The Power of Social Media











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Social media marketing can build your brand, promote your business, help with reputation management, increase customer retention and much more!



Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Understanding Social Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Gaining a basic understanding of what social media is

will help you with marketing


Chapter 2 : Social Media Marketing Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Lots of tips and tricks to help you use

social media marketing most effectively


Chapter 3 : Effective Social Media Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Ways to use social media effectively, shortcuts

to save time and more




Chapter 1: Understanding Social Media


Social media has swept the World Wide Web and brought a whole new phase to marketing!


From the smallest home business to the giant corporations, those in the know are harnessing the awesome power of social media to build and grow their businesses.


You can, too!


Many entrepreneurs would like to at least try social media marketing but feel somewhat intimidated and unsure where to start or how to get started.


Actually, although you don't have to be a rocket scientist to use social media marketing, you do need to understand the basics of how it works before beginning a campaign. Diving into the deep end head first without testing the water could get you into trouble!





This e-book will provide you with a lot of helpful information about how to go about using social media marketing effectively.


First of all, let's examine social media marketing itself.




Successful Drop Ship Sellers Use Social Media

How can you reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers in an instant? Ask savvy business entrepreneurs. In a recent study by Forrester Research, 95% of business decision makers claimed to use social media as a marketing tool.



What’s so impressive about social media channels?



The number of social media users has more than quadrupled in size in the last year alone. More than one-third of Americans (age 18 and over) use social networks. This segment of the market is growing at an impressive rate.




Take FaceBook for example. FaceBook has over 500 million members and growing by leaps and bounds. The age 35 and over demographic is growing the fastest, and is the group with the most spending power.



What does an in-the-know entrepreneur do?

Join FaceBook, of course. Over 300,000 businesses have a presence on FaceBook; at least



one-third of them are small businesses like yours. FaceBook is a perfect medium to reach your target demographic, but don’t forget about Twitter.

As of September 2010, Twitter has almost 100 million users worldwide. On average Twitter users spend 66% more (dollars) than their counterparts. Connect with Twitter member to boost your drop ship sales. Social media studies have shown that many consumers aren’t searching out specific products; products are showing up to them, and many consumers are welcoming these products and services with open arms especially when their peers rave about them. Large corporations are taking notice.

In April of 2009, Ford gave the 100 top bloggers a Fiesta for six months. The only stipulation was that the bloggers had to post a video on You Tube once a month about the car. The bloggers could say anything they want – good or bad, and they were encouraged to talk about the car on their blog.

In November of 2009, Papa Johns ran a promotion to increase their FaceBook followers. Any person that signed up to be their fan received a free medium pizza. Papa Johns increased their number of fans by 148,000 in one day. They currently have more than 300,000 fans, and hope to reach a million by the end of this year.




More and more big companies have jumped on the social media bandwagon, and there is plenty of room for you!

Social media is here to stay, which means that social media marketing isn't just a flash in the pan or a nine days wonder---it's the wave of the future for marketing!



Social media is changing the face of marketing. Radio, TV, and print ads move over; online interaction is the way of the future. Social networks enable you to:



The Benefits of Social Media Marketing: Fact or Fiction?

We are all hearing a lot about social media marketing these days. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and many others are definitely in the spotlight as ways to market your drop shipping ecommerce business.

But does social media marketing really work?

Can you truly increase your sales with Tweets and Twitter? Will you attract more traffic to your site if you diligently post on Facebook?

The answer is a definite YES.

If you are using social media to promote your online business, how can you determine the ROI, or Return on Investment?

Basically, getting the bottom line on your social media marketing ROI depends on what results you are hoping to achieve. For instance, are you looking to increase sales? Using social media marketing to build brand recognition? Trying to be more closely connected with your customers?

If your primary goal is to increase sales in your drop shipping ecommerce store, then you can very easily determine your ROI simply by adding up all the costs of paying others to maintain your social media marketing. If you aren’t paying anybody, and are the chief cook and bottle washer of your ecommerce business, then there is no cost and whatever increased sales you get as a result of social media marketing is 100% profit. So your ROI is 100%.





Dollar for dollar, social media marketing is a definite win-win! You couldn't ask for a better ROI than 100%, could you? It will be very much worth your while to begin a social media marketing campaign.






If you mainly want to build brand recognition for your drop ship business, there are a number of free tools that will help you calculate your ROI. Here are a few:



Social media will enable you to make friends that may ultimately become great customers!












Social Media Sites: Where the Online Ads Are


According to a study released in September 2009, the social media giants Facebook and MySpace command an impressive 20% of all online display ads seen by viewers.


