Popular social networking site, Facebook has become a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.
People use Facebook to keep up with their families and friends because it appeals to a wide range of people. It is relatively easy-to-use with an interesting and fun variety of features for communicating.
Today the use of Facebook has improved with many Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) using the site to sell their products.
Era Of Social Media
It is an undeniable fact that the social media is now the way of life for several individuals and businesses.
Many people are spending more than half an hour on these social networking sites (especially Facebook) and are enjoying the way of communicating in the cyber world.
These social networking sites are really catching up very fast here in Ghana, and taking advantage of it will be very beneficial. Almost everyone has an account on one, if not all, of these sites.
A lot of social networking sites allow members to advertise products and services and most entrepreneurs are now taking advantage of it. But have you ever thought of using these social networking sites such as Facebook to sell your products online?
Even though marketing products through the social media is not so common here in Ghana, the few who have been able to take advantage of it are making a lot of gains. Aside from been totally free to advertise, Facebook also helps to build connections – which is a very important tool.
Connections allow the SME to market his or her product or services easily. The underlying principle is that the more people you know, the higher the sales potential.
And so if one already has an account on Facebook, then take advantage of it now. However, if you do not have one, then you need to sign up NOW.
Kenneth Donkor, an internet expert noted that “a lot of people are actually making real money by using these media sites, especially Facebook in promoting and selling what they have to offer. If they can do it, there is no reason why any business minded person cannot do same.”
Explaining how one can actually do business using Facebook, Mr. Asamoah explained: “For example if the SME is into fashion or perhaps engaged in an accessory making business, instead of actually going from one house to the other to sell the products, all he or she has to do is take beautiful and creative pictures or even make videos of the products, making sure it is of the trend.
Next upload the pictures or video on your profile, tag your friends (if you are using Facebook) and post a catchy, concise but informative description of what the product is all about. If it is an accessory, you might as well include the materials that you have used.
Also on Facebook for instance, you can create a fan page for your business, allowing people to like and give feedback on it.
Mr. Donkor was of the opinion that using these social media sites as a tool in earning money can be quite easy. “It does not require producing buckets of worry. And best of all you get free advertising, promotion and actual selling transactions without hassle and with higher chance of profit returns.”
He said, it is lucrative to use the internet but earning money online is not just limited on using these social networking sites. “There are many things you can actually do with the internet.”
He stressed the need for entrepreneurs to explore strategies and techniques that they can use on the internet which will enhance and support their business’s overall marketing objectives.
“It is important to realize that social media marketing does work, but as with any marketing strategy, there are the core pieces of that strategy that you must implement. You must find the right social media marketing vehicles that will work for you and your industry, as well as design the campaigns that will present you with the results that you desire,” Mr. Donkor added.
Mabel Simpson’s Experience
MSimps, a fashion house founded by Mabel Simpson, a graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology uses local fabrics to design fashion accessories such as clutch purses, handbags, slippers and laptops bags.
The MSimps brand has taken advantage of Facebook to build on its customer base and now has about 3,145 followers on the page.
According to Ms Simpson, she uses Facebook to get new customers and thinks it is the best way to market her products.
She said “It was through Facebook that I got buyers from the UK, Nigeria, US and in some few months to come I will be supplying to buyers in other European countries.”
She testified that though she uses other marketing techniques to market her products, Facebook has been the best of them all because most of her target group are constantly on the site.
Ms Simpson updates the page on regular basis so her clients can see the latest designs she has.
It must be noted that social media is about interaction. When you interact, you create relationships; when you create these relationships, you create opportunities to share your products and services and this does not happen overnight. It takes time, consistency and a genuine interest in the creation and nurturing of those relationships.
There is a lot of trial and error in social media. However, to be more successful, businesses should measure their results and build on what works.
In addition to analyzing your email marketing data and surveying your customers, keep track of the number of Facebook fans and followers, campaigns that generate the most buzz and the content that inspires social sharing and comments.