Everyone who works in marketing, new media, or eCommerce has read a thousand times how important it is to use social media to promote your business or organization online. But if you have a new business or blog, or are new to the concept of using social media for eCommerce, figuring out which of the 100+ social media networks to use and how to best use them can be tricky.
As the largest social media network (by a lot), Facebook is both the best place to start and the most important social media network to master. Facebook currently has more than 1.23 billion active users worldwide. The number of active users who log onto Facebook every single day is 757 million, and more than 128 million of those daily active users are in the United States. This truly massive group of potential customers is on Facebook every day, ready and waiting for you to reach them with your great content and target them with your advertising.
But where to begin? Many guides on using Facebook for business focus on either inbound marketing or outbound marketing strategies, with little attention to analytics. In this article I will cover what I consider to be the most essential aspects of all three elements of marketing for Facebook.
This is a very, very basic article. If you understand the concept alluded to in the title, feel free to move on. But for those who are just venturing into the wonderful world of E-Commerce, there are so many temptations to skimp on site design that someone needs to explain the reasons why it should never happen. So here goes:
Studies show that you have seconds to convince an online shopper your business is not only legitimate, but secure. Let me emphasize that: SECONDS. If anything about your site makes them feel insecure, they will leave and likely never return.
A good example of people following this gut reaction in the non-digital world could be the different types of ice cream trucks that drive down our streets. Imagine for a moment that the two ice cream vans below sold the exact same type of ice cream. If both of these vans drove through your neighborhood, which one would you buy your ice cream from?
Who doesn’t love a good success story? We’ve decided to post an EPIC success story every week, highlighting the trials, tribulations, and eCommerce success’ achieved by hard-working individuals like yourselves. This week we’ll share the start-up story from Kustom Koozies, an eCommerce Biz that makes insulated beverage coolers with super cool screen-printed designs. They started out small and now take care of about 6,000 weddings every year among other things. They’re kind of awesome.
The nature of the internet has created new challenges for business owners. One of the most difficult challenges has been overcoming the distance and anonymity that make the internet both convenient yet questionable and seemingly unsafe. While shoppers are able to order a wedding dress from their cell phones while running to a meeting, that very convenience also takes away their ability to verify the people whom they’re conducting business and socializing with online. Oftentimes, a shopper’s suspicion gets the best of them. This lack of trust required business owners to come up with a way to build trust between themselves and potential clients without having a physical encounter with them. This is how the trust seal was born. It’s a way for business owners to verify their businesses to the world, put shopper anxiety to rest, and have a fighting chance in a platform where news about security breaches, hackers and fake sites are a daily occurrence.
If you want to create epic posts and increase the quality of the content it’s a good idea to hire an editor. A real editor. An editor who will chop your story up until it’s a smooth version of it’s previous self. If you can’t afford to hire a professional editor (they can be expensive) we recommend learning how to self-edit. Professional bloggers Ric Dragon, Chris Ducker, Gary Bembridge, Dino Dogan, and Rich Brooks offer their advice on editing your blog like a pro in this great article by blogworld.com. In this article they go over the do’s and don’ts to make your articles shine and sublime all by yourself.
The War Is On: How This Happened
There have been thieves since the dawn of humanity. Where there is an opportunity for free gain there will always be someone there to take advantage of it. Our technological advancements in the past few decades have created even more possibilities for thieves, giving way to hacking as a full-time job, and making theft anonymous and difficult to trace. It doesn’t help that thieves and maniacs seem to be far ahead of the game. The US lazily uses outdated credit cards that the rest of the world moved past years ago. Customers are becoming too comfortable with handing out their data without checking for security measures. Companies like Target and a multitude of others overlook simple security measures, like point of sale or POS scanning, that could prevent hackers from getting inside in the first place or at the very least could stop hackers before they’ve harvested 40 million credit card numbers. Let that sink in just a little: 40 MILLION. 40 Million people who were probably out Christmas shopping from November 27th to December 15th are now at risk of identity theft, losing their savings, going bankrupt, or dealing with a damaged credit score.
