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Tim Peter

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January 18, 2013

E-commerce Wrap-up (Small Business E-commerce Digest)

January 18, 2013 | By | No Comments

No big lead-in this week folks. Just a quick roundup of our latest e-commerce coverage for you to enjoy. So, um… enjoy!

Finally, I gave a webinar this past week called It’s All E-commerce: How Social, Local, and Mobile Affects Sales Online and Offline”. You can review the slides below or watch the whole thing here.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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October 25, 2012

Thinks Out Loud Episode 7: Should You Still Like Facebook?

October 25, 2012 | By | No Comments

Should You Still Like Facebook?Headlines:

Tip:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 10m 13s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed or download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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October 12, 2012

10 Social, Search and Mobile Tips to Know This Week (Small Business E-Commerce Link Digest)

October 12, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social, search and mobile links I liked this weekLoads and loads and loads of social, local, mobile links this week worth checking out. So, as I often do, I’m going to skip the setup and get straight to the links:

  1. First up, Techcrunch reports on a Forrester study showing 66% of employees use 2 or more devices at work, 12% use tablets. Mobile isn’t a coming thing any longer. It’s here.
  2. I mentioned this in yesterday’s podcast, but it’s a clear sign of the growth of mobile when Google revamps its homepage for mobile phones.
  3. Speaking of search, Search Engine Land says that Yahoo’s search share continues its downward slide. I’m not sure that’s news, sadly. Your website’s stats probably tell you the same thing.
  4. Search Engine Watch details a new study that claims 53% of organic search clicks go to first link. Not terribly surprising and a great reminder of why you want to both improve your search engine ranking and find additional traffic sources, such as social.
  5. Speaking of social, here’s a great example of how social leads to Big Data. LinkedIn has a blog post that reveals insights into U.S. talent pools based on their use of the professional networking site. Cool stuff.
  6. And if you want to see examples of social commerce in action, Business Insider looks at brands testing Facebook’s ‘want’ button
  7. Long-time e-commerce players are learning lessons from the social world, too. For example, EBay has updated its site to be more personal, Pinterest-like
  8. Continuing on the social scene, I read a great piece yesterday that argues why Instagram will be the next big social media platform. For what it’s worth, I agree. In particular, note Jeremy Floyd’s comment, which notes, “What stands out to me about Instagram is that the bar for creators is so low. Your data may reveal this, but it seems that the disparity between creators and consumers is lower on Instagram than other networks.”
  9. Of course even on sites like Instagram creating content isn’t always the easiest thing. HubSpot looks at how to keep your marketing engine chugging with community-generated content
  10. And, wrapping up this week, I’ve often said that email is the “forgotten social network.” Search Engine Watch agrees, explaining why email marketing shouldn’t be an ugly stepchild. Good read.

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. Look forward to seeing you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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September 28, 2012

Social Success? 9+ Tips to Think About This Week (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – September 28, 2012)

September 28, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social marketing success tipsIt’s been a huge week on the social, local, mobile web. What, you think the NFL referees are the only big story this week? Seriously, there’s lots to talk about, so let’s dive right in:

  1. Leading off, Business Insider has a good look at the ROI of social media for direct sales.
  2. On a related note, MediaPost shows how social media leads to email and search conversion.
  3. Of course, not everyone’s a fan. The Wall Street Journal talks about CEOs on Twitter and how fear makes some executives leery of social media.
  4. What’s to fear? Well, Techcrunch reports Facebook is deleting lots of fake accounts, leading many Fan pages to lose followers.
  5. Privacy is another challenge on Facebook. But I argued earlier this week that Facebook’s supposed privacy problem may not be this big a deal (this time).
  6. Chris Abraham has a great post on Biznology explaining how business tweeting is a life-sentence.
  7. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic details Urban Outfitter’s recent switch to iPads and asks whether this is the end of the cash register?
  8. Speaking of Apple, CEO Tim Cook has issued an apology for its disastrous Maps app. Thinks looked at the what you can learn from Apple’s Maps mess earlier this week and also dug into the issue in more detail during this week’s podcast.
  9. Mashable is reporting that Instagram now has more daily active users on mobile than Twitter.

