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September 29th, 2009 | Yahoo Store Extras, Yahoo Store Tips

Facebook, Twitter and Your Yahoo! Store

Posted on September 29th, 2009 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

Social Media and Networking are the biggest buzzwords we’ve hear this year right behind talk about the economy. It’s huge. Everyone’s doing it (more on that shortly), but to maximize your time and financial investments in technologies like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace you should really understand your audience. It’s easy to spend time and money on these sites so I think it’s extremely critical to know who you are marketing to.

I found a recent study by The Nielson Company very interesting in this aspect. The news wasn’t a surprise to me, but it was nice to confirm that my theories and beliefs about these platforms was extremely accurate. After spending 13 years designing businesses online, I’ve seen a lot of change in users, technologies and trends…

According to the Nielson report, more than 50% of the entire country has participated in some form of social networking on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter in the last year. Of those people, your Facebook users are typically the more affluent and the MySpace crowd is a younger (MUCH younger), less affluent group (keep in mind that age is a factor since these are high school and younger college kids). The report also showed that the majority of Twitter users and even Bloggers are based in Urban areas.

On the subject of age, Nielson found that the Facebook demographic is changing and quickly. High school and College usage is slightly declining from previous years, but the older crowd, especially 30-somethings and 55 plus users is skyrocketing. In fact, the usage on Facebook amongst 55 year old’s and up has grown a staggering 513.7% on in the last 6 months.

On the flip side, MySpace has shown to be most popular amongst the youngest crowds and the older users are typically in the lower third economic class of frequent online users.

So what does this mean to your business? In my opinion these numbers and stats speak for themselves.

If you are marketing “essentials” or to a very young crowd, spend time focusing on MySpace. If your crowd is more affluent, older and / or educated I’d suggest focusing on FaceBook and Twitter.

I’m still not convinced that PAYING to market on these sites (Facebook specifically) is worthwhile, but honestly I have not tested it enough to have an opinion. I can tell you that I’ve clicked on one advertisement since I’ve been a member of Facebook and it was a political ad that had a message that intrigued me. I’ve never clicked on anything else. I always notice the ads though, so if you are looking for brand recognition through repetition, Facebook may be a good opportunity for you.

My suggestion for Yahoo! Store owners is as follows: If you sell products to anyone from the age of 18 to 60 and have at least one hour a week to dedicate to making “an effort”, I would suggest opening up a Fan Page for your business on Facebook and create a Twitter account. They’re both free and if nothing else they have the potential to get you a little more exposure.

The key factor though is to USE those resources to communicate with your customers. Keep them updated! Tell them about your current sales, about your new products, about a review you received in the paper, etc.

It’s very easy to get discouraged about Facebook and Twitter because you can SEE who is following you and in the beginning those numbers are tiny, but don’t let yourself get discouraged! Keep those posts coming and if you are posting something useful, your followers and fans will come. Also keep in mind that Twitter posts can be searched for keywords (just like a search engine), so be sure to use those important keywords to your business when you post. Send your pages to your friends and family, they are the best way to grow your followers quickly and create “value in groups” for new followers and fans.

If you want to take it to the next level open up a blog for your store. We would be happy to assist you with that. Once you’ve opened up a blog, we can help you set your blog up to AUTOMATICALLY post to Facebook and Twitter. Think about it… write one post and get the benefits on your blog with SEO and education for your customers and get the added benefit of having everything automatically posted to your social media sites! Now you’ve got no excuse not to write, post and share!

Want to see it in action? Head to our Twitter Page, you’ll see this post is listed there with a link and we didn’t do a thing other than write this article. Head over to Facebook and look at our Colorado Web Solutions fan page. Again, this post is there with no effort. We’re here to help, so just let us know if you need help getting this all set up.

Once you’ve got some followers and fans, it’s time to customize the experience! Colorado Web Solutions can help you with customizing your twitter background (examples 1, 2, 3) as well as creating icons, etc. Just let us know, we’re here to help!

There is so much ore to write about Facebook, Twitter and MySpace in relation to your Yahoo! Store, but I hope that you will at least come out of reading this article and open up accounts on at least one or two of these services. You’ve got nothing to lose but a little time. It’s free, so get started right away.

Have a great week everyone –

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