just that social media technology has given it wings. Consumers ar...

  • Social Media

    Add the Twitter Tweet and Follow Buttons without Hiring a Developer

    December 8, 2011 •

    Twitter is an important site for ecommerce marketers that want to encourage shoppers to share products and pages. Fortunately, the service is easy to integrate into a retail site without even hiring a developer. In this article, you'll learn how to add both the Twitter Tweet and the Tw...

  • Social Media

    Using LinkedIn for Your Ecommerce Business: Pros and Cons

    December 5, 2011 •

    LinkedIn appeals primarily to business professionals. It does not have as many consumer users as Facebook. But its social media strengths can still help your ecommerce business. This article will outline the benefits and limiations of using LinkedIn as a social commerce marketing platf...

  • Social Media

    3 Ways Social Media Affects Brands

    December 1, 2011 •

    The continued growth of social networking and blog sites is having an effect on brands and how those brands are marketed. According to an October study from The Nielsen Company and its social media affiliate, NM Incite, “60 percent of consumers researching products though multiple onli...

  • Social Media

    5 Content Curation Tools for Social Sharing

    November 28, 2011 •

    Many of us use popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Yet there are hundreds of others, most of which you likely have never heard of. Some of these lesser known digital outposts are worth discussing, however. Over the past few weeks I have reported on three: Stum...