I wasn’t really sure how to first tackle this post when it was requested to me, but I think that it would be useful for people who are wanting to start an online business, and are not really sure how to market the products effectively and access as many people as possible on social media. My brand is solely online, and my predominant promotion method is social media. Gone are they days where most businesses have a retail space, and now many businesses tend to operate online only. Me included. However, these 5 top tips for starting an online brand could be used for any business owner to improve their social media presence and boost sales, whether they are a typical ‘instagram brand’ or not.
Packaging is crucial.
I honestly think that one of the defining factors as to whether a brand does well on social media is down to the packaging. It sounds fickle and shallow (and honestly… it is), but we are living in a world where pretty things are perfect to take photos of. People don’t like having something that isn’t pretty on their feed, and ‘instagrammable’ products are more important than ever. This is why one of my top tips for starting an online brand is to focus on your packaging. Pretty boxes, branded stickers, gift wrapped items and pretty business cards all contribute to whether your customers are going to post a photo of it. And the more people that post photos, the more your business name is put out there. Its so important, even if you don’t think it is!
Be the face of your business.
This is quite a personal opinion, but I really like seeing the faces behind a business, and more of the ‘behind the scenes’ view of a small business. I’m not sure whether thats because I am interested as a fellow business owner or whether I’m just nosey, but I think it makes a big difference on whether I want to shop from an online brand. A really good example of this is Polly Vadasz from sighh. I absolutely love her instagram stories and it really puts a personal touch onto her brand, allows me to understand just how hard she works, and makes me love her products even more. From a consumer perspective, it really works.
Take time to interact with customers on social media.
I get it, we are all busy people. However, one of my very simple but top tips for starting an online brand is to be as active as you can on social media. A lot of the time you will get DM’s with questions about the business, so make sure to stay on top of them as efficiently as possible. It links back to being the face of the business, as the more active you are, the more likely you are to keep up to date with your customer base… and they will learn about you too. Comment on people’s posts where your products are mentioned, repost stories and follow people that are in your target customer base. These are all ways that you can interact with current and potential customers, with the aim of securing more sales.
Do not just focus on one social media platform.
This was a mistake that I made when I first started my business, so in this post I’m telling you not to make the same mistakes! I used to only focus on instagram, and I built up a good follower base and feed on that. However, I failed to remember that other social media platforms exist, and by doing that I really limited my customer base. When I started posting links to my shop on twitter as well, I found that it really increased my sales, and they have continued to do ever since. Instagram is a fab platform, but its not the only platform, so make sure that you are consistently posting on a couple of other as well. Right now I promote on instagram, twitter and Facebook and it seems to be working really well.
Use shoppable links!
This is a feature that only applies to instagram, but it is super useful so I thought to include it in my top tips for starting an online brand. I am presuming everyone reading this has a business profile on instagram, as I am presuming everyone reading this is a current or potential small business owner. Well there is a feature on instagram that allows you to add clickable links to your products on stories and on feed photos. Almost like how you tag people, but when the customer clicks on the tag it is a direct link to the website. It is super useful and I have really noticed my website traffic increasing since I started tagging my products that were pictured.
So there are my 5 top tips for starting an online brand, and promoting it in the best way you can. I hope it was helpful and raised awareness of some simple things that small business owners could use to help grow their social media, and ultimately boost sales. I have been really enjoying bringing more small business content onto my blog at the moment, so if you have anymore requests please let me know. This post was a request (and something I probably wouldn’t have spoken about otherwise) so it does make a direct difference and really helps me to put out content that people like. Thank you!