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Chumming the Waters of Social Media

If you're intrigued by new companies trying to establish themselves via business strategies and marketing, ABC's Shark Tank is the show for you. Originally called Dragon's Den in Japan, the USA version pits 5 actual investors against new start ups looking to raise money or seeking to acquire a strategic partner. A winter 2013 episode had a company called Grace & Lace pitching their leg warmer business. After some questions it was revealed Grace & Lace did 800k in sales year one and 1.125$ million in year two. That's only with direct web sales as they have not entered retail yet. Even more impressive was they had spent zero marketing dollars. When asked how, they replied "with social media." Drilling deeper down, we find out that a picture of a pair of woman's legs with their socks on was one of the top ten Pinterest pictures of 2012. And thus we have one of the marketing pillars of social media: chumming the waters. [read more]

Social Media as Sales Validator

There's a lot of hype over social media. But "likes" and "follows" don't pay the rent. Sure, you can push out ads to your current crop of followers to generate enthusiasm and sales. That requires an existing audience. What of the small and mid sized businesses or niche players. Businesses who don't have the thousands of followers. Is it worth running a social media campaign for a smaller audience? Absolutely. [read more]

How to Run a Social Media campaign - Pull Marketing

For years, marketers were harping on SEO (search engine optimization) as the big thing but with social networks and smart phones letting us be connected 100% of the time, social media is now the biggest thing for a business any size. The reasons for this are threefold. First, its free. Other than paying someone to manage the social media accounts. Yes you can advertise on social networks but in theory you don't need to. Second, its real time, meaning you don't have to wait for the sunday edition or big game. Your business or product can show up at anytime on anyone's stream. And last, everyone is connected by the electronic device in their pocket. Never before has it been easier to gather eyeballs. [read more]

Common Design Flaws Found on Web Sites

Here is the short list (sorta) of the basic design flaws I see committed by amateur web designers. Here’s the way this works: read each listing and check it against your own site to see if you are breaking any of these rules. It should be noted that by breaking these rules, your site isn’t going to hell but that it will look dumpy compared to sites that follow them, especially if they are your competitor’s web site. I list these in no critical order but that some are more dangerous than others. [read more]

Configuring the OS Commerce Catalog Engine Part I Admin

This is a series of how-to’s that walk you through all the necessary steps to set up your OS Commerce engine to make it look like your own store. Most of it is how to swap out their images for yours as well as altering the style sheet. There are several smaller tasks that I find equally important like changing the links to point back at your site instead of their dummy links.

Out of box (I love saying that) the engine is set up as a dummy catalog. This is more helpful than having it come as blank because now at least you can see what lever changes what aspect of the catalog when you go digging into the code and admin features. It should be noted that adjusting just the admin features will get you up to speed with a full blown working engine, it just needs to have some clean up as far as the appearance is concerned. I will walk you through both aspects step by step. [read more]





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