It is one thing building a website and quite another getting it to work for you. The children of the earth, you and your customers, see countless websites everyday and regardless of what you show and tell them, they already have a fully formed idea of how a website should be. You MUST, therefore, make the best first impression you possibly can.
The following, transcribed from mysterious stone carvings, is a simple guide to make sure that you get the best possible Genesis for your e-commerce website, from its design and layout to your sales and continued marketing, to give you the best possible chance of e-commerce success, to make sure you do not find yourself wandering in the wilderness. As Moses guided his children out of Egypt, we too shall guide you… Go forth and be prosperous!
1. Thou shalt ALWAYS think like your consumers. You are a consumer as well, so you know just how important it is to be able to easily locate the product you are looking for when shopping online. Organize your site into relevant categories and put your products in more than just one category, so that there is more than only one way for a consumer to find what they are looking for.
2. Thou shalt use really good photos to illustrate your products and keep the photo headlines brief. A photo can tell a consumer a lot about a product instantly and it has been proven that most consumers only scan the descriptions, so keep each sentence short and the detailed summaries to no more than 25 words.
3.Thou shalt resist the temptation to overload your website with media and fancy transitional effects. Flashy is not always better. These, actually become distractions, and your website will be less effective at keeping the consumers attention. Most snazzy website effects add to upload time and delay the consumer’s product search, commonly causing them to abandon a website altogether…which would be bad.
4. Thou shalt not complicate the process with unnecessary steps or pages. Purchasing should be easy. Make sure your check out procedure is simple and all pricing and shipping information are displayed clearly. You should always include a phone number and a return policy. This will help reinforce the consumer’s confidence in their purchase and in you.
5.Thou shalt continually promote your online business as you would any other. A website DOES NOT market itself. Make the effort to stay in touch with your customers, perhaps via newsletters or special offers. Always keep an open mind. There may be many types of markets available to you that you are not reaching, or have not considered. Think outside the box. Try targeting new markets and optimizing your content as you grow… and grow… and grow!
…and then there was your e-commerce website … and it was good.
1. You are not engaging. You spend all day listening or retweeting. You are not genuinely engaging with your existing network. You are on the sidelines watching the game go on.
Tip: Engage. Have a conversation. Get in the game.
2. You are not providing value. Your website may lack content that resonates with your audience. Your tweets are well let’s say, tweets. They look, smell and act like everyone else. There are more than 10 Billion Tweets sent in a year. Tweeting a simple tweet that looks and smells like every other tweeter will get you no where.
Tip: Provide value. Inspire and connect with your audience. Get in their head and learn who they are and what they need. Provide content that helps them solve real business problems. Provide tips that help them move their business forward with new skills.
3. You are not following people back. If you have people following you and you are sitting on your arrogant Twitter mountain thinking you don’t have to follow them you might want to think again. This thinking drives me nuts. Show the love. Be a good friend.
Tip: Develop a follow-back strategy. There are different schools of thought on this. My personal recommendation is at minimum make an effort to follow people back. Don’t sit high on your Twitter mountain with the expectation everyone owes you something. They don’t.
4. You are not a good social media friend. You don’t retweet. You don’t thank people who show you love. You never follow back. You don’t comment on other blogs in a genuine way. You don’t thank people who comment on your blog.
Tip: Show the social love. Genuinely engage and make your audience and network know that you care about them. At minimum let them know you know they are there! Often times if I don’t have time to thank all of my retweeters or send a series of #FF follow friday recommendations on Twitter I will send a couple tweets during the day thanking my network. I let them know I appreciate them and all the social love they gave me!
5. You are boring. Sorry folks but it could be you are just boring. I am seeing many people who have a boring profile picture, boring content. They are the same ones who sit all day and retweet news feeds of mortgage rates or market news. They are providing no value and not engaging.
Tip: Brand yourself. Understand your audience. Who are they and what do they need. Who are you and what can you offer them. Give your business and brand a personality. Dare to stand above the norm. If you shoot for status quo that is exactly what you will receive, if you’re lucky. It may be less.
6. Your website stinks. If you are boring, your content is boring and your website stinks you have three strikes and you’re probably already out of the social media game.
Tip: Social media is about conversation. Engage in conversation with interesting content, design and brand. Hire a web developer and freshen up your website. If you don’t have the funds to do such then find a self-help site or teach yourself WordPress blog at minimum.
7. Your social profiles stink. If your Twitter background is the default and your Facebook Fan Page has no customization you once again are shooting for status quo.
Tip: Hire a consultant or an agency to spice up your profiles. If you don’t have the funds the leverage an off the shelf service. There are several Facebook Fan Page engines you can use yourself that are affordable.
8. Your Facebook Fan Page is all about you. What are you doing to engage your audience?
Tip: Engage your Facebook audience. Have fun. Ask them questions? Do some research. Ask them what they need, what they want. Leverage the discussion tab to invite people to introduce themselves.
