In my last blog post, I described taking my brick and mortar shop from a small retail shop only to a predominately online business. We still have the brick and mortar. It’s cute and local shoppers love it, but it won’t pay the bills and keep the lights on. The online sales channels are the only thing keeping us afloat. We sell on Amazon, Ebay, Cratejoy and our own website. We tried Etsy and a few other things but they just didn’t fit our style. There are lots of online income stream possibilities for a business. Each business has to find their own best fit.
How does a business drive customers to their sales channels? It does take some work and experimenting to find the best fit for this also. Currently I post to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and this blog on a regular schedule. It is important to keep your products and services in front of people on a frequent basis. The algorithms for these platforms are constantly changing and people are on them at different times. The only way to really compensate for this is to post often across a variety of platforms.
I didn’t do all of this at once and it took time to learn the platforms but I am going to share what I am currently doing. Each platform has it’s own rules, just like the selling platforms. Merchants who post and advertise on social media platforms have to play by the owner’s rules which cover post content, and size of the post. You will probably need time to find your own style and posting schedule. I am going to share mine with the understanding that this has taken at least 10 years to get a routine down and to feel comfortable with. Platforms were added as an experiment first and then put on the schedule when it became easier to implement.
This schedule gets the information about our shop and our products in front of customer’s eyes many times during the course of a week. Each type of post on social media sends customers either to the shop website, an online shopping platform where our products are featured or to a blog article sharing information about our shop and products. It’s important not only that people see the posts, but that there is a specific action we would like them to take to get more information or to make a purchase.
If you choose to post regularly on social media, you are trading labor for the price of paid advertising. Maybe you enjoy the photography and writing. Maybe you pay someone to post for you. Social media is where your customers are spending their time. Finding which platform they prefer and when they are likely there is your challenge as a business owner.
Next post: What to post? Why do I need email?