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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Are You Sharing Your Products On Social Media?

Are You Sharing Your Products On Social Media?

When starting your new business, you may think, "If you build it they will come." from the 1989 film "Field of Dreams." (If you haven't seen field of dreams, it's definitely a good watch.  In business things don't always seem to work that way.  You could build the next new thing, but if nobody knows about it, how will you sell any?

When starting a business most people fail think about the marketing aspect of their business.  Most focus so much time on making the product the best it can be, that when it comes time to bring it to the market, they have no money to do so.  What's good about our day in age, and the internet, is we now have social media to help us grow our businesses organically. Not only is social media a great place to start when you're ready to start spending advertising money, it's also a good place to start when you have very little or no funds for marketing.

I can hear a lot of you thinking right now, "I have a Facebook page.  I've had it for a few months, but I've only got 30 people who LIKE my page. " Well that's a great place to start! Now I can hear you thinking, "What about those other businesses that have 1,000 or 10,000 or even 20,000 likes.  How can I compete with them?  How did they get that many likes?"  A couple of things;

  • A) It didn't happen over night.  These companies didn't get all of these likes in one night, one week or even one month. (At least the small ones, companies with an established reputation and customer base could grow that quick)
  • B) How can you compete with them? You DON'T! At least not right away...
One thing I would like you to do before you go any further is find one of those pages you like, one of your direct competitors, maybe another handmade soap company, bath bomb company, or another "widget factory." (It doesn't have to be just soap or bath & beauty products) Find that companies Facebook page and scroll down the page, take a look at what they post, and when they post it. (Here's a link to the Facebook page for Johnson & Johnson, see how often they post, the content they post, and the images that go with it.  Besides being around for years and having a loyal client base, they post news, images, products, etc. to their page to engage people, to give them something to share. When you share another Facebook pages' story, you're effectively promoting their business to your followers and friends.)

What does it cost you to share another businesses story on Facebook?  That's right, nothing!  So imagine if you could get 10, 20, 30, 100 or even 1,000 people a day to share you Facebook page, or posts with their friends and followers . . . Do you realize how quickly and how many Facebook likes your page will soon be getting?  This is why social media is such an important tool to new business owners.  You have the ability to reach every member of Facebook, (although it would take some time, and A LOT of hard work) without spending any money on advertising!  (It's very unlikely that something like this would happen without advertising, especially since you only reach about 6% - 7% of your friends or followers when you first post something.  It's only when they start sharing it with their friends and then their friends start sharing it, do you start to reach more then the 6% - 7%.)

What this does prove is that you have the ability, with social media, to reach tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, with just a few key strokes.  Is it likely that something you post will go viral?  Probably not.  But you won't know unless you try! Also the more you post, the better chance you have of something going viral.

Make sure the content you are posting is unique.  It's always good to share news stories of your industry on your Facebook wall (or Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) this gives your followers something more to ready, or learn from.  You don't want to try an sell them something all the time, everyday of the week, 2 -3 times a day. Don't just post your products for sale!  People don't want to see a sales pitch every time you make a post.  If all you do is try to sell to your followers, you'll lose those followers quite quickly.  So post unique content, images, or shared stories.  Try and post items that will get people to interact with your post.  It's those likes, comments, shares, that are going to get your post in front of the eyes of other people.  On Facebook for instance, when someone shares your post, they're post reads, "So & So just shared Your post" and your page name links back to your page.  So when people share your post, it puts your business name out there, with a link back to your page.  This will help you to gain exposure, as well as traffic to your social media page.

So what do you do when you've acquired all of these followers?  Then you advertise!  The features for advertising on social media, especially on Facebook,  are enormous and greatly beneficial.  At this point it's even better then using Google Adwords for certain promotions.

When it comes to social media marketing, you can specific in your details of how your ad is shown to.  If you have a product just for women ages 25 - 40.  You can market to those who like your page, and or your customers page, women, 25 - 40, who have "X" number of children, makes "$ X" amount household income per year, that live just in the US, or just in one state or city if you want!  Now that's specific!

There are many people/businesses, like myself, who started using Facebook advertising thinking it would do great for our business, but I didn't understand or know all of the information above. Because of this, you end up spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars on advertising, that ends up showing little to no ROI (Return On Investment.)  Once this happens you start to think that it doesn't work.  It does, you just don't know how to work it. It takes time. Once you understand it, and can use it to your best ability, you'll find that social media advertising is one of the best ways to directly deliver ads to your target market.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, they all have some sort of advertising platform now.  The best way to use that platform effectively is to build a following, it doesn't have to be thousands of people,  then use that loyal following to create buzz on these social media sites for you.  Do give aways, offer affiliate programs, for those who want to promote your business.  Just remember, to always post your products on social media, especially if you're already on there using your time, it's free advertising.

To end it let's go back to Field of Dreams.  I believe that if you build "IT" make sure "IT" is the best that it can be, promote the heck out of it, then maybe, just maybe they will come.

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