E-commerce websites, online marketplaces and even Facebook stores are becoming popular and are very successful for many new sellers; it is prime time for all small businesses to make sure that their products are viewed online. You can easily set up an e-commerce store, a marketplace on eBay or Amazon or even set up a Facebook store right on your Facebook business page in a matter of minutes. Once that store is setup and ready to go, you need to know how to market your products.
Regardless of where you have placed your products online, you need to create a marketing strategy to guide your activities. You may already have a plan to drive customers to your physical store location; this is a good starting point when taking a look at how you can market yourself in the digital space. However, the options online are almost unlimited since you are opening up the world to your products.
The first and lowest cost step to a solid marketing strategy is to take advantage of the popular social media sites, especially if you have a Facebook shop on your Facebook fan page. Use these channels to promote your products, build brand awareness, and interact with your customers. The more you interact with customers and you continue to be active on these channels the more you will begin to build trust with current and potential customers. While most of your engagement is free to create, it may make sense to add paid advertising options from a platform such as Facebook or Twitter to drive new users to your page and gain exposure to your products and brand.
Social sharing is a route you can take to encourage people to share products from your news feed or online store. We suggest that all sellers provide social sharing buttons for the top social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. These can increase exposure for you ecommerce site, marketplace listings or Facebook store. Our Facebook store app, ShopTab, lets your customers quickly and easily share your store’s products on their favorite social media sites. Encourage your fans to do so.
We know that special promotions and “deals” work very well inside of social networks – there is lots of research to back this up. We suggest you offer your customers promotions and then market them directly on your fan page news feed. An app like ShopTab provides a quick way to post that promotion right from your product listing page. Showcasing your special offers will help create a buzz with your customers and they will be more likely to socially share the links to your products. Take advantage of the simple posting options to both Facebook and Twitter new feeds.
Now for the hard part of the discussion, social networks weren’t built as a sales channel. They are in place first for individuals and brands to start conversations, engage their fans and be social. This means that integrating your products and store into the discussion requires some nuance. Selling all the time in your news feed will turn off your followers. Make sure you are first engaging them in your brand, telling your story, listening for their queues about their needs and then pull in your products and store to highlight new products, new directions, deals and offers that may not be available to non-fans. Done in the right way this product information will be appreciated and you will see sales.
These are simple steps and tools to promote your products and services but the real effort lies in making this all work in a social context for your brand. The trend to buy online is compelling for buyers and sellers. Make sure you take the time to learn the unique attributes of each of your online selling channels. Simple to say, hard to do really well. Good luck!