And I’d like to welcome back the regular NFL refs. It’ll be fun to boo the real officials, instead of the replacements, for a change. Hope your weekend rocks, Big Thinkers! And I’ll see you back here next week with more social, local, mobile marketing goodness.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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September 25, 2012

How Big a Deal Are Facebook's Privacy Problems?

September 25, 2012 | By | One Comment

Privacy and FacebookYesterday, I dove into what you can learn from Apple’s Maps debacle. Now, let’s take a look at Facebook’s latest privacy kerfuffle. It wasn’t my intent to spend this week talking about screw-ups, but, here we are…

It seems some Facebook users were seeing posts on their wall that looked like private messages. Uh-oh… cue the privacy police.

Except for one thing. The bug wasn’t showing private messages. Old public posts were reappearing instead. In other words, “move along, nothing to see here,” right?

Well, apparently not.

Some bloggers are suggesting that Facebook’s privacy concerns will make social business a tougher sell. Money quote:

“The thing is, when you look at [enterprise social tools] Chatter, Yammer or similar tools, it’s impossible not to at least think of the word Facebook. Which may lead more users to wonder about moments like this week’s alleged privacy breaches. The onus will be on IT departments to provide assurance that sensitive business data will be far more secure than anything on a public service.”

OK, first things first. I’ve had plenty of problems with Facebook’s treatment of consumer privacy (to say nothing of Facebook in general) in the past. And IT departments will need to ensure security of their firms’ proprietary data before putting too much super-secret, highly classified information in the social sphere.

At the same time, let’s be clear: Social is here to stay.

Suggesting that consumers and companies won’t adopt social because of privacy concerns ignores history. I worked for a large financial services company back when email and the Internet generally started coming on the scene. And, at the time, companies like mine had enormous concerns around whether they could incorporate these new tools without risking customer data, regulatory oversight, decreased productivity, increased costs or some combination of all four. Guess what happened.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. My father loves telling the story about working in a bank back in the early 1950′s (What can I say? He’s really old). It seems the company didn’t want their clerks using new-fangled technology to update their ledgers and accounts. The “new-fangled” technology? Ball-point pens (they worried the ink wouldn’t last as long as the ink from fountain pens). True story. Again, guess what happened.

Technology wins out in the long run, given one major criteria: Consumer adoption. If consumers use it, businesses will, too — whether they want to or not. It was true of the Internet. It was true of the web. It was true of email. It was probably true of the telephone (I wasn’t there, though I suppose I could ask my Dad). A much bigger threat to social in the enterprise is whether businesses make any money from it.

I’m not suggesting Facebook will be the ultimate winner. It might be Twitter. It might be Google+. It might be Foursquare or Path or Instagram or Pinterest or The Fancy or some site we’ve yet to hear about.

A better plan for your business is to figure out how to protect yourself and your interests while using social to interact with your customers. But unless privacy concerns keeps consumers away, they won’t keep businesses away either.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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August 24, 2012

This week's best social, search and e-commerce tips (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – August 24, 2012)

August 24, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social media marketing smallJust a quick look this week at the best social, search and e-commerce tips I’ve run across. Enjoy:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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August 20, 2012

All Marketing is Social Presentation

August 20, 2012 | By | One Comment

I recently presented a social media marketing session to an industry group called “All Marketing is Social”. Check it out:

And, don’t forget, I’m available to speak at your company or industry function as well.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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August 17, 2012

Search, Social and Mobile: What You Need to Know This Week (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – August 17, 2012)

August 17, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social on mobileNeed still more evidence how linked search, social and mobile are? Wondering why content marketing matters? Check out this week’s links:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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July 27, 2012

Olympian Content Marketing: 8 Content Marketing Tips (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – July 27, 2012)

July 27, 2012 | By | No Comments

Olympian content marketingHey, maybe you’ve heard, but there’s this big athletic competition starting up today over in London. Watching gifted and talented athletes give their all reminds me (as many things do) of the very best business owners and marketing managers. You’re competing every day for gold, silver, and bronze, too, competing and winning (and, sometimes, falling a little short). But, like the best athletes, you don’t give up. So, here’s an Olympic-sized list of content marketing tips for you. Let the Games begin!

