Vintage Entrepreneurs: three social media tips everyone should follow Utilising social media is a great way of promoting your vintage business without spending a lot – or any – money. But although it’s easy to set up a Facebook profile or start tweeting away, getting the most out of social media isn’t quite so obvious. Aside from running QueensOfVintage.com, I also work as a social media specialist, so I have a few expert tips up my sleeve I’ll be sharing with you. First up, here are three social media tips everyone should follow. 1. Spread yourself – I often get asked which social media platforms are worth signing up with. If you are running a business or have something you want to market, the short answer is all of them. Social media platforms have slightly different audiences – Twitter has an older demographic to Facebook for example, Instagram is used by people interested in style and fashion, while Pinterest attracts a largely female audience. Use these differences by reaching a much wider audience, and therefore more potential customers. This doesn’t mean that you have to create completely different content for each platform. If you run a vintage clothing shop for example, let your Facebook followers know you’ve listed a gorgeous Forties dress by sharing the link on your fan page, tweet about it on Twitter, put a picture of it up on Instagram and create a Forties mood board including the dress on Pinterest. If this doesn’t convince you, remember that social media is still in its infancy and things are bound to change in the long run. This might include charging businesses to use currently free platforms like Facebook. Should this happen, you want to be in a position where you can choose to either pay up or instead focus on the community you’ve built up on a different platform which remains free of charge. 2. Don’t run a Facebook competition that could get your page deleted – I’m always blown away by the huge amount of illegal Facebook competitions I come across. You know the ones that ask you to like or share an image or to leave a comment to win something? Yes, these are against Facebook’s rules and therefore not valid. If you run such a competition, at the worst, you could get legally challenged and your page might get shut down. Before you run a competition on Facebook, do check out Facebook’s T&Cs. In a nutshell, you are not allowed to run a competition or give-away directly on Facebook. Instead you must use a third-party app provided by companies such as Wildfire. These apps are expensive to subscribe to and will not be worth it unless you’re a big company. Instead, set up competitions on your website or blog and use Facebook to promote them. And remember, you cannot ask your Facebook likers to like or share something or leave a comment as a valid way of entering a give-away. 3. Do find the right balance between spamming and not posting – it’s not easy to figure out the right amount of posting. You neither want to disappear from people’s memory by posting only once a month, nor do you want to bombard them with sales messages. The best way of finding a good median is by having different strategies for each platform. Twitter for example moves on very quickly, so tweeting five, ten times a day won’t feel like spamming to your followers. Facebook however needs a different approach. My golden rule is to never post more than twice a day, but at least once a day. Facebook runs a complicated – and secret – algorithm called EdgeRank to determine which updates show up in your newsfeed. If you don’t post on a regular basis your EdgeRank, and therefore your chance of showing up in your likers’ streams, is low. Yet if you post too often, people are likely to experience your updates as spam and will unsubscribe from your updates. If you have lots of likers but very little engagement on your page, this could be why. Do you have a particular social media question you want to ask me? Leave a comment! image: Moma Propaganda’s vintage internet campaign for Maximidia 8 Responses Lovely March 7th, 2013 Great post. I thought I knew it ALL when it came to social media but did pick up some new tips from this. THANKS! Love Lovely from lovelysvintageemporium.com xxx Lena March 7th, 2013 So glad you enjoyed it and found it useful! X Shauna March 7th, 2013 Hi There, I really enjoyed this article and i am very surprised about the competion rules on Facebook. I often read social media books which often suggest that you should run promotions and offer people a special something when signing up. However thank you and all the best! Shauna Lena March 7th, 2013 Hi Shauna, Yes it’s a surprise to most people! You can still run promotions on Facebook but only within its rules, Facebook actually offer a huge range of promotional options from offers for your customers to sponsored posts. All paid for of course. Alternatively, you could run give-always on your website or blog and promote those through Facebook. Debbie March 7th, 2013 I get traffic from Pinterest but not a lot of engagement. Is it worth pursing more engagement such as like, shares, reposts, comments, ect? How would you go about finding and selecting a good social media assistant? Lena March 7th, 2013 Hi Debbie, I don’t think that social media can always just be measured in stats such as number of likes or shares. It’s also hugely about brand familiarisation and building a great reputation that translates into recommendations. You could try setting up an open board on Pinterest and invite your customers to pin themselves or create something very share worthy like a branded tutorial or how to. As with all jobs I think to be good at them you need skills and passion. A good social media professional should be able to show you communities they have built and grown, experience of planning social media content and campaigns and know what is legally allowed on which platform. Also, does their love for social extend into their every day life? Do they have a blog? A huge Twitter following? I hope this helps! StoryTellersVintage March 8th, 2013 Thanks for all these tips..especially for explaining the EdgeRank! Marcy March 17th, 2013 Great advice. Social media can get overwhelming, but it does work! Best wishes to everyone.