How To Use Social Media To Grow Your Ecommerce Business


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Delivered 10/29/2009 to S. Florida chapter of this presentation talks about why you should be paying attention to social media, the impact it's expected to have on Cyber Monday, how to get started in social media and how to measure social media.

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How To Use Social Media To Grow Your Ecommerce Business

  1. 1. How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Ecommerce Business October 29, 2009
  2. 2. Agenda • Introduction • What IS Social Media? • Why Should You Care? • Diving Into Social Media • Measuring Social Media
  3. 3. Introduction • Maria Harrison – 12 year Internet industry veteran – Experience in online marketing strategies, online marketing plans, online media buying plans, web site usability, email marketing, search engine marketing, web 2.0, affiliate marketing, social media and more. – Previous Roles & Accomplishments: • Faculty for the University of San Francisco’s Masters Certificate in Internet Marketing • Vice President of Marketing, The Laredo Group • Director of Online Marketing, Interval International, an InterActive Corp (IAC) company • Interactive marketing consultant for IAC’s new business opportunity unit • Former President, South Florida Interactive Marketing Association and founding board member • Founded and operated Key Promotions, Inc., a private web consulting firm for clients such as Barbizon International Modeling, the National 3 Cancer Health Institute, Lexus and others.
  4. 4. Introduction • Currently have a personal/business presence on: – Facebook – LinkedIn – Twitter – YouTube – Blog • Target market: – B2B – B2C
  5. 5. Introduction • If you’re not participating in it, why not? • Don’t know how to • Don’t know where to start • Don’t have time
  6. 6. What IS Social Media? • Wikipedia: Social media is information content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies that is intended to facilitate communications, influence and interaction with peers and with public audiences, typically via the Internet and mobile communications networks. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. 6
  7. 7. What IS Social Media? Ok, so what does that really mean? Viral + multi-way + participatory + user generated = social media 7
  8. 8. What IS Social Media? • What it is NOT: – A replacement of direct marketing – A replacement of brand marketing – A magic bullet 8
  9. 9. Why Should You Care? • One word: IMPACT • On your industry • On your brand’s reputation • On your bottom line
  10. 10. Why Should You Care? • The conversation is happening with or without you….you need to join the party to shape the conversation. • 83% of the Internet population (ages 13 to 54) participates in social media – 47% on a weekly basis* *Knowledge Networks How People Use® Social Media report; May 2009, **
  11. 11. Why Should You Care? *Top Most Trafficked Retail, Social Networking and Review sites. Quantcast, October 2009
  12. 12. Why Should You Care? • Interactivity with your company in social media will influence traffic to your site and offline behavior as well • 50% of social network users post links to other websites and 25% link to a company, product or service* • The Nielsen Company found that 18% of searches begin on social sites • Social media is the greatest enabler ever created allowing users to share opinions, negative or positive, with millions of others in seconds. *Bresford Research, Online Social Networks, September 2009, as reported in eMarketer
  13. 13. Why Should You Care? • Black Friday is around the corner. • The economy has weakened but that doesn’t mean we’re not shopping. Historically, traffic has been increasing year over year for online retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. • The rules to capitalize on that traffic this year have changed due to social media.
  14. 14. Why Should You Care? •’s 2009 eHoliday Study found: – 47.1% of retailers will be increasing their use of social media this holiday season – More than half of those retailers said they have added or improved their Facebook pages (60.3%) and Twitter pages (58.7%) this year, and 65.6% said they have added or enhanced blogs and RSS feeds.
  15. 15. Why Should You Care? • What happens if you do nothing? If you’re not ready? If you’re not there? If you’re lagging behind? If you’re complacent?
