Would you believe us if we told you there was a simple way to build a reputable brand while connecting with current and future customers, and you could do it all from your phone? Well, do we have great news for you!
Social media is an extension of marketing, customer support, and community building. It allows people to get to know what your brand is all about, and you have the opportunity to show off your unique personality and areas of expertise.
At Big Cartel, we use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, and YouTube - and we aren’t afraid to experiment. We promote rad shops on our platform, shout out updates on new features, share fun pictures and illustrations, and provide fast and simple customer support.
Be where your customers need you
It’s important to have a presence on the platforms your customers already use. If people are tweeting about your business, you should be responding.
“There’s only so low you can go on price. There’s only so excellent you can make your product or service. There’s only so far you can stretch your marketing budget. Your heart, though—that’s boundless.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk, The Thank You Economy
Be native to each platform you’re on. Cross-posting from Instagram to Twitter is nice when you’re sharing pictures of your pet, but when you blast the same exact post on every social network it looks lazy. You want someone who follows your different profiles to get an experience that makes sense for that platform. On Twitter, that might include text and a link to your website. On Tumblr, it’s a GIF or even reblogging someone else’s post about your brand. On Instagram, beautiful photography rules the day.
Don’t forget old school methods of communication like email newsletters - subscribers will be your most loyal fans.
Use your time wisely
It’s important to not overextend yourself - having infrequently updated profiles on every single service is a bad look. If you only have time for Twitter and Facebook, it’s best to focus on those two platforms. Your profile information should include details on where people can find you, and how to get timely support for your product.
Set up a schedule for checking in on each social profile. If your business is large enough, this may be a full-time job. Also, determine if scheduling your updates to auto-post through a service like Buffer or Hootsuite makes sense. If you have a global audience, be sure to give other timezones some love while they’re online.
Determine your voice
Is your company only you? Keep it personal. People will develop a deeper connection with you, and that means more loyalty.
Do you expect to have employees some day? Then use “we.” More often than not, it doesn’t matter who is posting, so you don’t need to treat it like email and use a signature. Humanizing your brand builds credibility.
Whatever you do, keep it consistent. Fans, followers, and customers like to know they’ll get the same reliable service when they interact with you, wherever that might be.
Interact with care
If it isn’t clear yet, you should interact with people! Nothing takes the social out of social media faster than those who are too busy to reply. Say thank you when someone shares your work or sings your praises. Answer questions even when they’re sent by a frustrated customer. If a more personal, in-depth conversation needs to take place, invite them to email you personally.
Make sure you’re using crisp, clear photography all the time. Don’t post blurry photos just because that’s all you took. Consider taking a weekend photography workshop - not only will it be fun for you, better photography can help you sell more stuff!
Also, don’t forget to upload a high resolution logo and banner to your profiles so you stand out. Small, pixelated images are a bummer.
Make it a point to share things that are interesting and engaging. Don’t just post your products over and over. Most of your posts should include updates your fans can’t find elsewhere, filtered through your unique perspective. A smaller portion should be actual promotional materials for your business.
This is your chance to tell a story. Share the process of designing your latest product, or go behind the scenes of the photo shoot for your newest line of goods. Customers love to see behind the curtain!
The bottom line is that social media should be fun. It’s a window into your world, and a chance for others to stay updated on your work. Don’t underestimate the value of building strong relationships with those who love what you do.