9.30.2013
Serious Stuff

Connecting Facebook & Email

Social media email integrationConnecting your email to Facebook helps you make connections, add fans, and get the word out about your business.

Did you know you can:

: Add your email signup form to any Facebook Page you administer?
: Auto-post your email campaigns to your Facebook Page or your personal profile?
: Pull in the most recent post from your Facebook Page to your email campaign?
: Add a “Like” button to your email?

Why connect Facebook & email?

1) Facebook fans may not last forever.
Remember MySpace? Exactly. With an email, you can follow your customers around the web, no matter what social network gains popularity tomorrow.

2) Facebook changes. All. The. Time.
With a Facebook Page, you become a sharecropper in Facebook’s digital space. And they’re notorious for changing the rules.

3) Connect with your fans over multiple channels.
Give your customers many ways to keep in touch with you wherever they go. This gives you one more chance to outshine the competition.

How can I make my email reach farther?

Give us a call: 918.518.6576. We’ll do a free analysis of your email and Facebook campaigns, with recommendations on how to improve.


2.27.2012
The Nerdery

Social Media Explained

Sometimes, social media can seem a little confusing.

Sure, you have the big guys, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, that everybody knows. But what about the new ones that everybody seems to suddenly be talking about, like Foursquare or Pinterest? Where do those fit in?

Well, Douglas Wray posted this picture over at Instagram, which explains social media with donuts.

Yes, this sums it up nicely.

Social Media Explained

 

Using Social Media for Business

How do I use Social Media for my business?”

We talked about this with local business owners at the Bixby Chamber Lunch & Learn this Friday.

Big thanks to everyone who came out to see us!
Remember to like Aqua Vita on Facebook!

Obviously you can’t cover everything in one hour. So we’ve gathered the Presentation Slides, Facebook Resources, Time Saving Social Media Tools, & LinkedIn Tutorials here for you to get started using Facebook and LinkedIn for your business.

Have questions? Give us a call anytime: 918.518.6576. Email works too. Have a favorite Social Media Tool you’d like to add? Let us know!


AQUA VITA PRESENTATION

Using Aqua Vita for Business: Bixby Chamber – Social Media Presentation

Using social media for business


FACEBOOK FOR BUSINESS BASICS

Disclaimer: Facebook changes things. All. The. Time. They are probably changing things right now. If any of these break, just let me know and I will update!

Learn 4 main ways to use Facebook for business: Facebook Business Basics

See how other businesses use Facebook: Facebook Business Case Studies

Build your business on Facebook: PDF: Using Facebook for Business

Build your business on Facebook Part 2: PDF: Build-Your-Business-on-Facebook
 

SET UP YOUR PAGE

How to set up a Facebook page: Facebook Page Step by Step

Ready to set up your page? START HERE

Understanding Facebook Stats: Facebook Insights
 

INVITING FANS

How to import emails and invite fans: Build Your Fans with Email

Ready to advertise on Facebook? START HERE
 

WEBSITE INTEGRATION

How to promote your Facebook Page on your Website: Like Box | Like Button

How to add social icons to your website: AddThis Social Icons
 

DEVELOPER NOTES:

How to add a custom tab to your page: Developer Notes to Create Tabs


LinkedIn Resources

Building Your Network: How to import your address book. How To get connected on LinkedIn.

Looking Good: How to edit your profile.

Making Your Company Look Good: Requirements to add/edit company information. How to add a company page.


Social Media Tools

Careful scheduling lets you plan your social media message in advance.

Hootsuite: One of the best scheduling tools for social media. Works with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, and more.

Tweetdeck: Great tool for scheduling, managing a large contact list, and joining Twitter #conversations

Sprout Social: Scheduling tool with great tracking tools to help you build your strategy.

Buffer: Drop messages in, and it automatically suggests best open times based on your follower list. Only works with Twitter right now.


9.27.2011
Serious Stuff

How can Facebook help my business?

Everyone’s talking about Facebook these days. Even my grandmother is on Facebook. But the real question for a lot of local businesses is “How can Facebook help my business?”

We talked about this with local business owners at the Jenks Chamber Business Over Breakfast this morning.

Big thanks to everyone who came out to see us!
Remember to like Aqua Vita on Facebook!

Obviously you can’t cover everything in one hour. So we’ve gathered resources & tutorials here for you to get started using Facebook for your business.

Have questions? Give us a call anytime: 918.518.6576. Email works too.
 

Disclaimer: Facebook changes things. All. The. Time. They are probably changing things right now. If any of these break, just let me know and I will update!

AQUA VITA PRESENTATION

AV Facebook for Business: Who Cares About Facebook?
 

FACEBOOK FOR BUSINESS BASICS

Learn 4 main ways to use Facebook for business: Facebook Business Basics

See how other businesses use Facebook: Facebook Business Case Studies

Build your business on Facebook: PDF: Using Facebook for Business

Build your business on Facebook Part 2: PDF: Build-Your-Business-on-Facebook
 

SET UP YOUR PAGE

How to set up a Facebook page: Facebook Page Step by Step

Ready to set up your page? START HERE

Understanding Facebook Stats: Facebook Insights
 

INVITING FANS

How to import emails and invite fans: Build Your Fans with Email

Ready to advertise on Facebook? START HERE
 

WEBSITE INTEGRATION

How to promote your Facebook Page on your Website: Like Box | Like Button

How to add social icons to your website: AddThis Social Icons
 

DEVELOPER NOTES:

How to add a custom tab to your page: Developer Notes to Create Tabs

Ecommerce Lessons: From Neuropsychology to Laptop Accessory Sales

Practical ecommerce interviewed Kathy Seigler, CEO and president of Ecommerce Superstores.

