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 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...

  • Social Media

    Tools to Build a Strong Twitter Following; Relevance Is Key

    January 24, 2011 •

    Twitter is helpful for many small businesses. One key to maximizing its value is to find relevant people to follow in the hopes they will return the courtesy. Relevance is essential to growing a follower base that would most likely read your content, and eventually become customers. I w...

  • Social Media

    Designing for the New Twitter Layout

    January 17, 2011 •

    It won't be long before everyone is subject to the new, wider Twitter layout. Up to now, the new layout has been optional and Twitter users could switch back to the old settings. Though no firm date has been announced for the transition, Twitter indicates it will take place soon. Here's...

  • Social Media

    4 Realities of Selling on Facebook

    January 11, 2011 •

    There are few who question Facebook's potential for ecommerce merchants. Access to a user base of nearly 600 million consumers — coupled with the targeting of specific audience segments based on users' Likes — are compelling reasons to experiment with it as a sales channel. However, li...

  • Social Media

    Facebook Insights Helps Measure Social Media Efforts

    January 10, 2011 •

    Social media marketing can be an effective way to engage customers and, ultimately, sell more products. There have certainly been lots of articles, publications, and webinars that describe tactics you can use in social media campaigns. But there may be comparatively few resources that h...

  • Social Media

    9 Twitter Productivity Tools

    January 5, 2011 •

    Many people consider Twitter an enormous waste of time. "Why would I care what someone had for dinner?" is a question often asked by those who do not use Twitter for personal communications. Granted, if improperly managed, Twitter can be a huge black hole sucking up lots of time. What...

  • Social Media

    How to Rescue Posts from Facebook’s Spam Filter

    January 4, 2011 •

    In October 2010, Facebook introduced automatic content filtering to business pages (sometimes called Fan pages) in an effort to help stop Wall spammers from successfully posting unwanted or dangerous messages to dozens or even hundreds of pages daily. For social media marketers, the fi...

  • Social Media

    Social Commerce Top 10 for 2010; Outlook for 2011

    December 29, 2010 •

    Two social commerce topics that created the biggest stir this year were location-based social networks like Foursquare and Facebook Places, and group coupon deals championed by sites like Groupon and Living Social. Groupon became the year's leading social commerce newsmaker when it repo...

  • Social Media

    The 12 Ways of Facebook Commerce

    December 21, 2010 •

    One of the most-loved songs associated with the yuletide season is "The Twelve Days of Christmas." In an effort to pay homage to the song and the season, here are 12 ways to market your ecommerce business using Facebook, during Christmastime or at anytime. 1. Create a Facebook Page C...

  • Social Media

    10 Free Facebooks Apps for Ecommmerce Merchants

    December 13, 2010 •

    The best things in life are free. Or so The Beatles sang, in Money. Here is a list of ten free Facebook apps that I recommend for ecommerce businesses. I've divided them into four categories: Landing Page Creation, Email Marketing, Facebook Shopping Carts, and Other. Landing Page Crea...

  • Social Media Combines Blogging, Social Networking, News Clipping

    December 9, 2010 •

    Blogging is popular among social media users. But many small businesses still do not use it for marketing. Most lack either the time or commitment required to make blogging a successful marketing strategy. But there is a now a way to incorporate blogging that doesn't require the same d...

  • Social Media

    Social Media’s Effect on Holiday Sales

    December 2, 2010 •

    Ecommerce is playing an increasingly important role in holiday sales. But how much of that growth can be attributed to social media? I asked Hitwise, the competitive intelligence service, how much traffic ecommerce sites received from social media. A spokesman for Hitwise responded vi...

  • Social Media

    Facebook Requests Home Page Status; Effect on Ecommerce Merchants

    November 24, 2010 •

    When people log onto the Internet, they tend to go one of three places: Google, their email inboxes or, increasingly, Facebook. Now, Facebook is reportedly positioning itself to become the home page for its users. According to articles in TechCrunch and The Wall Street Journal, Facebook...

  • Social Media

    LinkedIn’s New ‘Company Pages’ Showcase Products, Recommendations

    November 23, 2010 •

    LinkedIn has released a new version of its company profiles called "Company Pages," which provides a place for businesses to "showcase their products, services and associated recommendations," according to LinkedIn. Heretofore, LinkedIn company profiles served only a research purpose ...

  • Social Media

    New Firefox Extension: Social Marketing While You Browse

    November 16, 2010 •

    Mozilla Labs Messaging Group has released a new Firefox extension that makes it simpler to share content from around the web on Facebook and Twitter. Social media marketing seeks to make new or more loyal customers by engaging with them, not just pushing products. Usually, social marke...

