You’ve set up your online store. You have an expertly designed logo, a full product offering and you’re making use of online postage programs. However, you are still struggling to find new customers and increase your exposure. Fortunately, social media are powerful new tools that anyone can use to promote anything. Social media allow you to directly interact and reach your customers, creating a level of transparency and engagement that was never before possible.
What Exactly Are Social Media?
Social media is a term that encompasses any type of media involving a social aspect. There are dozens of types of social media, such as blogs, forums, microblogs, social networks and podcasts. Perhaps the most popular type of social media is the social network, which has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Social networks allow users to create profiles, share their interests and connect with others. Most users connect with friends and family; however, they are also capable of connecting with you, an online store.
Social media has become the most powerful method to update your customers about new products, specials and features. If you do not have a social media presence, it’s time to get started. Below are crucial elements of a comprehensive social media strategy:
- Create a Blog. A blog is a platform that is used to regularly release new content, such as videos, pictures and articles. Your blog can be easily incorporated with your online store so that new visitors to the blog can be directed to your store. A blog is the cornerstone of a complete social media strategy; it’s what you’ll promote on other social media outlets. Create blog posts about subject matter that is relevant to your store. For example, if your store sells martial arts equipment, write regular content about martial arts techniques, movies about martial arts and news in the world of martial arts. As this content is shared via social media, it will drive traffic to your blog, which will drive traffic to your online store.
- Set Up Social Network Profiles. Social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, are the most popular forms of social media and have revolutionized the way people interact online. Create a profile with every major social network. Do not create a personal profile — create a professional page. After establishing your profile, promote it with blog posts. While it may start off slowly, eventually others will begin sharing your articles. This will increase your exposure to your target audience. It will also grow exponentially; the more people who follow your updates, the more they will share them with others. However, do not solely promote your own content. Publish and share anything that your target market would find interesting. Post news stories about your industry, and even promote other stores with complementary products.
- Consider Other Forms of Media. There are other forms of social media that revolve around pictures, videos and podcasts. Consider if being active in these networks will help you reach your audience. Can you publish videos of yourself discussing new products? Perhaps you can take high-quality pictures of the items you are selling and share them on these networks. However, do not overload yourself. Maintaining a blog and social media presence can be time-consuming. Only expand into other social media outlets if they are relevant to your industry. As with the martial arts equipment example, regularly posting videos of martial artists using your equipment will become a powerful promotional tool. Eventually, you may wish to employ a social media manager to provide professional-level attention to your social presence. They will be able to evaluate your current activity and suggest other outlets to explore.
Grow Your Presence, Then Grow Your Store
It takes time and effort to grow a social media presence; however, as your presence grows, so will your store. You will be able to engage with regular customers and keep them loyal to you. They will be able to spread the word about your store, attracting new customers. Before long, your social media presence will be the backbone of your online store.
About the Author: Charles Sharp is a contributing writer and online business owner. He has used DYMO Endicia and popular social networks to grow his business.