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 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. However, the obvious problem being that it can only work if you’re actually socially connected to anyone.
How and where
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 visualise how you want your Pinterest profile to look like.
Twitter is great because it gives you the chance to actively get in touch with people. While it’s difficult to know who people are on twitter you can use all the people who are already on there, i.e. the people who follow other online sellers or wholesalers could possible buy from you as well. 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.
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 be successful on Facebook. Some are successful hosting competitions, which could be an option.
As a customer service tool
As a business owner you always work hard to provide great customer service for all the people you come across. That includes answering questions, replying to e-mails, keeping your promises and oh yes, hoping that the post office do their job properly.
But sometimes something goes wrong, it happens to all of us. But we will always do our best to fix it, help the customer and offer them some sort of compensation. So what is the easiest way to do this? Social media could be one of them. This is something your customers use every day and it’s an easy way for them to communicate, rather than having to go on to eBay and find out how to communicate there.
More than that, if they leave their negative feedback on Facebook, it won’t show on your feedback score. It doesn’t get much better than that.
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.
This post is provided by iwoca , the first company in the UK to provide small business loans to eBay and Amazon sellers.