Online selling has grown leaps and bounds in recent months due to the various community quarantines set in place by the Philippine government. This was mostly spurred on by the growing number of home-based businesses that sprouted in the early months of the ECQ.

While some people are happy with being able to sell to their local communities, more serious home-based businesses are likely interested in expanding their operations and serving customers in various cities in Metro Manila. In the past, this meant relying on expensive advertising or simply hoping that word-of-mouth brought the results they needed. Today, a better alternative is available: social media.

If you are already operating a home-based business, there’s a good chance that you are selling your goods through Facebook and/or Instagram. However, simply selling on these platforms isn’t enough if you want to expand your customer base and grow your business. You’ll need to set aside a few hours a day for social media marketing.

Social media has become one of the most cost-effective ways for small businesses to grow their brand.
In today’s economy, social presence is measured in likes, shares, and views. Now, there are several ways in which social media can help develop your customer base and expand your company. If you’re just starting out, here is a quick four-point guide to help you out:

Choose the right social network for what you offer

Facebook is the go-to place for marketing most businesses. However, certain businesses can benefit further by having a presence on other social media platforms. For example, fashion-oriented businesses that sell clothing, shoes, and accessories should definitely sign up for an Instagram account because the platform is well-suited for showing off models wearing your products. On the other hand, businesses that offer customization services for things like bikes, furniture, and the like should look to start a YouTube channel to give potential customers a better look at how their services work.

Feature happy customers

Your Facebook and Instagram pages should feature more than just your catalogue. Whenever a happy customer posts how happy they were with your product or service on social media, make sure you share that post on your own wall. Positive reviews from previous customers can help market your business to new customers. After all, someone who has never done business with you before is more likely to try what you have to offer if they see more than a few rave reviews from previous customers. If a customer posts a positive experience and tags your business, make sure you like their post, comment how happy you are that they are happy, and share that post on your official business page.

What if customers aren’t posting about their positive experiences with you? The quickest way to get more people to post about you is simply to ask them to do so. A short spiel such as “If our product made you smile today, please take the time to share your experience with us at (your facebook page URL)”. This can easily generate a handful of positive reviews you can post/repost.

Share informative content via blog posts

People like doing business with a brand they trust. They also like doing business with brands that are helpful and give them information that helps them make the right purchasing decision. This is why many businesses also start small blogs. These blog posts can be about anything so long as it’s related to your business.

Were you recently featured in an online publication? Make sure you blog about it! Do you sell a wide variety of similar products such as different types of computer RAM? Write a short blog post that helps people choose the right type and amount of RAM for their intended use-case like browsing, video editing, and/or gaming. Are you planning to add yoga mats to your digital store? Try writing about topics like the origin of yoga and how yoga benefits both physical and mental health.

Consider using social media ads

Social media ads fall under what is known in the social media marketing industry as “pay-per-click” (PPC) ads. Just as its name implies, PPC ads allow the advertiser to only pay for the number of clicks that the ad generates. This is an amazingly cost-efficient way to advertise online. Simply set a budget for an ad for your business, choose your target market, and the ads will automatically be displayed to people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Any clicks will be taken from your set budget and you get to keep any leftover budget after the runtime of your ad ends. Even a smaller budget of Php 1,000 can go a long way in reaching potential customers who you wouldn’t have otherwise reached if you only relied on organic traffic.

In conclusion, crafting a good social media strategy can be very challenging with lots of competitors in the industry aiming for the exact same thing as you are. However, it can also be very effective at broadcasting your brand to a wider audience, helping you compete with more established businesses.