Friday, April 20

Launch of the New Aston Martin V12 Zagato

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the launch of this fabulous car. at Galpin Motors in Los Angeles. I thought I'd share just how amazing the car is...

Thursday, April 19

Small Business and Startups: Don't compete on price; Compete on Value.

Startups have a lot in common with small business and ecommerce sellers. The advice below from my friend Flavio Martins can be applied universally to all business in the 21st century.
You can’t compete in price when you’re starting out. The big players, already established, have greater leverage on pricing. They undercut, lower prices, offer discounts, offer freebies. They can afford it. You can’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t compete.
If there’s one thing successful startups have shown us is that you don’t have to come out of the gates with the lowest price in order to succeed. You have to add value to what’s already available to customers.

From the customer’s point of view, your company or brand exists only to create value for them and to provide them with results.

Don't Compete on Price. Compete on Value.

Monday, April 16

Social Commerce: The Next Big E-Commerce Revolution is Starting Now!

People have been asking what I've been working on. While I continue to tackle customer service as a continuation of my Online Customer Service Guide, I continue to explore (and write about) eBay, new venues and ways to promote e-commerce. My next book will be Social Media Commerce For Dummies. the infographic below gives you an idea as to the future of e-commerce. I promise not to let my readers down!



Wednesday, April 11

Want to Sell or Build a Brand? Here's What Works Best on Pinterest

The private Beta of Pinerly launched about a week ago and they shared some really interesting things they gleaned from analyzing their campaigns.To join the Pinerly beta to improve your views, click here.
When breaking down a single pin, each pin has: an image, a source, a description, an associated board, category for the board, and a time when it was posted. We posted many campaigns over the past week to see what works and doesn't and noticed that our most effective campaigns had some similar traits. The list below outlines each of these in detail:
(1)  Compelling image: A beautiful image just won’t cut it. You’ll need a beautiful image that either elicits value, touches a human emotion, follows a trend, or relates to one of the following basic human needs: makes them happier, richer, healthier, or gets them *cough* =). We noticed that the most “compelling” images are simple (often white background), understandable, and relate to trends or the current season (for example, one of our pins connecting to the recent “hunger games” craze received 196 click-throughs to the final blog!). As humans, we relate the easy understandability of an image to the ease of understanding the overall topic being covered. So it's no surprise that even on Pinterest, simplicity always wins.
(2)  Call-to-action description: After an intriguing image, the user viewing your content refers to the description. We posted similar images, varying the descriptions, and noticed that a call-to-action description received about 80% more clicks than the user's average pins. This means just adding a simple phrase like: “You must see how this is done” or “You should see how well this is …” or “Tutorial on how to …” or “19 ways to …”.
(3)  Post at the right times: One of our Pinterest tips states that the best hours to pin are from 8PM-1AM EST (notice that the hunger games post was done @12AM EST) – and the numbers prove this to be correct. Interestingly, it seems that pins pinned between 2PM to 4PM EST get a lot of hits as well!
(4)  Post to popular boards: This one is obvious, the boards with the most followers have a larger reach and in turn provide a larger potential for re-pins, likes, and click-throughs.
(5)  Trending topics: Lastly, our pins referring to a trending topic (our example of “Hunger Games” above or “Easter”) were extremely popular – receiving 196 click-throughs, 28 re-pins, and 17 likes. This adds to the importance of trending topics and allows you to stay-ahead and ensure that you are constantly staying relevant.
(6)  Feed back to your social networks: Twitter and Facebook are still very powerful tools and this is where your descriptions could add a lot of additional value. Using hashtags in your descriptions allows you to immediately “tag” your content on Twitter (particularly when you are posting around trending topics). We're still playing around with the effects of having hashtags in descriptions so there are no final conclusions here yet.
We’ve put together the infographic below to break down some of these stats into % value:
On a final note, no matter what kind of content you are posting, always always remember your audience. They are mostly well-educated females that are spending time looking for great new content and things to discover.