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The wrong way to do social media (part 1)

28th August 2012
Categories: social media

According to the bbc website today, the UK government recently spent £100,000 on facebook ads as part of the "Great" marketing campaign.

The BBC's correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, wonders if the Facebook "likes" produced by the campaign were worth the advertising (the cost of a "like" is something like 43p).

Of course, if all the facebook fans are going to cancel their Marbella plans next year and stay in Great Britain, the GDP generated might be significant.

But the BBC reckons that the "likes" are not worth an awful lot.

It's one thing to set up a facebook page; it's quite another to spend money getting people to visit it when there's no clear conversion process.

As one comment puts it: "Is it a waste of money, you ask? When was THAT ever the main concern in Government spending?"

The website that grew, part 7

23rd August 2012
Categories: tWtG

For previous installments, see the tWtG topic.

In the meeting, Hugh asked John what his budget was. "We have a budget", said John, "but I want you to come up with a price first."

Hugh explained that there were lots of ways to build an online shop, and that it was no use designing a Jumbo Jet when all that was needed was a production line Ford Focus.

"I just want people to be able to buy cheese on the website.  It can't be that complicated, can it?"

"Well," said Hugh, "first of all you've got to consider the catalogue side of things.  Are you selling cheese in pre-defined packages or do you want people to be able to order any size or weight?"

"Any size" said John.

"Then you can't use an off-the-shelf shopping cart system," said Hugh,  "because they only let customers decide on quantity, 1, 2, 3, and so on, not weight, like 250 grams."

"OK, well suppose we stick to the cheaper system."

"Then you've got to consider the checkout process.  The off-the shelf systems usually send customers through quite a laborious process to check out.  Investing a bit more will give you more control, and we can integrate additional ways of checking out, like checkout by Amazon, to make the process even easier for customers who already have an Amazon account."

"For the moment, let's stick with the off-the-shelf checkout."

"OK.  Then there are things like how you keep in touch with customers after they've bought something.  Ideally you want to send them follow-up emails to remind them how good the cheeses were, and giving them offers and discounts if they come to the shop again. "

"Well what do we get 'out of the box'?" asked John. 

"OK, I think I get the picture, and I think what you need is "instant shop" from  This isn't something we specialise in, but it's easy to sign up and get started, and theyprovide lots of help.  Once you get set up, we can link to the online shop from the website and people will be able to buy from you."

John and Kate looked puzzled.

"I'm referring you to because it will take some investment to create something really good that's going to attract and retain a lot of customers.  But I can sense that you just want to get started with something simple, and perhaps if it starts to take off, we can discuss the possibilities again".

John and Kate agreed, and so when they got back home, Kate took a look at getYourDomainsNowUk.Biz and signed up for their "ecommerce starter package".  She hadn't got far before she had to start adding products to the catalogue, and needed John's help for that.

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