Before we open our store, I'm trying to put together a plan for establishing some kind of social media presence. Until we become more established, it seems that anything we do will only reach our family and friends. I don't feel comfortable making them feel obligated to follow our store, or worse to buy something just to be supportive.
Has anyone tried launching a store without sending out an announcement to friends and family on social media? Or is there a way to do it without making everyone feel obligated?
I realize that not announcing to family and friends will leave us with a Facebook page without any followers at first. Is it worse to start out with a Facebook page that has no followers, or not to have one at all?
Heather Timmerman let friends know about it just like you would any other business, with the disclosure that it is your business.
That's assuming the business page is seperate from you personally.
My personal opinion of people that turn their own personal stream into a business timeline that then feeds into all thier friends is not good. Your brand|offering|case my be different.
Pre-collect third-party contacts prior to release, blogs,instagram,pinterest ,etc and when the roll out happens send something(email,fb-message) to those contacts about the business. basically a mini press-release.
Is it worse to start out with a Facebook page that has no followers, or not to have one at all?
If it's going to be managed as part of SoP all pages start with no followers. If there is no plan for upkeep what's the point of the page.
Thanks, Paul, those are good suggestions. We make our products (stoneware pendants) by hand, so we were planning to spend the first several months getting the production side running smoothly and adding new designs before actively marketing to the general public. So I suppose our real roll out will happen at that point, and I think you're saying it's acceptable for us not to have much of a following established before then. I hadn't thought about developing a list of third-party contacts (marketing really isn't a strength for me), and I'll plan to spend some time researching the best ways to do that.
We are setting up a separate business Facebook page, and we will continue to add to it as we go. We'll go ahead and do a basic announcement to family and friends, like you mentioned, and maybe we'll selectively exclude anyone who might be inclined to view the announcement as pressure.
Thanks for taking the time to provide some guidance,
We make our products (stoneware pendants) by hand, so we were planning to spend the first several months getting the production side running smoothly and adding new designs
that process tuning is a marketable opportunity also, especially to places like pinterest, at sites that eat up handcrafts and diy. As an example, without the business giving away the secret sauce, a simple Steps 1-3 picture . Step #1 shows the raw materials, Step#2 is left ambiguous and just has something like text saying "magic"or "effort". Step #3 shows final product , estimated availability,etc
Step #2 is the thing to play with over-time from simply getting sign-ups for a newsletter or for getting viewers to simple behind-the-scene video(example).
A takeway here is ,even if you don't have professional photography equipment, if your handmaking things snap pictures like crazy(read do it quickly and move on) .
Even with a potato phone ,and no skill ,a percentage can get through that'll be useful later on before having a large budget for a pro shoot. Note here the emphasis on quantity, dont set a high-bar of quality that leads to discouragement or sucks up to much time, this is really about having an amount later than can be pruned for the good ones when it's time to market.