Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Flickr, Vine, WordPress and beyond! Will it ever stop? Technology and creativity are indeed trending, all the while forever changing communication and marketing techniques. #Hashtags, @Mentions, social advertising and more have become an integral part of our day to day communication both personally and professionally.
It’s no secret that when it comes to the promotion of selling firearms and ammunition, things can be challenging for industry professionals. With that being said, don’t let it discourage you. Opportunities abound to promote your business regardless of your niche market. The question remains, “How does a business owner maximize the potential of such a viable communication channel to ensure accuracy reaching the target audience?”
First things first, it’s paramount to know the rules and regulations. Let’s take Facebook for example. Read their policies here.
So, you can see, many of the products you sell, fall into Facebook’s “limited” category. You’ll need to develop and implement an overall strategy to deal with that, and it needs to encompass more than who you are and what you sell.
- Consider the interests of your customers. Strive to identify elements other than firearms, that would perhaps intrigue the same consumer demographic prompting multiple online visits to your website. Tips, humor, photos, video and more are effective techniques to grab attention and direct traffic to your page.
- Be brand focused, not necessarily product focused. Create brand loyalty. A random purchase is by all means acceptable, however, ideally you want the consumer regularly browsing your page while experiencing a very pleasant shopping experience. For example, if you are walking down a street and every time you pass a store someone steps out and asks you to purchase something, chances are at some point you are going to find another street to go down. Learn to engage, inform and entertain, all the while building a customer base that will frequent your site for more than one reason which translates to multiple sales opportunities.
- Promote the brand through social media advertising. You may not be able to promote the buying and selling of specific firearms but you can advertise your brand. Focus on your logo or perhaps a generic image that correlates to your business. Maybe that image is of your actual storefront. Whatever it may be, you want to draw the viewer back to the page timeline where they not only see and recognize the brand that has been promoted, they also see the product. Not only can they see specific products on your timeline, they also have the opportunity to be directed back to your business website which has no buying and selling restrictions.
While at times you may feel like you are walking on eggshells with the Internet marketing phenomenon, the truth is–thanks to social media–the sky is the limit regardless of your industry. It may take some time to determine what works best for your business but there is a right answer!
So to recap:
- Know the rules and regulations.
- Don’t be discouraged. There is a way to promote!
- Advertise the brand.
- Think relationship not sell.
- Promote specific restricted products on your timeline in a professional and respectable manner.
- Interact with customers via posts.
- Get creative. Images, links, video, newsletters, etc. are all great ideas to use for posting.
- Take advantage of your customers “other interest.”
- Remain consistent and social.