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.

  • 20 Top Brands on Google+ Social Media

    20 Top Brands on Google+

    November 25, 2011 •

    A new study by social management company BrightEdge found that 61 of the top 100 global brands had a Google+ page the week after Google let companies create brand pages.

  • Social Media

    How to Create a Google+ Business Page

    November 16, 2011 •

    Google announced last week that it has launched Pages for business in its Google+ social network. I addressed this topic in my "Social Retailer" blog last week and listed what I suggested are three possible benefits. Direct connection to search. Through the use of the "+1" button, ...

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    8 Businesses on Tumblr

    November 9, 2011 •

    Of a Kind, the first store built on blogging platform Tumblr, is one year old. The site, which sells fashion items commissioned from emerging designers, is a mash-up of blog and ecommerce, providing personal content on its designers and their goods. While Of a Kind is still unique as ...

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    Using the New; 5 Advantages for Businesses

    November 7, 2011 •

    Delicious is a longtime social bookmarking service for storing, discovering and sharing links to online resources. The site was founded in 2003, sold to Yahoo! in 2008, and sold again in 2011 to AVOS Systems, a company owned by Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the founders of YouTube. Soci...

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    13 Crowdfunding Sites for Social-Cause Entrepreneurs

    November 2, 2011 •

    Crowdfunding websites help entrepreneurs fund small businesses with financing from the community. For social-cause entrepreneurs, who venture to create a positive change in the world, crowdfunding sites can also provide financing and resources. Here is a list of crowdfunding sites that...

  • Social Media

    StumbleUpon: Social Bookmarking Traffic Generator

    November 1, 2011 •

    StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking tool that allows users to share a website with others in their network. People use the tool to "stumble upon" web pages recommended by others that are matched to their personal preferences. How Does it Work? StumbleUpon uses a "thumbs up, thumbs do...

  • Social Media

    9 Tools for Mobile Blogging

    October 24, 2011 •

    The world is moving toward an increasingly mobile lifestyle, and blogging is no different. No longer do you have to be constrained to a desktop or laptop to create posts.

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    Understanding Facebook’s New ‘Insights’ Analytics

    October 18, 2011 •

    Facebook recently launched a new, enhanced version of Insights, its analytics package for Fan pages. The old version contained lots of information — demographics, the total number of Likes/Unlikes, number of average daily users, and total page and post impressions — but nothing that hel...

  • Social Media

    Social Media: Become a ‘One Percenter’

    October 10, 2011 •

    Years ago, usability expert Jakob Nielsen developed the "Community Participation Pyramid," which some observers now call the "90-9-1 Principle." It states: 90 percent of web users are lurkers — read or observe, but don't contribute; 9 percent of users contribute from time to time, bu...

  • Social Media

    Facebook Platform Changes, Part 2: Pages

    October 4, 2011 •

    At its recent f8 developers' conference, Facebook announced extensive changes to its platform, including changes to personal "Profiles" and business-oriented "Pages." I described the changes to Profiles in last week's article. This article, below, addresses changes to Pages. 1. Intera...

  • Social Media

    Facebook Platform Changes, Part 1: Profiles

    September 26, 2011 •

    At f8 2011, Facebook's annual conference held last week for developers and entrepreneurs, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a series of changes to the social network's platform. Most of the changes affect personal profiles, but some have to do with how Fan pages work. I will o...

  • Social Media

    5 New Facebook Shopping Carts

    September 19, 2011 •

    It has been more than a year since I wrote about Facebook shopping carts. That article was titled “Six Facebook Applications to Sell Your Products.” In this article, I’ll review five ...

  • Social Media

    3 Inexpensive Tools to Build Your Own Social Network

    September 6, 2011 •

    When we think of social networks, large communities like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn typically come to mind. There is, however, another type of social network that often goes overlooked: niche communities. Ecommerce merchants should consider creating their own niche online communit...

  • Social Media

    Google’s +1 Expansion Boosts Search and Social

    August 31, 2011 •

    The Google +1 button now plays a much more visible role in promoting content in search and social marketing. Much like Facebook's Like button, Google's +1 button allows — as of last week — Google+ users to share a comment, an image, a headline and a snippet of text when +1'ing a page. C...

  • Social Media

    Understanding EdgeRank, Facebook’s ‘Quality Score’ for Wall Posts

    August 30, 2011 •

    Just because you post a status update to your Facebook Wall doesn't mean it gets syndicated to each of your Fans. Last year, Facebook created an algorithm called EdgeRank that determines which posts get shown to whom in the Newsfeed. Thanks to EdgeRank, every post that gets published ...

