Social Media Marketing Solutions for Online Booksellers

Jun 07, 15 Social Media Marketing Solutions for Online Booksellers

Marketing is often the biggest challenge for online retailers, largely because most people are unfamiliar with it. Sadly, booksellers are often less prepared to engage in online promotion than others because they are unfamiliar with advertising and marketing.

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Fortunately, popular social media venues provide versatile, easy-to-use and relatively cheap or free marketing solutions that almost anybody can take advantage of. Social media is also a great learning tool for marketers because it allows a person to become familiar with the process at little or no cost.

Another advantage to social media is that most people are already familiar with it. You may not have to teach yourself any new skills or behaviors, because you might already be using social media.

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The best social medium for you to utilize for your marketing will be the one that you utilize most. If you Facebook every day or regularly peruse LinkedIn, launch your first marketing networks there because you are already familiar with those tools. Once you have mastered one, you can move on to another.

A Few Basic Rules for Social Media Marketing

Following these simple rules can make marketing much easier and help you avoid some common pitfalls. My rules of social media marketing for beginners are below:

  • Create separate accounts or pages for your marketing efforts. Do not try marketing your products through your personal page. Remember, your customers are interested in the books you have for sale; they probably do not care about your summer vacation or Aunt Flo’s hernia operation.

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  • Set up a firewall between your personal accounts and your business accounts. Never post personal information on your business page, and never post ads or stuff for sale on your personal accounts.

 

  • Make sure the product that you are selling takes center stage. Your social media marketing efforts should focus upon the stuff you have for sale, not the appearance of the page or the blog. We’ve all seen clever and highly entertaining ads that do not tell us what the product they are selling is. If you set up a Facebook page to market books, make the books the star.

 

  • Be as professional as possible. The biggest reason why social media marketing efforts fail is that they get sloppy and amateur.

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  • Post really great pictures of the books you are selling on social media. A great-looking picture of a book is your best and cheapest advertising.
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Great books at great prices at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store!!

  • Do not pay for advertising. Advertising is expensive, and it can quickly drain your bank account. Do not pay for it until you have had a lot of experience and a good steady stream of revenue coming in. Companies like Google and Facebook make their money by selling advertising. Ignore their sales pitches until you have a proven track record of sales.

 

  • Practice good customer service. Be polite, honest and respectful and try to answer all customer comments or enquiries to the best of your ability.

 

  • Be consistent and persistent. To succeed in marketing, you will have to create good advertising content and put it out there on a regular basis. One reason why you see advertisements for certain products like auto insurance all the time is that large corporations know they have to constantly be visible to the customer to sell.


  • Do not expect results overnight. Despite what some people think, marketing is a slow and often tedious process in which results are measured in tiny amounts. It will generally take a long time and quite a bit of hard work and effort before marketing efforts produce meaningful results.

 

Which Social Media Marketing Tools to Use

There are quite a few social media marketing tools out there, but a few stand out because of their huge footprints online. Here is my take on the big social media solutions available today and their marketing utility:

Facebook:

  • This can be a good way to reach certain kinds of customers, particularly women and middle aged people. The problem with Facebook is that it is geared towards individuals and not businesses. Despite all the hype, Facebook’s own marketing efforts are clumsy and unsophisticated. It tried to classify my Facebook page for the Book and Comic Picker as a “local bookstore.”
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A wide variety of vintage books available at great prices at the Book and Comic Picker eBay store. Free shipping to all US addresses!!

  • I might also add that setting up and maintaining a Facebook page can take a lot of time and effort. That effort does not seem to be worth it given the low number of followers you get.

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  • If you do set up a Facebook page, post lots of pictures. One of Facebook’s few strengths as a marketing tool is that you can post a lot of pictures there.

 

  • Another problem with Facebook is that you get caught up in the Likes game; you start collecting Likes for your page instead of paying customers. My opinion is that Facebook Likes are largely meaningless; they do not actually translate into viewers or buyers.
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  • Yes you should set up a Facebook page for your marketing efforts if you are familiar with it. However, you should also be very careful because Facebook can be a tremendous waste of time.

 

  • Personally, I think Twitter is simply too limited a tool for serious marketing efforts. The messages are too short, and it does not keep people’s attention long enough to sell them anything. Another drawback to Twitter is that it is not that visual.

LinkedIn:

  • This is a great marketing resource for professionals and their services, not products. I use it to promote my freelancing efforts but not my book sales. Use LinkedIn to post your resume and samples of your writing but not to promote your sales.

Pinterest:

  • Pinterest. This is a really great marketing resource because it allows you to quickly post pictures of your books online for free. The pictures get seen and shared by others, and it actually works; I can trace sales directly to it.

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  • Pinterest works because it is all about the pictures. It focuses on the pictures and leaves distractions like editorial copy and advertising to a minimum. That means would be customers are focusing on your products and not picture on the latest model Jaguar or Kim Kardashian on the sidebar.
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  • As an old newspaper guy, I really like Pinterest because it is so clean. It is not cluttered up like a lot of the stuff online, and it is not confusing. I can think of a lot of very popular websites that are very poorly designed and terribly laid out; Pinterest is not.

 

  • It also does not take that much work; I can “pin” a picture and post it to a board in a few seconds. Pinterest lets you post a short message, and it will display the source of the image, which is great for bloggers.

 

  • To best utilize Pinterest, you will need to set up a blog or an online store. You cannot link it to eBay stores yet, but you can name your eBay store in the captions. Make sure you have the “Pin it” button installed when you set up the blog or website.

 

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  • The reason Pinterest works so well is that human beings are visual beings; most of the information we gather is in the form of images. That means a good picture of a book is your best marketing tool. This could make Pinterest the most powerful tool yet for online retailers of all shapes and sizes.
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  • Many retailers make the mistake of creating advertising that involves no images. Customers cannot see the product so they do not want to buy it. Pinterest is a tremendous advertising tool because it is image centered.

 

  • Pinterest does not currently have advertising, but they are working on it.

Finally, the best way to learn marketing is to actually do it. Start social media marketing now, and keep it until you get it right; it might take some time, but you can get products out there and, more importantly, learn something about one of the most important aspects of business.

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