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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Author Archive

How to Sell Your Products on Facebook

Social media platforms like Facebook have become networking meccas for people around the globe. Once primarily used for keeping in contact with friends and family, Facebook is now among the top marketing and advertising venues in the world. Savvy business people know that in order to gain customers, you have to go where the people are. With nearly over 700 million registered users, Facebook is one of the Internet’s top destinations.

Aside from marketing and advertising, people have also begun merging e-commerce into the Facebook platform. This allows them not only to market and advertise their brand to potential customers, but provides an avenue for those potential customers to purchase products from the advertisers as well. Facebook provides ample opportunities for businesses to integrate into its platform and network in markets that may not have been available to them before.

One method of selling on Facebook that business owners can use is the Facebook Fan Page. It’s kind of like a fan club for a business where people can click an icon to become a member of the club or “like” your brand. Once on the “brand wagon,” business owners post updates, specials, promotions and other relevant news to garner and maintain interest in their product. Usually the brand owner links off-site to their main website where their products or services are available for purchase.

The second method of selling on Facebook ties in with the Fan Page – and that method is Facebook ads. Businesses can purchase ad space that appears in sidebars of Facebook users’ pages. These ads are highly customizable and gives the ad buyer a myriad of options in targeting their preferred demographic of Facebook users. When the users click these ads, they are directed back to the business’ Fan Page so the Facebook advertising campaign sort of comes full-circle.

The third method of selling on Facebook involves the creation of an on-site store where a brand’s fan club and others can make purchases directly from the Fan Page (also known as F-commerce). The creation of these Facebook stores are done via apps provided by e-commerce platforms. The apps are integrated into a Fan Page and allows the brand owner to manage every aspect of his store as well as track sales and other traffic-related information right from their dashboard. Vendio, Payvment, and VendorShop are examples of such application that’s pretty straightforward and especially easy for novice users to manage. They have a library containing a wealth of information on their site, including videos that will help brand owners through every step of the process – from the installation to shipping information. Dealio provides the platform and services for free, but does have optional paid features for business owners needing additional options and features.

Most of the f-commerce platforms out there do offer a free level of service and those services vary with each provider so doing some research on what’s out there is prudent to finding a provider that will work for you. There are ecommerce solutions that cater to small businesses and others that cater to larger businesses that require more features such as inventory management and multi-variation product listing. The idea of these platforms is that they work with the aforementioned methods of selling on Facebook, not against them. A solid combination of all three methods will ensure that you have an effective e-commerce campaign by providing maximum exposure for your brand.

About The Author
Helen Fang is the social media expert at Vendio, an ecommerce software company that enables online businesses to sell on Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and Google from one platform.

Blogger Ethics and Guest Posting

There has been a lot of talk about blogger ethics in light of the FTC rules enacted in December, 2009. Although how the new regulations will be interpreted and enforced is still in question, there is no doubt that behaving ethically and transparently is in the best interests of bloggers, regardless of the law.

One way bloggers are being transparent is with a disclosure policy. Most disclosure policies explain the bloggers’ positions on things such as advertising, affiliate links and receiving freebies. If a blogger has never considered his approach to these issues, establishing a disclosure policy will cause him to think about how he wants to operate. The policy then lets readers know what to expect from the blog.

But what about when you are hosting a guest blogger on your site, or guest blogging on another site? What are the best practices for guest blogging? Here are some thoughts on how you can be ethical and above-board as a guest blogger or when you are hosting guest bloggers.

When you are the guest blogger
Read and follow the host blogger’s disclosure policy. How do they handle things such as affiliate links? Do they identify each affiliate link, post a notice with any post containing an affiliate link, or just rely on the disclosure policy to state that some posts may contain affiliate links?

Use links that are clear, and do not try to mislead the host or his readers about what you are linking to.

Do not make recommendations solely for the purposes of inserting an affiliate link. Your reputation is on the line here, just as it is on your own blog. Only make sincere and warranted recommendations.

Do not disguise any involvement you have with a product or service you are reviewing or recommending. Using someone else’s blog to recommend your product by blogging under a false name is unethical no matter how you look at it.

When you are the host
Make guest bloggers aware of your policies and requirements. Do you not allow affiliate links? Do you require that each post disclose any affiliate links, compensation or possible conflict of interest? If so, let guest bloggers know they must make these disclosures in their posts.

Check links to make sure they go where they appear to go. This is your site, so verify that any links in posts are what they say they are.

Consider adding a disclaimer, such as, “Posts by guest authors represent the ideas and recommendations of the guest authors, and I do not necessarily share these opinions.” This can be added to each guest post, or made a part of your overall disclosure policy. Although it may not function as a legal defense, it lets readers know that your publication of a post does not mean you endorse it.

In short, whenever you publish a post as an author or host, be honest and transparent. Your name is your most important asset. Protect it by always blogging with integrity.

This is a guest post from Cathy Stucker. Cathy runs a free service to connect bloggers and guest posters at http://BloggerLinkUp.com/.

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