If you are just starting an ecommerce business, you might find a few tips to help you get off the ground helpful.
Starting an ecommerce business is much easier, faster and less costly than launching a traditional brick and mortar business. In many ways, the principles of sales and business are the same, and in many other ways, an ecommerce business is vastly different than a traditional business.
Here are 7 basic tips to help you with your ecommerce start-up:
1. Your domain name is one of the most important things about your ecommerce business! Choose a name that describes what you sell, incorporates some of your best keywords, and is short and very simple to brand.
2. Keyword research is essential! Take the time to research and find the very best keywords for your products and niche. Remember that with an online business, being found by the search engines is crucial to your success.
3. Use best SEO practices when building your website! This means using your main keywords in page headers, page files, content, within text links, anchor text, alt tags, image titles, and more.
4. Use good website design principles. This means using harmonious colors with text that is easy on the eyes. Research has shown that dark text on a light background is best for the human eye. Avoid flash and a jangling clash of colors, fonts and content that is too long or crowded onto the web page.
5. When using social media marketing and display ads on websites, target your consumer audience for best results. For example, Friendster and Bebo are predominantly younger people. So, if you are selling products mainly in use by senior citizens, you need to go somewhere else for marketing.
6. Make your checkout process as quick and easy as possible. If it is too involved with too many detailed steps, you will lose a lot of sales! Only get the information that you need to make the sale, anything else like an opt-in for your email marketing subscription list can come after the purchase has been made.
7. Display trust and safety symbols prominently! One of the biggest factors in making or losing an online sale is trust. You must let customers know that your website is safe and secure.
There are plenty of other things you will need to do, but just observing these simple rules will help you get your home dropshipping business or other ecommerce enterprise off to a flying start!
If you liked this article, you may also like this one:
Start your own online dropship business today!
If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur with an online dropshipping business or other internet enterprise, you may have invested time in social media marketing but failed to get the results you hoped for, and consequently are ready to throw in the towel and forget social media as a way to build your business.
Don’t be too hasty!
There are reasons why your social media strategy might not have been successful so far, and fixes for these failures/
Here are 5 reasons why some marketers are not successful with social media marketing:
1. Targeting the wrong demographic: This is a fairly common mistake made by a lot of entrepreneurs. There are quite a few popular social sites, but they are not all created equal in terms of having members who represent your ideal target market. For example, Bebo is comprised mainly of young people. If you are selling a product geared for a more mature consumer, investing time in social marketing here is a bad move.
2. Failure to use good SEO: Search Engine Optimization is crucial, and this rule applies to social media marketing as well as your ecommerce website. You should make sure to use best SEO practices on your Twitter profile, your Facebook page, LinkedIn or any other social site you are using for marketing.
3. Your content and contributions were substandard: To be successful with social media marketing, you must engage with your audience. And this requires you to be engaging with fresh, interesting content. You can’t just login and blab out any old thing just for the sake of putting in an appearance on the social site and expect to get good results. Create rich, compelling content and it will pay off for you!
4. You came across as shady and untrustworthy: If you plaster your website with ads and shady looking links, most people will hit the back button. In order to optimize your social media marketing efforts, your website should be professional looking and display trust and security symbols prominently.
5. You spread yourself too thin: This is another fairly common area of failure for social media marketers. Trying to cover too many bases and engage in marketing campaigns at too many sites is never a good idea. Basically, unless you are willing to work 20 hours a day at it, you are setting yourself up to fail. It’s better to choose one or two social sites and focus on them than to skip and hop around from one to another, not doing a good job on any of them.
If your social networking hasn’t been up to your expectations, you might be able to recognize what you’re doing wrong and fix it!
Facebook has over 500 million users and is still growing at an extremely fast rate as people all over the world become members of this popular social site, and is an excellent platform for your social media marketing efforts!
There are several great ways to leverage the power of Facebook to build your brand and promote your home dropshipping business.
Here are some suggestions as to how you can use Facebook effectively to grow your online business:
Have a Facebook Fan Page: This is one of the easiest and most effective means of using Facebook for social media marketing! You can get really creative with your Fan page, and be sure to use good SEO because this will help your Fan page get picked up by the search engines.
Use Payvment to sell your products on Facebook: Payvment is a fantastic FREE way to increase your online sales! It couldn’t be any easier to set up and run, and with 500 million potential customers, the traffic is certainly there for you.
Be sure to include links: Take advantage of your Facebook presence to link to your website and blog, and vice versa. This will help tremendously in creating a flow of fresh traffic for you.
Have a contest or promotion: This is a great way to put your Facebook Fan Page to good use! There are very few people who don’t like a freebie or contest, and you can generate a lot of good PR plus boost traffic to your online store.
According to a recent study by ComScore, Facebook accounts for more than 40% of the total social media traffic.
Bear in mind that many social media analysts predict this percentage to increase, and you can easily see why your business needs to be there.
Facebook is focusing more and more on ecommerce, and the integration of ecommerce and social media is basically a done deal that will continue to grow as time goes on.
If you aren’t already using Facebook as part of your social media marketing tools, don’t waste any more time!