9. People don’t know the real you. You are hiding behind an avatar (social media profile photo). You are not sharing the real you. You are using corporate speak. You aren’t using video, no interesting blogs.
Tip: Let yourself shine. Try out video. Come out behind the avatar and let people get to know you. Don’t be afraid of video. If you use video you will attract people who like you, people who want to business with you.
10. You are afraid. Because of what I said above you are afraid to come out and play in social media. You have been intimidated by the mean blog posts that are surfacing the net on social media gurus, wannabe gurus etc.
Tip: Don’t let the bullies scare you! Be confident. Have fun. If you don’t you are never going to make it in social media, business or life.
What are you doing to build community? Are you really engaging? What are you doing right that others can learn from? What do you find most difficult in building and engaging with your community?
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*Original Story By Social Media Today
The home sits on a serene street in southwest Bakersfield. From the outside, you can tell it needs work. The same can be said for the inside. Real estate agent Melanie Kirkland expects this when she goes to abandoned homes. But she doesn’t expect 10 abandoned dogs to go along with it. “The first thing I noticed was how skinny they were and that they were really emaciated,” Kirkland said. She found a large bag of dog food inside the home and gave it to the dogs to relieve their suffering. They quickly finished the food. She has now taken it upon herself to help save the dogs. At first, she called animal control but quickly changed her mind. “Because of population control issues, (dogs) are killed at animal control,” Kirkland said. She called the local office for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals next. They told her that they could only take two of the dogs. Once Kirkland got there, they told her that they would not be able to take them because they both had fevers. So, she took them to her own personal vet. “They have a mild case of parvo. If they are not treated soon and taken care of, then they probably aren’t going to make it,” Kirkland said. She has committed to going to the abandoned home three times a day to make sure these dogs have the necessities to live. She hopes they will get the chance to go to a loving home. “I couldn’t walk away from them. It’s just not in my heart,” Kirkland said. She said the dogs are well-mannered, playful and loving. If you want to help Kirkland find the abandoned dogs a loving home, even adopt one yourself, you can call her at (661) 496-9674.
Have you noticed that you are only seeing updates and posts in your news feed from the same few people lately? Have you also noticed that when you post things like status messages, photos and links, only the same circle of people are commenting and you are not hearing from any others on your friends list that perhaps you used to?
…The problem is that a large portion of people on your Friends list can no longer see anything you post!
…The “New Facebook” installed a new news feed setting that by default is automatically set to show posts from *ONLY* those people with whom you’ve recently interacted, or interacted the most over the couple of weeks just prior to when people started switching to the “new profile” format. Therefore, for both business and personal pages, unless you and your friends/fans commented on one another’s posts within those couple of weeks, you are now invisible to them and they are invisible to you!!
HERE’S THE FIX:
On your “News Feed” home page, click the “Most Recent” title on the right of the News Feed, then click on the drop down arrow beside it to show the drop-down menu and select “Edit Options.” Click on “Show Posts From” and change the setting to “All Of Your Friends and Pages.” Another way to do it is to access the “Edit Options” link at the very bottom of the Facebook homepage on the right.
(Note: Business pages do not have a news feed. Owners of business pages should adjust the settings on their personal accounts.)
The good news is:
You can now view the posts and updates of all of your friends and fans again.
The bad news is:
**YOU** ARE STILL INVISIBLE to a large portion of your friends on your friends list. If you want to re-establish contact, you will need to get the word out to ALL of your friends. You can do that by inviting them to this “event,” or by creating an event of your own, so they can read this news and adjust their news feed setting also.
To invite your friends:
Click on “Attending” at the top of this event invitation and then you will see “Select Guests to Invite” off to the upper left corner. This event is public so every one of your friends who logs onto Facebook can view it, and even the friends who can’t see your posts WILL see the event invitation. You can also tweet about it, create a blog post, or send out an email to all your friends in multiple mail-groups of 20 friends each (maximum) to reach them all.
VISUAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHANGING YOUR NEWS FEED SETTING:
Many people have subsequently reported that they are still not seeing posts, status updates, etc. from many of the people on their Friends list, even *AFTER* adjusting their News Feed setting. The likely reason is that there are still many people on their Friends list who, themselves, have not likewise changed *their* News Feed setting to: ‘Show posts from’ “All your friends and pages.” Remember, it has to be BOTH WAYS. Be sure to follow through with alerting ALL the people on your Friends list. The quickest way is to “invite” all your friends to view this “Event” page. (https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=165513286836522 )
The primary issue here is that Facebook took away your free-will choice in the matter, and did so without telling you. FB should have informed you not only of the default change, but that you have the choice either way. They also should have reminded you at that time that you have settings available to you to modify which from among your friends’ posts you would prefer not to see in your News Feed.
You can filter out the boring posts, without having to inform your friend that you find their posts boring, by hovering your mouse pointer over the upper right corner of their post in the News Feed until you see an ‘ X ‘ appear. Click on the X and select from the generated pull-down menu: “Hide this post” or “Hide all by _____”