70 Percent of Local Business Owners Market on Facebook – Not!

On March 1, 2011, a popular public relations website posted an article based on previously published research, claiming “70 percent of local-business owners market on Facebook.” The headline was shocking, the content equally bold, and the dialog that followed typical of the hype surrounding social media.

Readers began commenting almost immediately. One visitor challenged the assertion, suggesting it should not have been cited without investigation, and the site’s publisher quickly defended the post with a series of anecdotes about an 80-year-old t-shirt merchant, a few local bars and a family diner. From a neighboring state, the CEO of a marketing firm saw the publisher’s tweet and countered with his disbelief. Many of his followers echoed his skepticism.

Within days, this relatively obscure article had been “tweeted” 99 times, “liked” 35 times and “inShared” 117 times, as social media devotees echoed the good news: Facebook is king. Meanwhile, skeptics retaliated with posts of their own. Such is the power of social media. But one has to wonder how many of the people who shared, responded to, or blindly retweeted this post took the time to read the original press release on which it was based, or followed the author’s embedded links to the survey data, posted two weeks earlier. I suspect if they had, there would have been less activity, as a careful review of the data reveals a very different picture.

It all comes down to sample bias – a term used to describe the use of a skewed or non-random group as representative of the larger universe. In the case of this study, researchers confined the sample space to members of “the largest social network of local business owners in the U.S.” The key word, here, is “social network.”

Local business owners who choose to join (and remain active in) social networks would obviously be a subset of the larger universe of local business owners, and a survey of that subset would not likely be representative of the universe. The sampling was further skewed by the method chosen to distribute the survey invitations: email. So, those who participated in the survey would have had to be members of the subset of the social network (subset) who are loyal enough to open and act on emails from the organization. It’s not hard to see why these social networkers might be more likely to practice social media marketing than would local business owners who don’t even belong to social networks, much less participate in their surveys.

Using statistics drawn from a biased subset of local business owners to represent all local business owners is no more justifiable than drawing conclusions on the national rate of alcohol consumption from a survey of bar patrons.

The practice is, however, entertaining. And the results lend themselves well to viral distribution by social media enthusiasts.

In the social media world, mistakes like this are self-perpetuating, simply because they feed the buzz. But who pays the price for feeding the buzz? Perhaps those at greatest risk are the “followers” who view reposts as endorsements. So, next time you come across a startling discovery – particularly one that just doesn’t make sense – consider doing your friends and followers a favor, with the delete key.

Launch Your Wholesale Video Games Business Store – Insider’s Secrets!

Wholesale video games businesses along side eBay, they aren’t supposed to sound like strangers to you. Unless you’re totally cut off from the world, you won’t need to be introduced to eBay, regarded as the largest auction website in the world. eBay has a presence in nearly every country. But did you know that it was supposed to be called “Echo Bay”?

However, the Echo eBay dot com domain was already taken, so “Echo Bay” was shorted to just “eBay.” There’s a trivia for you. The creator originally intended for it to be an online venue for people to auction off their personal and unusual items. However, as we can all see, eBay has become more than a place where you can have a virtual garage sale.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to break into the world of wholesale video games business are still using it to jumpstart their wholesale business. And why wouldn’t they? eBay is easy to use and it’s still very affordable no matter if you sell new or used items that are popular and in demand!

Instead of discussing how eBay works (you can find this information on eBay anyway), below are a few tips on how you can use eBay to your advantage:

o Regard it as your launch pad, the starting line for all your online marketing efforts. Be prepared to grow and move beyond once you have built customers and contact.

o Always follow eBay rules. Don’t try to go around the rules or worse, break them. You’ll have yourself banned and your reputation ruined even before you could establish yourself.

o Pay attention to the expenses you incur. These include listing fees, fixed price sales, shipping costs and other extra fees to make your auctions stand out. Make sure that you’re actually making a profit listing and selling your items on eBay.

o Take advantage of the social networking features. These include blogs, groups and discussion boards. Participate in these areas because it can help expand your knowledge and give you opportunity to connect with other marketers.

o Never be satisfied with your e-commerce structuring. Make minor tweaks or changes and test them. Sometimes, a small change can bring you higher wholesale video games tangible profits.

o You can accept online payments using Paypal. When you do, though, apply for a Premier or Business account with Paypal. This will give you credibility and allow you to easily accept payments from buyers around the world.

o eBay has a vibrant and active international market. In fact, there is an eBay in nearly every country. Visit these country versions because you may just find an untapped market outside the US. You may even be able to list your products in these places without paying any listing fees.

o Regularly visit eBay’s Help and Tutorials sections. These are great places to find information on how you can maximize your use of eBay.

o Use eBay’s PULSE, a great source for the hot search terms and items that are hot sellers.

o Don’t be afraid to use eBay’s tools and statistical analysis products because they can give you information that will help increase your profits and minimize your workload.

The success of your business depends on your imagination, vision and determination. eBay can be a great starting point for you to start and grow your own business.

Of course, if you’re new in the wholesale business on the Internet, you’re likely to become overwhelmed by the things you’ll have to learn and become familiar with. You’ll definitely experience “information overload” but remember that this is natural, and everyone who’s starting an online business will feel the same way you do. Realize that eBay has a system in place that makes it easy for anyone to start. You simply need to concentrate, learn things in a step-by-step manner and apply yourself to the task.

When you have made a secure place for yourself in the marketplace, your next step is to start thinking of ways you can expand your business beyond eBay. Look into how you can set up and host your own wholesale video games business shop online, buy a domain name, build your contacts and customers and such if you can afford to invest, for a better tomorrow. eBay is definitely the place where you can start making a profit, but you can grow your business beyond eBay.

7 Best Things You Can Do With Amazon Echo

Do you have a new Alexa device? It might be the Amazon Echo, the Amazon Echo Dot, or the Amazon Tap. The Amazon Echo has earned tremendous acclaim since its launch last year. It’s important to know the features of your new smart assistant. That’s how you can exploit it for all its benefits and use it up to its full potential. The Echos’ virtual assistant, Alexa, can do a lot of amazing things on your command. Now, there are two ways you can use it. You can either waste your precious productive time fooling around with it or read the top benefits right here.

Here we list the 7 best things you can do with the Amazon Echo.

1. Call Your Contacts

Amazon Echo brings the traditional landlines back into business. The assistant allows you to call any number in your contact list. You can use your Alexa device to make a voice call to any of your contacts who also have the device. Additionally, you can even leave a message if the person doesn’t respond. Currently, the assistant offers no option for blocking specific numbers.

2. Grab Your Meals and More

Echo isn’t confined to just placing orders on Amazon. You now can use Alexa to order other things as well. It incorporates the two-hour daily delivery system of Amazon. For now, the service is only available in some selected cities and is valid for items of daily needs and other household items. However, there are some cities where you can place an order for food and even alcohol as well.

3. Plan Your Day

This is unmistakably the topmost feature. Yes, Alexa can help you plan your day. How? The modern smart assistant tells you about the weather outside your house and the happenings around the world. You can have a complete overview of the day and a quick recap of the news around you. Additionally, you can also check your to-do list for the day. Utilising these features you are able to plan and choose your clothing and events according to your schedule.

4. Make Your Home Smarter

Amazon Echo can easily turn your home into a smart home. The Alexa is equipped with a smart home tool to let you master most operations of your smart home. So, now with Alexa, you can switch your lights on and off and even change the colors of your lights. Additionally, you can change the temperature of your room according to your preference. Also, you can control all the door locks of your home easily. And, that’s not all. Alexa can control anything that’s smart in your house.

5. Read Without Reading

Alexa can help you to “read” several books without truly having to read them. Another Amazon-powered feature packed in Alexa is ‘Audible.’ It reads audio books for you while you’re occupied doing other things. The book stays in sync across various devices to let you start from the point where you left off at the last time. You can play or pause a book, advance or turn it back by 30 seconds and even set a timer for the play or pause functions.

6. Play Your Choice of Music

Alexa can play nearly any music or song that you feel in the mood for. Although the default music player for Alexa is obviously the Amazon player, Amazon isn’t that stubborn. Alexa allows you to set your own music services like Spotify or other such apps. So, all you have to do is just set your favorite music service as the Alexa default, and you’re ready to rock and roll. Your assistant is smart enough to find and play your favorite music or song from its catalog.

7. Make It Do Anything

Alexa connects to a lot of devices, but not all. There are quite a few devices that aren’t compatible with your smart assistant. But that doesn’t mean you can’t control them. You can train your assistant to do more. The feature that enables your Alexa to connect with unsupported apps, devices, and websites is called IFTTT. Even though unsupported devices can’t be controlled with voice commands to the Alexa, you can still program your assistant for various tasks using IFTTT.

So these are our picks for the best things your Amazon Echo can do for you. Apart from these, the assistant has a plethora of functions. You can get to know them all over a period of time using it. So, get smart, and get the Amazon Echo.