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

    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...

  • Social Media

    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 ...

  • Social Media

    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...

  • Social Media

    How to Install the Google +1 Button on Your Site

    June 6, 2011 •

    Google is positioning its +1 button as a way for consumers to leave recommendations for their social media friends, just when those friends are in need. "Sometimes it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for when someone you know already found it," Google said on the +1 landing...

  • Social Media

    12 Popular Retail Companies on YouTube

    June 6, 2011 •

    The most popular YouTube videos involve talking animals, pop stars and news channels. But retailers have found a home on the site, too. Here is a list of 12 popular ...

  • Social Media

    Selling to Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers

    June 2, 2011 •

    One of the more controversial ecommerce-related topics is the use of social networks like Facebook and Twitter to increase sales. There is ample evidence to suggest that, in spite of its popularity, social media produces a dismal return on investment. Respondents to a January 2011 Pract...

  • Social Media

    How to Use Facebook’s Photo Strip; 7 Examples

    June 1, 2011 •

    When Facebook added the photo strip to the Wall on Fan pages, it left page owners and administrators wondering just how to make use of the new feature. Not only that, the Fan page version lacked one attribute present in the personal profile version: the ability to arrange photos in a ...

  • Social Media

    Facebook’s 10 Social Plugins; Benefits to Merchants

    May 31, 2011 •

    Facebook social plugins are a quick and easy way to extend your social reach and engage your website’s visitors with social interaction. The Facebook social plugins are easily installed. On each plugin’s page — noted below — in the Facebook Developers section, the configuration tool le...

  • Social Media

    7 Ways to Build a Brand Using Blogs

    May 25, 2011 •

    Branding is more than just a business buzzword. It has become the crux of selling in the new economy. If the old marketing mantra was “Nothing happens until somebody sells something,” the new philosophy could be “Nothing happens until somebody brands something.” If you are not currentl...

  • Social Media

    Facebook’s New ‘Send’ Button: How to Use, Install, Benefit

    May 24, 2011 •

    Facebook's new "Send" button functions similarly to a "Forward to a Friend" plug-in that you often see in broadcast emails. The difference is, in addition to sending a message to any email address, users can select specific Facebook friends to notify, and send the message as a post to F...

  • Social Media

    Managing Negative Facebook Page Comments

    May 16, 2011 •

    A small business owner contacted me recently. She had received a comment on her Facebook page criticizing the price of her products. In her way of thinking, it would be better to have no comments at all than to give disgruntled customers the opportunity to use her Fan page as a platform...

  • Social Media

    Top 51 Facebook Pages with Stores

    May 12, 2011 •

    Facebook commerce is here. But what is sold on Facebook, and how it is sold, is still up in the air. Here is a list of the 51 most popular — based on the number of "Likes" — Facebook pages with stores. For the purposes of this article, a page is considered to have a “store” if there ar...

  • Social Media

    5 Ways to Increase Ratings and Reviews

    May 9, 2011 •

    Today's Internet is largely driven by peer-to-peer interaction. When making a purchase, consumers seek out the experiences of others. This includes reading online ratings and reviews posted by other consumers, which can increase overall engagement and drive sales. With that in mind, he...

  • Social Media

    5 Ways Merchants Can Locate Social Communities

    May 6, 2011 •

    Editor's Note: One of the marketing challenges faced by ecommerce merchants is finding online communities that have an interest in the merchants' products. Few observers dispute the potential of social media, provided merchants can find interested parties to be social with. We posed th...

  • Social Media

    16 Facebook Marketing Strategies

    May 3, 2011 •

    There are thousands of Facebook apps, including a growing class designed for marketing use on company Facebook Pages. Here is a list of 16 different marketing strategies — using apps — that can help your ecommerce business. 1. Facebook Send button Facebook recently launched the “Send”...

  • Social Media

    Have You Reddit? Surging Social-News Site Can Help Merchants

    May 2, 2011 •

    Reddit is a social media site that allows anyone to submit links to news articles, blog posts, pictures, or other web content. Once submitted, Reddit users vote content up or down, potentially driving hundreds or even thousands of clicks and visitors. Reddit has been around since 2005,...

  • Social Media

    Sprout Social: Social Media Management Time-Saving Tool

    April 26, 2011 •

    There are a number of tools that help reduce the time required to manage social media engagement. We have reviewed many of them here, in "15 Services to Manage Your Social Media Activity" and "5 Time-Saving Social Network Tools." In this article, I want to review a resource that I have ...

