Some Ins and Outs of Ecommerce

 

Ecommerce_Aug14Are you a business owner? It’s pretty likely that if you’ve found this blog, you have some kind of interest in ecommerce. Whether you have your own business, work for one, or have ambitions of starting one, knowing the ins and outs of ecommerce is crucial. Even if you’re just an avid online shopper, knowing the goals and ideals of ecommerce is good!

There are many, many different platforms for ecommerce. In the past, most online purchasing went directly through a company’s website. Now, there are so many different selling models and platforms, it’s kind of amazing. There are micro-ecommerce type sites like Etsy, where anyone can open a small shop. There are the ecommerce giants like Ebay and Amazon. Then there are niche sites, group deal sites…the possibilities are endless.

So what are some ways to stand out in the vast world of ecommerce? Here are a few tips:

  • Use your budget on marketing. Rather than spending a fortune to build a custom ecommerce store, consider using one of the many pre-fab ecommerce platforms that are available. They are generally a fraction of the cost and just as effective as building your own from scratch. This can also tie in with any digital marketing campaigns, making it a seamless transition from advertising to selling.
  • Use social media. I know, I know, we talk endlessly about social media and its power with consumers. But you know why? Because it works! Leverage social media for advertising. It’s free (or cheap, if you want to utilize paid advertising) and it’s so easy to use. No one can deny that social media is easily the most far reaching method of marketing that we have.
  • Focus on customer service. Sometimes, customer service can be lost in the fray when it comes to ecommerce. As with in-person stores and sales, the customer always has to come first. Great customer service keeps consumers coming back, as well as drives positive reviews and word of mouth marketing.
  • Evolve. We can take a lesson from media and sales giant Amazon on this one. Amazon has proven immensely successful at both sales and marketing. Recently, they raised the price of their Prime membership from $79/year to $99/year. Instead of backlash, their loyal customers and just about everyone else praised their services and said they are more than willing to pay the new, higher price. And you know what? Amazon continues to thrive, and has even added a new music streaming service.

With these tips you’ll be on your way to standing out in the ecommerce world.

Do you have any tips you would like to share?

(Photo Source)

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

How Social Networking Sites Can Help Students to Study for a Test

 

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Over the last decade, social media has become an important means of communication, particularly for young people. In early 2013 social media giant Facebook reported that it had exceeded a billion monthly users, most of whom accessed the site through smartphones or mobile devices at least some of the time.

Facebook and other social media platforms are an integral part of how today’s students express themselves, organise their schedules and communicate with their friends. However, despite appearances, social media isn’t just for entertainment; social networking has educational applications, including helping students study for exams. A 2012 survey conducted by Online Colleges determined that two thirds of faculty members surveyed had used social media in the classroom. Here are just a few of the ways in which social media can help students with their studies. 

Organisation

One application of social media in the seminar room is scheduling: educators can create class Facebook pages which host announcements of upcoming assignments and deadlines, and a course Twitter feed can provide students with up-to-the-minute information on classwork and other relevant events. Creating social media spaces for courses also allows students to talk to one another about their work, which can be extremely useful when a test is looming.

Communication

Outside of class, most students who discuss work probably do so face-to-face, by email or using other person-to-person methods. This can result in a situation familiar to many teachers: the most enthusiastic students pull away from their peers, reinforcing one another’s success and leaving students who are struggling behind. 

Using social media for class communication opens up class discussion to include all students – and possibly teachers as well. Students can use Twitter or Facebook accounts to talk about what they’ve learned in class, asking questions and providing each other with assistance. Dr Rosie Miles, Senior Lecturer in English, has even experimented with new methods of discussion online by asking her students to tweet ‘in character’ as characters from works of Victorian and Edwardian literature. For those who require more unconventional methods to help them revise, activities such as this can be of great benefit.

Resources

Educators who reported using social media often used it to provide materials students could both study in class and continue to use at home, which is often the case for those studying for a postgraduate degree. For example, video sharing sites like YouTube allow students to watch documentaries, scientific demonstrations, historical footage and more. A one-line link in a social media post can connect the student to this resource, something that would have been impractical prior to the advent of social media. Students can then discuss their thoughts or ask their peers questions by leaving replies under the link, which can be a fantastic way to expand on ideas prior to an exam. Other useful tools for this kind of task include photo-sharing services such as Flickr.

There are also thousands of blogs and social feeds that exist for many subjects and are excellent for bolstering existing learning. For example, museum accounts on Tumblr provide links to virtual collections, while science vlogs give experimental demonstrations that might be outside a class’s budget. A class social media feed allows teachers and students to quickly share links to these resources. Sites such as Tumblr or Pinterest make it easy for multiple contributors to share items to a single group space.

Drawbacks

Like all technology, social media is not without its disadvantages. Some educators feel that social media messages can’t convey the complexity students need to master a subject. Academics Emma Rich and Andy Miah organised a Twitter seminar for students in February 2013; while successful, they worried that tweets had a tendency to oversimplify complex debates and that students would be unwilling to speak up in a public online environment.

