Be Social when Posting on Facebook. Sell Sparingly.

I advise local retail clients to be active on social media, particularly Facebook. But getting busy retail folks to post on Facebook, at least once a week, is challenging. It doesn’t help that many of them are seriously tech challenged.

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Although, as a freelancer, I can post for them and bill accordingly, I’m not the best person for the job. I am not in the store on a day-to-day basis. I don’t know who is walking in or what’s going on. It’s best to have someone inside the store to be in charge of posting most items to Facebook. You can also delegate some posting chores to freelancers.

Most clients think they always have to be selling something. That’s wrong. Social media is social. It’s simply a way to network on the Internet. Think of it as going to a community event and mingling with folks. Yes, you eventually hope to sell to the people you meet, but the task at hand is simply to get to know people and for them to know you.

Recently, I recommended to a flooring store client that he assign someone as his “social media manager.” One of the assistants, who has an iPhone and a personal Facebook page, was determined to be the best choice. My job is to coach her.

At first, it was difficult. She was frustrated because she couldn’t get buy-in from the sales staff. I told her that she should keep working on them, but in the meantime she should take the bull by the horns. Here are some ideas I gave her …

  • If someone brings in a new baby, snap a picture and post it
  • Take a picture of a sales staffer who just came back from the barbershop
  • When new product comes in, snap a picture
  • Take a picture of a customer inspecting a flooring sample
  • Snap a picture of the taco truck you let park in front of your store because the owner needs to pay medical bills (real story)
  • When a sale is going on, go ahead and post that

Of course, always ask permission to post people’s image to Facebook along with their names. Most folks will feel flattered. If someone is fearful of his or her privacy, back off. Way off. Don’t try to talk them into it.

Easy Web Tip 168: Facebook is about being social. So get out and mingle … and avoid too much selling.

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