Local business owners that have physical storefronts should try to sell their products through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook because it allows broad communication with consumers through diverse platforms.
Communicating with the public is vital for a business to be successful. Social selling is the term for a new and evolving technique that allows business owners to communicate and sell directly through social media platforms. Sales representatives and everyday people alike spend ample amounts of time using different apps on their devices — business owners should take advantage of that.
"Most companies are getting out of the traditional commercials and billboards and newspapers because ... social media is free," said Lindsay Hammer, the regional store manager of Barefoot Campus Outfitters. "You can just have it, and if you do it correctly and reach the right people, you’re going to get sales through it.”
Social media is a huge component in the day-to-day lives of thousands of different people.
"The benefit of selling through Instagram is that your obviously widening your target audience," Meredith Brown, a fourth-year retail management student and sales associate at the Miss Cocky Boutique said.
Being able to expand an original idea across an incredibly large platform means wonders for entrepreneurs.
Online shopping has become a more prominent and convenient way to purchase products such as clothes, shoes or even household items since the beginning of the pandemic. This provides local business owners with easy access to people of all ages and backgrounds.
People can also learn a lot about themselves through social media. The constant sharing of creativity can spark new interests and ideas. Social selling can be a way for business owners to promote their brand by observing consumer activity.
There are days when people don’t have the energy or time to go to a physical store to buy a product.
"I just feel like it's very timely, you're able to just go online and look at pictures and see everything right in front of you," Katherine Rudin, a second-year marketing student, said.
Some businesses practice e-commerce selling, which is selling goods on an online store or mobile app, to get their products in front of more people without having to use other social media platforms.
“It is easy to connect with people because a lot of people are open about leaving reviews,” Rudin said. “It is nicer to get that sense of community and also encourages you, maybe, even to buy more.”
But while e-commerce selling or internet sales has its own benefits, it deprives the owner and consumers of the ability to make genuine connections with one another.
Social media adds a more personal touch to a business's brand and allows business owners the chance to build connections with their audience. This can increase brand visibility and web traffic.
“I think it gets our name out in a different platform than we’re not typically used to,” Brown said. “I think that being on a college campus, we need that technology aspect.”
Business owners should branch out and sell products through Instagram or create a Facebook profile. People are always present online, so take advantage of the opportunity.