1—Create accounts on one or both sites. Setting up a personal account is very easy. You should start with a personal account to learn the ropes and build up followers or friends. Both sites will recommend people for you to follow or friend, but you can also search for people who are in your local area or people you already know. Just jump in there and get started. It’s the easiest way to learn and people will help you along.
Once you have a pretty good personal page going, build a Facebook page for your business. It’s very easy to follow the directions. This article can also help: Create A Facebook Page for Your Business.
You can also set up a separate twitter account for your business, but many business owners just use one.
2—Listen and Respond. Read and respond to other people’s posts. Especially if they are posting about problems you can solve. For instance, if someone posts about needing clothes for a party or new shoes for their kids, respond to them with suggestions from your store.
3—Add Pictures. Yes, they’re still worth a thousand words. A digital camera can be your best friend. If you have a smart phone that takes good pictures, that may be the only camera you need. Need help with uploading photos? Ask someone! On Facebook, there is a photos tab where you can upload photos. On Twitter, most people use Twitpic, and some just post links to their photos hosted on Facebook or another photo hosting site such as Flickr.
4—Create a marketing plan. Make a quick list of what you can promote for the next three months. As of this writing, it’s October and opportunities abound. Halloween costumes—take photos of ensembles that would make great Halloween costumes. Holiday parties—post pics of great party outfits, accessories, etc. If you also have party dishes or décor, promote those as well. Revisit your plan after the holidays and work on things you can promote during the next quarter—winter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and so on. A quarterly marketing plan is very easy to create and manage.
5—Network. While social media sites can be great for spreading the word about your business, the real value is in making connections with people. Talk to others, post on their sites, establish real relationships. There is an old business saying that “people do business with people they know, like and trust.” That will likely always be true. So, don’t just market. Be a valuable resource for people, be a friend. Many people liken social media to a cocktail party. It’s about conversations first. You wouldn’t go into a party shouting out what you have to sell, so keep that in mind as you build your online network. People first, sales second will result in much more business than just sales.
6—Stick with it. You will probably not find overnight success in social media. It takes time to build those connections and relationships. Some days, nobody will pay any attention to your posts. But, if you keep reaching out and providing good content and real conversation, you will build fans and followers and friends, and that will help you build your business.
Social media sites can be a helpful marketing tool and can work very well for local businesses. Let your customers know you are on Facebook, Twitter or whatever sites work best for you. It can be very easy to engage and interact with people online. Once they know you, like you and trust you, they will be more likely to both patronize and recommend your store. Give social media sites a try and see if marketing your thrift store with Facebook and Twitter would work for you.
Learn more about Facebook and Twitter: