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Wednesday 06th April 2011Social Media to Boost Your Ecommerce Store

As the owner of an online ecommerce store, you may or may not have taken the time to dive into the vast pool that is social media. By social media we are referring to networking and content sharing websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
If you haven't taken steps to get involved in social media, we're here to tell you why you should, and what benefits that can have for your business online. 
Getting Social
Anybody in business will tell you that word of mouth is one of the best ways to acquire new customers. If someone has bought something from you before, and found you to be really good value for money, or they received excellent customer service, they may recommend you to others as a result. 
If you can relate to that as a statement then you're likely to be open to the way that social media works.
You should start by creating accounts for your business at the various social media hubs, like Facebook and Twitter. In doing so, you will probably find that each has it's own format and way of working, but this is great for injecting some diversity into how you promote your business.
Long thought of as a hub for students and youngsters to chat amongst their friends and post photographs of what they've been up to. While this admittedly does still constitute a lot of what Facebook is about, you will also find that it is now a massive hub for businesses.
You are able to create a page about your business and invite people to 'Like' that page. In the same way that people might like your business offline and tell their friends about you, if they 'Like' your page online, that fact is broadcast to all of their other friends on Facebook, and so acts as a sort of recommendation. 
The more people that 'Like' your page, the more of an audience you have to post content to. By posting content we mean offering links to offers that you are running, or uploading pictures of your new products. Create a dialogue with those who are fans of your page to create a more personal front for your business.
Twitter functions in an entirely different way to any other social media platform.  Once armed with an account, you can start posting snippets of information about your business, and growing a following of fans.
With Twitter you are limited to posting short amounts of information, no longer than 140 characters. So the challenge here is to convey information and updates to your audience as succinctly as possible, while also give them some added value.
Again, if someone 'follows' you on Twitter, and so receives your news updates, that fact will be shown in their profile, and others may follow suit. They also have the opportunity to interact with your post. So if you post something about an offer that you have running, they can 'Retweet' that post, meaning that they add it to their wall, for all of their followers to see, hence a recommendation that works much like word of mouth.
LinkedIn is another social media site that is unique in the way that it operates. Unlike the others, it is solely meant for businesses and business people who want to network on a professional level. In the beginning you are only able to 'connect' with people that you know on LinkedIn, so you have to have worked with them, be friends with them or have gone to school with them. 
However, once you have started to build your network, you can ask for introductions to others in your friends networks and beyond. 
Aside from the business networking side of things, you also get a public profile for your business, which you should aim to fill with as much useful information as you can. The fact that you're listed on LinkedIn and have a sizeable network should bode well for your business.
Often overlooked by ecommerce businesses, perhaps because they're not entirely sure how a video sharing network could be useful to them. We would blame this on the fact that YouTube is often thought of as a home of music videos, film trailers or funny videos that people have made themselves. Less often is YouTube credited for being a place where you can find useful videos like 'How To's' and instructional videos.
Why not consider creating, or promoting videos related to your products. If your products stand out from the crowd for whatever reason then a video might be a good way to actually demonstrate that, going above and beyond people just having to take your word for it. Create a 'Channel' and start gathering subscribers.
YouTube also has a range of functions available to allow people to share videos or to embed them on their own website. This is a great way to spread word of your business virally if your videos are interesting enough. 
Exploring the social media circuit is definitely worth the time for your ecommerce business. With a little bit of time and dedication, you could be opening up your business to whole new audiences who are keen to 'Like', 'Retweet' and 'Subscribe' to what your business has to offer.

Posted on April 06th 2011 on 11:28am
Labels: social media

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