Create and maintain virtual relationships with your customers

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Social networking/bookmarking is nowadays very popular among Internet users and it is such a great opportunity to use this as an ally for your ecommerce store. There is almost no Internet user that do not posses at least a single account on sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube or social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit and so on. Most of them are using social networking sites to find information related to from friends, news and gossip to even business, discounts etc.

Create and maintaining a virtual relationship with your customers could be very useful both for your image and reputation and also for your online store’s popularity. Of course, the online store is still a must, however becoming a member of most popular social networking sites can be a great step forward when trying to develop a “friends” network, friends that can drive sales/more customers to your store by sharing with their network information about your store, posting feedbacks, sharing discounts etc.

Here are some tips that will definitely improve the way you use social networking for your ecommerce website :

1. Customise your store as much as possible on social networks

Add pictures and screenshots of your website and create a custom background for your profile. Fill out your contact details with as many details as possible to make it easier for your network connection to contact you, whether through offline methods or through different online methods like email, live support or even private message.

2. Constantly updates

Once you have created these accounts, one of the most important aspects of social networking is to be active and post updates as often as you can. Interact with your “friends” and benefits will come. Have no time for this? Hire someone that will manage your presence on social networking sites and you can take care of your business as before.

3. Socialise!

So you have created your accounts, you have made some friends, now is time to be active. Follow what they are sharing, use the “Like” and “Retweet” buttons, see if they are saying something about your store.

4. Do not turn this only into self-promotion

When traditional holidays like Easter, Christmas etc occur, you can advertise special offers from your online store with no worries. Do not overdo it! It is OK to advertise your products in the rest of the time as well but show them that you are a person as well, not only a online business self-promoting its services/products.

5. Search for related groups

If your online store is specialised on dogs food for example, you should include in your strategy finding user-created groups related to pets, dogs, animal rights, animal lovers and so on. As well, become an active member of these groups and you will definitely gain some loyal customers.

As you see, it is not difficult to create and maintain virtual relationships on social networks, but the whole idea is to start this as soon as possible while every second you waste might become a lost customer as well.

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