Social media marketing is an opportunity to advertise and promote your items for free. It can increase sales for eBay and Etsy sellers or any business with its own ecommerce website. But it will take some work, some time, and a bit of marketing strategy. In this article we are going to show you what the top social media websites are and the best way to gain popularity on each of them.
The top social media marketing sites in order of importance to an internet marketing campaign are: Pintrest, Tumblr, Facebook, Google Plus, then Twitter.
Starting a Social Media Marketing Campaign
To start your social media campaign first you should gather the basic things that you will need at all of these sites. Each one requires that you have a basic “about me” or business biography. Write a few paragraphs about your products, your business, and your yourself. You can just cut and paste these as necessary. Same thing with a picture. If you’re a craft person find a good photo of yourself. If you’re more business oriented get a good copy of your business logo to use as your avatar. Finally, make a list of links to the items you have for sale that you would like to market on your social media profiles.
Creating a profile and posting links to your items is only the beginning. What’s more important is that you get followers. How you do that is a little bit different at each site so now we’re going to take a look at each in depth and tell you exactly how to do that. Followers are important because each time you post a new item that link will automatically show up on that person’s newsfeed. Think of it like having subscribers to your ads.
Pintrest has taken first place by a landslide. It’s enormously popular and it’s a proven source of traffic for anything that’s visually compelling. If you have good photos of your item and at least someone thinks it’s interesting you will get some clicks. After setting up your profile make a “board” and title it something like “Handmade Necklaces for Sale”. Then pin your links to it. If you have lots of items, make a board for each category. Then go get some followers!
How to get followers on Pintrest. Go to the search box at the top of the page. Type in the keyword that best describes your business. First Pintrest will show you dozens of individual pins that match. Not quite what you want yet. Right under the search box there is another box that says “boards”. Click on it. Now you will see only boards that relate to your business. This is your target audience. Go nuts and follow 299 of them. 300 is your daily limit. 15-30 of the people who posted those boards will follow you back as a courtesy. Some may re-pin your items if they like them. Once you become popular, 1 or 2 will even invite you to post your items on their board! Do this daily for about a month and you will have a huge following.
Although there is a daily limit to how many things you can follow per day, there is no limit to the amount of things you can “like” in a day. You do that by clicking on the little heart that appears on the upper right corner of a pin. Although not quite as effective as following someone’s board it can still get you followers. Each time you like something the person who made the pin will receive a message telling them you liked their item. Sometimes they will come check you out in return and if they like your items they will follow you.
Tumblr has become the go-to social media site for people fed up with Facebook. It is simple, effective, and isn’t constantly censored by the creators. They don’t mess up the newsfeeds or push you to spend money on advertising. No annoying game invites. No invasion of privacy issues. Best of all, if you post something your followers will actually see it. Just create your profile and post your links.
How to get followers on Tumblr. Type a keyword into their search proceeded by a hashtag. Example: #handmade jewelry. You will be given a feed of people who are posting about handmade jewelry. Follow them and like their posts until your eyes hurt because there is no limit. One in 20 that you interact with will follow you back or like one of your items in return. Tumblr people are an extremely social and curious bunch. If they see you checking them out many come check you out in return.
Just a personal note. I love this site and I hope it replaces Facebook. Then again I’m one of those people who thought Myspace was way better in the first place. This site just works and they’re not constantly fiddling with it. You see what you sign up to see and you show what you intended to show. There’s nobody manipulating your newsfeed for their own agenda or showing you what they think you want to see.
Facebook is still the most popular site by far but the stupid way they manipulate their own content has knocked them down to third place for social media marketing. It is still definitely worth setting up a page for your business on Facebook but just be aware that you will receive way more traffic from Pintrest and Tumblr. Why? Because Facebook does not show all of your content to your followers. They show about half. If you want all of your posts to show up in all of your follower’s newsfeeds you have to pay to “promote your post”. Plus they actually have a user option where people can follow you but unsubscribe from your feed no matter what you do. So lame.
How to get likes on Facebook. Unlike the other sites where you follow people to get followbacks I recommend a different approach here. Go to the search box and type in a hashtag keyword for your business like #candles. You will get a feed of people talking about candles. Like and comment on their posts. Your likes will appear in their messages and your name will appear in their comments. About 1 in 30 will like your page.
You might be wondering why I don’t recommend following people on facebook. It’s because the only way to search for people who are interested in your topic is to do a hashtag search and if you like anyone your search results will always show those people’s posts first. Once you like about 20 people that will fill up your search results and you’ll never get to see any new people. Just another wonderful way Facebook manipulates its content to supposedly improve things.
One more thing, don’t overlook Facebook Groups. There are several groups out there for Ebay and Etsy that welcome posts about items. Do a search and you will find them. However, you have to join the group before you post. It can take a few hours to a few days for the group moderator to approve you.
Google Plus is useful, functional, and likable. However, it’s still a small social networking site compared to the others because its corporate ownership prevented it from ever becoming trendy. There are still plenty of people who use it though.
How to get followers on Google Plus. After making your profile go to the people search and type in a keyword for your business niche. You’ll see a bunch of businesses and people that are related to your term. You can click on the people directly and if they seem like they might be interested you then follow them. You can also click on those businesses and see their followers. Follow the followers. If they’re following your competition then they’ll probably follow you! You only follow 25 per day though before you will get cut off. I got about a 5 to 1 followback rate there but they seem to come slower than the other social media sites for some reason. Sometimes days after so be patient with this one.
Like Facebook Google Plus also has groups you can join and post your items. Don’t overlook them!
Twitter is last because contrary to popular belief it’s not a very good social media site for marketing. It has no pictures and very limited space to post text. It can be good once your name is established and people want instant updates. But it’s not really good for much in the way of advertising new businesses. It does have one enormous positive though. It’s really easy to get followers.
How to get followers on Twitter. You can follow 999 people a day. But you can only follow 2000 in your first month. So I did 999 for 2 days in a row and I got 124 people to follow me back within a few days. Wait a month and add more.
Two other sites that I have heard of people using are Instagram and Weheartit. Instagram is useful for people who really love to photograph their goods with their smart phone. It has some photo editing capabilities built into the phone app. I’m not going to review it because you really should be using something better than your smart phone to photograph your items. But you can check it out and decide for yourself.
Weheartit is very similar to Pintrest. You can post your items with a link back to the listing. Right now it’s still very new but I’ve heard some good things about it so it might be worth looking into.
How to make a Social Media Marketing Campaign Successful
If you create a profile for the first 4 of the sites above and spend 15 minutes each day following and liking other people, you will have 100 followers on each within a month. Over 1200 within a year. I know that seams like a lot of work but you’re getting 4800 followers (4×1200) within a year. Every time you post a new item, a sale, or an update about your business it will reach the newsfeeds of 4800 people. In terms of marketing that is not bad at all. Most of the time you’d have to pay for adverting like that.