The Security War Is On: And Why We’re On The Losing Side
James Wester, research director of IDC Financial Insights said in an interview, “…[it] is kind of mystifying at this point,” Wester said. “It seems like from a security standpoint, Target was doing all of the right things, and somehow this code was put on the POS system, which isn’t a normal access point for hackers.” But was Target doing all of the right things? If maleware was put into the check-out terminals to steal data, as experts believe, it could have been caught with POS security scanning. This form of scanning sweeps the check-out terminals or point-of-sale terminals for security holes and vulnerabilities. Another problem is that Americans are still using the outdated magnetic strip credit cards instead of the micro-chipped cards which are much harder to recreate and use.
Five Ways To Fight Back And Protect Your Family In The Future
1. Ask your bank to switch to more secure credit/debit cards that use a microchip instead of a magnetic strip. Check your credit card statements multiple times every month for strange chargers.
2. If you’re a merchant make sure that you are PCI Compliant and have all possible security measure in place online. If you have a traditional brick and mortar store make sure that you have POS scanning. If you’re a customer always check security measures before swiping your card at a checkout terminal or providing sensitive data online. There should be a sticker that says who scanned the site/terminal.
3. Beware of email alerts that ask you for any personal information. It doesn’t matter how real or convincing it appears. Real companies do not ask you for your credit card information. This is an identity theft scam, don’t fall for it.
4. If you shopped at Target during the security breach it would be wise to change your PIN immediately. Target announced that PIN’s were stolen too.
5. Debit cards have a liability of $50 if the suspicious behavior is reported within 2 days. After 2 days it jumps up to $500 dollars. Even if you report the problem immediately it can take weeks for the bank to investigate the issue so you could be without money until it’s resolved. Prevention is the way to go in these cases.
Bonus Tip: Use cash when possible. When it’s not possible be as cautious as possible. Remember, unchecked technology is the bees knees of thieves.
- Are You A Victim? 40 MILLION Credit Card Numbers Stolen From Target This Month Are Being Sold On The Black Market (epicecommercetools.com)
- Did Target hackers steal encrypted bank PINs? (bizjournals.com)
- Websites Now Selling Credit, Debit Card Information Stolen In Target Breach (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
We’ve been covering the Target security breach since news of it first broke over a week ago. Customers are demanding action from Target and even credit card companies are sending out notices on their bills asking for everyone to keep an eye on their bill for strange charges. My credit card company sent out a notice that read, “If you’ve shopped at Target you are at risk. Alert us immediately if you see a strange charge on your bill.” This security breach affected 1 in 7 shoppers between black Friday and the first half of December. 1 in 7 is a lot of shoppers when there are 40 million credit cards stolen. The security breach is costing around $680 million to date.
Discover, Chase, Citi, Capital One, Wells Fargo and Bank of America all confirmed that they are actively monitoring accounts for suspicious activity and will contact cardholders if they believe their account has been compromised. However, that doesn’t mean that customers should be depending on credit card companies to watch their accounts. For more information check out this article on the Target Breach.
- Target Admits Encrypted PINs Were Stolen During Massive Security Breach (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- Stolen Target customer data flooding black market (myfox8.com)
- Colorado Shoppers File Lawsuit Against Target Stores (denver.cbslocal.com)
Are You A Victim? 40 MILLION Credit Card Numbers Stolen From Target This Month Are Being Sold On The Black Market
Between November 27th and December 15th Target suffered a security breach and 40 million credit cards and debit cards were stolen and are reportedly being sold on the black market. This is the second largest security breach since the 2005 TJX Cos (TJ Max stores) that affected 45.7 million card holders.
An article on the Target Security Breach by the Associated Press wrote, “Customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have had their accounts exposed. The stolen data included customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the magnetic strip on back of the card.”
Every year companies spend millions of dollars on security to ensure their customers have a safe and secure shopping experience. A breach can mean bankruptcy for a smaller company or a massive financial setback to even large corporations. Victims of theft can take decades to recover financially after something like this happens. Luckily you can prevent this from happening. Customers should always look for a sticker showing that the checkout terminal is security scanned. Trust Guard, for example, is a well-known name in security that scans card terminals or (POS) Point of Sale terminals for security holes. Scanning prevents theft like this from happening so customers can have a Christmas without falling victim to credit card theft.
In 2012, global credit/debit card fraud losses skyrocketed to $11.27 billion, up 11. 4 percent over the previous year, according to The Nilson Report, which tracks global payments.