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

    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...

  • Social Media

    Four Apps to Create Facebook ‘Welcome’ Pages

    August 31, 2010 •

    Thousands of ecommerce businesses have Facebook Fan pages. But making those pages stand out from competitors' pages is a challenge. One of the ways to distinguish yours is through the use of a custom landing page, also known as a Welcome tab. In the past, to create a landing page you ...

  • Social Media

    Facebook ‘Places’ Helps Local Businesses

    August 24, 2010 •

    Facebook recently rolled out "Places," a location-based sharing application popularized by such startups as Foursquare and Gowalla. Much has been written about Places, but in this article I'll review the possible business uses for it. When a user arrives at a given location–a physical ...

  • Social Media

    Profile: Retailer Spends Little Money for Big Social Media Impact

    August 18, 2010 •

    Editor's Note: For the past few weeks, Paul Chaney, our social media director, has addressed the integration of Facebook with ecommerce. He has reviewed a number of applications, including Wildfire and Fan Appz, both of which provide sweepstakes and coupons. He's also reviewed fully-emb...

  • Social Media

    Social Bookmarking Helps with SEO, Product Sharing

    August 11, 2010 •

    Social sharing and bookmarking have taken a back seat to Facebook and Twitter. For most of us, using sites like Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, or Reddit rarely crosses our minds. Yet, these and other such services can provide a number of benefits to your ecommerce site, and here’s why....

  • Social Media

    Facebook Encourages Ecommerce; App-Makers Respond

    August 4, 2010 •

    Facebook designates Fan pages for businesses to engage users. And to help these businesses, Facebook now provides a series of resource guides for Fan page development and Facebook Ads development. It has also greatly improved the Fan page analytics component (called Insights), and it ha...

  • Social Media

    Ecommerce News Around the Web for July 30, 2010

    July 30, 2010 •

    "Ecommerce News Around the Web" is our weekly review of articles, blog posts and other news items that could interest ecommerce merchants. Ecommerce SSL is Broken, Says Conference Founder - The Inquirer Black Hat 2010 conference founder Jeff Moss is adamant that commerce's secure soc...

  • Social Media

    Six Facebook Applications to Sell Your Products

    July 20, 2010 •

    Editor's Note: This is the third installment in our series on social commerce, the process of linking ecommerce with social media sites, such as Facebook. In the second installment, we reviewed the Facebook apps of a number of shopping cart providers. These apps extend the Facebook reac...

  • Social Media

    The PEC Review: Facebook Pay-Per-Click Ads

    July 12, 2010 •

    There may be a positive relationship between ecommerce spending and social network participation. Internet trend tracking firm comScore recently reported that Facebook and Twitter users spend more money online than non-socialites, and that some 23 percent of Twitter users follow busine...

  • Social Media

    Twitter to Offer Early Bird Advertisements

    July 8, 2010 •

    Twitter, the microblogging site, said that it would soon begin tweeting special, time-bound deals and offers from advertisers to its users. The program, called "@earlybird," would allow "select" advertisers to offer exclusive, short term deals on Twitter, potentially putting the social...

  • Social Media

    The PEC Review: for Social Media Distribution

    July 5, 2010 •

    Blogging, social marketing, email marketing, onsite merchandising, and search engine advertising are just some of the tasks that an ecommerce marketer must manage on any given day. is a new online service that can help you automate at least one portion of that marketing worklo...