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Posts Tagged ‘profiles’

Successful Twenty-First Century Selling Uses the Advantages of Social Media Marketing

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

If you think social media marketing is not worth doing, your competitors on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, and Linked In will thank you for all the new business you let them get because you’re not there.

 

Today’s small business (SMB) owners recognize the need for an online presence: over 90% have a website. But with thousands of businesses online, the companies getting the most exposure are those that have websites AND social media sites. This powerhouse combination gives SMB owners a chance to reach hundreds or thousands of new prospects every day!

 

“But isn’t word-of-mouth the best source of business growth?” It certainly is – and social media marketing (SMM) is the 21st century word-of-mouth. Instead of face-to-face or telephone contact, many people now talk online. Give your company a voice in the the online conversation by having a social media presence professionally created and branded. Then leverage the power of social media to begin forging a relationship with past, current, and future clients. Every person you connect with pushes your visibility out to their connections, which increases your exposure exponentially!

 

What are the advantages for small businesses of having an SMM strategy?

Increased sales

Positive brand recognition

Broader business base

Increased traffic to website

Much lower costs than traditional advertising

Higher search engine rankings

Continuous lead generation

 

For a small business on a tight advertising budget, there is no better way to reach thousands of prospects at no cost. It does, however require strategy. Here are some tips for maximizing your SMM plan:

1. Set up profiles on the top-ranked sites. The most popular social media sites are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. For a small business looking to remain competitive in a rapidly changing age of digital marketing, it is important to be familiar with and utilize all of these tools as part of your overall marketing plan.

2. Keep content current. Create valuable content, provide frequent new offerings, and target your content to the audience on each site.

3. Monitor your ROI. Consumers are talking about your company in online conversations, and you need to know what they’re saying to protect your brand reputation. There are a number of tools to help you track where your customers are coming from, which sites are giving you the highest conversion rates, and many other useful metrics.

4. Cross market your sites. List all of your social media links on all of your social media profiles. The more ways consumers have to find your company, the faster your social media reputation will grow. Additionally, adding the power of SEO to your social properties will allow each social media account to achieve higher visibility in search.

5. Maximize your SMM time. Invest time by visiting, commenting and interacting on other social media accounts to increase your visibility.

 

“But how do I find time to learn and do all this?” You don’t have to struggle alone. Locate social media experts who can cost effectively launch and maintain your SMM outreach.

 

It doesn’t cost a dime to call or email us at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona. Find out how we can save you time by creating your social media presence and helping you maximize your online exposure. Our cutting edge internet marketing strategies and talented social media team are already energizing other SMBs, so let’s talk about how they can work for your business today.

 

The economy may not be getting better, so your marketing tools have to be. Contact us at seenBest Web Design – and yes, we have a social media marketing presence, too!

 

 


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Importing a CSV of products to Magento

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

We have recently designed a highly functional new online store for a client of ours using the advanced Magento shopping cart, taking eCommerce for this business to an entirely new level! We ran into a small snag during the initial stages of development as the client has a proprietary database system that stores detailed information for several hundred products. Their database software held everything from product name, pricing information, description. The client did not have the time to recreate all of the product information in the back-end of Magento using the built in tools. So, the challenge: How do we extract this information from their locally installed database information in a way that could be easily imported and put to work in Magento?

Fortunately, the database storing the client product details provides a mechanism to export product information to a CSV file. While it wasn’t pretty, the data was all there on the export. Sorting through 30 fields of data we didn’t need, we found fields for product name, model, color, asking price, category, and photo name. The trick now was figuring out how to map and then import this data into Magento.

The trick that helps you with a Magento import is knowing what’s absolutely necessary to import, and supplying that data in your own custom xls file. To do that, we added a product manually through the Magento interface. Here’s how:

  • Click on catalog/manage products
  • Click on Add Product
  • Click through to enter a name, description, short description, sku, weight, status (enabled), and set visibility.
  • Go to prices, enter a price, and tax class
  • Click to the inventory area and set an initial quantity, then change stock availability to in stock
  • Click to the category area and assign the new product to a category

Now save your product. If everything went according to plan, you will see your new product listed in your store under the selected category you selected previously. Great! Now that we have a functional product to work with, one that appears in the store, it’s time to export that data to a CSV file.

Exporting Magento items:

  • Go to system, import/export, profiles from the admin panel
  • Click on export all products
  • The default values are fine, CSV/Tab Separated, attribute names, all fields
  • Click on run profile to generate your CSV file

Now look in your Magento directory on your server, and find the var/export folder. The file export_all_products.csv will be on your server, download this to your local computer and open it in your favorite spreadsheet program (Excel works well!).

Now comes the tricky part. View export_all_products.csv side by side with a CSV of the data from your other database product. You are going to need to make the data from your previous database match the Magento data. I don’t want to tell you exactly how to do it, there are many different paths you can take to get to the same result. Find the fastest way that works for you. For me, it was as easy as deleting all of the columns from the old database CSV that weren’t used in Magento, renaming the column names to match similar columns in Magento, then creating columns that Magento needed that did NOT exist in the old data and pre-populating it with standard info. The fill function in Excel is extremely useful for this.

At the very least, you will want to make sure you have these columns:

  • store
  • websites
  • attribute
  • type
  • category
  • sku
  • name
  • url_key
  • url_path
  • price
  • weight
  • description
  • short description
  • status
  • tax_class_id
  • visibility
  • enable
  • qty
  • product_name
  • product_type_id

Try to be as complete as possible, and include as many (if not all) of the fields from the original Magento export as you can in your new set of data to import. Leaving out something important could result in a botched import!

When you’re all finished and, depending on the size of data you’re dealing with, several minutes/hours/days/weeks later, you will have a new XLS file that you can save, ready for import to Magento. Go to System, Import, Profiles. Import all products. Be sure to increase the “number of records” to a higher value, like 3, if you’ve already modified and improved your Magento memory settings. I also like to import using the MS Excel XML (save to this format first) as it’s less prone to data errors caused by improper characters in the data stream. Save the file as XML Spreadsheet 2003, change the data type, then use the upload file tool to upload your XML file.

The process CAN take a long time, so be sure you leave the import window up during the process. With a little luck, all of your products have been imported! There is a way to do this while including images, but it gets a little complicated. With the method I’ve discussed, you will need to go in and manually upload images to each item. While that can be somewhat labor intensive, I like having Magento create proper names and file sizes for me for each product.

Enjoy!


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