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Internet Marketing Promotion

May 2010 Issue --> Internet Marketing Promotion Article
 
How to Improve Your E-commerce Businesses Through Social Media
 
By: Daniela Badalan

As social media use is increasing at an incredibly fast pace lately, more and more ecommerce businesses are investing time in learning how to add social media marketing to their existing marketing mix. It is not just about search engine optimization nowadays, but also about social networking! The best way a business can keep their customers and gain others is by always being where they are. And if they are now spending their time on online communities, then that's where the business should also be. However, since creating and maintaining an online reputation is not an easy thing to do, we have put together some basic techniques an e-commerce business should follow.

1. Find Out Where Your Customers Are!

As mentioned above, this is the principle that should guide your actions: finding out where your customers are and create a strong presence there. Using the right channel is of great importance. But for that, one needs to find where the customers are first. You can do this by:

- using existing statistics from social networks (Facebook, Twitter),

- carrying out a short survey among existing customers,

- using research conducted by third-party firms.

2. Monitor Your Competition!

As with all marketing strategies, an important step is keeping an eye on your competition. Find out where they are, what they are doing and how they are doing it. This would help you in choosing your strategy as well as give you an advantage in how to differentiate yourself from competition.

3. Promote Exclusive Special Offers Through Social Media!

People love freebies and special offers! No matter how large or small they are, everyone loves discounts. Develop a special offers plan exclusively for customers who are on social media. Word of mouth is always of great help, so if one customer got a discount because he was your fan on Facebook, he will most likely recommend you to his friends.

4. Don't Push Your Promotions!

Although it is highly recommendable to use special offers exclusively for social media, do not try too much to push your products and promotions to your audience. Make sure your presence doesn't only rely on promoting your business. You need to keep you customers engaged; they need to find interesting posts on your profile to keep them coming back. Try including a blog about the industry in which your business is operating. Give people interesting news and tips from that industry. Post photos, videos and even contests that would require your customers to be innovative and creative. Make them have fun when they visit your profile.

5. Monitor Mentions of Your Company!

Once you have created an online presence, make sure you maintain it. Monitor mentions of your company across social media. Listening is an essential step of social media. Find out what your customers like about your brand and what they don't.

6. Add a Retweet/Sharing Buttons to Your Website Content!

Being on social media sites is not enough; you need to integrate the new marketing mix into your website as well. Make the content on your website easier to share by adding a retweet button plus buttons for other important social media sites, for all your products' descriptions.

7. Make Video Part of Your Social Media Strategy!

One of the most spectacular growths recently was made by the importance of videos. Include videos in your social media strategy, both on your social media profiles and on your website. Promote your products with videos on YouTube and other similar video sharing communities. Add videos that demonstrate the use of your products on the website and make that one shareable as well by adding social bookmarking buttons.

8. Add Your Social Media Profile Links Everywhere!

Once you have created an online presence on most important social networking sites (Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, Bebo, LinkedIn), make sure you spread the word that you are there. Add a link to your social media profiles on your website, on your business card, in your email signature etc.

9. Sell Products Through Social Networks!

Some social networks allow you to use online store applications. This way, you can just shop from Facebook for example. You just add another tab to your profile and all your fans will easily be able to buy your products without going to your website.

10. Ask Your Customers' Opinion!

Most people are not only willing to give their feedback through a review, but love giving their opinion. It shows that they are important for you, that you are actually considering their feedback. Therefore, a review section where they can rate products or add a comment is very important. That should be on both your website as well as on your social media profiles.

In a nutshell, these are some of the techniques we would recommend an e-commerce business to follow when integrating social media to their online marketing strategy. If you would like to add more techniques to our list of search engine marketing techniques or would just like to share with us your thoughts on this topic, we would love to hear it!


About the Author:

SysComm International is a social networking company,online reputation management, search engine optimisation and search engine marketing company.
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