MySpace came in first by a thin margin over Facebook, and the study also reported a strong showing by wireless carriers in the list of advertisers who are currently using social media marketing.


However, that may not be the case now as Facebook continues to grow at a phenomenal rate!


In unique page views of visitors to Facebook and MySpace, though, Facebook came out ahead with over 67 million unique visitors, compared to just over 64 million for MySpace.





Between the two giants of the social media community scene, Facebook and MySpace combined accounted for over 80% of delivered ads amongst all the online communities.


At a time when more and more e-tailers are looking to build brand recognition and build ecommerce businesses, social media marketing is a viable and extremely cost effective means of accomplishing those goals.


In fact, with social media marketing the fastest growing of all ad campaigns, sales of social


media ads are projected to reach or exceed $2.5 billion in 2011.


Wowza!


Obviously, then, if you have an ecommerce business and want to use social media marketing, you can’t go wrong with Facebook or MySpace.


If you’re under the impression that Facebook and MySpace are just for kids and teenyboppers---think again. Research shows growth of over 276% of Facebook users between the ages of 35-54.





The 55 plus age group isn’t far behind, with a growth rate of 194.3%!


Facebook marketing allows zero waste from a targeted age marketing perspective, with online age restriction features.




It would be short-sighted to engage in social media marketing and focus on advertising only. Social media market strategy can be a huge plus in other areas as well, including brand awareness and recognition, customer relations, PR, direct marketing and lead generation.


Facebook and MySpace are the top two social media communities in terms of ads, but don’t overlook the other giants, either, because you might want to expand your social marketing presence to one or more of them.


Twitter, for example, is very much a contender for the title of best social site for marketing!




One thing you should be aware of when choosing the best social sites for marketing your exommercebusiness is the usual audience found on that particular site.


While Twitter and Facebook are relatively generic when it comes to age, there are other popular social sites such as Bebo and Friendster that are predominantly a young age group. If your niche is geared toward this demographic---fine. But if not, you might be spinning your wheels to maintain a presence there.







Chapter 2 : Social Media Marketing Tips


Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your eCommerce Business

You can harness the power of social media marketing and put it to work for your ecommerce business in just a few steps!





Social media networking is one of the hottest and best forms of advertising, marketing, and brand promotion on the internet today.


Many entrepreneurs along with huge well-established brands that have been household names for years are using the power of social media to work for their business.


In fact, more than one in five businesses are using social media networking. Nearly 7 out of 10 US adult consumers visit blogs, online communities and/or social networks. According to internet market research, at least one third of these people say that they use social networking sites to read particular product reviews before making a purchasing decision.


Social media is versatile!


You can use it to build brand recognition, enhance your PR, interact with customers and potential customers, publicize your business, and much more.



Here are a few simple steps that will help you put social media marketing to work for you:














5 Rules of Using Social Media Marketing

Using social media marketing will vastly improve your dropshipping business if it is done correctly.


In fact, social media marketing is HOT and getting hotter every day. In the world of social media, it’s a case of be there or be square!


There are a few simple basic rules of social media marketing that will help optimize your efforts. You’ve heard of SEO, now it’s time to assimilate SMO: Social Media Optimization.


Here are the 5 basic rules of Social Media Optimization:


1. Work to increase your linkability. You don’t want a static website for social media marketing. Always think about making your content linkable, as this is one of the primary steps in SMO. If you have a blog, think about what you can do to make it easily linkable!


2. Make the most of inbound links, as they are extremely helpful when it comes to your rise in search ranking and rankings overall. Make it rewarding by giving the gift of visibility to those who link to your dropship website.





3. Make it easy to be bookmarked and tagged. Make sure that your pages have a list of relevant tags and preferably buttons to click for them, and suggested notes for a link.


4. Mashup! In the world of the internet, co-creation is a good thing. Let others help


themselves to your content, within reason. YouTube provides code that makes it easy for others to imbed videos from their site, which has contributed significantly to their growth and popularity. It is also helpful to syndicate your content through an RSS feed so that others can create mashups and drive traffic to your site.



5. Make your content portable. Social Media Optimization is not just about making changes to your website. With SMO, making your content portable on the forms of PDFs, videos and audio files will help it travel and create traffic and links back to your site. 


Social Media Optimization takes a bit of work, but it will pay off handsomely for you if you take the time to understand and use it to its best advantage.


Build your dropshipping business with social media marketing! 


Social Media Etiquette: Mind Your e-Manners


Social media marketing is hotter than a jalapeno pepper, and growing hotter every day as online entrepreneurs realize just how effective this particular marketing technique can be.


If you aren’t using social media marketing---you should be.


