When I lived in London, one of the best things that happened to me was meeting my social media guru/advisor (aka my flat mate). She created an introduction to Twitter workshop for me, just so I could learn and understand what it was all about. The presentation was done at home after dinner one night, with powerpoint slides and interactive sections...a total professional I say! Since then, she has become my go to person for social media advice. She is now trying to get me onto Snapchat...and she's still trying.
Guru once told me that "Communication Is Key!". At first I didn't quite understand it, but the more I thought about it...the more it made sense. It may be a very simple message, but I think that sometimes we forget about it. I can bake a cake and make it look pretty, but if I had to sell this pretty cake and convince the buyer that they definitely NEED it in their life...well I'm no way the person for this job. This is why I love the social media revolution. Forget flyers, letterbox drops and cold calling; you want business...you set yourself up with accounts on the various platforms and let them come to you (well kinda). I have found that this is the most cost effective way of creating a market for your products...you just need time to do it! Just a word of warning...watching the number of your followers grow and the number of likes and shares, does get very addictive.
Selling via social media is not just you uploading pictures of items that are for sale (like on Ebay) with a brief description below it. Rather it's you marketing yourself, your business, your philosophies and values and communicating with customers whether they're new or regulars. This is what gives the customer an experience that they don't get from online shopping sites, its more personal. It's like giving customers' a backstage pass into your life, a behind the scenes so they can travel on this journey with you. This is what social media can do, this is why I think it is so important to set it up and invest the time into "socialising".
Of course the good also comes with a bad. I'm sure you've seen it all before, where upset customers will comment on social media for whatever reason and then there are also trolls out there, that post negative comments just because they can. The way I see it, there isn't anything you can do to stop people from saying negative things about you or your products. You cannot take these personally either, because it's an easy and slippery slope going on a downward spiral. If it is a legitimate problem that you have overlooked, you can use this as a learning curve and use it to better whatever the issue may be. Just remember you can't please everyone...an individual's taste buds are unique like people themselves. Sometimes you will just have to stick to your guns and be confident in what you're selling, because you cannot change it every time you get negative feedback.
I was not always a fan of social media, probably because I didn't quite understand it and the power that it held. I remember when Facebook first came into my world and I was very hesitant to sign up. It took a good year and many annoying email requests (one of which was from my dad!!!) for me to sign up to see what all the fuss was all about. I have to say it has been mostly great, after being able to hide posts from my news feed...because, lets be honest...we all have that one (or more) "friend" that likes to share everything about their life on an hourly basis.
The one platform that I have grown to love is Instagram. It's for those that don't have the time to blog but still want to share their world with everyone and it's all done through the lens of their phone/camera. I find it to be a great place to get inspiration for projects I may be embarking on or just looking at all the talented people from all around the world. Some say total time waster, I say time well spent! Plus hash tagging is also fun.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, if you don't understand it...start learning about social media because it will become an integral part of your advertising and marketing strategy. If you don't have someone in your life that can help you with this...I think it's time you go out and find them. It is time to explore the endless opportunities that is social media.