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

My February Marketing Calendars are Available for Download Now!Ecommerce Feb Cover




Maximize Your Social Media Strategy by Updating Your Graphics for Fall Events

by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

Have you updated your social media banners (and online store banners) to reflect the current fall season? It can be a valuable sales tool for your small business.

Your cover images/banners are like ads for you. You can use them to announce a seasonal sale, a new fall offering, as well as to make your shop look current and still active, particularly to first time visitors.

If you sell clothing for example, do you want customers to come to your Facebook page and see that your cover image is still showing your summer fashion offerings? It might make them think you are no longer in business, or only specialize in summer clothing.

See how these top brands below have maximized their social media cover images for fall.

Update Your Social Media Banner Images for Fall

I like how Banana Republic has used their Facebook cover image to show various clothing pieces from their new fall collection.

Updating your social media for fall


Update Your Social Media Banner Images for a Seasonal Event

September is big for back to school, and for some stores, that is a top selling time. Below, The Children’s Place, used their Facebook cover image to promote buying back to school clothes to their followers.

Update your social media for back to school


Update Your Social Media Banner Images to Announce a Fall Sale

Crate and Barrel only holds their upholstery sale once a year in the fall, so they use their Facebook cover image to promote it.

Update your social media for a sale


Update Your Social Media Banner Images to Show New Fall Offerings

I love how the nail polish company Zoya, used their Facebook image to show their autumn inspired line of polishes.

Update your social media for new products


Update Your Social Media Profile Descriptions

Don’t ignore your social media profile descriptions either. A lot of companies will update their Twitter and Instagram profiles, for example, to include #hash tags of seasonal trending terms, such as #NYFW2014 (New York Fashion Week), #NFL or #Halloween. Again, you can also use your profile descriptions to announce a fall sale i.e. Fall #Sale On Until 9/31/14 or fall event, i.e. See Our New Fall Look Book. 

It is so important that your business always looks current on social media. It can be easy to neglect, but since more and more sales are being driven through social media, it is a mistake to not update it for every season.

Want a Free Evaluation of Your E-commerce Shop? It is for an upcoming blog post. Just email me at

Insider Report CoverIt’s Here!

My September Marketing Insider Report is out now! If you want to sell more online  this month, get my very best tactics and exclusive selling opportunities (such as the social media tip I gave above), in this month’s report! I also include feedback from my retail contacts on the current hot sellers and what customers are asking for this time of year. Download Now! 20-page PDF. Read a FREE excerpt here.

© 2014 Gail Oliver. All right reserved.

3 Social Media Marketing Ideas To Try During the Sochi Olympics

by G.B. Oliver

Here are three social media marketing ideas for your small business that you need to implement ASAP, to take advantage of all the trending Olympic coverage.


1. “Like” the Facebook Page of Your Country’s Olympic Team

social media marketing ideas olympics

Their posts will now appear in your Facebook news feed and you can comment on them and join in on the conversation. Don’t mention your business, just show patriotic spirit and your avatar and business name will get seen by other fans and commenters.

2. Send Tweets with the Trending Olympic Hash Tags

social media marketing ideas olympics

This is another great way to get visibility for your business as people read these tweets. The more creative your tweet is, the more likely it will be read and retweeted. Make sure to change your Twitter trends to your country to see what is currently popular.

3. Comment on Olympic Pins

marketing ideas social media olympics

Olympic coverage is big on Pinterest right now, with pins getting re-pinned hundreds of times. Comment on the really popular ones (or pin one yourself) and get seen by thousands of people. Just type “Olympics” or “Sochi” in search to find these pins.

Be sure to check out my ebook series, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, just click on the image below:


© 2014 G.B. Oliver. 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.

Why Your Small Business Should Join in on a Twitter Party

by G.B. Oliver

I have written about Twitter a few times on my blog. While I feel it is better for business to business marketing, there are ways to use it to reach the end user. One way is participating in (not necessarily hosting) Twitter parties.


