Though social media is no longer seen as a medium for large conglomerates, smaller sellers could still take far more advantage of this medium than they are currently doing. Social media is free and doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. Depending on what you want from it you can invest your time accordingly. You can either be aggressive and try to drive more sales through social media or you can be more passive and simply use it as a channel of communications. Or you can mix it up.
As a branding tool
Who are you? Are you funny? Do you have a lot of empathy? Are you excellent at doing cool graphics or are you an amazing writer? This is the time to show it, and stand out. This is where you can really show your personality and let people fall in love with you(r brand). In your listings and on a possible website, you will obviously also try to offer some personality in terms of design and wording, but consumers aren’t as relaxed and you can’t be as personal. Here, you must be professional.
A great example of this is LH Jewellery. Their Facebook page is very nicely set up and provide customers with information about their listings, but set up in a very nice way, showing pretty images provided with clear links to the different items. What LH Jewellery has also done is to have competitions on their Facebook page, attracting likes and engagement.
While their page is great, you can easily be far more personal. Personality (and hence likes) build loyal customers or if not, it gives you a list of people that you can easily reach via social media. And branding yourself here, will eventually turn into a sales tool.
As a sales tool
If you decide to use social media as a sales tool you can expect to put quite some work into it. But the outcome can be great. What’s great about promoting yourself in this way is that it’s an easy way to let people know that you have new things in your store and it’s a great way to lead them directly to your site, as demonstrated above. However, the obvious problem being that it can only work if you’re actually socially connected to anyone.
When you’re actively working to connect with buyers, twitter and Pinterest are great platforms. They serve two different purposes, but can easily be used combined. Pinterest is great because it’s a platform that focuses on the visual, i.e. you can post pictures and link to your store. As you have probably noticed the new eBay design is very influenced by the design on Pinterest, which makes it easy to visualize how you want your Pinterest profile to look like. What you should consider though, is who your target customer is. Some products are better suited for Pinterest than others. A jewellery company can easily promote their products on this platform, but with other products it may demand more creativity.
Twitter is great because it gives you the chance to actively get in touch with people. The most important thing with twitter is, however, that you’re not passive. Don’t wait until you have 200 followers before you start tweeting. Yes, it can be depressing to tweet to five people, knowing that four of them are probably your friends, but that’s the only way you attract new people. There are different tools available that can help you. A really good one is Twellow who categorize people on twitter for you, making it so much easier to find the relevant ones for your product.
Of course you will also have the possibility of using Facebook as your sales tool. The use of Facebook has been widely discussed among online sellers over at the wholesale forums as it seems there is no direct recipe to being successful on Facebook. In this situation, benchmarking can be a great idea. Remember, benchmarking isn’t copying other people’s pages. But it’s definitely about trying to figure what works for other and try to implement that into your own strategy.
Just remember, for it to work and not backfire, you must be active and online at least two times a day. When people post something on social media profiles they expect a reply rather quickly.
No matter how you decide to use social media, if at all, it can be a very helpful means of showing who you are as a person and more importantly make sure that your customers don’t forget about you.
|About The Author|
|Camilla is the community manager at iwoca, a limited London based company that provides instant working capital to online sellers. Visit their website at www.iwoca.co.uk|