Despite this, the numerous successful uses of social media in the classroom have already shown that it can be a useful tool for students both in lessons and while studying for a test. Getting the most out of social media requires a little extra work from educators and students alike, but the potential for improved communication and ease of research is well worth the perseverance.

 

Henry Marshall is an Information Technology teacher at a secondary school, with an interest in blogging, social media and it’s use in education.

Update Your Way To A Successful Psychological Social Marketing Strategy

 

A successful social marketing strategy comes with a lot of extensions.  One part of this is in the social updates, you know, the time when you publish your blog posts to different social media accounts and pray to God it goes viral.

However, a successful social marketing plan can come with you actually being prepared in your updating! Just like engaging, interacting, and getting people to follow you, the social update is it’s own strategy in itself and can determine whether or not people will see your update when the time comes.Social Marketing Strategy

I’m reminded of something one of my friends said, “Lick it, throw it against the wall, and hope it sticks!” (I can’t remember what he was referring too, probably something dirty, but this example will suffice for now).

This example works because as I browse through people’s updates, it looks as though this is exactly what people are doing. They are throwing up any old text and attaching their blog link to it and hope that it works!

Have you ever done that before?

Sure you have, we all have at one point or another! But there is a strategy when it comes to this “arm” of social marketing that you can do to improve your results in social media.

Using Psychology in Social Marketing

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, then you will know that I have been deeply researching the psychology of social media marketing as of late and have uncovered some explosive results that have catapulted my experiences, and my clients, 100-fold.

Think about it. When people that are involved in business log on to social media they usually scroll through the updates until to they get to either someone they know, or something that catches their attention. I find myself doing it all the time. Subconsciously, you are unaware of everything around you due to a thing called reticular formation.

This is a thing located at the base of the brain, and it’s main function is to discriminate against irrelevant background stimuli. For example, someone could be living next to a set of train tracks and said train could come blasting through in the middle of the night and that person, since they were accustomed to the noise, never noticed it and didn’t wake up. On the other hand, that same person could be jerked awake in the middle of a sound sleep when an unfamiliar noise comes from the living room.

Reticular formation is important in social media.

These people are missing your updates because you haven’t said or done anything that will “jolt” them out of thinking that you are irrelevant.

What can jolt them out? Colors in updates and knowing what cognitive recognition is in social marketing too can really help to drive them to your site.

Have you ever really sat down and scrutinized what you’re writing in your updates? It makes a difference! Certain words are more catching to the eye than others. This is something that I discuss in my ebook Psychological Success in Social Media.

A Few Words That Don’t Work:

  • Check this out
  • Re-typing the title
  • Adjectives such as “Interesting” and “Amazing”– Let me explain this one: when you say that something is amazing, then you’re taking away that person’s ability to judge for themselves and therefore causing an emotional wall to go up in their heads and deem the post irrelevant.

Let me re-iterate, while these may work with your fans and followers, the point is getting people that don’t know you to act on your update, engage it, share, and visit your blog!

Emotion & Social Marketing

Emotion is another psychological tool that you can use that will drive traffic to your site. Whether you know it or not, you are creating some sort of emotion in your update with a reader…even if it’s boredom, they are feeling something so it’s important to take a close look at how you’re displaying your writing along with your blog post.

One emotion that never fails is the Hope For Gain/Fear of Loss emotion in social marketing. Have you ever seen those squeeze pages that promise tons of money, telling you a sad story of how they used to be “just like you” with no money until they started doing such and such?

Sure you have! And just like me, you’ve probably spent more money than you care to admit on pages like this because you were drawn in through your emotions. You didn’t know the person, but for some reason you trusted them and you spent money.

For a split second you experienced the “Hope for Gain/Fear of Loss” emotion that most internet marketers use in squeeze pages. You had a hope that this would work for you. Even though you knew deep down that it was probably a scam, there was a small hope inside of you that this person was telling the truth so you went for it!

These types of emotions are harder to pull out of a person in a social marketing update. Simply because your update is better when it’s shorter. However, there is still ways to create this emotion with a few words.

People hate to be left out. They also want to know everything there is to know about whatever it is they’re doing. Tell them they’re doing it wrong and you know how to fix it is one way to create a fear of loss emotion. Telling people that something is almost gone will also bring them in as well. For example, I’m doing a contest that’s almost over at my blog for a free Twitter marketing tool. Even though the contest had 20-some days left in it, I mentioned that the contest was “almost over” and they came flocking in droves for fear of being left out.

Look at your social marketing update

From now on, don’t just throw any old thing up there and “hope it sticks”! Create a strategy that will improve your interactions and engagements in your social updates and you will start seeing a more positive reaction from people you’ve never heard of before!

The social marketing strategy doesn’t stop at building fans and followers. It doesn’t stop at all! Keep it going by demonstrating the perfect update that will keep people sharing and visiting long after you’ve posted it!

 

Wade is an internet marketer and a professional social media marketer. Wade loves helping people make money with their blogs and he is the founder and creator of BloggersMakeMoney. Check out Wade’s new ebook, The “WOW” Factor: Psychological Success in Social Media on how you produce an emotion from the reader every time you update.