  • Social Media

    3 Group Coupon Companies for Purely Online Merchants

    November 15, 2010 •

    A lot of activity is occurring around the group-coupon-deals space in recent days. Facebook launched "Deals," which, according to Facebook, "local businesses will be able to offer you deals when you check in to their place on Facebook." And there's Groupon Stores, which allow merchants ...

  • Social Media

    8 Steps to Social Media Success

    November 9, 2010 •

    "How do I get started?" is a question I often hear regarding social media marketing. In this article, I provide eight steps to help. Think of it as a checklist of must-do items that will put you in the best position to integrate social media into your overall marketing mix and take adva...

  • Social Media

    7 Blog Platforms for 3 Methods of Blogging

    November 1, 2010 •

    The last time I compared blog platforms on Practical Ecommerce was in 2005. In "Blog Platforms: Choose One that Fits Your Need," I reviewed four of the most used at that time: Blogger, TypePad, MovableType, and WordPress. While those are still popular, others have since appeared. Over...

  • Social Media

    Tips for an Effective Twitter Profile

    October 27, 2010 •

    Twitter can help ecommerce merchants. It provides a conduit to connect with their customers and communicate with prospects. Merchants should be careful, however, when using Twitter to market their products, and I addressed that in "4 Rules for Marketing on Twitter." And seemingly mino...

  • Social Media

    4 Rules for Marketing on Twitter

    October 26, 2010 •

    In last week's "5 Timesaving Social Networking Tools," I discussed efficient ways to manage your social media engagement efforts. However, social media is not merely a "tool set" to be used any way we see fit. It is also a mindset. For merchants wanting to use Twitter to market their ...

  • Social Media

    5 Timesaving Social Networking Tools

    October 19, 2010 •

    A concern I often hear from those new to social networking is the amount of time it takes to manage engagement activities, such as tweeting or posting status updates to Facebook and LinkedIn. While there's no cost to use these channels, time is valuable and, therefore, the more efficien...

  • Social Media

    The 4-Step Twitter Strategy

    October 12, 2010 •

    Twitter is the "Swiss Army knife" of social networking because it is a simple tool that can be used in many ways. Businesses are utilizing Twitter for such things as brand reputation monitoring, product promotion, customer service, and sales. The key to maximizing Twitter's value, how...

  • Social Media

    The PEC Review: The ‘New’ Twitter

    October 11, 2010 •

    For nearly a month, microblogging powerhouse Twitter has been rolling out a new user interface aimed at making the service the "best way to discover what's new in your world." Twitter is already one of the most popular social media sites with more than 165 million registered users, acc...

  • Social Media

    ‘Deal-of-the-Day’ Coupons Help Merchants Attract Customers; 4 Tips

    October 6, 2010 •

    The deal of the day group coupon-buying concept has taken the Internet by storm. Forbes magazine called Groupon, the leading deal-of-the-day site, the "fastest growing company ever." The concept appeals mostly to local brick-and-mortar retailers and large retail brands. But ecommerce ...

  • Social Media

    Social Commerce Expert Cautions Against Spending Heavily

    September 29, 2010 •

  • Social Media

    Selling on Facebook: 4 Common Issues

    September 15, 2010 •

    There is a growing integration between social media and ecommerce. And there's a new term for this integration: social commerce. Facebook is the leading social commerce platform. Recently I moderated "500 Million People and Growing: The Facebook Conversation Turns to Commerce," a Prac...

  • Social Media

    Social Media: 4 Steps to an Effective Marketing Strategy

    September 14, 2010 •

    Many small businesses are experimenting with social media to market their products. Based on my observations, however, most are doing it in piecemeal fashion, without a coordinated, overall strategy. In this article, I present a practical, four-part social commerce strategy that minim...

  • Social Media

    Social Media Improves Online Trust: 4 Tips

    September 7, 2010 •

    "Trust" is likely the most defining factor when it comes to selling products online. Consumers will not purchase products from a merchant that they mistrust. Social media can help overcome a consumer's reluctance to purchase products due to lack of trust. It can foster interaction bet...

  • Social Media

    The PEC Review: Wildfire Interactive for Online Contests

    September 6, 2010 •

    Contest marketing is an excellent way to engage customers, build brand, and get leads for newsletters and other promotions. And in the age of social media marketing, an online contest can garner thousands of entries. Unfortunately some popular social media sites, like Facebook, prohib...