Saturday, February 23, 2008

Social Networking for Your Business

First off, what is social networking? And how does it involve our business?

From wikipedia:
Social networks connect people at low cost; this can be beneficial for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand their contact base. These networks often act as a customer relationship management tool for companies selling products and services. Companies can also use social networks for advertising in the form of banners and text ads. Since businesses operate globally, social networks can make it easier to keep in touch with contacts around the world.

This is easier said than done though. New social networking sites are popping up on a daily basis. Just this week, I was introduced to Qassia. But as many online small business sellers, I also battle with time contraints and the confusion as what sites are the best. Which ones will bring me not only the traffic but potential customers and sales?

I came across this link to the Top 100 Social Marketing Sites. I figure if I am going to create a worthwhile social marketing campaign, I should focus on the more popular sites and provide a quality effort instead of hundreds of thrown together social pages scattered throughout the web.

One of the easiest ones I have been able to create and keep up with on a regular base that has provided me with steady traffic and sales has been Squidoo. I only have three lenses and one group but I have found it very easy to go in and update the content and links each month.

Another good article that helped me prioritize and focus on social marketing was this article from SiteProNews, "How To Start A
Social Marketing Campaign" by Jack Humphrey
. I also found the author's website, Friday Traffic Report, to be absolutely LOADED with important and useful information complete with video tutorials!

This is by no means a complete how-to on social networking and marketing your online business but visit the links and you'll be off to a good start.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ebay Boycott Week is Winding Down...who is Victorious?

As most of you might know, this past week Ebay buyers and sellers have been boycotting in protest to the many recent announcements of changes. Although the numbers at Ebay have fluctuated up and down all week long, I believe the true impact to be what the numbers can't tell you.

Who is Victorious? I believe the victory this week belongs to the many buyers and sellers who have not only boycotted Ebay but have actually started to buy and sell at other alternative sites, such as Ecrater and Ebid. They have cut the apron strings from the "Big Bad Bay" and gone out on their own.

I had read post after post on such forums as PowerSellers Unite and Ecrater, from sellers AND buyers alike; sellers who have either moved their products to another site or created their own website and buyers who have searched and bought products from sites for the 1st time. Alternative sites, have seen their sites grow 3x's their size in this week. These people, my friends, are the real winners. They are the VICTORIOUS!

I have had buyers email me after they bought my product, telling me how happy they were to find what they were looking for, WITHOUT having to look at Ebay.

I have shared stories with other sellers. At the beginning of the week, I listening to their fears, hearing the uncertainty in their future. By the end of the week, many of them were already receiving sales in their new "habitat", their tone was a sigh of relief, their conclusion..Yes, it can be done. There is life after eBay!

On the short term it does not seem like the boycott has impacted ebay at all. But Ebay better be careful on their shrug of the shoulders attitude because the effects of Ebay's new business module, is still yet to be felt. Those who haven't jumped ship, are waiting until May. Those who already have, are taking their customer base with them. It shall be a long year for Ebay...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Champs: New York Giants

Born and bred in New York, I watched last night's Super Bowl game in excited anticipation. It was a definate nail-biter with alot of yelling at the TV in my household. Kudos to the NY Giants for pulling off what most critics and fans thought was impossible.

How great it was to see Eli Manning prove himself the quarterback he is and become more than just Peyton Manning's little brother. How great it was to see the Giants come together and win the Super Bowl as a team.

Poor Patriots went sulking away last night. Brady's cool demeanor become undone. It was time for the Patriots to step down for the limelight and it was done by the only team this season that gave New England a reason to worry.

Well done New York Giants from an appreciating New York fan!

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