Social media and crazy named shopping days…

I have been looking at my shopping habits over the past three months and it seems that facebook is controlling me like a puppet.

This weekspsycho ‘shopping’ analysis:

  • Shared an eBay item with my facebook friendsincitinga frenzy and sell out within minutes
  • Afriendshared a recent eBay win and now I WANT one and I am stalking the search term to get a good deal
  • Bought some tree decorations from John Lewis (I don’t have a tree…) because afriendshared them on my wall
  • Asked if I should buy a tablet for work, and now pretty convinced about a Google Nexus 10 when they come back in stock

I feel I am not alone, so lets look at some stats about shopping over the Black Cyber 4 day weekend provided by Clever Girls Collective:

  • 88% of Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers said they were influenced by vouchers,deals and ideas offered by brands on social media
  • 93.3% bought something because a blogger recommended it
  • 79% of thosesurveyedshop on Cyber Monday
  • 67% will shop online, but they do both

These are statistics from social media savvy women but there are tons of cool info graphics about these two intense days ofholidayshopping.

Recently I have also created a Kimono Freecycle hub on facebook so that those in the kimono community can freecycle items that are not good enough to sell on or they are just sick of tripping over. I have also sold a few more things through a facebook group.

Facebook, stahp controlling my life!

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Did Loki need an army? Or just the power of social media?

Following Tom Hiddleston on twitter he has smashed the 100K follower record with the help of the hashtag #LokisArmy which begs the question, did he need to bother with bringing Aliens to earth at all?

Sometimes the e-commerce underdog (not quite so full of death and hate I hope) is royally smashed into the floor by those big ‘retailers’ whom your buyers seem to instantlyrevereas the ‘good guys’

Even though you have been around for a while, carefully understanding your customer base and what they need (not quitesubjugationI hope)……along come the ‘Avengers’, or as some know them ‘the outletters’ who completely wade in and become the law in your category.

But don’t forget even the underdog has fans and social media is one way you can get this loyal following. Even if your not the one in theshinyred iron suit.

Twitter is a great way to get quick messagesacrossand start trends. If you are unsure about twitter and how to play it take a look at one of my favourites:!/mclaren_eshop

Being in F1 they know about fans, what they want and how to get purchases made.

Facebook is great for brand development. Sometimes you have to play the same game as these big branded retailers and carve yourself in the the conciousness of the people. Don’t be afraid to become a brand.

One of my favouriteclientsis becoming just that:

Great giveaways, showing who they are as a company because they are a group of dynamic women who source and provide great fashion and discounts unmatched by outlet retailers.

So use the power of social media to create your army and take over your category! You were MADE to RULE!

On the flip side if you are one of the Avengers or eBay outlets if you don’t ‘bring it’ you will be trounced by the younger brothers in your category who could ‘outfox’ you as your swinging around the hammer of power.

It doesn’t always work, being the biggest and strongest…especially if you are late to this party.

Some of the big retailers had the foresight to integrate themselves into online marketplaces from the beginning (thinking of Littlewoods and Schuh) and like Iron Man and the Hulk have hadplentyof story lines and incarnations to work with. Already loved by the public before the outlet programme wasassembled.

Take a good look at how THEY use social media to engage. Schuh retweettheirfollowers comments on purchases. I’ve had two re-tweets myself so with over 8000 followers (remember e-commerce business don’t have scream-y fan bases like actors so don’t expect 100K from a retailer too often) they still manage to read and retweet.

Social media DOES take time and time is money but with patience and management can be a great way tocommunicatewho you are to customers, as this is what they like.

Try not to become a megalomaniacthough and take over the world. Because even though we love twiddlestonas an actor of evil guys…in reality balls of hate trying to take over the world by force are not generally a good thing!

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Growing an Online Community

So, not blogging so much any more as I am busy with consulting, eBay designing and many other nuggets of business however I am actively promoting the on-line kimono community.

Many e-commerce retailers and suppliers try to get you to like them (with free stuff/competitions) and follow them on twitter (or create a trend) in order to get more exposure but this is basically empty marketing as if they don’t ‘win’ they don’t bother again or buy your service/products as they liked 20 other pages that day.

Successful brands/e-commerce retailers create a real community. Something you want to be part of that is above and beyond the offers and freebies.

