Let me start by saying that I know that some builders do use Instagram! We’ll come back to this point later.
I wanted to begin by picking up where we left off last time in my Does Investment in Social Retail Really Pay for SMEs? blog discussing the use of social media for increasing e-commerce sales.
More than 66% of adults are connected to one or more social media platforms.
Having established that social sharing and interactivity opportunities on (or linking to) e-commerce sites can increase sales, if the social media strategy is right, I said I would explain in more detail about how to choose the right social media platform for selling your products or services online.
I mentioned it is about matching your customers with the right social media platform and investing your time there.
The Guardian says:
“Social networks give retail brands the opportunity to form a relationship with millions of customers and also speak to them individually.”
For an investment in time (and no bottom line cost), small businesses and eCommerce website owners can reach potential new customers in the kinds of numbers that would make a targeted advertising campaign with similar reach completely out of the price range of most small businesses.
But with so many different social media platforms now popping up everywhere, it can be easy for small business owners to think “how am I ever going to have the time or budget to maintain all these different social media platforms!” and decide to ignore digital and social media marketing altogether to concentrate on traditional methods that they are familiar with, such as classified adverts and flyering.
But don’t be so hasty. If you know your customers, you can quite easily find out when and where they spend their time online, and concentrate your social media efforts there.
Just take a step back and consider your core customers. What do you know about them already? Where do they spend their time? Product type and customer buyer behaviour should determine where you concentrate your efforts. Select your social media strategy by matching the profile of your customers to the profiles of the users on each social media platform.
If your website is selling construction materials, then the builders who buy them are unlikely to be spending all day posting photos on Instagram, which is currently frequented by media-savvy creative types, many of whom like to post pics of everything from the view out of their office window to what they’ve eaten for lunch (if you’re selling quirky gifts and desktop items, this could be one for you).
But as a rule, builders are generally too busy building stuff to be taking a step back to assess the best lighting and frame in which to capture the moment. We know there is a lot of love for builders on Instagram, as these photos tagged with #builders shows. But most of the photos tagged with things like #buildingsite and #construction seem to be mostly taken by home DIY enthusiasts and passers-by.
Builders and other manual (non-office-based) workers, on the other hand, often have tough, hardy phones that don’t break when bashed about a bit (it makes sense). They are much less likely to have a smart phone than office workers, so may only access the internet on a PC at home in the evening.
While they may not be tweeting about what they had for lunch, I bet you’d be surprised how many of them are actively shopping online at home in the evenings, and reading the reviews on Yelp, Google Places & Google Reviews and Yahoo! Answers, or using Yell.com to find their nearest supplier. So if you’re that supplier, where would you be best spending your time? And when should you be online too?
For small business owners, digital and social media marketing can seem like a bit of a minefield. When setting up a new business, marketing is often one of the last things you think about. But if you don’t put some effort into it early on, you’ll quickly find yourself struggling on sales.
Digital and social media marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. You already know your products and your customers (or you should do!), so if you focus your energy in the right places by matching your products and customers with the right online and social media platforms, you can focus your energies on the things that will work for your business.
Did you know that 46% of Facebook users are aged over 45, and that women make up 57% of those? So if your target market is women aged over 40, then Facebook pages may be the way to go. More social media demographics statistics here.
If you want any advice on how to get started, just give me a call. I won’t try and sell you services you don’t need. My way of working is all about empowering clients to take ownership of their online marketing themselves. Many people just need a bit of encouragement and training to get started, then once they feel confident knowing what they are doing, they are off!
I always find we get best results working in partnership, rather than you just handing everything over to me. For example, many of my clients like me to set their website up with integrated social media links etc, and work with them on the technical side of SEO (search engine optimistation), then they will often take on writing regular blogs and tweets to help drive even more traffic to the site. It’s more personal, and adds real credibility to the brand.
Give me a call today for an informal chat about how you can get started. We can choose together which online strategies will work best for your website, and bring you the best results. My number is 011 33 20 21 21.
I look forward to hearing from you!
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