If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur, you are hopefully using social media marketing, and it might be quite beneficial to you to stop, step back, and evaluate your efforts and strategies to see how well things are working for you.
Anyone who still doesn’t believe that social media is the wave of the future needs to join the rest of us in the 21st century!
Social media is not a flash in the pan or a passing fad. It’s big, it’s powerful, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.
If you are already leveraging the awesome power of social media, here are some tips to help you evaluate how well your efforts are paying off:
- Are you furnishing information and messages that your target market is interested in? Each niche has its own demographics, at least to some extent. In order to optimize the effectiveness of your social media presence, you should be gearing your efforts toward your own particular niche. Otherwise, it would be akin to setting up a Hawaiian Ice stand at the North Pole. No matter how tasty and delicious your slushies might be, it is doubtful you would get many customers up there.
- Are you on the right social sites? Again, the social communities you should be frequenting for your marketing efforts should reflect your niche market audience. For example, if your online dropship sales website sells Depends and other like products usually best suited for a more mature audience, you would probably be wasting your time on Bebo, where the demographics are mostly teens and young adults.
- Are you paying attention to what others are saying to you? Social media can be immensely helpful in allowing you to keep your finger on the pulse of your potential or existing customers who interact with you IF you listen when they speak! Some of these folks might have a valid complaint about your product or website—or a suggestion for improvement—that it would behoove you to listen and act on.
Social media marketing is a wonderful, free way to build your brand and promote your online business!
While there is no doubt whatsoever that you should be leveraging the awesome power of social media, you probably are challenged about finding the time to fit your marketing efforts into a busy day crammed with numerous other things that need to be done.
Here are 5 steps that will help you streamline your social media marketing efforts:
1. Make the most of your multimedia: If you have images and videos for your online business, which hopefully you do, don’t overlook any opportunity to incorporate these things into your social media presence. For example, imbed your videos into your blog and on Facebook using the YouTube Box. You can also feed images from Flickr into your Facebook using the My Flickr app.
2. Save time by feeding a post into multiple social channels by using Ping.fm. It’s free and it is a huge timesaver for you!
3. Get your blog posts out there to reach more people by using a feed burner such as Feedburner.com. This is a 100% free service and will work wonders to maximize your blog! Feed your blog to your Facebook page and other social sites when possible. Twitter, with its 140 character limit, is not an ideal platform for your average blog posts, but you can practice some micro-blogging.
4. Maximize your social web presence by integrating your social media tools. For instance, if you plan on hosting a free webinar, use Facebook’s application that will allow you to post your social event calendar. How you integrate and which tools and apps you will use depends on your niche to some extent, but if you look around through the existing apps on your social sites, you will find some that are useful for your business.
5. Use one of the free services available online to help get the stats on your social media marketing ROI, or Return on Investment. There are a slew of these services to be had, and Google Analytics is one of the best!
These 5 simple steps will enable you to streamline your social media marketing efforts!
If you have a home dropshipping business or other ecommerce enterprise, you should think about using one or more of the free tools available online to monitor your internet reputation.
As the old saying goes: Bad news travels like wildfire, good news travels slow.
Rest assured that at some point, people will be talking about your business and/or products online. It is vital that you keep an ear to the ground to hear what is being said—the good, the bad and the ugly.
By staying abreast of the current buzz about your business, you can practice a lot of damage control if necessary, as well as get in some great public relations by demonstrating that you do listen to what your customers are saying about you and that you are responsive to whatever is being said.
Even if there is a complaint about your business or product, by addressing the matter promptly and taking the necessary steps to solve the problem for a customer, others will see that you are trustworthy.
Being trustworthy is a big part of the battle in internet transactions!
Here are two FREE tools that will help you to monitor your online reputation:
- Social Mention: From the website: “Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.”
- Addict-o-matic: This handy tool allows you to keep up with what is being said about you, plus gives you the buzz on everybody else! It’s a great way to monitor your own online reputation as well as see what is being said about the competition, and also keep up with the hottest topics online.
These free tools will be invaluable to you when it comes to keeping a close eye on your online reputation!
While social media marketing is actually a slow process that requires time, patience, persistence, commitment and diligence over the long haul, it is gratifying to know that there are a few things you can do that will bring you some fast ROI, or Return On Investment.
Here are some tips for social media marketing strategies geared toward fast results in terms of increased traffic and sales:
- If you don’t already have a blog for your ecommerce business—don’t put it off another day! Get a blog set up and begin posting entertaining, interesting, informative articles that will generate some buzz and interest within your niche. Make your blog posts share worthy and the rest will take care of itself. As more people share and pass along your blog articles, you will see an immediate increase in traffic to your website.
- If you have not already signed up for one of the free services available on the World Wide Web that help you streamline and integrate your social media presence across all platforms you are using—do it now! One very handy service is Ping.fm. Check it out and save yourself a lot of time and hassle, plus boost your exposure so that you get results soonest!
