“I don’t have time to mess with social media. Facebook and Twitter don’t generate sales.”
These are the usual responses when asking a store why they aren’t building their brand across the social network platforms. Having a company Twitter account and Facebook page require a different kind of customer interaction than what takes place in the store.

Rule #1: Do not only post items you just listed, and then link to your eBay listing.

If all followers or potential followers see is “Buy this”, “Buy this”, “Buy this”, it gets old and they won’t want to follow or Like your business. Think on the side of the consumer. If you were following a brand on Facebook, what keeps you following and even interested?

Here are some people’s reasons for following a brand:

  • Daily deals or specials on items
  • Unique photos of items
  • Local events
  • Some sort of a news stream for niche product information
  • The posts come from a person, not a business with an agenda

Rule #2: Create a relationship with your followers.

You comment on friend’s statuses, why not comment on your store’s followers comments? This goes along with one of the above points: post as a person, not as a business. Even if the post is, “thanks for the information!” or you may have your own take on their post. You can always respond to someone’s post with something.

Rule #3: Formulate your posts in a way people want to read more.

If you’re not sure that your posts are enticing enough to generate clicks, ask some friends to read your posts. Get some honest feedback. Ask yourself, “if I was scrolling through this social network, would I stop at this post?”

Now that we have the three main rules covered, here is the main question.

How do I turn clicks into sales?

There is not an easy answer to this one because you are dealing with all different types of people looking at your feed, unless you run a niche product storefront. If you only sell antiques, most likely your followers are either antique stores or collectors.

But if you run a drop-off store, you have the same diverse clientele as stores such as Walmart, Target or McDonald’s. While people do not think “I want a new jacket, let me go to Facebook/Twitter”, social networks persuade buyers to click and “take a peek” at something they absolutely need.

Spark an interest in the impulse buyer’s mind. Make them think, “I’ll just look” or “that sounds interesting”. In the case of high-end fashion, stating brands, seasons, colors, limited availability or percentage off retail could be the draw. Make the potential buyer feel this is an exclusive deal only seen by your store’s followers.

How often should I post links to items?

The first thing you do not want to do is blast followers with 20 posts at 9:45am and then none the rest of the day. I suggest using a free (up to 5 accounts) software called HootSuite. You can manage Facebook, Twitter and Google+ posts from here. (Google+ is useful for improving your brand’s image and rank on Google search results)
Not only can you manage your social media accounts, but Hootsuite also allows you to schedule posts to each account. Whether it’s 3 per day or 1 per hour, you won’t turn off a follower by bombarding their newsfeed with spammy posts first thing in the morning.

Examples of brands who follow these guidelines already:

Want more info?

Hope this helps! Tell us what works for you.