  • Social Media

    6 Tools to Manage Your Social Media Marketing

    August 29, 2011 •

    Social media marketing is one of the most-discussed marketing tactics in the ecommerce industry. Many companies are devoting a greater percentage of resources and effort into engaging customers and prospects ...

  • Social Media

    10 Tips for Integrating Email and Social Media

    August 25, 2011 •

    Is social media diluting email marketing? For many ecommerce merchants, email marketing remains a staple. In a recent interview with Practical eCommerce, Listrak CEO Ross Kramer said, "We just came back from Etail [trade show] this week, and from the retailers that I was talking to up...

  • Social Media

    Facebook’s Business Playbook: 4 Educational Portals

    August 22, 2011 •

    Facebook has assembled four educational portals to help businesses manage their use of the platform. The portals cover topics such as creating Facebook pages, advertising on Facebook, selling products on Facebook, and using Facebook for marketing. I'll review each of the portals in t...

  • Social Media

    Social Networking for Solo Entrepreneurs; 7 Suggestions

    August 16, 2011 •

    Solo entrepreneurs wear many hats when it comes to running a business. One of these “hats” includes managing social media activities. To reach a point where social media engagement produces meaningful ...

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    12 Useful Ecommerce Blogs

    August 8, 2011 •

    Finding marketing information specific to smaller ecommerce merchants can be time consuming. A Google search on the term "ecommerce marketing" returned 1,700,000 results at the time of this writing. Merchants can fine useful information on the following list of 12 marketing-related bl...

  • Social Media

    50 Leading Google+ Users

    August 5, 2011 •

    Google+ is one month old. So who’s using it? Many of the popular Google+ users are the founders and content-creators from others parts of web — even Facebook. Here is a list of the popular users on Google+. First are the top 20 users with the most followers. Then there are the users w...

  • Social Media

    Google+: The Beginning of a Revolution?

    July 29, 2011 •

    The pieces are rapidly falling into place for Google’s increasing integration of “social signals” into its search algorithms. With the oddly isolated “+1” button launch at the end of March ...

  • Social Media

    How to Create Facebook Ads, Part 2: Campaign Management, Overall Best Practices

    July 26, 2011 •

    In "Part 1" of this series on creating Facebook ads, I showed you how to set up a campaign, design an ad, and target the precise audience. In this "Part 2" installment, I'll explain how to manage your ad campaign, offering 10 best practices. Ads Manager Each Facebook ad has to be tie...

  • Social Media

    How to Create Facebook Ads, Part 1: Setup, Design, Targeting

    July 18, 2011 •

    Facebook advertising is becoming more popular. In this article — “Part 1” of a two-part series — I will describe how to set up a Facebook ad using the self-service ...

  • Social Media

    How to Measure Social Media Marketing; 3 Steps

    July 12, 2011 •

    Social media marketing, like other forms of online marketing, needs to produce a return on investment. Otherwise, its usefulness is marginal and the time spent on it is wasted. But social media's effect on the bottom line is not always easy to measure. In social media's case, ROI does...

  • Social Media

    Google+: Overview, Ecommerce Use

    July 5, 2011 •

    On the day news broke about the sale of MySpace for a mere $35 million, Google announced the launch of its new social network, Google+. The search giant is rolling out ...

  • Social Media

    5 Influence Measurement Tools

    June 28, 2011 •

    Prior to the Internet, if consumers were dissatisfied with a company, its products or services, they would tell a few friends who might also tell a few others. Maybe the consumer would write a letter to the company or call the customer service department to complain. For the most part, ...

  • Social Media

    5 New Social Media Management Platforms

    June 21, 2011 •

    A new class of social media management platforms for small businesses makes social media marketing — such as posting to Facebook and Twitter — much easier. In this article, I review five of these platforms: Postling, Breeze Social, Roost, Sendible and Social Guides. My review will add...

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    One Merchant’s Experience with LivingSocial and Groupon

    June 13, 2011 • is a retailer that is focused on selling affordable fashion clothing to working women. The company — founded in September 2009 and headquartered in New York — sells ...

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    5 Good Reasons to Use Tumblr

    June 9, 2011 •

    Tumblr is a social blogging platform that allows users to upload multimedia posts, follow other users, and engage in communities without some of the constraints found on Twitter or Facebook. As a platform, Tumblr has been growing rapidly, and some retailers are now using the service as...