So often we can spend hours at the market stall and miss the vital opportunity of networking with customers on Social media. But are you Getting Social with you stall?
If your answer is no or sometimes, you have already missed the point! Getting Social is about being interactive, being able to answer questions and being part of the community you are in.
When people visit your stall, do they know how to reach you on social media?
Have you chosen a platform that suits your business AND style?
These are some of the questions we will be addressing today in Market Nosh Tips.
What is Getting Social About?
Simply put, Getting Social is about being online in your favourite social space to let customers know about products and items that have just been released, showing them ways to use your products or even offer training days!
Think of it this way, your friend, we’ll call her Jane, pops round for a coffee and while you are chatting away, as you continue to do the ironing and mop the floor, she tells you that she is about to go on a big adventure.
You tell her that “That’s Great!” and you really hope she has a great time and to tell you all about it. To keep you updated.
You never hear from Jane again!
What’s going on here? How do you feel even reading that little story? A little confused? Why was there no follow up on the adventure? Where is Jane?
Imagine how customers feel then when they visit your stall, chat with you about something they want to do and you offer them all this great advice. But then you never hear from them again!
They, like Jane, just got too caught up in life and unless we bothered to reach out and find out what had happened to Jane we will never know.
Jane, on the other hand, didn’t forget to text and message you, she just felt you weren’t all that interested in what she was up to and instead just kept doing what she was doing. She sent loads of messages to her pal Carlos, and he was so thrilled he invited Jane over to Mauritius for a holiday.
She repaid the kindness and flew Carlos out to New York and paid for the entire trip because she felt someone was interested in taking the adventure with her. They now have friends around the world sharing their adventures!
Being Social is a Two Way Street!
You cannot expect everyone to get back to you or reach you on your social media page just because you handed it out 20 times during Saturday Market.
Half of them dropped the paper, a third wrote your social media name (also known as a handle) down wrong and the rest just got caught up in life.
Imagine if it was the other way though. You took the initiative to take your customers social media handles and directly contacted them, saying how you had met and how you might be of help to them.
This is NOT Spamming!
I’m going to address spamming quickly here, which is when you send out 10 emails a day, with all your products, hints and tips all aimed at selling more items. I would block you right away and choose to never buy from you again after the third one!
We are all intolerant of that kind of advertising and intense contact. Rather, be thoughtful and caring. Open with a hello from your Stall Name, and mention that you were chatting with them about whatever it was that had them stop a while with you.
Your time is precious and so is your customers. Don’t take that for granted.
Say hi and leave it for a week. If you get no response send a follow up a week later asking if there was anything they were having trouble with.
If you hear nothing more, I would urge you to leave it for a further 2 weeks and just drop a simple message that you have some new items on your stall for sale and you thought they may be interested.
That’s enough! No more, no less. Don’t quit after the first message and don’t keep chatting away for endless messages.
This is where you ‘know’ your audience and customer base. If you are on Facebook then this is a great place to start your social chats. A lot of people drop into Facebook to see whats happening and if you are able to capture that with face to face contact at your stall you are on a winner.
Facebook has a great way of pushing content that is fresh and relevant to people who subscribe to certain pages, so set up your Market Stall Page, get others to Like it and keep posting brief updates on what works for you, new items, and hints and tips.
That way potential and returning customers can see what you are up to. They also have a great way of reaching out to you through messenger or a Facebook comment.
Once they do that you are in direct contact and you are being social!
If you prefer Twitter, you will be limited to short posts and photos. Make it meaningful and keep posting.
Instagram is great to showcase your great works through images. Take pictures of your items in different places and used in different ways. Write a short post with each picture and include your market stall name as a hashtag (for example #marketnosh).
Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest are all amazing places to showcase your stall and what you do, but…
This is the Golden Rule:
Choose ONE platform and become an expert at it!
So many people, and yes I have done it myself, have started out posting to 6 different social platforms only to be overwhelmed and fail to succeed at any of them, when I could have built up an audience on one platform and been a success and not only promoted my business, but also improved the quality of the products I was making to meet the demands of my customers.
Still, we all have to learn somewhere!
How do I start?
It is as simple as that. You open an account if you don’t have one and begin to post comments on your profile. Try it today on Facebook.
Head down the left-hand side of your home page on FaceBook to the Create section and click Page. Then off you go from there. (Assuming you are on a computer. On a mobile it is selected from the drop-down menu)
On Twitter set up your account using your stall name as your Twitter Username and start tweeting. Don’t worry about who is listening just at the moment, just get used to it.
Same for Instagram and so on.
Just stick to the Golden Rule – MASTER ONE AT A TIME!
There are plenty of tutorials to help you develop and improve your interactions with others. The free book I give away even helps you to get started with that too. Click Getting started with Social Media and sign up with your email address to receive the guide.
How do I get followers?
This grows with time, but choosing just one platform allows you to focus on telling everyone who visits your stall where they can find you and the tips and contact information. Most can sign up right there and then at your stall.
Look at ways of getting customers to give you feedback directly to your social media channels and even promote your stall from time to time, by giving people a time and place when you will be there to see what you are up to.
When Should I post?
We all have busy times and quiet times on the stall. When it goes quiet, use that time to send a few posts or take a few pictures of your stall.
This all shows what you are doing and how you are becoming part of the work you are doing.
Don’t ignore your customers though, put the phone down when they have a look and engage them in some chat. Let them know that you were just posting to your Social Media feed and that starts a whole new conversation and more contact with your customers.
It should be fun, and enjoyable. As soon as you find it a chore or struggle, knock the posting back a bit. Perhaps you are posting too frequently or you just have too much on. It should be part of your routine, but not a struggle.
Failing that, get your 12-year-old niece to post on your behalf. What they can type in a few seconds may take you a whole morning and the social element is fun for them.
The bottom line of Getting Social is just to have a conversation with your customers so they are reminded who you are and can pass your details on to other friends and family. Offer as much information to encourage them to return to your stall again and again.
Be proud of what you have achieved and develop your social interactions to grow your business.