It’s not e-commerce but with kimono de jack we are hell bent on getting more people interested in kimono, kitsuke (kimono dressing) and join in our events. Kimono lovers are sporadic and spread the world over but facebook and twitter bring them together and give them a place, excuse and company for their passion.

So if you are a retailer, how do you create a community? – Your aim is to get people to spend money but you need to give the love back. People love information, stories, discounts, insider information and to feel exclusive. Get people involved in any way you know how, its your business, your area, you have the 411! Be creative and innovative.

Need examples?

If your an e-commerce third party provide white papers on the industry on your facebook page, or organise e-commerce events for all and not just your customers.

If you are a retailer, impart your knowledge, exclusive reviews etc as you are an expert.

Most e-tailers are the bees knees in an area, so you can impart that knowledge to help buyers make better choices as well as building your profile.

Some e-tailers however (as a client once said ‘we just sell boxes, what’s in those boxes can vary’) shift boxes with no specialism. Social media and creating a community probably won’t work with you unless some consistency is found 🙂

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Kimono De Jack UK and Social Shopping

So, it happened. We managed to get 5 kimono lovers together for the first Kimono De Jack event and more will be attending the next event.

*photos by Lyuba Johnson

It was a great event and we shopped, talked and afterwards networked on facebook. I was recommended an obi clip for my obi troubles on the day and Hong used facebook to send me to a Rakuten item: and then following a discussion we had regarding the difficulty in finding larger sized zori, she posted this on my profile:

This is a great example of how real life relationships meet social networking with actions that translate to online shopping. Rakuten also have a new blog.

So in my basket today I have an obi clip, pair of zori and a funky obi makura all made easy for my by friends and facebook. Still think facebook is a waste of time for your online business? Kimono De Jack was Saturday, Monday morning I am spending my hard earned cash.

Social shopping is a key part of an on-line business and facebook makes things easy.

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Separating Business from Personal – Social Networking

I am going through a very slow clean out process – separating business and personal socially. You have sets of friends though life, business friends and friends who want to see your cat photos. Some cross over, but that is quite rare as business is cut throat, and a significant amount of trust is needed.

And also acceptance. I have never hidden the fact that socially, I am a bit out of the ordinary. I grab at any chance to don a full kimono or outfits of the gothic persuasion and funnily enough, this tendency does not affect my abilities as a consultant or developer. But some seem to think so 🙂

Facebook updates and tweets to the outside world can be misconstrued by sensitive businesses and I can’t always think of every angle to what I say in a random facebook update. It’s probably not about you, unless I call you out by name. But I can’t stop you thinking it, we all have a victim complex from time to time.

So on twitter and facebook Hairfreax is personal and matches my hobbies – you will know what my next outfit is, when I washed my hair and be able to see how my cats are doing or new hairpiece designs. Kidsontalks on twitter (and soon facebook) will be business related musing, and people who are more business friends and connections (who probably don’t really want updates on my cats diet) will be added there.

I apologise to those who have to put up with both, and those who I have removed from my personal facebook page.

I don’t have a lot of time, I work 24/7 and also weekends (today is a bank holiday but I am still at work with a list of to-dos and programming) so this is a slow process.

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Facebook profiles become indexed by search engines….oh no!

Now your facebook profile will be indexed in google:

Since your search privacy settings are set to “Everyone,” you now have a public search listing. This means that friends who aren’t yet on Facebook will be able to search for you by name from our Welcome page. Public Search Listings may only include names and profile pictures.
In a few weeks, these public search listings can be found by search engines like Google. No privacy rules are changing; anyone who discovers your public search listing must register and log in to contact you via Facebook.

This means facebook will now become a social site that will have to be ‘reputation managed’ on par with services such as linkedin as they can be listed high in the search rankings for your name and company. Did you think about that when joining facebook or indeed myspace? Social connecting is becoming big business and being raped for its search engine rankings for marketing purposes. Maybe the social community do not want to be marketed at from ALL angles and the reason facebook took over as the popular choice was the fact that is was NOT a marketing tool like myspace quickly became?

Facebook will now become just one of many marketing tools for companies in the Web 2.0 bedroom.

Goodbye facebook. What we had was sweet while it lasted.

This was brought to my attention by SearchEngineWatch

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