However, a word of caution: Use social media wisely or you can end up doing more harm to your ecommerce business than good.



There are certain, basic, unwritten rules of etiquette that apply to social media. 






Before jumping right into the social media scene, familiarize yourself with these rules of etiquette so that you don’t get in there and start putting your foot in it.


There is a lot more to social media marketing than joining Facebook, Twitter or MySpace and trying to get friends or followers.


First of all, don’t rush in and start requesting friends like somebody that’s been stranded on a desert island alone for the past 10 years and is desperate now for companionship of any sort.





Take your time. Go slowly. You’re impatient, that’s understandable. You have probably looked around and seen some of your competitors with 3000 friends and/or followers and you want to catch up.


But, quality is actually much more important than quantity, anyway.


Think of your social community friends sort of like traffic to your online store. You want traffic, of course. But you want the right kind of traffic, not just a torrent of visitors who are not ever going to become buyers.


This applies to your social media friends, too. Be a bit selective about who your friends and followers are and aim for quality.





A big No-No is to go through your online address book and send friend requests to everybody on it. You will not win friends this way. In fact, you will antagonize many of those people to the point where it will damage any existing relationship you have with them.


The correct way to go about letting folks know you now have a page on Facebook or whatever is to announce it on your website, or in an email newsletter, or in your email signature.


This way, your contacts who want to participate will, and the others who don’t want to---won’t.


You don’t want them, anyway.


Although you don’t want to bombard anyone you’ve ever emailed with friend requests, you do want to connect with net workers who approach you. If it seems like a real, live person and not a spammer….then friend them. Not to do so would be offensive and against the social media etiquette rules.



Be professional at all times. Don’t tweet messages from Twitter that would offend some of your followers, for example. Remember that you never know who will read a message you post online or send out in a tweet! 


Don’t be too sales-y with your new friends, especially at first. People don’t like to feel used and it’s bad social manners to give someone the impression that you only want them as a friend to try and sell them something.





You do want to build your business, naturally. 


But be tactful about it!


Mind your manners in social media marketing and watch your business grow! 


One common question that beginning social media marketers have concerns how to know which people to follow and/or cultivate?


This can be a bit tricky!


While you certainly don't want to friend or follow everybody on Facebook and Twitter, you do want to get up close and personal, so to speak, with the people who can help you acculmulate friends and followers for yourself who are likely to be interested in your specific niche.


So, it is important to feel your way around a social site until you get a feel for how to know who to hook up with!


There are various ways to go about this. One way is to befriend the influencers, and then they in turn will influence others to sit up and notice you.



How to Influence the Social Media Influencers

Knowing how to influence powerful social media users can go a long way toward building your business.


The thing about these influential social media users is that when they have something to say, others listen and pay attention.

These are the mavens and leaders….people with a huge circle of friends and sources. These are the people who can send a slew of traffic to your ecommerce dropship business if you get them in your corner!


The two main strategies that many social media marketers follow are to either become influential themselves or build a large network of social media supporters. But there is another way that is much easier while being just as effective:


Get the people who are already influential with large networks to use their power and connections on your behalf.


This is a classic example of working smarter instead of harder!


The influential friends you make can work wonders in helping you get fans and followers!


First, you’ll need to choose which influential social media users to target.





Next, make initial contact with these people


Last, pitch your website and products to the people you have cultivated.


Needless to say, the last thing you want to do is be seen as obviously romancing these folks or climbing over them in your haste to use them and reach the top! for Be subtle. Be tactful. Establish a relationship first before you go charging in with a bunch of hype about your business.





Relevance is very important here! The influential social media users you choose should be interested in your product/s. The more your content correlates with the powerful person’s own interests, the better. This will make it much more likely that the social media user will promote your stuff!


There are various ways of determining who are the most influential users on social media sites. You can check any of the public user ranking lists. Alternatively, you could do a keyword search on the social media site to see which users are interested in or likely to be interested in your site.


Take your time! Don’t rush into any relationships until you do some research and get the feel of the site and the users.


Once you get the hang of influencing the influential social media users, you will see how this practice can help you build your ecommerce business. 








Chapter 3 : Effective Social Media Marketing


Learn About Social Media Marketing From Old Spice

If you have an ecommerce business, you are probably considering engaging in social media marketing on Facebook or another social site, if you aren’t already actively doing so.

Social media marketing using Facebook has hugely increased brand awareness for many companies and products!

Old Spice, for example, has literally reinvented itself with social media marketing including Facebook and YouTube.

Although the Old Spice brand has been around for decades, it had fallen into virtual obscurity and was far from a household word for quite a long time now.

