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.

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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.

How to Tell if Someone Really Is a Social Media Marketing Expert

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

Don’t you love people who try to sell their social media marketing skills based on their number of followers? A lot of people have even taken their allegedly huge list of followers and used it to become product influencers and ambassadors. Before you fall for some of these claims, here is how you find out the truth.

social media marketing

Use Taylor Swift as an Example

Take our girl, Taylor Swift. Taylor has 51,500,000 Twitter followers and I seriously doubt she had to buy any of them (trust me, many people do). When she sends out a tweet, it will show right in the Twitter box that it got typically 10,000 to 60,000 retweets, and around 10,000 to 100,000 favorites. So about .1% to .2% of her audience responds on average.

What Are Their Shares, Favorites and Retweets?

I was on a Twitter account the other day of someone who proclaimed to be a social media expert with 330,000 followers. The funny thing was none of their tweets had any retweets or favorites. Doesn’t that seem odd to you? According to the .1% calculation, their tweets should have had at least 330 retweets and favorites. Makes me wonder, is anyone really out there? Same with their Facebook page, no comments on their posts and low shares and likes of just 1 or 2. With a Facebook following of over 90,000 fans, doesn’t that seem fishy to you?

Now go over to Pinterest where some of the heavy hitters over there have millions of followers. I follow quite a few of them and I was looking at one pinner who has 12 million+ followers, and their pins, on average, have 50 to 150 likes and anywhere from 50 to 1,500 repins. Now the repins will bring the pin an even wider audience so the coverage is good, but the numbers still don’t quite add up to the response of what we are being led to believe is 12 million+ followers.

So, What Is Their Real Audience?

So don’t get caught up in someone’s social media following because these numbers are typically inflated for three reasons: A lot of businesses buy followers, or have fake profiles set up just to be look like a follower; people fall off social media but are still listed as a follower even though they haven’t looked at their Twitter or Facebook account in months: a lot of social media content has only a very short life to be seen (unless it goes viral) because followers just are not on their social media feeds 24×7.

Also remember, traffic is not a guarantee of sales. Again, on average only 1% to 5% of un-targeted traffic will convert into sales.

‘Til next time. Thanks for reading … Gail

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How Your Small Business Can Get Big Attention on Social Media, Like Oreo Does

by G.B. Oliver

There is a reason Oreo cookies has over 35 million followers on Facebook. They take advantage of what is trending on social media to get themselves seen by millions (a suggestion I have made many times on this blog).

For example, here are some of their best posts from the last two weeks, capitalizing on the Sochi Olympics trending big on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

oreo social media marketing

They are not blatantly promoting their product. They are using their product to comment on what is going on in pop culture in an entertaining way.

Now, obviously as a small business you can’t afford an in-house graphic artist to conceive a new idea for you every day. But every once in a while try posting a really creative graphic that ties your product or service in with something that is trending, and it may get you widely circulated on social media.

Upcoming Events That Will Be Trending on Social Media:

  • Paris Fashion Week (February 25)
  • Academy Awards (March 2)
  • Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday (March 4)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8)
  • March Madness (March 18)
  • First day of Spring (March 21)
  • Passover (April 14)
  • Easter (April 20)
  • Earth Day (April 22)

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Blog post by G.B. Oliver © 2014. All rights reserved.

Put Previews of Your Social Media Business Pages on Your Homepage

by G.B. Oliver

A lot of businesses will put their social media icons on their website, but usually at the bottom of the page, or they are quite small or not in a clearly visible spot. Remember, being on social media is not going to help you unless you get people to follow you, who will then share your posts/pins/tweets with their followers, creating a ripple effect.

Major online retailers are taking their social media efforts a step further, beyond using small icons to get you to click over to their social media pages. Instead, many are actually promoting their social media pages right on their shop homepage with a preview, in order to lure customers over. Here are some good examples:

Tumblr – Club Monaco


The clothing retailer, Club Monaco, has added a snippet of their Tumblr page, uniquely called Culture Club, to the bottom of each of their section pages. You can click on the individual images (to reblog, like, etc.) or you can go directly over to their Tumblr page and start following it. In fact, Club Monaco has dedicated a shop section to all their social media (under the same Culture Club title) where you can see their Tumblr page, some pins from their Pinterest boards, some posts from their Facebook page, and some tweets from their Tweeter feed. Much more effective than icons.

