In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s a new marketing concept emerged that brought selling products into the home in a social way. A host invited friends and friends of friends into the home, laid on a few nibbles and drinks and the Party Plan host turned up with their goods. Potential customers browsed and ordered and goods were delivered a few weeks later. Dependant on the level of sales the host would receive a gift and some commission. These ‘parties’ still exist along with network marketing and pyramid marketing schemes but Social Media could be the new Party Plan!
We are often asked how do you sell on Facebook & Instagram and it struck me that Facebook has the potential to work in a similar way to the Party Plan concept. Most people already have a network of friends that could help spread the word about your business as they also have a network of friends that they can share with. Without spending a penny on advertising many of our customers already have a massive network to market to in a low key and friendly way just by asking your friends to share and like your business page. You could offer an incentive like a voucher or gift if you see fit but most friends especially when you start out are happy to share. Now that Facebook also own Instagram this has become a powerful Marketing tool.
Once you are more established and you have a good audience you can then pay to advertise in a low cost way on Facebook so you can grow your network further. You can run competitions and giveaways which are amazingly low cost to run but give you a great audience reach.
Social Media audiences do not respond to being sold to all the time so sharing relevant articles, great images and clear punchy messages are key. Regular postings 2-3 times a week are important too.
The other important point is to only sell items you can guarantee you can supply. Too many business under invest in stock and then can’t meet demand. Start off small with small quantities across several product lines and get a feel for what sells and then buy those successful lines in higher quantity. Bundles items together to create a gift solution or an outfit as your customers don’t have the time or inspiration themselves to do this. Use your friends for research – ask them what they would like your business to stock, what they think of your products, imagery etc. Don’t be shy as friends and family can be part of your success too!