Web 2.0. Social networking. Social media. Are these words that make your head spin? How can you use them to your online store’s benefit? If you’re reselling online then here’s why you need to pay attention to these very valuable resources and how to take advantage of them…
It seems almost everyone has joined the social revolution which is online social networking. Indeed, in these days of Web 2.0 where we can shape the internet as we see fit (think about your Facebook page, Youtube channel etc ~ they are yours and yours alone, no two are the same) there is an explosion of business opportunities, especially when it comes to marketing.
In this blog we’re going to look at social networking, media and the internet and how getting involved can really help market your business and boost sales!
Who’s On Board?
The more mud you throw, the more will stick! It’s similar with marketing your online store believe it or not. One important task is to let as many people know about your store as possible, but the internet’s a big place so how can you make sure that your marketing time is well spent? Market where the people are, and that means social networking sites!
Let’s look at some information regarding social networking:
- Social networks help people stay in touch and are usually free to use, they’re therefore very popular and unlikely to go anywhere soon.
- They are a Godsend for online resellers looking to grow their contact base as there are millions of people in one place.
- Social networks can really help online resellers with CRM (customer relationship management) as they offer a free platform for you to give customers any information and for them to contact you. The Chinavasion Facebook page is a great example, so take a look to see how I handle some CRM on there.
- If you’re selling online then chances are you will have overseas customers. Social networking gives you a great, free way to keep in touch with them or even to find new, foreign suppliers without expensive phone bills!
- If you have the cash then paying for advertising space on social networking sites could reach millions more potential customers!
There are a wealth of different social networking and social media sites on the web, here are some of the more popular: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Myspace. Although there are many more ranging from sites that cater for people who like one style of music to sites that cater for residents of just one city. Check them out and see which is a good fit for you.
How Many Users?! Why Your Business Needs A Facebook Page!
Facebook really is the titan of social networking sites, so I’m going to focus on it here.
Imagine the exposure that your business can gain if you set up a Facebook page for it! Best of all it’s free!
Once your business has its own online presence in social networking, be it in Facebook or wherever, you’ll need to do the following:
Be Checking Data
- You need to check who is checking out your page and your store, so you’ll want to be using tools like Google Analytics or the Facebook ‘Insights’ on your businesses page, to get a handle on who has been visiting and which products are most popular etc. These tools can go VERY deep, especially the former, but it is up to you how far you go with analysis. All I’d say is that it may really help you to know what people are and AREN’T looking at.
- It will be useful to know what your competitors are doing. First of all you can check their social networking pages for new products, promotions etc. Should you be doing this? Can you beat their price? Are they offering a product that you should be selling? All it takes is a look now and again.
- Keep up to date with popular keywords that your competitors may be using and you should be. Use sites like Alexa and Google Trends to see what users are clicking on. If you link your products to strong keywords then you may be able to rank higher in search engine searches which results in higher sales and also ‘beat’ your competitors in said searches (this is SEO – search engine optimisation – which to be honest needs its very own blog, but if you want to know more may I suggest checking SEO book which is a great site and has a free 7 day crash course which you can sign up to).
- Use your store’s page to publicise new promotions, competitions, products news etc – this will reach more people and drive traffic back to your store directly.
- Branch out – include related news to your industry or products that customers might be interested in, funny stories, write a blog to inform customers of any news, set questionnaires and maybe introduce your business with some pictures etc. Making your online presence lively, current and ‘real’ will really boost numbers of people visiting as they’ll have something new to read, see or do each time. I have grown the Chinavasion Facebook page by doing just this.