Use Twitter to Build a Community of Loyal Customers

June 24, 2009

The blogging site ‘Twitter’ is probably one of the most powerful marketing and brand-building tools for ecommerce businesses all around the world. If you are an ecommerce business owner and wish to engage and entertain your customers as well as be a part of a massive community, then Twitter is the way to go. But successful marketing and brand-building on Twitter (or any other microblogging site for that matter) requires a lot of work. It’s a lot more than just simply posting tweets about your latest products. It takes dedication and commitment and an honest interest in all things that would benefit and interest your potential customers.

As an ecommerce business owner, I am open to any suggestion or idea that comes my way, especially if it is related to increasing web traffic and satisfying my customers. A while back, a good friend of mine suggested I get hooked on to Twitter and try my marketing skills over there. At first I thought this was a ridiculous idea. So I contacted my mates at Devix Corporation (an ecommerce service provider that first helped me get started with my website). They told me that it is indeed a good idea to try my hands at marketing over Twitter. And that’s where I got my confidence from. Follow some of these tips and experience success like never before.

What you should Tweet about?

Ecommerce business owners there are two essential priorities before you get started on Twitter:

•    Identify your audience
•    Decide what to publish

You could either opt for doing special sales and discounts to build publicity or if you happen to be selling a premium brand, then maybe you could improve sales by uploading photos of people who have used your product along with the valid information about it.

When you get started, always be friendly and conversational. People like to buy from those who are genial and value customer relationships. Besides, it is always nice to know that there is a real person behind all those tweets instead of some money making con artist. Reply to people and even go to the extent of asking people questions.

You need to understand your target audience and you need to act as a person and not just some business entity. A good marketer will always show keen interest in their potential customers and take the pains to find out what their customers are interested in. align your brand with all those things that your customers most value. This is what your Tweets should focus on:

1.    On your customer – I know this may seem like I am reiterating but this is a very important point.
2.    On the Conversation with your customer – Turn your Tweets into a series of conversations. If you happen to be following a certain persons Tweets and it’s about an interesting topic, then add to that conversation in a positive manner.
3.    On providing How-To advice – If the kind of products that you sell to your customers helps them complete a certain kind of task, then consider tweeting ‘How-to’ content.
4.    On giving away coupons – Every potential customer is a big fan of coupons. So start tweeting about the deals and offers that you are providing on your site.

What to try on Twitter?

Now that you have some good Twitter marketing strategies in hand, here are a few campaign ideas that you could try out:

•    Randomly give away retweet awards – When someone retweets on your offer, then send them a direct message offering him or her an additional discount or perhaps a free item. This way, you’ll encourage your customers to keep retweeting. And the word will spread.
•    Hold a special tweet up – When all the twitters meet in the real world, it’s called a meeting or a tweet up. For product launches, major events and special sales, consider starting and promoting a tweet up.

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Using Flickr to Promote Your Products

April 7, 2009

Flickr is a photo sharing website that has now become a very powerful tool when it comes to promoting your products and services online. With Flickr, not only will you be able to upload pictures of your products, but they will also be seen throughout the Flickr website and encourage any prospective customers to visit your company’s website or perhaps upload and share their own images of your company’s products.

Pictures of your products on your ecommerce website should always look professional and should always be of best quality in terms of color, layout and placement. But, you must always keep in mind that these images do not necessarily convey how your product can be used. Casual shots on the other hand also don’t work as a primary product photo, but tend to be more valuable in providing buying information to customers. By using Flickr to show these pictures along with your professional snaps can help your customers better in making buying decisions.

These action shots are also a good way to encourage prospective customers to participate with your ecommerce site by uploading and sharing their own photos of your products. This will work wonders when it comes to giving your business recognition, and you will also be able to show your potential customers how that particular product can be used and how other buyers have been satisfied with it.

Socializing

By forming your own group or community on Flickr, you will be providing your customers with a place to connect with you in the future. Such a group will encourage your customers to upload their own images of your product and post comments of photos that have already been uploaded.

Providing your customers with the ability to interact with one another gives them a good method to share experiences about your products with each other – taking your company to a whole new level! Prospective customers will now be able to see what your regular customers are saying about you, and thus they will be encouraged to make a buying decision.

Tagging

Tag or add keywords to your photos so as to describe them better and make them easier to find. Flickr will allow you to add keywords to your product images so that they will show when searched for. This way you can now introduce your products to a wider circle of customers. You can add notes to your images, making it a great way to market your company.

Who’s using Flickr?

Today, there are many ecommerce websites that have started using Flickr on their websites. When starting my own ecommerce website, I had no clue as to what all of this was about. I took help from Devix Corporation (Devix V.5) and found a great deal more about the ecommerce industry.

Widget Mania: Bring your Web Store to Devix Corporation

March 19, 2009

Widget Mania: Bring your Web Store to devix Corporation

As an avid Internet browser or a “cyber junkie”, I’ve learnt a lot of things along the way – things that would definitely help my ecommerce business along its path to success. Of course a lot of what I learnt when starting my own ecommerce business was from valuable tips and suggestions generously bestowed upon me by reliable sources. One such reliable source would be Devix Corporation – the ecommerce service provider that I hired in order to get started with my online business. I learnt everything I wanted to know about the ecommerce business from Devix – right from web marketing and optimizing your site to web designing and development to various types of business solutions. Apart from this, I also learnt the importance of social media and the value of the ecommerce widget.

Yes social media has indeed grown to be an important facet in any businessman’s marketing arsenal. There are many social media sites that provide excellent opportunities for promising online business owners to gain good reviews. On the other hand, there are many social networking sites like Facebook.com, Myspace.com and Del.icio.us that provide ample opportunities for brand exposure.

However, in my experience, perhaps the greatest social media tool for online merchants would have to be the rather untapped resource – the ecommerce widget. A widget is essentially a sort of application that is embedded into web-based application. Now if all of this sounds confusing to you, then let me simplify it. A widget is an application that can be embedded into any other kind of application like a social network or a blog or anything that is html based. In the world of ecommerce, a widget can embed a shopping cart.

Widgets are important for online merchants in the sense that they enable them to take their online stores across the online communities, displaying their services and products for like-minded communities and customers to view. Till date, the book and music industry are the only two industries to have wholly embraced the ecommerce widget. These ecommerce widgets in turn, enable merchants to sell their merchandise right over their own website or blog.

And although the ecommerce widget technology on the whole has not yet been perfected (it is only limited to feature sets and functionality), there are still many options that are worth looking into.

One option to look into would have to be the PayPal Storefront Widget, which allows web merchants to offer secure payment transaction services through PayPal by embedding this widget onto publisher sites. It makes ecommerce transactions a whole lot easier for the buyers as well as the sellers. Like any standard ecommerce website, this widget also includes the product image along with a detailed product page, a shopping cart, and pages that are devoted to the merchants shipping as well as assurance policies.

Other ecommerce widgets to look into include Cartfly.com and Shopit.com. Both these widgets allow merchants to customize their shopping widgets and improve on the look and style. Both are easy to setup and both offer free accounts.

However, this is just the beginning of a powerful new way for online merchants to showcase their good and services to the community at large, as opposed to attracting the community to their store. Widgets offer tremendous opportunities for the smaller ecommerce merchants as well, especially when you are looking for the chance to outdo bigger brands or gain more exposure. Yes, the concept of the ecommerce widget has its own share of significant ramifications and is worthy marketing tool for your ecommerce business.

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March 19, 2009

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