Pinterest – Mark & Graham


The online store, Mark & Graham, specializes in personalized and engraved products. On their home page and on their blog, they are promoting their Pinterest boards, but selecting one board to profile, relevant to the current season, like this one on popsicles. Clicking on this visual preview takes you to their Pinterest boards.

Instagram – Bottica


Jewelry and fashion accessories retailer, Bottica, profiles Instagram photos from their customers right on their homepage. They encourage customers to take a unique photo of one of their products, and then they select the best ones to profile on the site and on their Instagram page. Customers can even upload photos directly on the homepage. Each Instagram photo also has the product listing directly hyperlinked so you can easily purchase.

FINAL WORD: Social media icons are pretty common place on websites now, but the real innovators are taking it a step further by promoting their social media pages with previews or other more detailed, interactive graphics. If you really want to develop a following on social media and broaden your reach, maybe you should do the same.

Does Your Shop or Website Need Some Creative Marketing Ideas?

GB OliverI specialize in helping small businesses selling online, and, as such, I offer extremely affordable consulting services that will make a huge difference for your business. Whether you offer products and/or services, my consultations will help you identify how to get in front of your target market, bring in more sales, and expand your reach to take advantage of the international online marketplace. Just fill in the form below for more information, email me at to discuss or see my Marketing Services page. Or check out my Ebook Shop for great Small Business Marketing Ideas.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Which Social Media Site is Best for What You Sell?

by G.B. Oliver

There are so many social media sites available right now, that to try and be on all of them effectively is a huge endeavor for a small business.  But the truth is not all social media is right for all types of products.

Social Media Tips

These are the most popular social media platforms in general, based on the number of searches each month on Google:

  • Facebook – 3.76 billion searches each month
  • YouTube – 755 million searches each month
  • Twitter – 124 million searches each month
  • Pinterest – 16.6 million searches each month
  • Tumblr – 13.6 million searches each month
  • Instagram – 9.1 million searches each month

Keep in mind that Pinterest and Instagram have only been in existence a few  years so they are still growing in popularity.

Now, I was curious to see which social media people are using to search for which types of products, so you can find the one that is right for your business.

Here is what my research showed:

  • Fashion – Tumblr is the clear winner here, although Instagram is on the rise. Six times as many people search for fashion on Tumblr as they on do Pinterest, the next most popular social media.
  • Wedding  – Pinterest completely dominates this category, with no other social media really coming close.
  • Vintage  – Tumblr again is the leader here, with really no other social media even showing promise.
  • Art – Again, Tumblr dominates the searches for art.
  • Beauty – Makeup is searched highly on Tumblr, but YouTube is a close section, especially for tutorials
  • Kids – Pinterest was the winner here, but, surprisingly Facebook was popular as well.
  • Geek – If you sell gadgets and geekery, “geek” is searched more on YouTube than any other social media.

It might be helpful to note that products are not really being searched for on Twitter. Instead, Twitter searches tend to be primarily focused on news events or pop culture. Also, #hash tags (a great way to search by keyword) are typically only used on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, slightly used on YouTube and Pinterest and not at all on Facebook.

FINAL WORD: Because social media is time consuming, you would be best to only spend your efforts on the ones your target market is using.

G.B._OliverNeed More Marketing Advice?

I have countless other tactics for using social media (among other marketing tools) in my series of ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

4 Social Media Sites You May Not Be Using … But Should

by G.B. Oliver

NY TIMES SMALL BUSINESSWhen you think social media, the top sites always come up Facebook (750 million users), Twitter (250 million users), Linked In (110 million users), Pinterest (85 million users). But there are others that also host millions of users that might be better for your type of business.


