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BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:10 am
by NaranjaRa
this is a thread to talk about marketing oneself / one's business on social media...specifically focusing on organic promotion i.e. for free
share tips, ask questions, talk about what works, etc

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i've been selling, buying, and trading toys, comics, and tv & movie collectibles and memorabilia for close to a decade now. the bulk has been on eBay and as much as i have wanted to build my own website shop, i could never find a truly affordable and flexible option that met my needs. over the years i have also dabbled in marketing my stuff on social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook. so i would often post a link to an item for sale on eBay and i would definitely notice small spikes in views on that item. i only have a little over 500 followers on Twitter, and 240 on Facebook but i have made sales directly this way, as well as have formed long-lasting relationships with other fans & collectors that ended up buying from me down the road, and repeatedly.

but now Facebook has implemented their new Store feature! anyone can now start up a page and offer items for sale AT NO CHARGE. you either tie the checkout to PayPal or Stripe and wham! the ability to put whatever you want up for sale is right there. negatives: it's a tad clunky functionality-wise, there are not many features as far as organizing and keeping track of your catalog of items, and you have to agree to Facebook's overall TOS for selling. this includes allowing people up to 45 days to return something even though they are really protected through PayPal. and i have no idea how FB even enforces this...and hope to never find out!

so it has some shortcomings, but i will totally take it for FREE. i'm now off of eBay and working to build an audience as well as spread my shop around as far and wide as i possibly can. because for all the fee-raping done by eBay, you're paying for that instant audience of buyers searching for whatever it is you sell. to start off, everything i do is completely using Organic Marketing - versus PAID. i cannot afford to do it any other way right now. but since advertising & marketing was part of my career for a long time, i figured i could pull some of that knowledge and work my way up a bit. get some customers. THEN maybe be able to afford throwing some funds into it as well.

what i'll do is show my progress here as things happen and as i get new ideas, try things out, etc. perhaps some of this information could be useful for others who might like to give it a shot. perhaps someone has some tips of their own to add to the mix.

let's see what happens...
TO BE CONTINUED.... /rock

Re: BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:41 pm
by girlapaloo
Anna I could see your geeky collection looking pretty good on the Boxes app - I started using it to organize my stamp collection and have actually sold a few stamps and even an old Nintendo game box. :giggle:
I just like it cos it looks pretteh, and I get to see other people's cool geeky things, like Star Wars art, etc.
At first there was a small listing fee for putting things up for sale, but once I invited a bunch of freinds to join, I was given an upgrade to Boxes Premium.
Probably won't get you a TON of sales but good photos will definitely get you noticed.

Re: BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:43 pm
by NaranjaRa
thanks for the tip girlapaloo! i signed up on my Surface but i guess i really need to use a smartphone app to do anything on there. but i got 78 followers within MINUTES of adding a profile & header photo, so i'm going to dig out my iPhone and try it. i don't have actual service on the phone but i can connect to my home network and use the web on it. so COOL i'm checking it out!

Re: BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:00 am
by NaranjaRa
so one of the things i learned early on when social media was just starting to blossom into hugeness, was that you can really help build your audience (i.e. followers, i.e. potential customers) by becoming an active voice in the community of interests surrounding whatever it is you're trying to sell. this can work whether or not you offer an actual product or a service, but depending on your area of focus you might need to get a bit creative. some subjects just naturally lend themselves to community-forming. some entrepreneurs have to create their own community around their market; some grow into the defacto "expert" for their specific product/service.

since my shop revolves around entertainment, i'm blessed with an enormous pool of fans and communities already out there to delve into. the downside however is that in my market, because of the popularity there is also a lot of competition. the trick for me is getting heard over all the others trying to do the same kind of thing, many on a much larger scale. i combat that in one way by offering exceptional personalized service, but that is another topic altogether.

right now i want to demonstrate the importance of joining groups and taking part in community discussions around your specific market by showing how it's helping with me.

for the longest time, when i post something to my FB page (which also auto-posts to my Twitter), i barely ever break 100 people reached. usually i barely break into the double-digits.

i built my store and have added about 200 items over the past 2 weeks. in that time i also joined several Vintage Toys, Collectibles, Comics, and Star Wars selling groups. when you join like-minded groups, make sure you read the rules. some will kick you out if you share anything besides a direct item for sale, and some won't let you sell at all. so i'm only targeting selling groups to start, just to keep it easy.

