Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Prime Day was Biggest Day in the History of Amazon

Screen-Shot-2016-07-13-at-3.44.00-PMAmazon knocked it out of the park on yesterday’s Prime Day with customer orders surpassing Prime Day 2015 by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the United States. Amazon said it was also the biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally and set sales records for every Amazon device category including Kindle, Alexa, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Globally, the Fire TV Stick was Amazon’s best-selling device.

“Prime itself is the best deal in the history of shopping, and Prime Day was created as a special benefit exclusively for our Prime members,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President, Amazon Prime. “We want to thank our tens of millions of members around the world for making this the biggest day in the history of Amazon. We hope you had as much fun as we did. After yesterday’s results, we’ll definitely be doing this again.”

Small businesses and selling partners on Amazon with Prime deals had nearly triple year-over-year sales, both worldwide and in the US. “We offered customers our best products at great deals and they responded in a big way,” said Dov Brafman, CEO of Sharkk, which offers cool and unique audio solutions and other consumer accessories. “Prime Day helped us reach our highest sales day ever.”

“Sales were much higher than I was expecting with that 60% growth rate,” says R.J. Hottovy on CNBC. Hottovy is a Consumer Equity Strategist at Morningstar. “That will probably put the company ahead of where it was last year. You are talking about sales in the $500 to $600 million range for this day alone. The real take-a-ways for me are that international markets seem to be adopting Prime and competing sales from the likes of Walmart don’t seem to be impacting Amazon sales at all. We estimate there are more than 70 million Prime members globally, about 80% of that, or 56 million, coming from the US. What it has shown is that there is real stickiness to this business.”

The real impact of Prime Day for Amazon is not sales but in enticing more “sticky” Prime memberships. “Sales are really besides the point, it’s about driving Prime membership,” said Shelly Banjo of Bloomberg. “One estimate had Amazon adding 6 million Prime members. What that does is lock you in an average of 7 years according to one estimate. Prime is Amazon’s secret sauce.”

People get “hooked on Prime” she says and no longer making shopping lists to go to Walmart or somewhere else. Instead they think of something to buy and with a couple clicks of the phone it’s done.

Rich Ord

Yelp Is Looking For Small Business Owners To Offer Advice


yelp-life_1310294_616Yelp put out an announcement calling for small business owners to volunteer for its Small Biz Advisory Council. Specifically, they’re looking for Yelp aficionados who wish to act as representatives for business owners around the world and share insights with Yelp execs.

Yelp manager of local business outreach Rosie Akenhead writes:

Every year, Yelp selects a diverse group of people from around the world to serve as the collective voice of small businesses on Yelp. Those chosen will join in on regular conference calls to provide insight on existing Yelp features, policies, products under development, and to brainstorm new ideas. Even better, new members will also travel to Yelp HQ to participate in our annual summit where they’ll meet with Yelp’s top executives and department heads to share their perspectives as small business owners. The feedback provided during these sessions are often used to shape new tools and features like the Yelp for Business Owners mobile app.

Ready to sign up yet? Good. We’re ready for you. The official call for new Yelp Small Business Advisory Council members is here and all are welcome to apply. Our council members are thought leaders who enjoy sharing their insights with other business owners.

According to the company, those selected will be able to make connections with small business leaders from around the world, travel to San Francisco for a summit at the Yelp headquarters, provide input on products in development, brainstorm new ideas for the company to consider, and be a resource for other business owners who have questions about Yelp’s products.

There’s no question that a lot of business owners would like to see things about Yelp changed, so this could be a chance to have your voice heard. There’s an application here.

Which Content Is Being Shared More On Which Networks

ShareThis has released results from its Q2 2014 Consumer Sharing Trends Report, looking at sharing behavior across social channels on desktop and mobile devices. It found that mobile sharing is “dramatically” outpacing desktop sharing with sharing from smartphones and tablets growing over 30% compared to a 5% decline in desktop sharing.

Twitter and Pinterest in particular are seeing some major mobile usage. Half of Facebook sharing is on mobile, according to the report, compared to 75% of shares on Pinterest and Twitter. Pinterest users are more active on tablets, and Twitter users are more active on smartphones, it finds. Android users are more active on Facebook, while iOS users are more active on Pinterest and Twitter.



The report also provides an interesting look at the different types of content categories that are shared more on different platforms. For example, more political and parenting content is shared on Facebook, while Twitter sees more business and sports content. Pinterest is unsurprisingly very shopping oriented.


“Mobile may be a millennial-centric phenomenon, but tablets are gaining popularity among older users,” says ShareThis’ Kurt Abrahamson. “Tablet sharing among users aged 55 and up nearly doubled since last quarter. This quarter, 43% of social activity on tablets was driven by users 55+, compared to 21% on smartphones and 34% on desktop. Social engagement on mobile devices grew 13% among African Americans and 6% among Hispanics. For African Americans, smartphone adoption was a major contributor to mobile growth. Hispanic audiences have been particularly receptive of tablets, on which they shared 8% more than last quarter.”

You can see which social channels are driving the most referrals in this recent report from Shareaholic.


By  · July 9, 2014

The Sad Truth About Twitter Statistics

Twitter is a content producing machine. With over 555 million users releasing 5,700 tweets per second, finding a captive audience for your company’s updates is daunting at best. A new report on Twitter stats has also revealed a depressing reality; active accounts (those that have posted in the last 30 days) have a median average of 61 followers. This begs the question – is anyone reading your tweets?image

You can’t answer this question by touting large numbers of so-called followers. Just because a brand has 10k “fans”, it doesn’t mean 10k people read every tweet. Engagement is the name of the game, and the practice of buying followers is a colossal waste of money.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. Many of the latest Twitter stats point directly at what creates user interaction and engagement. But although releasing a deluge of self-centric tweets to an uncaring audience is not among the tricks of the trade, it’s by far the most common practice. It’s time to face the facts about Twitter stats, and rise above the clutter.

