Social media marketing is a great way to increase awareness of your online business, and in turn increase traffic, through the use of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Using these websites for marketing is ideal for small businesses, such as eBay shops, as it enables you to reach a wider audience, and attract more customers, without having to spend large amounts of money on advertising.
Why should I set up a Facebook page for my business?
Facebook is great for creating a network of people that follow your business, and then these people can spread the word to their Facebook ‘friends’. Setting up a business page on Facebook means people will be able to ‘like’ your page, and any updates you post will appear in their newsfeed when they sign in - this way you are directly communicating with your audience, and potential customers. You can also interact with your audience, not just on your own Facebook page, but by joining Facebook groups that are specifically relevant to eBay shops, or your products. Facebook allows you to reach your exact target audience on a personal level, making them aware that the products you sell are the ones they are looking for.
Setting up a Facebook business page
If you don’t have a Facebook business page set up yet, then read through this guide to help you understand how it works. Once your page is set up you can start editing it to reflect and advertise your business. Start by editing the ‘about’ section: this should include a short description of what you do, what products your eBay shop sells, and include a link to the shop. Add your contact details and opening times if you want to be contacted. People often look to Facebook for a company's contact details.
Upload a profile picture of your logo, or your products, to give an image to your brand; you should also upload a cover photo for the top of your page. Make sure all the pictures you use are good quality: blurry or distorted images look unprofessional and will put people off from following your page.
What kind of content should I post?
Before you start sharing your Facebook page and gaining ‘likes’, add some content to your page - no one will be interested in an empty page. You need to make it interesting and something that people want to hear more about.
Facebook posts can be longer and more descriptive, but this doesn’t mean they always should be. Try to keep your posts to one or two short sentences, between 25-50 words - if they are too long people won’t read them.
“No one will be interested in an empty page. You need to make it interesting and something that people want to hear more about.”
You can use your Facebook page to advertise the items you have for sale on eBay: post short adverts with the key details, price and a link to the item, along with a picture of it. The picture is probably the most important part of your post, as a great picture will draw someone’s attention as they scroll down their Facebook feed.
You should also use your page to share relevant articles and blogs. If what you’re sharing is interesting to people then they will ‘like’ your Facebook page to continue seeing updates from you. Vary your posts so that when someone looks at your page it’s not just a wall of items for sale - you’re not just trying to directly sell your product, you also want to create a Facebook following that’s interested in your business and products.
Creating your Facebook community
Once your page has pictures and a few posts you should start inviting people to ‘like’ it. Start by inviting your friends and family from your own personal account. When these people ‘like’ your page, this will be seen by their friends in their newsfeed. You can ask your friends to invite their friends directly, and your page 'likes' should start to increase. You can also include a link to your Facebook page on your eBay page.
How often should I post?
Facebook posts are generally longer but that doesn’t mean it will take up a lot of your time. People don’t want to log in to their own Facebook to see several posts each day from your page advertising items, so you only need to write between 5 and 10 posts a week.
The best times to post on Facebook are usually in the afternoons, although opinions differ. Generally, posts at lunch time (around 1pm) will get the most shares, and posts around 3pm will get the most clicks.
“The best times to post on Facebook are usually in the afternoons, although opinions differ. Generally posts at lunch time (around 1pm) will get the most shares, and posts around 3pm will get the most clicks.”
People are more active on Facebook from Thursdays through to the end of the week. So if you want to maximise your Facebook marketing, but minimise the time it takes you then prioritise posting one or two updates on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Facebook also allows you to schedule these posts for a future time, so you can write and schedule all of your Facebook posts at the beginning of each week. If you maintain your Facebook page with regular and interesting posts more people will ‘like’ your page and your brand will grow, which in turn should result in more people buying from your eBay shop.
Facebook is one of the easiest ways to start social media marketing, and once you have set it up it’s easy to link in your posts with other social media sites. Gaining a following on one social media site makes it easier to establish yourself on others such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. You can use your Facebook page (or whichever site you choose to start out with) to link to your other accounts, extending the network that you are able to advertise to.
Setting up a simple routine for managing your social media marketing will enable you to reach a wide audience, without spending a lot on advertising.
Opinion from the Experts
How do you make great social media content for less exciting products?
Nothing is boring if it solves a problem or answers a question for a prospective customer. Your product or service might be the very thing someone has been looking for and, as such, could have a huge positive impact on their lives.To ensure your social media posts deliver the right message, you need to try and understand your clients’ problems and the best way to do this is engage them in conversation via social media and ask questions.
John W. Hayes
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