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Tue Sept 18 2012 13:19:01

Tips from eBay's EOL Social Media Session

By: Julia Wilkinson

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One of the sessions at the recent Philly eBay on Location (EOL, #eBayOL on Twitter) was about using Social Media effectively/"Best Practices." The slides are now available online, but here's a summary if you're short on time:

- Social media stats as of April 2012: Facebook had over 900 million users; Twitter over 140 million and over 12 million. And 1 in every 5 minutes spent online is now on social networks.

(Things change quickly in this space; you can go to and follow @eBaySocial on Twitter if you want their latest tips and info).

A theme throughout the slides is to not be too pushy or sales-y with your social media posts; "People want to buy from businesses they identify with and like." But a presence on these platforms is important; one suggestion is to register your name now on all the social networks: "If possible, register either your eBay user ID, or your store name; whichever customers are most likely to search for you with."

Don't forget eBay's social sharing buttons on listings; these have been there for a while and to be honest I don't always think to use them.

Of course, you're not going to want to spam the social networking world with a bunch of listings in the span of a few minutes; use them judiciously.

And one tip for expediting all that tweeting and posting; the distribution tool HootSuite, which allows you to post to multiple social networks at once.

- Images and video are powerful: use them wherever you can, and consider creating how-to, review and other helpful videos on YouTube and embed them in your eBay listings and as posts to social networks.

- Facebook

- Go to and set a username for your page. Try to select a username that matches either your eBay Storename or your eBay user ID. "Have a great cover photo and profile photo." [Photo specs are given on the slide, if you want to check them out].

- Visual posts on FB with a photo or video are the most engaging; encourage "sharing of images and video of your products in use."

-  If you want the user to click, give them a reason to click.

- Likes are great, but what determines what users see in their Facebook newsfeeds is something called "Edgerank score": fan activity including clicks, likes, shares, comments, etc.

- Twitter

- Be responsive and "provide answers"; buyers often research brands on Twitter before they buy.

- Practice "Twitter mining": search all  public tweets for terms that are relevant to your business."Twitter mining is a great way to follow, interact, and re-tweet influential leaders in your field. For example, if you sell coffee mugs, search for keywords related to coffee, and follow or interact with the users."

- Pinterest

- Post helpful content from, say, your blog posts, YouTube videos, or or others' content related to your brand. Post your eBay Store items but don't "overwhelm" your followers, while providing "tastemaking content."

- Be careful with the "$." A "$" in a pin makes it "less likely to get a re-pin...according to a Mashable study."


Those are some of the most salient tips from that eBay on Location session. What do you think of these social networking tips from eBay? Do you use any of them? Are any of them new to you? Which have been most (or least) effective for you? Post a comment here!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Wed Sep 19 20:03:03 2012

I think it would be interesting to hear from sellers who have used social media successfully. There's so much out there that it can be hard to whittle it down to techniques that actually work, especially when you consider that different categories of goods might need different approaches to marketing.

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