I have some friends who *shock horror* don’t use facebook. They don’t like it, don’t ‘get’ it and manage perfectly well without it.
However, one of them has recently set up a business selling jewellery and decorations, and will need to create an online presence. She came to me for advice saying “I suppose I’ll have to have a facebook page now”.
I told her that if she disliked facebook so much, not to bother as she’d never use it. There are lots of other ways to get online and there’s no point doing something you don’t agree with just because everybody else seems to be doing it. Also, it’s worse to do something badly than not at all. It would be more damaging to have a poorly maintained facebook page than none at all. Imagine a facebook using customer who found the page and sent a message requesting information or ordering a product – if they didn’t get a response or acknowledgement they would feel that they had received poor service. If they simply didn’t find a facebook page in the first place, they would have no expectations.
The beauty of today’s websites is that people can share them on any other social media by clicking on the share button. So even if your business is not on facebook, others can share links to your site on their own facebook page.
So if you’re not a facebook fan, what else can you do to get seen online?
- A website of some sort is a must, even if it’s just a couple of pages. It should have an overview of what you do and your contact details. Depending on what you’re selling, it could have a gallery of images.
- Look at other social media if you want to reach a broader audience. Pinterest and Instagram are good for visual and creative businesses. LinkedIn is still top for business to business.
- Think about creating a blog – for a jeweller it could be advice and tips on wearing jewellery/accessorising, stories of how your work came about, pictures of things that gave you inspiration.
- Investigate selling through a third party such as Not On The High Street or Etsy. This will give you access to a much greater audience than you could ever hope to generate on your own.
- Consider a regular email bulletin – it could be some pictures of your latest creations, or some style inspiration with links back to your website. You can collect details at events, shows, exhibitions so long as people understand that you will be contacting them by email afterwards. You can also set up a ‘sign-up form’ on your website.
In short, you need to use tools that are not only effective but that you feel comfortable with. The other option of course is to get somebody else to do it for you!