Your Weekend Reading List 4/17/15

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Lots to catch up on this weekend. And don’t forget, I just launched my new Ebooks packed with so many insider secrets they will help take your small business to the next level. I have more ebooks for other industries coming out in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

small business blog roundup

Have a great weekend! Gail 



Which Social Media to Use For Your Business

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Do you ever wonder if you are spending too much time promoting your business on the wrong social media sites, sites where you target market may not be? As easy way to find out which social media sites your potential customers are on, is to look at the following of some of the big players who target the same people you do, and where they seem to be having the most success.

social media sites

Is YouTube the Best Social Site for Your Business?

For example, Bethany Mota is a 19-year YouTube sensation who posts beauty tutorials. Her following on YouTube is over 8.5 million. That is the social media site she is clearly dominating. However, she is also on Instagram (4.5 million followers), Twitter (2.4 million followers), and Facebook (1.6 million followers) and with pretty strong numbers. The unusual number is her Pinterest account, which has only 77,800 followers. Does this mean that her young audience in not on Pinterest as much as the other social media sites? Makes sense to me. Pinterest is considered to have a large female audience, but older than the 15 – 24 market Bethany targets. So if you are selling to this demographic, it seems that you might want to follow Bethany’s lead and focus your efforts on YouTube and Instagram.

which social media sites are best for what i sell

Is Pinterest the Best Social Site for Your Business?

Style Me Pretty is one of the most popular wedding blogs. If you look at their social media following you will see that they have a following on Pinterest of 5.7 million, a Facebook following of 1.1 million, an Instagram following of 303,000 and a Twitter following of 149,000. So are these numbers telling us that brides prefer Pinterest for wedding content over Twitter? It has been a long known fact that Pinterest is the leading social site for wedding content, so this kind of helps to prove that.

which social media to be on

Is Twitter the Best Social Site for Your Business?

If you look at the news organization, the Huffington Post, they have 5.6 million followers on Twitter, 4.8 million on Facebook, 302,000 followers on Instagram, 82,900 on Pinterest and 37,000 on YouTube. Now you may think that their Twitter and Facebook numbers are close, but you also have to consider the fact that Facebook has 4 times the monthly active users that Twitter does (Facebook has 1.4 billion users to Twitter’s 288 million), so Twitter is clearly the winner here in terms of how people prefer to get their news updates from the Huffington Post.

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Obviously there are other factors affecting their follower numbers.  Maybe it is how long the company has been on a particular social media site or how effectively they are using it. Oreo, for example, kills it on Facebook with its fun, whimsical posts to a following of 39 million. However, the numbers (while still good) greatly drop off for Twitter (611,000), Instagram (350,000), and Pinterest (9,000).

Remember, you can get more great marketing advice, ideas and tactics, including for social media, in my new ebooks below, available at my Selz Ebook Shop.



Marketing I Love: 2 Favs of the Week

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I am always on the lookout for great marketing, so here are a couple of tactics I noticed this week that I hope will inspire your business.

Fav Instagram Account of the Week: Play-doh

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I love what Play-doh is doing on Instagram. A lot of shops who use my monthly Marketing Calendar or have read my Ebooks, know that one of the keys to success on social media is taking advantage of what is trending. Play-doh is using its product, but in a playful way, to capitalize on key pop culture events. Look closely and you will see a white dog in honor of the premiere of Games of Thrones that night or an image for the first day of major league baseball or an image to announce the start of April. They find a clever way to capitalize on these trending hash tags.

Fav Promo of the Week: Lands End

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Lands End is taking advantage of Mother’s Day by asking its Instagram followers to tell them who in their life is an all around amazing woman, include the hashtag #sheis, and they have a chance to win a gift tote plus their picture could be part of their Mother’s Day page. This is a good way to spark a discussion on social media, get your own hash tag trending and get more comments on your Instagram page.

My New Ebooks are Here!

booksI am very proud of my new ebooks as I have packed them with my very best advice, tactics, tips and secrets for publicity, social media, promotions and more. You will not be disappointed! Available at my Selz Ebook Shop.

