I am often asked by friends who have ecommerce sites what they can do to improve sales. They have noticed current E-Commerce tools like SEO and Pay-Per-Click advertising are no longer delivering the bang they once did. And my friends also know that “social marketing” has become a valuable marketing tool, but they are not sure what terms like word of mouth, grass roots, and viral marketing even mean – much less what they can do to drive business.
So I recently posted an article on HostReview on my top 6 free social marketing technologies for E-Commerce.
As I wrote in the article, these tools are … “all free … all powerful … to help drive your business.”
1) Create an online community.
Why is an online community important for E-Commerce? It allows a company to utilize their customers as evangelists; enlisting them to advocate your brand to potential customers. Additionally, this expands your ability to engage with existing or potential customers. For example, take a look at a case study put together by Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) about how customer recommendations influence buying products and services.
Myspace offer online networking and Paltalk offers free, on-site communal chat rooms that can include webcam chat.
2) Stay abreast of your category by subscribing to Google Alerts.
This is a totally free service that allows a business owner to track trends in their industry. Simply list which keywords you are interested in, and Google will send you news, blogs, web pages, etc…that include those words.
Why is this important? It’s because social marketing is about participating in the conversation. Once you see which articles and reporters are relevant to your category, you can participate – and in a meaningful way.
3) Deploy a Customer Feedback platform
E-merchants can also take advantage of free customer feedback platforms. One such platform is UserTrust offered by Comodo, a leading provider in online verification and security infrastructure services. UserTrust is a free tool which allows online merchants to gather customer feedback. Just as important, site visitors can see other user’s real experiences. These testimonials provide one of the most powerful social marketing technologies available on the market.
4) Utilize free digital PR
In order to create additional SEO rich content, online merchants can create press releases and distribute them using free digital PR sites such as i-Newswire.com, PR-inside.com, PRLog.org, Free-Press-Release.com and 24-7pressrelease.com. Don’t be intimidated to write these releases yourself – they need not be brilliant works of literary art. Your press releases should reflect news that your customers or prospects care about (even if the NYTimes will not). You can announce a new product or a big customer win or even a great review.
The point is that this tactic is mainly about driving improved SEO rankings and ultimately traffic to your site.
5) Blog it
Creating and regularly posting on a blog is another good way to increase SEO value. WordPress.com is a free platform that lets users quickly and easily create a blog.
6) “Birds of a feather” affinity marketing
It’s useful to know what your customer profile looks like, not to mention those of your competitors. Quantcast is a free service that gives you a demographic profile of a website’s visitors. Their reports also include a fair amount of detail on what your audience likes and even other sites they visit. This information can be invaluable in helping businesses identify opportunities.
So there you have it – my top 6. I will keep adding to this list as I uncover new tools that really work. If you have had great success with a social marketing technology – I’d love to hear about it. Share the knowledge –
Filed under: comodo, Google, Internet, judy shapiro, online marketing, Paltalk, security, social media Tagged: | blog, digital marketing, eCommerce, emarketing, internet marketing, social media, social networks, traffic, viral marketing