There’s a long and short answer to the question about whether eBay sellers should invest time, effort, and potentially money into promoting their businesses on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest.
The short answer is: Yes
The fact is, you probably already knew this, but in reading this blog, you are looking for something more concrete to build your strategy. So for all you social media procrastinators, here’s the low-down on why you should invest in social to promote your eBay business as a matter of urgency.
But before we get into the why and how of social media, let’s burst some social media myths.
There’s nothing new about social media
If you want to invest in social media because it’s the latest and greatest way to promote your business, you’ve already missed the train.
Facebook is 17 years old. Twitter is just two years younger at 15. Instagram, now part of the Meta (aka Facebook) ecosystem, is 11 years old. While TikTok is still a relative newcomer, having just celebrated its fifth birthday in 2021, they all look up to LinkedIn, which is the granddaddy of them all at the positively ancient age of 19.
And we haven’t even mentioned the lineage of social media because those current channels have plenty of ancestors.
MySpace was founded in 2003 and, during its peak years, had an incredible impact on the entertainment industry, launching the careers of artists including Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, and Calvin Harris. And who in the UK can forget Friends Reunited, established in the year 2000 by a husband and wife team who built it in their spare bedroom before selling it to the ITV for a staggering £120 million.
The fact is, social media is already a mature market. Numerous multi-million dollar businesses and high-profile careers have been built on the back of social media. So if you’re still unconvinced by the potential of social media, you’re probably just looking for excuses.
Social media marketing is kids play
If you are still at a loss about how to use social media to promote your eBay business, take a look at how the younger generation of influencers share their entire worlds on social networks like Instagram and TikTok.
They tell stories, share ideas, ask questions, and have a lot of fun. This is because they see their social media output as an extension of their personality.
When they post an image, video, or tweet, they are looking for engagement. All those “likes,” “comments,” and “shares” form the basis of a conversation, and those conversations can go viral.
Start a conversation and find new buyers
When you start thinking about your eBay business’s social media posts as a conversation, it should become easier for you to start planning content to steer that engagement.
Shouting about a product, essentially posting a product image and a link back to your eBay shop or store, is the social media equivalent of trying to sell someone a watch down the pub. Nobody wants to be sold to during their social time.
Your customers want to be influenced and inspired. So when you share smart ideas of how a product can be used, you almost don’t need to ask for the sale. Instead, your customers will convince themselves and make the purchase.
5 tips for driving social engagement
- Build a story around your products: Don’t just post images and links to your social media feeds. Instead, create stories and build context around your products. You want to educate, inform and inspire people to take action. For example, if you sell homewares, set the scene and demonstrate how great these products will look in your customers’ homes. By doing this, your potential customers will view your business as an arbiter of taste and not just someone after a quick sale.
- Find your audience: When you tell your stories on social media, remember to include relevant hashtags to direct people to your posts. It’s also a great idea to perform some targeted follows in the hope that people will follow you back. A great place to start is by following your competitors’ followers.
- Engage in conversation: Social media isn’t just a broadcast channel – the clue is in the name. So be prepared to get social, answer questions, and enjoy the conversation.
- Keep the conversation going: Plan and schedule your posts to keep the conversation going. Remember, if you are always adding value to the conversation, you can never post too much. It’s also important to consider the useful lifespan of an organic social media post can range from just 18 minutes to a few hours. If you are not posting multiple times a day or week (depending on the channel), the vast majority of your potential audience will never see your content.
- Dedicate a little budget: The various algorithms employed by the social networks often dictate that only a small percentage of your audience will ever see your organic posts. However, it’s incredible what you can do with just a tiny amount of budget to promote your posts to a wider audience. Even just a couple of pounds/dollars/euros every day with some careful targeting can maximise your reach and help you find new customers.