Online Banking Purchases Lower Merchants’ Transaction Fees

Consumers topping up mobile wallets and shopping online with a bank account instead of cards can save retailers hefty credit card transaction processing fees.  Mazooma makes this connection for retailers.  Many consumers are comfortable  using online banking, but the missing piece of the puzzle for merchants is how to connect consumers with their bank accounts during the checkout process.

Online Banking Purchases Lower Merchants’ Transaction Fees
By Vangie Beal, June 23, 2011

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Open Source Software and Free Web Tools for Students

Commercial software purchases can quickly eat away at the budget you have. The good news is that there are many free Web tools and open source software for students that will help you stay on task and organize your busy student life.

From typing reports to taking and sharing class notes, this list of 30 free Web tools and open source software will help you get through your courses without spending a dime on software.

Webopedia: 30 Free Web Tools and Open Source Software for Students
By: Vangie Beal, June 01, 2011

How to Backup Social media and Online Accounts

Losing online and social data can derail your small business marketing campaigns and efforts. Ecommerceguide.com explains how — and why — you need a backup of your online social accounts and data.

Great tips for small business owners and individual users who do not know how to backup Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn, twitter and other online profiles.

Full Story: The Ecommerce Guide to Social Media Back Ups
By Vangie Beal, May 25, 2011

Protect Yourself from Facebook Scams

Like email spam, one way to stop Facebook spam from spreading is to learn about spam, malware and phishing messages. Know how to spot them and also familiarize yourself with how these Facebook spam messages work.

One of the most common types of Facebook spam is a Wall post that encourages you to install a Facebook application. The application will require that you to agree that the application can post to Walls and your Facebook friend’s pages. When you allow this authorization, the spam message is immediately sent to your friend’s Walls.  If a friend sees the message and performs the action, he or she will then see the same spam on their Wall and the cycle continues. This is how spam messages can move so quickly through Facebook.

Unfortunately, many of these messages are designed to trick Facebook users into cutting and pasting malicious code into the address bar in the Web browser or by clicking an embedded link in the message that takes you off Facebook (commonly through a URL shortner link) where you could potentially become victim to malicious malware and phishing scams.

Read More: How to Protect Yourself from Facebook Scams
By: Vangie Beal, 05-22-2011

Boost Your Facebook Business Page with Business Apps

When you create a Facebook Business Page or Fan Page for your ecommerce business, one challenge you might have is figuring out how to create something that isn’t a static, basic Facebook Page.

The best way to get noticed and to have people make use of the “Like” button on your Page is to have a professional developer design your Facebook page and work with your business to create Facebook-friendly photos, video and other assets.  This will help highlight what your business has to offer and also make your Facebook page an appealing destination for your customers.

Of course, that project will cost money and take time. If your small business or ecommerce business is lacking in either of those departments, then the following three Web apps and services can help you bring your business to Facebook with a little style.

Read more: 3 Apps to Boost Your Facebook Business Page
By Vangie Beal, May 19, 2011

Review: Salesforce.com CRM Spring 11 Release

With new Chatter and Jigsaw integration, Salesforce.com has once again redefined online customer relationship management (CRM) with its Spring 11 release.

With so much attention focused on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, one wonders if Salesforce.com is at all worried about losing ground to Microsoft. The answer, according to Salesforce, is no. The company says that with Salesforce Chatter and Jigsaw, Salesforce.com has yet again redefined CRM, and Microsoft is still playing catch up.

“Microsoft CRM is doing the same for CRM that Zune did for digital music players; inferior product with no innovation so Microsoft tries to attack on price point,” Scott Holden, Salesforce senior director of product marketing, told eCRM Guide.

Competitive jockeying aside, the Spring 11 enterprise edition expands on Salesforce’s already successful cloud CRM platform and also includes Chatter integration and visible results of the company’s Jigsaw acquisition. In this eCRM Guide review, we look at the new features and discuss and how Salesforce.com users benefit from these integrated cloud service technologies.

Read: Salesforce.com CRM Spring 11 Release Reviewed
By Vangie Beal

Tips to Build a Relevant Twitter Following

We all know how cool it is to see a Twitter user with thousands of followers, but is that really the best way to approach Twitter marketing? A celebrity or well-known brand on Twitter is different than the average small business or individual looking to use Twitter for word-of-mouth marketing.

One method I use to build a Twitter list is to find the people who are active in the Twitter conversations related to my own main topic of discussion.  When I use Twitter I mainly tweet about ecommerce and technology, so I follow like-minded Twitter users. To find the most relevant users, I might search for #ecommerce, shopping carts and similar keywords.  When I spot Twitter users who send out interesting messages about these topics I follow them. In return when they view my Twitter profile and see we have many tweet topics in common, they are more likely to also follow me in return.

The reason behind using this method to build a Twitter list is simple. It’s one way to find the most relevant Twitter users in your own niche topic. From this group you can expect users to post things you will want to retweet – and in return your messages are also more likely to be retweeted.

You may not have an MC Hammer-sized twitter list, but a smaller more active and functional list from those within your niche topics will work better and help spread your Twitter messages to those who are interested in the topic of discussion.