  • Social Media

    8 Benefits to Facebook ‘Likes’

    April 18, 2011 •

    Last week, I addressed strategies for increasing numbers of Facebook Likes, in "15 Ways to Get Liked on Facebook." This week, I discuss 8 reasons why getting Likes can benefit your business, and I cite research that attempts to assign a value to each "Like." 8 Reasons to Encourage Like...

  • Social Media

    15 Ways to Get ‘Liked’ on Facebook

    April 12, 2011 •

    Once a business has established a Facebook Page, a key challenge is to grow its fan base. This is accomplished, in part, through the use of the "Like" button. By clicking the Like button, a person expresses affinity for the brand or its products. It is the Facebook equivalent of an emai...

  • Social Media

    Social Q&A: New Take On An Old Genre

    April 5, 2011 •

    The question-and-answer genre has been around for a long time in the form of bulletin boards, discussion forums and sites such as and (now A new variation ...

  • Social Media

    10 Marketers You Must Follow on Twitter

    April 5, 2011 •

    Changing consumer behaviors are having a significant effect on marketing tactics and strategies. New social sites, mobile devices, or other advancements are fueling these changes. Just a few years ago no mainstream marketers had budgets for Facebook ads. But now Facebook is a leading o...

  • Social Media

    Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts; 8 Suggestions

    March 29, 2011 •

    Google’s so-called “Farmer” algorithm update emphasizes original, unique content for favorable organic search results. Frequently-updated, keyword-optimized, topically-relevant blog posts can provide your ecommerce site with original content, and improve its search engine rankings. I have seen it happen

  • Social Media

    3 YouTube Advertising Options for Small Businesses

    March 21, 2011 •

    Online video has gone mainstream. Thanks to sites like Hulu, Netflix, iTunes and Amazon, more people are watching full-length movies and TV shows online than ever before. But no site has the video audience of YouTube. Consider these facts, which are from YouTube's Statistics page: M...

  • Social Media

    3 Tools to Create New Facebook iFrame Pages

    March 14, 2011 •

    March 10 was a big day for Facebook Page owners. On that day, Facebook upgraded Pages to a new layout and removed FBML — Facebook Markup Language — as the custom-tab-creation code, replacing it with iframes. The latter action spelled trouble for do-it-yourselfers because it required the...

  • Social Media

    10 Tips for Marketing on Redesigned Facebook

    March 7, 2011 •

    Now that Facebook has made a number of changes to its platform, such as the new design, new layout and the use of iframes to create custom tabs, an updated list of Facebook marketing tips could be helpful. This follows from my three-part explanatory series of those changes, at: "Part...

  • Social Media

    How Facebook Changes Impact Ecommerce Merchants, Part 3: Sponsored Stories Ad Units

    February 28, 2011 •

    Editor's Note: This is "Part 3" of a three-part series describing the recent changes Facebook made to its platform, and how those changes affect smaller companies. The series has ran in the following order. Part 1: Page Redesign Part 2: From FBML to iFrames In this "Part 3" instal...

  • Social Media

    How Facebook Changes Impact Ecommerce Merchants, Part 2: From FBML to iFrames

    February 22, 2011 •

    Editor's Note: Facebook recently announced significant changes to its platform that impacts small-business marketing efforts. In response, Practical eCommerce will publish "How Facebook Changes Impact Ecommerce Merchants," a three-part series aimed at addressing each of these changes. T...

  • Social Media

    How Facebook Changes Impact Ecommerce Merchants, Part 1: Page Redesign

    February 16, 2011 •

    Facebook recently announced significant changes to its platform that impacts small-business marketing efforts. First, Facebook implemented a planned redesign of business-oriented "Pages" (also called "fan pages" or "business pages") to mirror the way personal Profiles — for individuals ...

  • Social Media

    5 Social-Shopping Sites to Help Retailers, Consumers

    February 9, 2011 •

    I received an email recently from a friend asking me what type of vacuum cleaner he should purchase. I noticed the email did not come from him directly, however, but from ShopSocially, a social shopping website that is part of a new class of sites in which reliance on friends is at the ...

  • Social Media

    The Basics of Advertising on Facebook

    January 31, 2011 •

    Facebook commerce has a long way to go before it's on par with traditional ecommerce. But many ecommerce merchants report that Facebook Ads, a self-service, pay-per-click advertising platform similar to Google AdWords, generates positive returns. In this article, I am going to outline t...