But with some creative advertising and the use of social media platforms, Proctor and Gamble has breathed new life into this old, forgotten product and catapulted it to new heights in a viral campaign that rocked the internet!








You may think that your business is too small to use the same marketing techniques as a mammoth corporation such as Proctor and Gamble.

Wrong.


You can adapt the same principles and strategies used by P&G to resurrect Old Spice products to your own online business and reap big benefits in terms of increased traffic and sales, plus a boost in brand recognition.

The original Old Spice Super Bowl commercial that aired last year featuring a former NFL wide receiver has been viewed on YouTube over 13 million times.

A few months after that commercial aired on TV, the ad agency Twittered about the “Old Spice Man,” saying that he might show up to chat.

From there, it went viral on Twitter, too!

Old Spice Twitter followers increased by 1000%!

During this time, the Old Spice popularity extended to Facebook, where in a very short amount of time, more than 600,000 people “liked” the Old Spice Fan Page.


The lesson here for you?


You probably can't get the Old Spice Man, but you can use your imagination and come up with a character or persona that will engage the viewer's attention.


Look at the Geico gecko!


That little lizard is world famous and has absolutely made Geico a household name.


Start by creating a strong, to-the-point persona for your business. The Old Spice man was chosen because he appeals to the ladies. You may focus on other character traits such as humor, reliability, value, etc. Be creative! You can play this role yourself or get someone else to do it.

Your next step, of course, is to make a short video starring this engaging character and put it on YouTube.





After you generate some buzz about your brand, branch out by introducing the persona on Twitter and Facebook.

None of the above will cost you a red cent unless you use a paid actor or actress to star in your YouTube video, which isn’t at all necessary.

You can greatly increase brand awareness, traffic and sales for your online dropship business by following the Old Spice social media marketing example!


Maybe you could rent that adorable gecko for a little while?



Top Twitter Practices to Maximize Social Media Marketing



If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur with an online enterprise, you have probably at least thought about using Twitter as part of your social media marketing efforts, if you aren’t already tweeting merrily away!

Twitter is definitely a vital presence in the world of internet social sites, and can be extremely beneficial to anyone with an online business.




Of course, just as is the case with any other endeavor, the more knowledge you have about how Twitter works---as well as how to optimize your social marketing presence on Twitter---the better off you will be.

Here are some tactics to help you get more mileage out of your time spent in social media marketing on Twitter:  










Measuring Social Media Marketing Results in 3 Easy Steps


Although measuring the ROI, or Return On Investment, of social media marketing isn’t as cut and dried as other types of marketing strategies, it is still possible to get a pretty accurate idea of how your efforts in this direction are paying off for you.





Here are some tips to help you measure your success in social media marketing in 3 easy steps:

1. First, identify your objectives. This simply means that you should have a clear idea of exactly what you hope to accomplish with social media marketing. Do you want to gain X amount of subscribers to your opt-in email newsletter list? Do you want to increase traffic to your dropship website by a set number or percentage? Are you looking to boost sales year over year or month over month? Unless you know what you are trying to do, you won’t know whether you have done it or not.



2. Measure your results by your SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages. If you are actively engaged in social media marketing on Facebook, for instance, and you jump to the front page in Google search results for your niche: Congratulations! It’s working! Now that Google is crawling the web for real time content, your social media content is more important than ever. If you supply a steady source of fresh, updated, relevant content to your Twitter, Facebook or other social media platform, you should see results in your search ranking.


3. Make sure that you have tied your results to your goals. In other words, if your goal was to boost traffic, then keep up with the stats on how much your traffic is increasing. If your goal was to improve brand recognition, this is much harder to measure. So, for the results that you want to track, it is best to have goals that are less ambiguous and easier to measure.

Measuring the ROI of social media marketing is a bit more challenging than many other metrics, but it can be done!


It is important to measure your results because otherwise, you won't know whether or not your efforts are successful.


Facebook and E-Commerce: Can You Put a Price on Friendship?


As many ecommerce entrepreneurs are learning, when it comes to social media marketing and Facebook, you really can hang a price tag on friendship.

According to recent surveys, your friends on Facebook are almost worth their weight in gold when it comes to promoting your ecommerce business or building your brand.

A study conducted in February of this year by Chadwick Martin Bailey revealed that a full one-third of the members on Facebook are fans of particular brands.


Some internet marketing specialists believe it's even more than that!



Take a look at this graph:




And this one:





These are impressive statistics and merely serve to underline what many savvy entrepreneurs already knew---social media marketing is tremendously effective!



As far as being able to put a price in your Facebook friends in dollars and cents, Vitrue did a study that calculated the actual worth of a Facebook fan at $3.60 in earned media.

