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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

I Like Spikes

I’ve had about 70 Facebook followers (formerly “fans”, now “likers” I guess) for half a year now. That number only fluctuates by a couple of people one way or the other. Yesterday it spiked to 82 people. Momentum! With your help I might reach my goal of 100 fans by the end of this year.

Who are you?

  • 60% of you are female and 39% are male. The other 1% are either confused or a rounding error.
  • Women aged 45-54 are the single biggest demographic at 21%. Women aged 55+ are the next biggest at 14%. Men aged 35-44 are third with 12%. About 14% of you are under age 25.
  • Each one of you contributes 1.28% to the total.
  • 83% of you are in the US. Malaysia, Peru, Chile, The Philippines, Venezuela, Panama (hi Rob!), the UK, Cyprus, and Mexico are also represented. I’ve shipped to all of those countries, although Malaysia is now blacklisted as a high-risk country.
How can I get 18 more followers and reach 100 in the next few months? I seldom post apart from my weekly blogcast, so that must be what draws new fans and repels existing ones. For a time I tried posting new product arrivals and stock status updates on FB, but I think that got annoying quickly – I have a low tolerance for advertising myself and am leery of wearing out my welcome. Announcing real news, such as vacation dates or discount offers or this weekend’s Massachusetts sales tax holiday, seems to be the best use of FB.

Facebook would love to sell me advertising. The cost is modest and the effort is slight. But what exactly would I advertise – my page? My store? A product? Who would see these ads and where would they appear? I’ve never seen an ad on FB myself. Of course, AdBlock for Firefox keeps me from seeing most ads anywhere, and apart from trying to figure out the marketing angle I don’t get very involved in FB. I have no idea whether or not there’s any value in advertising here.

Is it even worth reaching for 100?

Referring sites are one of my favorite free traffic sources. Nearly 12% of my visitors arrive via links from other sites. Facebook sends Curio City 25-30 visitors a week and is my #3 referral source. Since 3% of visitors buy something, FB delivers 3-4 sales per month (possibly more, since those visits are presumably motivated by posts that I make). That’s a typical day’s business during the slow months – not shabby at all.

Gaining 18 more FB followers would generate 0.6 more sales per month. OK, that’s not exactly the road to riches. But followers beget more followers – there’s a snowball effect that will eventually sustain itself. I think that threshold is around 100.

So if it’s not too much to ask…get out there and get begetting! Go to our page in your Favorites list and click “Suggest to Friends” beneath our logo. If you didn’t arrive at this blog post via FB, use the “Like” button near the top of the right-hand column to join.

Oh, and as long as I’m begging…don’t forget to click those ads between posts.


Last week I mentioned that I’d spent $11 to intercept a fraudulent UPS shipment. It actually cost $11 for the interception…plus $35.05 for return freight…plus a $2.80 fuel surcharge. I suspected that they might bone me for return postage, and that they’d charge a premium for air shipment. The fuel surcharge is just plain insulting, though.

That brings the total cost of this criminal to $130, almost all of which went to UPS because I shipped too promptly. I’d have lost less money if I’d just let the thief have the merchandise, but the satisfaction of denying him anything tangible for all the trouble he caused is worth the cost.

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