  1. Marketing Land explores how to weave content marketing into your company’s DNA.
  2. Search plays a key role in content marketing. So SEO Nick explains how to optimize any page for your target keywords.
  3. Some say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Kairay Media is among those folks and they list 6 reasons to utilize infographics in your content marketing strategy.
  4. Mark Acsay at Webby Thoughts shows small businesses can blog like Fortune 500 companies. Not sure where to start? I’d recommend my guide on “How to Build Your Small Business Blog”.
  5. Ryan Sammy at BlueGlass details 6 simple ways to grow your audience using social traffic.
  6. Link-building plays an important role in your content strategy. Thankfully, James Agate has an amazing 6-month link building plan for an established website over on the SEOmoz blog (and you wondered why it was one of our 2012 Marketing and E-commerce All-Stars).
  7. Not to be outdone, Search Engine Watch recommends 15 helpful link-building tools.
  8. Finally, once you get people to your site, you want them to stick around. GoSquared offers 5 tips to increase engagement on your site.

Medal-worthy stuff all around from an amazing group of marketing superstars. They may not be able to pole vault or run 100 meters in 9 seconds, but they can help you lift your business to the medal platform. Enjoy!


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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July 5, 2012

Building your followers on LinkedIn

July 5, 2012 | By | No Comments

LinkedIn WebLogo LowResExampleA few weeks ago, I wrote a post on the Biznology blog claiming that “everyone needs both Pinterest and LinkedIn.” And while I’ve offered plenty of Pinterest tips over the last few months, it’s unfair to say I’ve offered similar coverage of LinkedIn. Until now.

Here are some of my favorite tips for growing the number of LinkedIn followers on your LinkedIn Company page.

Your LinkedIn Company Page

Why have a Company page on LinkedIn? Lots of reasons, really:

  • Attract new employees
  • Stay engaged with clients and customers
  • Promote your products and services to LinkedIn’s 100 million+ members
  • Effectively measure your LinkedIn visitors
  • Improve search engine results for your brand name

So, to gain more followers, first they have to have a reason to care about your brand. In other words…

What are you using your LinkedIn Company page for?

You want visitors to your Company page to have a solid first impression of your business. What do you offer? Is it clear? Is it compelling? Are you doing a good job of telling your brand story? While it may be obvious, few people will follow your brand on LinkedIn (or anywhere else for that matter), if you don’t give them a reason to care about you. As I’ve noted before, make sure you promote your values and your value to your Company page visitors.

How to reach potential followers

Gaining followers for your LinkedIn Company page actually isn’t dramatically different from any other social network. The basic steps are going to be very similar.

First, begin promoting your Company page during your routine customer contacts. This includes places like:

  • Phone calls
  • Business cards
  • Email signatures

Do each of your employees have your Company page in their email signature? Do you still provide business cards to your team? Why not place the URL for your Company page there, too?

Additionally, following a “hub ‘n’ spoke” model for promoting your business, ensure your company’s website, blog, and product pages all include a “Follow Company” button.

Additionally, you can promote your Company page on any of your other social outposts, whether Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or this month’s social site of the moment.

Once you’ve started promoting your Company page, begin updating the page regularly, offering your followers shareable content. We’ve covered the idea before, but you want to engage your (real and potential) audience with relevant items that engage, enlighten and entertain. As LinkedIn attracts a more “corporate” audience, you’ll likely want to skew the content towards “work-related” items. But that doesn’t mean they should be stiff or dry. Make the updates fun as well as functional to drive your follower count.

Conclusion

LinkedIn connects your company to educated and business-oriented contacts. Whether you’re looking to attract talent, customers or media, it’s a great source of high-value leads for your business. The social network’s Company page represents an effective means of reaching those folks. Ask potential contacts to follow your brand on LinkedIn and offer them solid reasons to do so. The rest, like much content marketing, is just a matter of time.

Oh… and while I’m at it, you can follow Tim Peter & Associates on LinkedIn, too.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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