Sometimes you will see a #hashtag trending that may say something like, #ThisisStyle or #BestBirthdayMemory.  This, more than likely, means a Twitter party is going on around this topic of conversation. It was set up by a company (in these cases, Sears and Milk Magic Straws, respectively) and it typically will last an hour.

Simply click on the hashtag and you can join in. The sponsoring company will ask participants a serious of questions, based on the hashtag, for them to tweet an answer (you have to include the #hashtag with the answer).

The incentive for participants to answer is that typically prizes are given away. The sponsoring company benefits because the Twitter party is a great way to engage customers and get in front of an even larger market.

But, as a small business, you do not have to host a Twitter party to still benefit from them. Simply by participating in the party – answering the questions intelligently and informatively and making sure that your Twitter name and avatar represents what you sell – then the majority of other participants might take note of you. People aren’t just there to give answers, they want to read answers too. So after reading yours they may just click over to your Twitter profile or decide to follow you.

For example, MomCentral is a popular blog and they frequently host Twitter parties. So if you sell to moms, it is a good opportunity to join in because the majority of people participating will be moms. Again, just answer the questions, do not promote your business or products. The display of your avatar and company name are enough.

During Twitter parties, it is also common for participants to respond (nicely) to each other’s responses. This gives you a chance to engage potential customers, as well as another opportunity for your avatar to show up in the feed, as long as it doesn’t look obvious that is what you are doing.

How do you know when these  parties will be happening? Simply enter in the Twitter search box #twitterparty and any upcoming ones will appear.

So, join in a Twitter party and see if during that hour that you participated (as well as the hour after) your traffic from Twitter increased. Then you will know if it works for your business.

G.B._OliverNeed Help Marketing Your Online Business? 

I offer a variety of affordable marketing services. Just contact me at or use the contact form below. Also, check out my Ebook Shop for more marketing advice.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved

Are You Taking Advantage of Today’s Trending Hash Tags on Twitter?

by G.B Oliver

I bet the NFL draft is this week. How do I know that? Because NFL was been showing up in the trending box on Twitter all morning. In fact, when something major is going in the world, Twitter can act as your news feed.

So Are You Capitalizing on Twitter #Hash Tags for Your Online Business?

I’ve discussed this before in previous posts, but I wanted to give you some further insight. When a hash tag shows up in the Trends box on the left, it does peak people’s curiousity. So if they click on it they will be taken to a list of tweets using that hash tag.

I have been telling my small business clients (depending on what they sell) to be ready to take advantage of what I thought would be trending topics on Twitter this month for sure.

One is #Coachella. The popular California music festival has been on the last two weekends, and it always gets as much attention for its fashion as it does its music acts. So in the past two weeks #Coachella has been showing up as a trending hash tag. Great way for anyone selling boho clothing and accessories to get in front of this audience.

I also made them aware of #EarthDay, which is today (April 22nd) and is trending. So if you have eco-friendly, green or organic products, why aren’t you tweeting with the hash tag #Happy Earth Day? I even sent out a bunch of tweets of my followers who fit this description.

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.18.26 AM

Besides annual events, there are weekly events you can take advantage of. If you have products relating to #GamesofThrones, you have to know that every Monday Game of Thrones is trending because everyone is talking about the episode that aired Sunday night.

Also, you will notice on Mondays the trending hash tag, #NewMusic. That is because new CDs drop only on Tuesdays in the US. So on Mondays, music lovers are trying to find out what #New Music will be available tomorrow. That is why the hash tag, #NowPlaying, is also popular on Mondays, as that is how new song clip tweets are tagged.

Trending Hash Tags to Expect in May: Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, Kentucky Derby.

FINAL WORD: Are you keeping an eye on those Twitter hash tags to make sure your products and services have a chance of getting seen by a target market relevant to what you sell? If not you could be missing out on a potential PR opportunity. Follow me on Twitter @AttentionGet.

GB Oliver

ABOUT ME: I’m G.B. Oliver, a small business marketing consultant and author of the new ebook series, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! – 145 Detailed Tactics. I also do private consultations for online businesses. Feel free to contact me at
If you liked this article, please SHARE on social media using the SHARE button below. Thanks!

© 2013 G.B. OLIVER