Almost every business wants social media to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the place that helps generate leads and turn leads into sales with almost no effort at all. There are classes and books and webinars and seminars about how to make big bucks with Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, and most of them won’t say the one thing that you really need to know. The best way to sell on social media is not to sell at all.
While that sounds like some kind of zen saying, in reality it’s anything but. It’s a truth that most people want to ignore, because selling, putting up a whole line of posts advertising your goods, or entreating everyone to come look at the latest product in your store or simply blasting people over and over again with a plea that they shop with you seems easier and faster and certainly less work than what actually helps you make sales.
The truth is that finding true customers, those customers who will buy from you again and again and who will help promote your business, takes time and effort. The first step in the process is creating a social media profile that does a lot more than just sell. A good profile gives some backstage access to how your business runs. It spotlights your skills and expertise. It offers education on how the decoration processes you use work, and ideas for how your customers can benefit from those processes. It sells, but subtly, never screaming but softly whispering how your products and services can benefit your customers.
The next link in the chain is building your company’s reputation and building trust with the other members of your social media community. This means helping simply for the sake of helping, and making connections because you have things in common, or because you can learn from each other, not because you see everyone else on social media as a mark, someone to whom you can sell. Studies have shown that people tend to buy from people and companies that they trust. Building trust among the members of your community will lead to sales and most likely long lasting relationships.
Another handy social media function that a lot of decoration companies neglect is the ability to present your customers with ideas for what they could purchase from you. Pinterest is great for this. Create idea boards for specific customer categories to which you’d like to sell. Want to sell to local schools? Create innovative spiritwear designs and showcase them on a spiritwear board. Have a certain hobby or activity that you really enjoy? Create themed garments centered on that hobby and put them up on a board. Pinterest is aspirational, and along with the people looking for 10 ways to decorate their kitchen, or six fun summer activities for kids, there are people looking for shirts for their family reunions or hats for their over 50 baseball team. Be the place where the find what they’re looking for.
Finally, successfully selling on social media requires thinking about who your target customers are, and where they can be found. It means not simply asking all your friends and family to like your page, but going out and finding the people who want to buy what you have to sell. It means building your follower count slowly and strategically, with a clear goal always in mind. Selling on social media is most successful when you’re talking to a group of followers who need what you have to offer. Being strategic and smart about how you build your page’s follower network will take more time and effort, but will result in connections with a group of people who want to buy what you have to sell.