Social Media Basics
Want an inexpensive way to find buyers and tell them about your eBay listings? Consider social media—the online channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and websites where you can create your own blog.
Social media can be a valuable tool to help you sell. But it's important to know what you're doing. Before you jump in, here's a quick checklist of things to keep in mind.
10 tips for getting the most from social media
- Choose the right tools. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and YouTube have different attributes and audiences. In a nutshell, Facebook is for staying in touch, Twitter is for "breaking news," blogs are for telling the story, and YouTube is for videos. Explore each one carefully before deciding where to start. Look for groups within these channels that might be interested in your listings—like camera buffs or civil war enthusiasts.
- Start small. Begin with one channel and build up your presence. Social media can be a valuable tool for quickly reaching millions of people, but any mistakes are also quickly exposed to the masses. Start small, learn from your experience, measure, and improve. Keep in mind, links taking users off eBay aren't allowed in your listings.
- Create separate social media handles for your eBay selling. Facebook rules require you to create a separate fan page for your business. Post about your eBay listings on your fan page, instead of on your personal Facebook page. Separating your personal and eBay selling presence on Facebook and Twitter also helps you look more professional.
- Keep your presence fresh. It takes time to build a presence and a following on any social media channel, and some work on your part to develop new and interesting content on a consistent basis. Plan to post fresh content several times a week and respond to questions and comments within 24 hours to keep visitors coming back for more.
- Have a plan behind your postings. Think through every post and make it interesting and relevant to your audience.
- Engage with your fans on social media channels. promote your products; include information that's interesting and fun. Respond promptly to fans' comments and engage with them to learn more about them. From your business Facebook page, you can also add your own comments to other postings and blogs to raise your profile online.
- Listen, respond promptly, and learn. Reply to questions or posts within 24 hours, with a quick, friendly comment. Take the time to listen and adjust your content based on what your followers tell you. And remember... everyone who visits your page sees your responses, so keep them friendly and free of controversy.
- Don't spam your fans! Be selective in sharing your listings. Share one or two a day that are interesting to your followers.
- Cross-promote your social media channels. Use your social media channels judiciously to cross-promote your content. For example, post your YouTube videos on your blog. Post a Facebook update when you have a new blog post, and include the link. Point your Twitter followers to your blog. You get the idea!
- Don't expect instant results. It takes a while to build a following on any social media channel. As long as you post interesting new content on a consistent basis, visitors and customers will spread the word to their friends, and keep coming back for more.
Read more detailed information on social media selling best practices.