As a small business, especially if you only just started trading, it can be difficult to reach people online, even more so if you have little experience with social media.
By selling via social media, you raise awareness for your product or service and increase traffic to your website that will lead to more sales. Here are the basics on how to get started selling online.
The first question is: How do you get more customers? You identify them.
Who are they? (i.e. gender, age, background, etc.)
Where do they live? Do they need to be in the same city as you?
Where do they work?
What do they do for fun?
What kind of products or services do they purchase and enjoy? You could even target your competitor's’ clients.
After you have identified your target audience, SoGrow can make it fast, cheap and effective to find them. It automatically follows your potential customers and if they don’t follow back it simply un-follows them so you don’t have to spend hours every day doing it manually.
Most businesses are online, and having a Twitter and a Facebook account is a must. Besides you can't exactly print fliers nowadays. Businesses are successful when they solve a problem - What problems do your customers have? Find out how your business is making customers life better and how it ties into their lifestyle.
What you want to do to be heard through all that noise online is offer them value. Something they will happily share. Could be either useful information or entertaining.
Red Bull is a great example of that; it has associated its brand with extreme sports. Now you see Red Bull mentioned with Skydivers, surfers and skiers more than you see an ad for its drink. Do they even sell the drink anymore?
Here are some ways to engage online without being pushy and having a one-way conversation.
Choose the right platforms
Don't just jump on a social media platform because everyone is doing it. You have to select a business strategy and choose accordingly.
Do you offer products or a service? If it's a service you can't really use Instagram or Pinterest, unless you can take amazing pictures of people using it, like traveling. A lot of businesses make money through Instagram which is a great visual tool that if used right can be very successful, but as a Construction Company, for example, it wouldn't make sense. You need Facebook and Twitter which are great for any business to inform your customers of updates or deals or reaching out to people that might need your services.
You have to also determine your audience, is it exclusively other businesses? Then LinkedIn is the place to go for networking and B2B marketing. But if you are selling clothes to teenagers then Instagram and Snapchat is where you are going to find them.
You need to know where they are online in order to interact and connect with them. Don't waste time on a platform that doesn't work for you.
There are a lot of arguments out there about how often you should post and what time of the day. Facebook, for example, gives you insights into when your followers are most active and most likely to read your content. In my experience the best time is after 5 pm to get people to read your content when everyone leaves from work.
Some say that posting too much and too frequently will hurt your following, but posting too little is far far more common. If you don't put out enough content, how else will you reach people? Especially for Twitter where using hashtags can help you reach a very specific audience that is using those hashtags. Have a look at what people similar to you are tweeting - what hashtags do they use? Maybe you should use those too.
Auto-scheduling posts is fine as long as you are also available in real time to answer questions and acknowledge those that engage. People want to see the genuine side of the company, the people. The SoDash Playlist will schedule your posts for you and mix them up after the end of the playlist therefore you are always active online.
Asking your customers questions, it's a great way to know what they are thinking, what they want and how to improve your product or service to make it more successful.
If you need an insight as to what your customers might need answers with you can use tools like Buzzsumo, SoDash and FAQFox to see what they are searching for or what is trending on your sector.
Talk about what you know
Join communities of people and add to their discussion, tell them what you‘ve learned about what you do. Then you’ll build a personal brand that is trusted, adds value, and people will go to you for answers. Quora and Reddit are great Q and A search engines for that. This is your career, so you know what you’re talking about - don’t be afraid to tell people and they will appreciate your help.
These are only a few ways that you can improve your presence online and start selling your product or service. It’s not much different to using it for your personal life, the same way you are portraying yourself, you should also try and create the image you have in mind for your business. Companies now are realizing that their customers want to interact with them; they want to see a more genuine side and be part of it. So don’t be afraid to have a chat with them on Facebook or Twitter they will not think any less of you for being one of them on the contrary they will engage more. It’s a part of customer service, and the whole buying experience.