Your Weekend Reading List 4/10/15

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Hope you will enjoy my weekly roundup of business news. You will notice the first article is about the Music Festival fashion trend, something I have been telling my fashion clients for years they need to be in on.

small business blog roundup

EXTRA: Are you an American fashion, jewelry and/or accessories designer that has only been in business less than two years OR is under 35 years of age? Then this qualifies you to submit your business to’s Young Guns Competition. Good luck!

Enjoy your weekend! Gail 

April Marketing Calendar for Online Shops

marketing calendar online shopsGet 90 different marketing ideas and tactics that will get attention for your online shop in April ($10). Download here.

How to Get More Customers by Learning More About the Customers You Already Have

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

New clients always ask me how to get in front of their target market and get more customers. One of the problems may be that you don’t know enough about your current customers. Luckily for you, social media has made it very easy for you to find out more about the people who are buying from you (and from your competitors).

how to get more customers

Follow Taylor Swift’s Lead

For example, a few weeks back I wrote a post about What Your Business Can Learn from Taylor Swift because she really gets it in that she understands that her fans are her customers. So when she wanted to send some of her die-hard fans Christmas gifts, she went onto their social media pages to learn more about them.

Now, as a business owner, have you done this? Have you tried to learn as much as possible about the people who have already bought from you?

What You Can Learn From Your Customers’ Social Media Pages

It is not as creepy as it sounds, but basically is an exploratory exercise. Someone who has bought from you is likely representative of other people who would buy from you. By checking out their social media pages, be it Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., you will find out a lot of information about them such as which blogs they read (because maybe they sent out a link to a recent post), what TV shows they watch (because they have liked their fan page) even what stores they shop at (because they posted a photo of a recent purchase).

Tactics to Try

All of this information is really helpful in not only marketing your business, but also in creating future products and services your customers might like. Start by looking at their Facebook posts to see the type of content they have liked and/or shared. Then go to their Pinterest page and see which pins they have repined or liked or what type of boards they have created on what types of subjects. Go to their Twitter profile and see which media outlets they follow, which is really helpful if you are trying to find new places to advertise or get publicity for your business. This is why I always recommend to my customers to follow their customers on social media.

You can also use these same tactics to find out more about the people who are buying from your competitors, as likely their customers are following them on social media.

The more you know about your customers, the better chance you have of not only finding them, but selling to them … Gail 

arrowNeed help marketing your small business? Get my personalized Marketing Action Plan for your business and see an immediate difference in traffic and sales!


Marketing I Love: 3 Favs of the Week

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Time for another roundup of my favorites, this week a colorful Instagram account, a stylish online shop and a chic product packaging design. 

My Fav Instagram Account of the Week

I absolutely love the Instagram profile from Rachel Mae Smith of the blog, The Crafted Life. On her account she features a lot of bright and colorful photographs (her own) as well as simple but stylized images that relate back to her DIY and crafting blog. If you need a little color in your life, be sure to follow Rachel on Instagram at

Favorite Instagram accounts

My Fav Online Shop of the Week

Koromiko is a true artisan online marketplace. Featuring a variety of designers in the home goods space (some jewelry), the online shop features a clean, simplistic design. I love how the opening slide show features a variety of different products working together, which is so important when you want to up-sell more items in your shop. Don’t you just want to buy everything shown below because it all works so beautifully together? I also love that Koromiko profiles the artisans right on the home page, as well as in the section entitled, “Maker Spaces” for a glimpse inside the artists’ workshops. Keeps you on the site longer.

favorite ecommerce sites

 My Fav Product Packaging Design of the Week

I have always said, packaging does not have to be complicated to be effective. I love the packaging design of I Am Fragrance. Each bottle details a characteristic of what the perfume represents. The word “perfume” is not even on the front of the label. Just a basic typeface and each fragrance distinguished by the color of the label and matching ribbon makes for an eye-catching design.

great packaging design

Check back tomorrow for my advice on clever ways to get in front of your target market … Gail 

arrowNeed help marketing your small business? Get my personalized Marketing Action Plan for your business and immediately see a difference in traffic and sales!