Straight from the Vitrue blog regarding how this valuation was reached:

“This means our 1 million Fan Facebook Page can average 1 million impressions with a single post to the wall. Factor frequency; a two post per day strategy would garner approximately 60 million impressions per month. Now here’s a metric all marketers are familiar with – we’ve been buying impressions since the dawn of the Internet.


These impressions are practically free, similar to earned media – that we are all familiar with. So our last step is to place a CPM value to our earned media. We factored a very conservative $5 CPM – how much would you pay for highly targeted impressions?

This final assumption gives our 1 million fan page $300,000 in earned media per month or $3.6 million annually.”

Here is the formula Vitrue used to calculate the worth of a Facebook fan:

1M impressions x 2 posts x 30 days = 60M impressions
60M impressions / 1000 x $5 CPM = $300,000
$300,000 x 12 months = $3.6M
$3.6M / 1M fans = $3.60

Based on these calculations, if you are not using Facebook as part of your daily social media marketing efforts, it would be worth your while to do so!


If Your Social Media Marketing Isn't Working


You may be getting pretty discouraged if you feel you're doing everything right but your social media marketing doesn't seem to be working.


Here are some tips and suggestions that may provide you with food for thought:


1. Targeting the wrong demographic: This is a fairly common mistake made by a lot of entrepreneurs. There are quite a few popular social sites, but they are not all created equal in terms of having members who represent your ideal target market. For example, Bebo is comprised mainly of young people. If you are selling a product geared for a more mature consumer, investing time in social marketing here is a bad move.

2. Failure to use good SEO: Search Engine Optimization is crucial, and this rule applies to social media marketing as well as your ecommerce website. You should make sure to use best SEO practices on your Twitter profile, your Facebook page, LinkedIn or any other social site you are using for marketing.

3. Your content and contributions were substandard: To be successful with social media marketing, you must engage with your audience. And this requires you to be engaging with fresh, interesting content. You can’t just login and blab out any old thing just for the sake of putting in an appearance on the social site and expect to get good results. Create rich, compelling content and it will pay off for you!

4. You came across as shady and untrustworthy: If you plaster your website with ads and shady looking links, most people will hit the back button. In order to optimize your social media marketing efforts, your website should be professional looking and display trust and security symbols prominently.


5. You spread yourself too thin: This is another fairly common area of failure for social media marketers. Trying to cover too many bases and engage in marketing campaigns at too many sites is never a good idea. Basically, unless you are willing to work 20 hours a day at it, you are setting yourself up to fail. It’s better to choose one or two social sites and focus on them than to skip and hop around from one to another, not doing a good job on any of them.

If your social networking hasn’t been up to your expectations, you might be able to recognize


what you’re doing wrong and fix it!




Last but not least, we'll end this handy e-book with some helpful tips about how you can streamline your social media marketing to save time.


Time, of course, is of the essence to an ecommerce entrepreneur who often wears many different hats and a lot to do!


How much time should you spend on social media marketing?


This is a question asked by many ecommerce entrepreneurs who want to get in on social media marketing, but are unsure what sort of commitment it requires in time to be done effectively.

The answer to that question depends largely on the size and scope of your online business.

Obviously, if you have a fairly large, diverse business; social media marketing will take up significantly more of your time than it will for someone with a small home business in dropshipping or other online sales.



A recent social media study by Michael Stelzner and sponsored by the Social Media Success Summit 2009 looked at the amount of time being devoted to social media marketing by around 700 respondents.

The survey revealed that many businesses are devoting a significant amount of time to social media marketing efforts.


64%, roughly two-thirds of marketers reported spending five hours a week or more on social media marketing. 39% said that they spent 10 hours or more a week on it, and almost 10% said that hey spend 20 hours or more a week on social media marketing efforts.




Based on survey findings, there is a direct link between the length of time marketers have been using social media marketing and the amount of time they devote to it each week.



For beginners, it averaged out to approximately 2 hours a week. After using social media marketing for a few months, the amount of time spent on it jumped to 10 hours a week or more. After actively practicing social media marketing for years, the average time spent was 20 hours a week or more.


So, what does this mean?

Does it mean that social media marketing takes on a life of its own over time, and thus requires more and more of a commitment in hours?

Or does it mean that the results are so effective that marketers choose to double and redouble the amount of time spent on social media marketing?

It stands to reason that marketers step up their time invested in social media marketing due its success and effectiveness, but that is basically sheer speculation.




Regardless of how much or how little time you choose to spend in social media marketing, rest assured that your efforts will pay off in terms of increased traffic and more sales!

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