  16. 16. Why Should You Care? • Domino’s PR Disaster • YouTube Video – 30 years to build a brand – 10 minutes to destroy it • Baptism by fire: – Quickly set up Twitter account to respond – Posted video reply on YouTube – Perfect example of where if they had been monitoring it more proactively, Domino’s might have been able to squash the video before it was so widely circulated
  17. 17. Why Should You Care? • David Carroll • United Airlines
  18. 18. Why Should You Care? • Big business success in social media • Hundreds of examples out there • Dell Outlet – $1 million in 2008 – Over $2 million as of June 2009 – Multi-account approach
  19. 19. Why Should You Care? • Small business success in social media – Beverly Hills Bakery – Sprinkles Cupcakes – Secret word of the day whispered by first 25-50 people that day get free cupcakes – 70,000 fans! – Have NEVER paid for advertising since opening 5 years ago – Rely on WOM driven by places like FB and advocates
  20. 20. Why Should You Care? • The Bottom Line: – Can cost you money – Can earn you money – Can win you points – Can lose you points
  21. 21. Diving Into Social Media • But people don’t go to social media sites to “be sold” something… *Knowledge Networks How People Use® Social Media report; May 2009, **
  22. 22. The LEARN* Approach • Listen – Chatter monitoring; timeliness is critical • Engage – Participate in the conversation • Accept – Acknowledge what is being said • Respond – Privately and publicly • Nurture – Foster an ongoing conversation 22 *Jeff Saas of
  23. 23. The Rules • 2 Rules You MUST Follow: –Be Authentic –Add Value • Best Buy’s Twelpforce –13,000 followers –20,000 Qs answered
  24. 24. Getting Started • Let’s Get Started • Gain Some Insights ― Competitors ― Similar businesses ― Businesses targeting the same audience • Choose the right social sites 24
  25. 25. Getting Started • Prioritization • The Big Three – Target audience – Twitter – Quantity of chatter – Facebook – MySpace • Other Opportunities – Blogs – YouTube – Sites Allowing Review/Comments – Others: social bookmarking sites, photo sharing sites, more! 25
  26. 26. Social Media • Who Tweets? • Over 282 million visitors last month • Skews Female – 47% Male/53% Female • Skews young adult but other segments are represented and growing: – 47%, 18-34 – 31%, 35-49 • Less Affluent – 28%, $30k-$60k – 24%, $60k-$100k 26
  27. 27. Social Media • Who uses Facebook? – Approx. 4.1 billion visits per month – 35-54 year old demographic segment not only continued to grow the fastest in the last 6 months, but it accelerated to a 276.4% growth rate over the past 6 months – It is DOUBLING in that age group every 2 months – Parents are rapidly joining Facebook – Facebook growing faster with women than men in almost every age group – Women comprise 56.2% of Facebook’s audience, up from 54.3% late last year – 45% of Facebook’s US audience is now 26 years old or older 27
  28. 28. Getting Started • Before getting started in social media, it is important to: – Define the goals of your social media strategy – Determine one thing to be passionate about in social media – Define messaging concepts • Examples of possible social media goals for an online identity theft software solution: – Building Consumer Awareness – Establishing itself as a subject matter expert in online identity theft – Driving Consumer Sales • Find your passion. Social media works best when messaging is timely and consistent. The great brands are all passionate about one thing and communicate it often such as: – Volvo = Safety – Apple = Innovation – Nordstrom = Customer Service – Disney = Magic
  29. 29. Getting Started The elevator pitch is dead. You have less than 140 characters to communicate with social media users. Messaging concepts include: –Insights about subject matter area –Recent news about subject matter area –Sales messages about product or service
  30. 30. Getting Started • On-site – Community forum and blogs – CTA to participate in off-site channels • Off-site efforts: – Participation in popular social media sites – Blogosphere – News & review sites – Video broadcasting sites – Photo sharing sites – Each of these channels offer opportunities to engage with existing and potential customers, seek out and encourage product champions, as well as improve organic search engine rankings.
  31. 31. Getting Started Off-Site • Secure vanity URLs (e.g. – – • Start participating • Develop a messaging frequency strategy • Establish a base before using the channel for promotions • Message types: – Topic awareness “Did you know….” and drive to blog – Reaction to news – Sales
  32. 32. Getting Started Off-Site • Twitter: – Follow other users already Tweeting about related topics – Twittiquette – you follow a user, they follow you back. – Seek out users already Tweeting about your subject matter area or by searching at – @replies are messages directed at a specific Twitter user but are available for the public to see much like your comments in an group conversation may be directed at one person, but all can hear you. – Direct messaging is another messaging opportunity on Twitter that allows you to communicate privately with your followers, individually. DMs are more like Tweets and less like emails
  33. 33. Getting Started Off-Site • Facebook: – On-site promotion via Facebook Fan Box – Email newsletter promotion – Inviting all business contacts of all executives – Employee promotion – Fanning and participating in other conversations about related subject matter area – Retail location promotions
  34. 34. Getting Started Off-Site
  35. 35. Getting Started Off-Site • Very specific targeting – Interests – Companies – Titles – Geography – Keywords • Users do engage with them – Recent eye tracking study shows that 65% of participants engaged with paid search results on Facebook and YouTube* • Get started at • CPC and CPM – Low cost of entry – CPC ads offer great exposure with little risk *Seeing Search Go Social: An Eye Tracking Analysis on Social Networking Sites. Oneupweb, 2009
  36. 36. Getting Started Off-Site •PING.FM –Free social networking and micro- blogging web service that enables users to post to multiple social networks simultaneously –While will allow you to push the same message to multiple social networking and micro-blogging sites automatically, it will not allow you to process certain functionality that specific social networking sites will allow such as pushing events, posts, @ replies to users or DM users from its service. Those specific activities must occur on the specific social networks that support them.
