Sunday 6 May 2018

Traders Can Use This Pause Very Productively

While political wheels continue to hold up progress at QVM there is something very productive that traders can do to improve their businesses. And yes, I am talking about social media engagement. Before you roll your eyes and say “Not again!” let me explain why.

My own experience is showing promise. More customers are contacting my business via new channels, particularly through Youtube and Facebook. Just this week we had a customer contact us on Facebook. She chatted about our product range, visited the stall, and made a purchase. Her purchase brought our total online sourced sales this week (including website sales) to more than $300. That is not a huge amount but I don’t need to tell any trader that in the current business climate every little bit counts.

Coincidentally, we discovered this week that a video about Ship’s Bells that we put on Youtube 6 years ago now has more than 315,000 views. Six years is a long time but 315,000 individual views is huge. And it probably explains why we regularly get emails complaining that we don’t ship our bells internationally. What that video does is direct traffic to our website which only accepts orders from Australia and New Zealand. That was a “set and forget” video but it has obviously been working for our business ever since and I can assume that at least some of those 315,000 bought bells off us.

I haven't started using Instagram properly because I don’t really understand how it works, but many traders do use it. Our Facebook page bubbles along with very little input from us and we really should get into the habit of posting at least weekly.

But enough of all that. Social media does work as an advertising medium. It is accessible to every trader. How do we simplify the process of adopting social media for our businesses so that more and more traders can take advantage of the opportunities?

The obvious first answer is to use QVM resources. Talk to our marketing people about how to adopt advertising through social media. Anybody who has a smartphone or digital camera can post on social media and you don’t have to get too fancy.

On Facebook, simply set up a business page and invite your friends and family to like it. If you post photos of your products regularly you will generate traffic and before long you will have business momentum. Here are a couple of links  on setting up Facebook. -

Instagram – Instagram involves posting photos and its hashtag system ensures you can target likely customers. Many of our traders have had huge exposure through Instagram. A couple of links -

Youtube – videos are one of the fastest growing category of business engagement. Videos about you, your products, how they are used, and how they can be purchased are all within the realms of the average smart phone user. Establish your own video channel, and get subscriptions, to generate some great free promotion.

The thing to remember with all these social media activities is that your exposure builds over time. There are unlikely to be immediate results but like any new activity it takes time to get established. And of course, it is all free. You can choose to boost your advertising with payments but that is certainly not necessary. You really have nothing to lose except some time. And if you make mistakes, who cares? Your exposure will be limited while you set up and learn the ropes of social media advertising for business. Good luck!!

By Greg Smith