The use of social media has been a godsend for business owners, especially in the MSME sector, as it is one of the most effective ways to branch out, promote, and sell more of their goods or services, not just in one location.
Those who are used to the physical store setup might eventually have to get into the option of using social media to get more potential customers. But how does one start this? This simple guide created by SBN Philippines will give you the basics of jumpstarting your online business and double or triple your sales when you finally make social media another platform to buy and sell.
Research on Your Target Market
Before making an online storefront for your business, it’s recommended that you research your target market to help you know the approaches and tone of your branding when you start posting online. Are most of your customers in the 20-30 age range? Do the majority of the people that buy your product reside in the Metro or multiple towns? These simple details would help you find what’s best for your branding and possibly, think of other products you can sell in the future through the information you have gathered in your research.
Pick The Right Social Media Platforms
Now with your target market in mind, it’s time to select the right social media platforms for your online business. Most online sellers here in the Philippines mostly use Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, and Facebook Marketplace. Instagram is also a popular way to promote your online store, but some features may be limited compared to the first three we have mentioned.
With the rising popularity of short video formats (that are only a maximum of 1-3 minutes,) many business owners have also branched into TikTok and Facebook Reels to showcase their products and customer testimonials.
These social media platforms are highly recommended since your potential customers can comment on your post if they have inquiries or they can reach out to you via Facebook Messenger. TikTok also has a direct message function.
Have a Weekly Social Media Plan
Customers prefer buying from online shops that constantly post on their pages daily. It’s always important to have a weekly social media plan to know which ones to post on this particular day. It’s recommended that you at least publish one or two posts per day on your Facebook page. You also have the option of sharing the post to your personal profile as well.
- Cross-promoting your business to another page you own is also okay. Just make sure to place in a caption. A little info about the business or why you promoted it to the page.
- If you plan to promote your business in a Facebook Group, you must immediately check that group’s rules and guidelines before sharing the post. Some groups require permissions from the administrators before you share away, so be sure to notify them and get approval first.
- When you make a weekly social media plan, it’s recommended that you vary the posts that you will publish per day. Let’s say, for example, you may feature a new picture of your product on Monday, highlight a person’s feedback on Tuesday, repost a customer’s picture of your product on Wednesday, and so on.
- Using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer would also help you better organize your social media campaign. You can even cross-promote one post to other social media platforms; there is no need to do them individually.
Have Alternative Ways of Contact
Although Facebook has Messenger (for personal and page accounts) to contact customers’ orders quickly and inquiries, it’s also recommended to have at least an alternative way of contact for any urgent matter or in case your main contact platform is unavailable. A contact number or email address are some popular examples of backup contacts.
The usage of communication apps like Viber, WhatsApp, and Telegram are also good since the customers don’t need to go an extra mile to spend to contact you since the app only requires Internet or mobile data to connect.
Get Into Online Shopping Platforms
Shopping services like Lazada and Shopee are two of the popular platforms for selling your goods. You must register an account, follow all the requirements, and wait for confirmed orders. It’s also advised that you have your own supply of packaging materials since the buyers expect their goods to arrive in good condition.
So, these are just some of the basics of stepping up your business online. If you need more advice from top MSME experts, get all the information you need through SBN Philippines. With our regular webinars and active professionals in the community, your business is sure to excel for years to come.