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Here are a few bullet points from the Discuss and Do event at Rye Bakery, held on Tuesday March 26.  Thanks to Rye Bakery and to Laura from Likeys and Pauline Davey for starting the discussions and everyone else for joining in.

There was demand for a hands-on session, which was very successful when we did it a couple of years ago with facilitators. If you would be interested in that let us know and we will organise something.

  • Selling through social media is about creating a community.
  • A ratio of 4 to 1 for news/straight sales postings is about right.
  • Facebook is good for this, both creating a community and for selling. It’s worth using paid marketing so long as you understand your market and their algorithms.  Lookalike is a good way of acquiring people who aren’t already aware of you but might well like you if they found you.
  • Instagram is great for creating a community, generally younger users than Facebook, but not so good for direct sales. It can be used to direct people to your website for sales.
  • See Sue Zimmerman’s YouTube videos for advice on using Instagram.
  • Instagram Stories now allows 15 second videos, which can be linked together. Live streams can get better engagement and you can then leave them up.
  • Email can be used for broadcasting and engagement. Mailchimp is good, because it links into other programmes and can track sales.
  • Google is good for acquiring new customers, Googleshop and Adwords can work if you know what you are doing.
  • Shopify is a good online sales platform which is relatively easy to set up; Vend provides better analytics. You can use its plugins to link to your social media channels to get a good idea of how your marketing is turning into direct sales.
  • Generally, look at what your competitors or other people in your sector are doing, or be more imaginative and look at people in parallel sectors.
  • Consistency of presentation is very important for developing your brand and engagement with people. You need to get that right.
  • Canva is a good app for producing design templates for social media platforms, a cheap “photoshop” for social media. These designs can also be printed.
  • Prixlr is a good free app for editing photos for online social media, but not as powerful as Canva for combining text and images.
  • WordPress is simple to use and you can combine a website for your business, with blog elements, with other social media and Shopify.
  • A target of 10% of the sale price spent on social media to obtain a sale is about right. If you have got some old stock, or something that isn’t moving, give it a story and shift it!
  • Adobe Spark is a great free tool to help you build online marketing materials, from ‘mini’ website links to videos. Great for presenting case studies or showing how you make products or showcasing events.

For more tips visit our Discuss and Do page here for notes from other events.