Monday’s Home Office Inspiration

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

Today’s home office inspiration comes from House & Home. What I love about this office is the large vintage desk, in that two people could work at it, one on each side. The Planet of the Apes artwork is pretty cool, as it the standing lamp with the pendant just hanging from a string. Very MadMen!

home office ideas

Until tomorrow, enjoy your Easter Monday! … Gail 

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Your Weekend Reading List 4/3/15

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Some must-reads here, for the small business owner this weekend:

small business blog roundup

Enjoy your long weekend! Gail 

April Marketing Calendar for Online Shops

marketing calendar online shopsGet 90 different marketing ideas and tactics that will get attention for your online shop in April ($10). Download here.

5 Bright Marketing Ideas This Week

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

There were lots of great marketing and promotional ideas this week that got my attention. Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire your business.

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This Week’s Bright Marketing Ideas

  • Vienna coffee company Julius Meinl allowed customers at any of their locations to pay for their coffee simply by leaving an original poem, all in celebration of World Poetry Day on March 21 (#PayWithaPoem).
  • Starbucks is celebrating their 20th anniversary by selling a birthday cake flavored frappuccino.
  • Target is looking to add some more indie chic to their home decor offerings by now including products from artisan marketplace, Of a Kind.
  • Music festival fashion continues to be a hot commodity with major retailers such as Free People, Asos, TopShop, ModCloth and Roxy giving it a separate category in their online shops. H&M has even released a Coachella collection.
  • Yoga wear designer Lululemon has addressed a problem many men have and, as such, their ABC men’s pants are flying off the shelves. What does the “ABC” stand for? Anti-ball crushing.

Wishing a happy Easter and Passover to my readers! Gail 


6 Easy Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your Retail Store

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

One of my online clients, Cindy Potters, first opened her home accessories shop, Shed The Eclectic Home 6 years ago, in Maplewood, New Jersey.  In the last couple of years, declining foot traffic caused sales at the storefront to drop off dramatically, while her online store,, selling similar items, has flourished. When she decided to close the brick and mortar store, she found that a lot of her old customers suddenly came back to her shop.

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This is fairly typical behavior of shoppers. You may love a store, but time constraints or a lack of something pulling you in, puts off visiting even your most favorite shops. So what are some creative ways to get customers to keep coming back more frequently to your retail store?

1. Always Have Changing Inventory

I know this is a challenge, but your regulars may not be coming back in your store because they assume it is just the same old, same old. So make it known that on the 1st of every month there are new items in the shop (through social media and putting signage in the windows and on the sidewalk), even dedicating an area of the store to “New In Shop” (a trick online shops do).

2. Consistent Deals

Everyone loves hunting for a bargain. That is why stores such as TJ Maxx have thrived. So try to have an ongoing bargain hunter section in your shop (maybe a back room) with discount priced or discontinued items.

3. Take Advantage of the Seasons & Holidays

People are definitely more likely to buy at certain times of the year, such as for fall decorating, clothes for a summer vacation, items for back to school, and these events are more time-sensitive, meaning customers may not want to take a chance on online purchases arriving in time. So make sure your shop capitalizes on these occasions in terms of product offerings and sales promotions.

4. Support Local Designers or Artisans

If once a month you profile a different local designer in your store in the form of a pop-up shop that they host (you get a percentage of sales), you now bring their customers to your shop (not to mention their friends and family).

5. Hold In-Store Events

The nice thing about in-person shopping is that it is more of an experience. Bring customers in by offering one-day demonstrations, special guests, exclusive services, or a limited collection. Get creative such an in-store Easter egg hunt for the kids or a live in-store streaming of New York fashion shows, whatever suits your business.

6. Email & Social Media Alerts

Email is still effective if used properly. Simply ask customers if they wish to get your monthly email alert showcasing new items in the shop, in-store events and one-day sales. Alternatively, ask them to follow your Facebook page where you will post new items in the shop on the first of every month. Offer them a 15% coupon if they share the post with their followers. Put all of this information on a business card to give them, as well as put the information on the tags of the products you sell, on the final printed invoice and even on your store bags.

Time will tell if shopping habits change again, but for now, brick and mortar stores still have hope as long as they get a little more creative. Be sure to share this post … Gail.

arrowNeed help marketing your small business? Get my Marketing Action Plan for your business and immediately see a difference in traffic and sales!



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