what i do is i post an item for sale in my page's store. i then make a general post on my page highlighting the item and providing a link directly to its sale page. you might need to experiment a bit in regards to what method works & looks best for you.

once i have shared it on my page, i then go to my groups and make an item sale post where i link back to my shop's post. so it ends up being a bit of a chain, but this way i don't have to keep uploading the item photos to every group...people will need to click on my store item in order to see the photos. and this, my friends, is how i've been able to get more traffic and more LIKES and FOLLOWERS on my store page in the past 2 weeks than i've ever had in the years i've been running it.

here are my stats from 3/24. you can see how my numbers are really up! (they really boomed with reach up 2000% when i first opened the shop, but now the numbers are evening out...)
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can you tell which 2 posts i added in the groups? :-D the only ones with more than a thousand reach...they really stick out and show the HUGE difference sharing in target groups makes!
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the Star Wars toy post was made on the 22nd. look at the jump in store views between the 22nd-23rd!
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i posted this one in a comic collector's selling group. in the time-span of 45mins at 2am it had already reached 73 people, and got 10 views of the shop item...
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so as you can see, the efforts with sharing in like-minded interest communities is becoming a really excellent marketing tool to grow my page audience. i just need to become more consistent and keep the momentum going.

no direct shop sales yet, but people are actually messaging me directly and i'm making some sales that way.

more to come! /nod

Re: BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:55 pm
by NaranjaRa
my stats for the new week are still pretty good...reach is up but engagement is down. sharing products in the similar groups is working, though! every time i share somewhere, i get a few extra likes. which is what i'm really after (besides direct sales, of course). i want people who see what i sell and WANT to follow me...instead of friends who just like my page to be nice. these are the folks i target when i mention sales and special promos. plus, once i get another couple hundred items up for sale i will run a big Grand Opening promotion.

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i share Star Wars items in SW groups, comics in comics groups, Lost stuff, Supernatural, etc etc. there are even a couple of general movie & tv collectibles groups i've found. the Star Wars gets the most views, but now i'm running out of SW stuff to sell! so my numbers might start going down a bit unless i can kick some ass with promoting other items. my issue is consistency.

i also try to post about general entertainment and not just make every share about selling something. this is something everyone should do. don't just beat followers over the head with sales pitches. you also need to make other general posts that tie in to what you're selling but are informative or entertaining. develop your own voice.

i'm working on that myself. i need to post more interesting movie & tv info, photos, and videos...so that people will want to follow me to see what i'm saying about their favorite shows & films. /nod

Re: BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:19 am
by NaranjaRa
so i started following my local comics & game store, which has a brick & mortar location and close to 2,000 subscribers, compared to my own measly (but growing!) 245. and by the numbers, i've got more engagement on my page than they do on theirs! i'm posting more than they are, but still, with all their "Likes", all the action on my page evens out the field. SWEEEEEEEEET!!! :-D

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Re: BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:59 pm
by NaranjaRa
so my "marketing" efforts are slowly paying off! this week's stats show my reach keeps increasing and i'm still getting around 5 new likes a week!
i was really trying to clear 5,000 in reach this week, and it did actually pass that mark about 30mins after midnight...lol

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the REAL cool news is yesterday there was a notice on my page with an offer for $30 in free ad promotion. like i mentioned, i don't have the budget to do this yet, so of course i jumped at it. i posted some Hellboy comics autographed by Mike Mignola, and targeted people in about 7 surrounding states with interests in entertainment & other nerdy stuff.

8 hours later, all of them sold!

best part is, i only used $0.50 of the credit, so i'm going to try another one and see what happens! (sun)

Re: BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:57 am
by NaranjaRa
my page is growing! another week's stats. i used more of my free ad coupon - $18 of it - to get some new likes and i'm at 300 now! hizzah!!! page reach is slightly down but i knew that was going to happen. i'm just about out of Star Wars stuff to sell, but i'm putting comics and a few other toys around so it's helping me to at least stay even for the most part. woot!

just goes to show how this kind of slow but steady promotion DOES pay off! :-)

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Re: BUDGET Social Media Self-Promotion

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:23 am
by NaranjaRa
another week, another stat check. things are still going well....steady...which is all i can ask! i'm also still running a promotion to get more page likes, plus i'm finding more ways to slip a link to my page in front of people in toy and comic groups.

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so when i started this thread on March 25, i had 235 likes on my page...
i am SO HAPPY to say that this promotion is indeed helping, and i am now at 329, just 6 shy of earning about 100 new people in about a month! /flame