October 21, 2014

Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-preneurs

social commerceYou have to love a book that gets your business out of the social media “like” zone – that place where you have a lot of likes but a little revenue. Arriving to that place means being savvy about social media usage.

When it comes to eCommerce, there’s no better source than John “ColderICE!” Lawson (@ColderICE).  His company 3rd Power Outlet has executed more than 300,000 online transactions resulting in more than $25 million dollars in sales. So as a top power seller – he knows what sells.

I was excited to receive a review copy of his first book, Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-preneurs: It’s Not About Likes – It’s About Sales.  Written with Debra Schepp, Kick Ass will show small business retailers how social media kicks eCommerce and revenue into high gear.

Lawson’s straight-no-chaser style will help your business tell any poor strategist to kick rocks if they do not know their strategy.

The book is divided into two sections:

  • The Meat outlines commerce basics.
  • The Gravy details digital media strategy.

That second part sparks an image of a needle pulling thread, because it stitches together the right aspects of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and WordPress that relates to eCommerce.  You’ll organize your eCommerce so that your customers feel engaged and enticed to shop.

Kick Ass especially reads well for those entrepreneurs who woefully ill conceive eCommerce as just “stick-a-product-online-and-my-problems-are-solved” ordeal.

Talk to Your Customers

The real deal, according to Lawson, is that social should be a natural part of your retail strategy.  Commerce was built on “products, consumers, manufacturers, and retailers” and he works the opening chapter to remind businesses to work on what connects with consumers:

“Now, thanks to social media, vendors can get the content and the context of how consumers feel about a product or solution they need. You are no longer just trying to sell something to someone. You are now having a conversation with your customer.”

If you’ve seen ColderICE’s online hangouts or workshops, you know Lawson makes for a perfect motivator for those who are on autopilot online, and need an organized methodology to connect to customers. He can get to the heart of what you should do to be successful.

Breaking The Ice and IceMaker segments explain how your “social” should compliment your “commerce.” Check out this recommendation about what to seek while connecting to customers:

“Your job, and you need to begin right now, is to search social media conversations for products you sell. Start grasping tone and language and any other details. You’ll need to understand your consumers’ jargon, as well as any recurring issues and past disappointments they may have had.”

A later IceMaker segment gives specific questions that can be asked.  The suggestions in Kick Ass are actionable, and help to show what matters to emphasize with people.

From Flo the Progressive Insurance lady to Madame C.J. Walker, Kick Ass presents  many personalities to illustrate that the business objective to connect to customers has not changed radically just because digital media is involved.  That concept brings the best aspects of commerce alive and reminds entrepreneurs of their mission to provide meaningful services.

Needle Your Social Media Thread to Stitch a Working Plan Together

The book does not cover every nuance of social media – but that’s the beauty of it. Thanks to Lawson’s experience and “Yup-I-really-did-it” sage advice, you won’t waste a lot of time on a specific feature.

For example, the book notes several of the most useful applications for Facebook, a great choice, given media articles and debates about unlocking successful eCommerce that engages Facebook fans.   I love the following note about Facebook Ads in a Breaking The Ice segment:

“You’ll have to spend to get eyeballs. Facebook ads are effective when you want to get laser targeted visitors.”

I love it because it dovetails an underlying theme  – businesses mistakenly underinvest and never establish an effective budget. Yes, spend more than that $50 ad credit from your website hostplan.

Ultimately, you’ll know how to manage to your Google+ page and create useful YouTube videos with respect to commerce.  I applaud Lawson and Schepp for their approach with social media – choosing the lens without necessarily choosing the camera.  That sounds like a job for any author, but Lawson and Schepp execute that mission well.

I can see this book complimenting analytics resources through encouraging ways to arrange your presence and deciding what’s best for your business. That perspective leads to something more valuable: To get going and select the right technological support that underpins your eCommerce business.

Get this book (bonus insights from the authors are available online).  You should also check out the foreword from Small Business Trends Founder and Publisher, Anita Campbell, as well as Lawson’s bio. When you learn more about “ColderICE” you’ll read about a genuine American success story that has been a gift to the world.

Kick some eCommerce ass with Lawson’s strategies – and tell anyone who doesn’t believe in social commerce to go kick rocks.

7 Comments ▼

Pierre DeBois - Associate Book Editor


Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.

7 Reactions

  1. Thanks for this superb review, Pierre. John is the best! And I had so much fun writing his book foreword.

    Anita

  2. What a wonderful review, I am so honored. I am truly floored by the praise and how you really extracted what I was trying to convey to the small business audience. BRAVO review…and of course having Anita Campbell agreeing to write the forward was a cherry on top moment! Very proud, very very proud. Thank you so much!

  3. John Lawson Aka ColderICE know’s his stuff. John is really well known for his expertise within ecommerce circles. He comes to the table with real experience and offers that wisdom in this book. If you want more of John, come and join his ecommerce group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/ecommercegroup/

  4. Can’t wait to see John in person at the end of the month

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