- Don’t ignore your audience! Be it a business blog, your Facebook Fan page or Wall, a Twitter tweet or whatever—never ignore people who reach out to you. If someone posts a comment on your blog, or asks a question; be sure to reply as promptly as possible. For one thing, if this person is a potential customer, what impression do you think it will make if you simply ignore them? Wouldn’t they have reason to be skeptical of your customer service if they did business with you? Sure they would! So, always reply when someone “speaks” to you online!
These three little things can help net you instant gratification with social media marketing by boosting traffic and sales!
Twitter is one of the most popular social media sites, and can be immensely advantageous in helping you build your brand and promote your ecommerce business.
It’s hard to imagine that messages as short as the 140 characters you are allowed in Twitter tweets can actually do you much good, but the fact is that they can, and do, when you go about it the right way!
Here are some tips that will assist you in building your brand and developing brand loyalty:
- If you don’t already have a business logo, you should set about getting one that reflects the nature of your ecommerce business. Branding is much easier if you have a distinctive logo that people will remember over time and associate with your business. Use this logo on your Twitter profile! It gives you an easily recognizable brand, plus it lends authenticity to your presence on Twitter.
- Use some of the free tools available on the internet that will allow you to track the buzz about your brand. This is a great way to monitor your progress in building your brand, plus it furnishes an early warning if there is less than favorable talk about your business circulating on Twitter.
- Create and maintain a great profile on Twitter. Make it professional, yet friendly and approachable. Make it clear exactly what your business is all about. Be sure to have a link to your ecommerce website on your Twitter profile!
- To make your brand memorable, always be sure to post great tweets! Don’t be afraid to infuse some humor along the way. People respond favorably to things that make them smile! Also, make a giant effort to only tweet about things that are of value in some way to others. It might be something educational or entertaining, or an interesting tidbit that correlates somehow with your industry. The main thing is to not tweet just for the sake of tweeting. This is a good way to lose followers you want to keep.
With a little time and effort, you can use Twitter to build your brand and grow your online dropship business!
If you have dabbled in social media marketing with success, but would like to become an expert, what should you do?
First of all, regardless of how complicated and overwhelming the whole process of social media marketing might sound, it isn’t anything that can’t be mastered if you apply yourself and follow a few basic rules.
Even if you don’t become a Marketing Master and a true expert at social media, you can do well enough to reap rich dividends for your ecommerce business!
Here are some tips for mastering the mores of social media marketing:
- Regardless of how much you may think you’ve already learned about social media marketing, this educational process must be an ongoing thing. You should allot a certain amount of time at least every week to catching up on all the latest and greatest developments in the world of social media. If you want to stay on the cutting edge and keep pace with your competition, make it a point to continually add to your knowledge of social media marketing.
- Experiment! Don’t be afraid to try new techniques and strategies in social media marketing. It’s unrealistic to expect your marketing efforts to be perfection, because that won’t happen. But, only by striving for perfection and constantly trying to improve on your marketing skills and techniques will you be the very best you can be.
- Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help or suggestions from true experts in the field of social media marketing. These people are all active on the major social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to include them in those that you follow, and pick their brains for useful tidbits of advice that will help you in your own social media marketing efforts.
- Be actively involved in the social sites you join. You can’t sit on the sidelines, you need to get in on the action! Once you have been on a social site long enough to understand its own etiquette and rules for behavior, start making an effort to contribute something of value to the community on a frequent and regular basis. The more you do this, the better you will become at social media marketing. Remember, practice makes perfect!
Practice these unwritten rules for social media marketing to grow your home dropshipping business or other online endeavor, and you may find yourself a social media guru someday!
Twitter is an exceedingly effective social media marketing tool for your ecommerce business!
Here are 10 timely Twitter tips for social media marketing:
1. Use the free tools available online to help you locate Twitter users relevant to your business. One very useful free service is Twitter Search.
2. When you are asking others to retweet, be sure to leave a minimum of 15 characters free so that other people will have room in their 140 character limit tweet for a retweet, so that your original message doesn’t require being shortened.
3. Don’t try to spend all of your Twitter time in one lump sum. In other words, instead of working for 30 minutes straight exclusively in Twitter, break the time up into small increments throughout the day.
4. Use TwitterBar, which is a tool that will allow you to tweet right from the address in your internet browser. TwitterBar is free, but the developer does appreciate a donation.
5. If you want to get retweeted, contribute something of value! Tweet something that is interesting, informative, education and/or entertaining if you want others to retweet what you have to say.
6. If you want to build relationships with people who seem to value what you have to say, follow those who retweet your Twitter messages.
7. If you have a business blog, which hopefully you do, be sure to tweet one of your blog posts every day. You do want to be sure that it is a blog post worth sharing, of course.
8. If you want your tweets to be shared, just ask! Ask others to retweet your posts simply by saying “Please RT” at the end of your tweet. Again, same as the blog posts, make sure it’s something worthy of retweeting.
9. In order to manage your time spent in social media marketing wisely, use a service such as HootSuite if you have multiple Twitter accounts.
10. You need to know who is talking about you, and where, so set up a free service that will listen and keep an ear to the ground for any and all about your business. TweetBeep is one such free service that is great for a busy entrepreneur.
Using these 10 tips for Twitter marketing can help build your online dropship sales or other ecommerce ventures.