Why Twitter’s Business Model Conflicts with Your Marketing Efforts

There’s a fundamental conflict in the way Twitter presents itself. On the surface, it wants to be a social network, with the newly minted tagline “Start a conversation.” Yet at its core, Twitter only works if the majority of its 190 million monthly visitors are following conversations, not leading them. As more and more of the globe has decided to tweet up a storm, everyone else’s offerings have become diluted.

The result: Twitter has worked harder to promote “super-users” that have hundreds of thousands of followers – this is the model the network most embraces. How do we know? Check out the very obvious way celebrities and well-known brands are heavily promoted by the site. Chances are your Twitter homepage currently has follow suggestions like Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Kardashian, and Kraft Foods; even though they may reflect absolutely nothing about your interests.

The hard truth is the Twitter stratosphere is heinously cluttered. So, chances are, your brilliant little missives are not finding their intended eyeballs.

Surefire Ways to Increase Engagement

So how exactly do you woo the masses into reading and interacting with your tweets? You do what always works in marketing; give the people what they want.

Need more tangible ideas? Here’s the path to Twitter greatness, supported by recent platform statistics.

  1. When you tweet is vitally important. Since most of us are weekday warriors, we are missing the boat when it comes to ideal Twitter times. Your tweets need to launch when the majority of your audience is online. For most of us, that means the weekend. If you still insist on weekday releases, peak hours are 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm and 6 pm. (Use the time zone where the majority of your demographic lives as a foundation.)
  2. Tweets with images have a 200 percent increase in engagement. It doesn’t matter how witty your 140 characters sound; pictures, as you know. . .say a heck of a lot more.
  3. Want your audience to retweet your sends? Ask them to do so. Calls to action are priceless, and in this case, 86 percent more effective.
  4. Shorter is better. Tweets 100 characters or less see a 17 percent increase in engagement. And you thought 140 characters felt limiting!
  5. Ask questions. Again, this emphasizes a call to action. Tweets that pose thoughtful and intriguing questions see a 21 percent response rate. That’s engagement, and that’s exactly what you’re going for.

The Biggest Mistakes Brands Make on Twitter

There are a lot of Twitter blunders occurring in mass quantity every day. Here are a few core mistakes that you can start avoiding right now:

  1. Not following others. It’s astounding how many brands expect to build a mammoth user base without the courtesy of following others. For every 100 users you follow, 31 will follow you back. So get out there, read what others are up to, and make some friends.
  2. Tweeting only about your company. Self-serving tweets are the vast majority, and users are getting wary of all the “me me me” missives. Share valuable information about your company, industry, and products. Inspire and intrigue your audience; don’t just talk about how awesome your brand is.
  3. Failing to respond to inquiries. More and more users are utilizing the social network as the customer service outlet for various companies. If a user asks you a question privately or through a tweet, you have a very small window to respond before you’ve alienated your customer. If you’re going to have a presence, commit to being active.

Advice in a Nutshell

Don’t be mesmerized by the sheer numbers Twitter has garnered; make no mistake, gaining a stronghold on this audience is no easy task. You need to be extremely mindful of who you’re trying to reach, and when they are interacting with content.

To be a Twitter superstar, you absolutely have to commit to building and maintaining a loyal audience. Twitter is very much a go big or go home platform – a lack of firm commitment and effort will result in the sound of crickets chirping. If you want your tweets to be among the very few of the 58 million sent per day that are actually read by engaged readers, it’s going to take a mammoth effort to achieve. Worth every moment, by the way, but let’s not pretend this is an easy task.

How has your experience with Twitter engagement been? What are your tricks in building and maintaining a happy Twitter audience?

By  in Featured Twitter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADigital producer, game designer, Internet marketer and staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs, Tina Courtney-Brown has been shaping online businesses since 1996. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, social networks and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and true cooking diva. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook andGoogle+.

TripAdvisor Launches Review Express Email Marketing Tool

TripAdvisor has a new service for businesses called Review Express, which sends bulk emails to customers on said businesses’ behalf.

While some have raised spam-related concerns about the product, as far as we can tell, it basically operates like other third-party email marketing products. Customers won’t be getting surprise spam from They’ll be getting emails from hotels they’ve stayed at, which they’ve agreed to get emails about (even if it’s TripAdvisor doing the actual sending behind the scenes). The emails just come with encouragement for guests to leave reviews on TripAdvisor.

The video shows the basic process:

Review Express lets businesses add their own logos and personalized messages, and includes the ability to bulk upload up to 1,000 email addresses. It also processes send requests within 24 hours, and provides automatic notification of successful and unsuccessful sends. It can send messages in 21 languages.

“With Review Express, TripAdvisor aims to extend the relationship between businesses and their guests to encourage them to write reviews. This is a time-saver for owners, providing them with a powerful system to manage multiple emails and requests at no cost to the business,” said Severine Philardeau, vice president of global partnerships, TripAdvisor. “Review Express has been developed and enhanced based on extensive user testing and is an invaluable service for hospitality business owners looking to build their online reputation. When used in conjunction with our free display offerings for owners, Review Express provides a great online marketing package for small and independent hospitality business owners to capture the value of user reviews for their property.”

Businesses will want to follow the best practices TripAdvisor has laid out.






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