How to get your products spotted online using social media.
We always thought at Craft Insurance that business should remain just that and our private lives should remain private. However, over the last year we realised what a large part of the business we, ourselves, are! Allowing people to get to know who we are as members of a little family business puts people more at ease. When people call they are already a bit defensive, waiting to be transferred to a call centre and kept on hold for half an hour and then, when we pick up they are actually relieved to talk to normal people! We realised that when we talk to our clients we sell ourselves as well as selling our products and social media is another way to help us to do this.
TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA:
1 Remember to be social!
The first rule of thumb for social media is to remember to be social! It sounds simple but often we
broadcast rather than engaging in conversations. Ever been to a dinner party where someone in the group is a little bit too full of themselves and has no interest in engaging with you? They talk at you, telling you hilarious anecdotes about themselves, yabbering on without giving you a chance to squeak, let alone speak! Eventually, you manage to say something but when you do they aren’t really that interested…Well, It’s a good idea to bear this thought in mind when doing posts for social media! Broadcasting without interaction is a no-no! It’s worth considering different ways of delivering your information to invite interaction. We can start conversations with curiosity, engaging with our followers and showing them we understand their needs with insights. Then we can ask them for feedback. Did we get it right or was there something else that we could have talked about that would have been more helpful? It’s about giving people an opportunity to connect with you. Having conversations and letting people get to know you a little bit better. After all, people buy from people.
2 Pick a platform and do it well.
Often we try and do too many different platforms because we think we ought to, but what we need to do is do ONE well, before we branch out and try others. At Craft Insurance we tried to start with too many and then found that we couldn’t keep up with them all! We had a Twitter account but then we couldn’t keep up with it as we didn’t really use it in our personal lives! Instagram was still a bit of a mystery at the time, and, a little befuddled with it all, we decided to concentrate on one! Of all the platforms, Pinterest seemed to be the most attractive and then we discovered the opportunities that Facebook was offering in the form of Facebook Challenges. We realised that there was no right or wrong. It was simply a case of being most active on the platform where our audience were.
3 Understand you audience:
So, which social media channels are used by the people you want to target? If you are going for a 20 year old, chances are they’ll be on TikTok or Snap Chat way before Facebook (their parents are on Facebook). I’ve recently discovered Stories which is a bit like Snapchat but a bit more sophisticated. Your post grid of images is for your product only, a bit like your personal shop window. In Stories, on the other hand, you can show other people’s products, info about your sales, other people’s sales and you can also create polls and ask questions. It can almost become like a visual blog. It’s good for market research, for giveaways and for sharing posts from fellow makers to introduce your followers to them. If you tag a business, a supplier or a cause that you are a part of in your story then they’ll re-share your story to their contacts too. The Facebook algorithm can mean that your followers may never actually get to see your posts, whereas with stories, it’s there and it won’t get lost in the ether!
4 Create personas:
One of the most helpful tips for you to engage your audience is by ‘creating’ one of them. Who are your customers? When you know the ‘types’ of people that use your services it will help you to speak to them via social media. When I say ‘type’ I mean that they might be of a similar age, education, job or family status or they might live in the same area. They might have similar goals in life eg. Do they want to travel more? Do they want to start a company? Do they want to own their own home? Or they might have similar interests e.g. Do they like reading? Do they like listening to classical music? Do they like watching crime dramas? Do they enjoy playing tennis? What motivates them? Do they want a great work life balance? Do they aim to pay off any debt and become financially free? Or do they just want to live in the moment and be a free spirit? Van life is a great thing at the moment, especially on Pinterest.
Once you have a persona it will give you the confidence to step into the world of advertising online. Give each persona a name and over time you and your team will all know who you are talking about when you target set demographics.
5 Use social advertising:
To get traction on platforms such as Facebook, ad spend is becoming a necessity. If you want your followers to grow in number it is unlikely to happen organically on Facebook (organic traffic is obtained more easily on LinkedIn). When you decide how much you want to spend on your Facebook ads, go to your setting and cap your spend at the outset so that Facebook knows when to stop! Have a look at the other settings too to make sure that your ads are showing at the right time etc. To advertise your products for free, upload videos to YouTube as it’s a great way to get more traffic to your wonderful website!
6 Use email and landing pages:
When you post an ad on Facebook (and Instagram) it needs to feature either a landing page with a specific offer or take them directly to a specific place on the website rather than to the homepage. A landing page is a ‘one offer only’ page to engage a purchase or sign up. You post your advert on social media, direct people to this particular offer on the landing page and, if you can, get them to sign up to your newsletter and leave an email address. These landing pages can be set up through your website or your choice of email programme.
To get started contacting your customers, MailChimp is a great tool whose price depends on the number of contacts you have. As you scale, you can use more sophisticated Content Resource Management tools (InfusionSoft, Keap, Hubspot (more expensive) as these have email marketing and landing pages built in. They really do help you scale significantly. When you write a blog, for example, they will contact your entire mailing list with your blog at the time you’ve set. It looks after itself. Just make sure that everyone on your mailing list has given permission for you to use their contact details – it’s the law. I hope that these little tips will add value to you and help you to get social online with your audience! Please contact us if you need our help and advice with your Craft Insurance.