DeviantArt  (26 million users) – if you sell any kind of art, photography, artisan craft, you should profile your business on DeviantArt. They allow you to post your products, include a detailed profile, link to your website, and will actually sell your creations for you. Now, you don’t have to sell on DeviantArt, they will let you link directly to your own shop to purchase.


BuzzFeed (15 million users) – BuzzFeed was founded by Jonah Peretti, who co-founded the Huffington Post, which is the most-read blog on the Internet. BuzzFeed is a magazine/blog with a variety of articles on different subjects, but there is a celebrity/lifestyle/politics/entertainment focus. You set up a profile and can post an article you write, images you like, products you like, etc. There is content already on the site written by their writers, but if the staff likes your post, they may put it on the main page exposing you to their millions of readers. For example, if you sell baby products could write a post entitled, “10 Crying Baby Santa Photos”. It has to creative and it can’t be blatant advertising. While you can include links to your shop, you cannot include links to your blog.


Indulgy (3 million users) – Indulgy is a lot like Pinterest. You add photos of things you love and it links right back to the direct source on the Internet. It is a little more streamlined than Pinterest with no categories to search on, just the main board or the popular category. Photos appear here with a board title listed, so you can click on the board to narrow down to something more specific. As I said, it is much more streamlined. Also, the sizing of the photos is more uniform than on Pinterest, making it easier to get noticed. Fashion and decorating photos definitely dominate the popular board, so if you sell these types of products, Indulgy may be for you.


Metacafe (11 million users) – This is a video channel, an obvious competitor to YouTube. I would definitely recommend it if you have a technie, geeky or gadgety type product as that seems to be the more popular posts. Also, pop culture such as movies, tv and music is big on this channel, so if you have products in that vein, ie. Fashion Inspired by Mad Men, your target market is definitely here.

FINAL WORD: New social media sites are always popping up and will continue to do so. To try and be on all of them isn’t the answer. Pick and choose the ones that are right for your target market and marketing efforts.

Have You Heard About My Marketing Ebooks?


“Best buy ever!” . . “Cannot recommend this enough!” . .  “You will not be disappointed!” . . . “Incredible!” – just some of the customer reviews of my ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, available HERE.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Latest Pinterest Marketing Tip

by G.B. Oliver

I am not sure if your business is using the popular image gallery, Pinterest, but since it is free, you may want to consider it.

How it works, in a nutshell, is if one of your products gets pinned to either one of the main category boards (strictly by chance) or gets repinned by one of the popular pinners (some have over 5 million followers), then it can mean a lot of exposure and traffic to your shop, as well as continual exposure and traffic for months based on repins (when people see your product and repin it to one of their boards). Now, unfortunately that traffic doesn’t always translate into sales, but better some traffic than no traffic.

Now, I noticed an interesting trend on Pinterest that I thought I would share.  7 of the top 16 pins currently on Pinterest (and by top I mean the highest number of repins) were inspirational quotes. That is almost 50%. The others were food or fashion.

So here is my tip on how I think you can use this trend of inspirational quotes to help your business get noticed on Pinterest.

First of all, if you do wall art such as this, then you should have no problem getting your products pinned. Just make sure that you have a product photo that goes in tight on the saying so it is readable. Then, add a watermark of your url or shop name so people can trace it back. Sometimes when people pin your items from some of the mobile apps, the original source gets lost.


But what if you sell something else, like kids’ products? Well, here is where you can get a little creative. Simply find a cool or funny or inspirational saying that relates to your product and photograph your item against it or add the text to the product photo. For example, if I was selling baby booties, I would take a shot of the booties and to the side of the booties I would photoshop in the words, “I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me Mom”.

FINAL WORD: You can do this for any type of product. If you sell food have a quote about food. If you sell jewelry, have a romantic saying. If you sell fitness products, have a motivational saying. It is almost like doing an ad with a tag line. But this is what gets pinned and repinned and will give you exposure.

Start Selling More Today with My New Marketing Ebooks!


You don’t think I put my best secrets here on the blog, do you? Find more marketing and social media ideas and tricks that will help drive your online business in my ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, as well as other helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop. Editions for Jewelry/Fashion, Wedding, Home and Kids & Baby Products. 

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.