This Bowling Green, Ky.-based online retail brand has six niche online shops: CoolComputerBags.com — which was launched in 2007 — and five other specialty retail shops all launched in 2010.

They are: BackpacksSuperstore.com, TheLuggageExperts.com, YummiHandbags.com, DiaperBagsOnly.com, and WeKnowWallets.com.

From Neuropsychology to Ecommerce

Seigler started her retail business on eBay in 2006. With no previous ecommerce experience a background as a neuropsychologist. After about 6 months of selling on eBay, she identified a marketplace niche for laptop bags and launched CoolComputerBags.com in late 2007. In 2010, CoolComputerBags.com recorded gross revenues of roughly $815,000.

“Each of our now six sites specialize in a single product category,” Seigler says. “And all of the sites share the same navigation, functionality and shopping cart. The sites are also color coded, which differentiates each one, but all with the same template. We are still experimenting with our design and testing to see which converts best.”

Biggest Mistakes

“Where to begin? My first mistake was not being educated enough about the ecommerce industry as a whole. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but sometimes that’s the best way to start. Experience is the only way to learn.

“My second biggest mistake was trying to grow too fast too soon. Grow gradually and make sure spending is in line with revenue.

“Which brings me to my third biggest mistake: return on investment. Do not do things because they are ‘industry standard.’ Unless you see a measurable return on your investment, whether it is in marketing or staffing or inventory management — make sure it is paying for itself.

“Another big mistake I made was not having a fool-proof methodology for product upload. This is probably the single most costly error you can make in ecommerce. In the past 4 years I’ve made more mistakes than not. But I keep trying and my persistence will hopefully pay off. If not, I’ll write a bestseller about what to do when starting an online business.”

Biggest Successes

“Our biggest success is having a number one ranking in Google for the most relevant terms related to CoolComputerBags.com. I’m also very proud of being selected as one of the ‘Hot 100 Best Retail Websites’ by Internet Retailer.”

Best Advice

“Watch every single penny and be careful not to get sold on the latest thing that is promised to increase sales, traffic or conversion. Also, surround yourself with excellent people who lift you up every day professionally and personally. Life’s too short not to.”

Orders, Inventory and Shipping

“We work with about 60 different suppliers currently. We stock some inventory as well as work with vendors that drop ship.”

“To manage the entire inventory for so many different stores, we have a nice piece of software that allows the vendors to manage inventory themselves. It is a third party extension specifically developed for Magento. For those vendors who choose not to do that, they email us when items are out of stock and our inventory manager is responsible for updating it.

“We have an RSS feed that tells us when we are running low on stock. We only stock the minimum for products that sell through slowly. It’s a very difficult thing to balance, especially during the holidays.

“Our average [shipping] cost-per-parcel is about $9. Drop ship vendors receive email notifications that also include a packing slip and a shipping label. The software does have the ability to be automated, but we manually review each order ourselves before sending them to the vendors for the sake of accuracy and so we can stay on top of our orders and customer’s needs.”

Caring Customer Service

“On the customer service end of things, we have a fantastic lady, DeAnna Roberts, who takes phone calls and replies to emails. I manage live chat myself and I really enjoy it. I’m proud to say that we do not have very many instances where customers are unhappy. In those times when we have messed up royally, we tell the customer we will do whatever it takes to make them happy — then, we do it.

“I’ve gone so far as to send flowers to a customer who we forgot to refund for about 6 months. We also send $5 Starbucks cards and personal notes to customers when we are at fault.”

PPC Marketing Experiment

“Our marketing strategy varies. We lost a lot of money last year trying pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. We never arrived at a profitable result. We lost about $50,000 in just three months. I would not advise anyone to attempt PPC unless they have about $100,000 to spend ‘testing’ it.”

Aqua Vita PPC Note: Testing is key. When you are starting out, don’t bid for the number one spot. Watch your keyword bids and total expenditures like a hawk.

Cull keywords that do not result in conversions or email sign-ups. If a keyword group gets too competitive and expensive for you to make a profit,  drop your bid prices so you aren’t competing with the big fish in that pond.

Think maximum ROI for each click you pay for.  Make sure you push email sign-ups to get PPC visitors into your marketing list. That way you get more than one opportunity to market to these expensive visitors.

Facebook and Twitter for Ecommerce

“As far as Facebook and Twitter go, we post our email campaigns, special offers and have contests. We also have the ability for customers to share on every product page.

“But to be honest I still haven’t figured out yet how to leverage Facebook and Twitter to increase sales. We are considering an extension that allows us to sell on Facebook directly called ‘Facebook Shopializable.’ And I’m very keen on having an ‘incentive to Like’ functionality.

“I think the genius of social media is if a business comes up with something revolutionary, like Groupon did. That’s something people really want to talk about and it spreads like wildfire. Otherwise, you are a nameless face in a sea of millions on Facebook”

“The reason I think it’s important, however, is for rankings. It’s no secret that Google has incorporated the Facebook ‘Likes’ into its algorithm, which makes a lot of sense. Word on the street is that ‘Likes’ will eventually replace ‘links.’”

Get the full story and more ecommerce tips at Practical ecommerce.