  37. 37. Getting Started Off-Site •BLOGS CAN –Be started by anyone –Destroy reputations –Move markets –Influence purchasing decisions
  38. 38. Getting Started Off-Site • THE BLOGOSPHERE – There are hundreds of bloggers actively blogging about practically every subject you can imagine – Every blog post about your business type, product or service type represents an opportunity for you to: • Leave comments regarding the blog post • Approach “super” bloggers to review/feature posts about you – • PayPerPost offers the opportunity to pay for posts about your company • While it cannot be guaranteed, most posts are typically favorable about the paying company • Posts prices range largely depending on the number of visits the blog is receiving
  39. 39. Getting Started Off-Site • TECHNORATI.COM – A real-time search engine dedicated to the blogosphere. It only searches through blogs to find exactly what you're looking for. – Tracking over 22 million sites and over a billion links – Submit your blog to Technorati. • Submissions to Technorati are called “Claim Your Blog” and are more involved than typical manual search engine submissions • Once you “claim” your blog(s) at Technorati, it will move all future posts from your blog into the high priority ranking queue at • It is also important that: – Other blogs link back to your blog since those links are considered when Technorati is ranking your blog – When you create new blog posts, tags are implemented with each post with relevant keywords
  40. 40. Getting Started Off-Site • YOUTUBE – Approx. 612 million visits per month – 50% female/50% male – Ages 18-34 represents 35% of users; ages 35-49 represents 24% of users. – 77% Caucasian – 27% earning between $60k+ per year – 52% have college and/or graduate degrees – Second largest search engine only behind Google!
  41. 41. Getting Started Off-Site • Establish a channel • Needs to be updated regularly • Opportunities for video updates include: – Newsworthy items (i.e. anything that would trigger a press release can also trigger a video posting) – New product releases – News that you’re reacting to • Subscribers need to be encouraged: – On-site – Via email communications – At by seeking out other users with an interest in related subject matter areas • Active participation on – Commenting on related video posts driving users back to your own channel – Responding to negative postings in a timely fashion
  42. 42. Getting Started Off-Site • YouTube Insights – An analytics dashboard set up by YouTube to view detailed statistics about the videos that are uploaded such as: o Number of video views o Geographic interest in videos o Demographic information about video viewers o Discovery – how viewers found your videos: – YouTube Search – Viral / Other (e.g., instant messaging and email) – External Links – Embedded Player – Google Search – Related Videos – YouTube Other (e.g. browsing through a user’s videos)
  43. 43. Getting Started Off-Site •NEWS MONITORING –Monitor news about your industry, competitors, related topics/products/services –Google Alerts are emails automatically sent to you when there are new Google results for your search terms. –Google Alerts notify you of results from Google News, Web, Blogs, Video and Groups. –FREE! –Respond to results about related topics in a timely fashion and be part of the ongoing conversation
  44. 44. Getting Started – On-Site •ON-SITE –Share This Icon persistent on all pages (including blogs) oDe facto standard visual representation for sharing content from any source to multiple destinations: over email, to bookmark, to your friends on social networks, and more every day oFREE to use and their free downloadable package includes pixel based graphics in many sizes and vector graphics in .ai, .svg, and .eps formats. –Mention of social media in all email communications and press releases –On-site blog
  45. 45. Measuring Social Media • MORE DIFFICULT THAN TRADITIONAL INTERACTIVE MEDIA – Measuring how your audience engaged with your program can be a bit intricate. – Metrics for consideration: o Fans o Followers o Tweets o Posts o Views o Channel Subscribers o Technorati ranking o Pass Alongs o Improved natural search rankings o Increased search activity o Increased direct traffic to site o Increased sales – while tracking URLs can be applied to some social media communications and directly tied to sales, most sales resulting from social media will ultimately be attributed to either search or direct site traffic, as often tracking URLs are “lost” in the social media sphere.
  46. 46. Stay Connected • For a copy of this presentation go to my blog tomorrow: – • Stay in touch: – – –