Features,  Social Media

My Talk on Proven Ways to Use Social Media to Market Your Toy Business

**The following was first delivered as a seminar topic at ToyFest West trade show in Vegas.** Note that the examples below pertain to companies in the Toy Industry but rest assured, these tips will work with ANY business.**

In today’s digital landscape, when people aren’t stalking exes, reading about the Kardashians or watching cat videos, people actually use the internet for research. Now more than ever, social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest are an intrinsic part of this research process.
Consider these stats.

• Consumers are 71 % more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. (Hubspot)
• 38,000,000 13 to 80 year olds in the U.S. said their purchasing decisions were influenced by social media (Knowledge Networks)
• 81% of US respondents indicated that friends’ social media posts directly influenced their purchase decision (Forbes)

Marketing consultants will tell you that people purchase things to do the following: solve a problem or increase pleasure or enjoyment. In the toy industry, while toys mainly provide pleasure, sometime in the case of educational toys, for example, they can solve a problem (i.e. learning colors, numbers, ABCs)

So the best way your company can sell your product is to find a way to influence the consumer to make a buying decision by showing them how your product can either solve a problem or increase their enjoyment or pleasure. How do you do this? Well, one way, would be to establish a presence online especially on social media. This is because, according to a recent study by Forbes, 81 % of US respondents indicated that friends’ social media posts directly influenced their purchase.

But enough about that. I am sure that through your own personal experience, you know that what you see on your Facebook feed or see on Pinterest informs your own purchase to a degree.

Here are 4 Reasons Why your company, brand or store should be on Social Media:
1. To deliver better customer service (use social media to listen to what your customers have to say , whether it’s in the comments section, a direct message or a review site like Yelp.)
2. To build your brand (use social media to create your own personality and make an emotional connection with your fans and followers, who are ultimately, your customers – for example are you funny, inspirational etc.)
3. Because Social Media helps increase trust in your brand (this can be accomplished by truly engaging with your fans and followers, ask for their opinions, answer their questions etc.)
4. To drive traffic to your website (social media mentions and links do send positive signals to Google and affect your SEO)

Now are you convinced?
I promised I would share with you Proven Ways to Market Your Business via Social Media.

So first, let me ask you, how many of you have a Facebook Page? Instagram? Twitter? Snapchat? Periscope? Show of hands, please.

By now, you’re probably asking – what? Do I have to be on all those channels? My advice: No. First, you must find out where your audience is, where your demographic is playing, and where they hang out online. Some may say moms rule social media. As a mom active on social media myself, and as a mom blogger (I know that makes some bloggers who happen to be moms cringe); I can say that it true! But I only bring it up because as a business owner, you know this little fact is important. After all, it is usually moms who make most of the purchasing decisions, right? That said, it is essential that you learn where your audience of purchase-decision makers are most active online. Where are they posting, reading, connecting?

For now, let’s concentrate on Facebook – and the reason I say Facebook is because it has the most users. By the end of 2015, Facebook had 1.581 billion monthly active users! So that’s not something you can ignore.

I started this post/talk by telling you that I was going to share Proven Ways to Market Your Business Using Social Media and I am happy to share with you these 6 concrete things you can do to market your business using social, by the time you finish reading this:

1. Create your presence on the channel, in this case, Facebook – Make sure to complete all the necessary fields such as “About,” a description of your business or product, hours, location etc.
** Note on Facebook, you can actually use a “call to action” button like Shop Now (which you see on here)
Sphero on Facebook

2. Share relevant content that connects with your audience and reflects your personality or establishes your brand voice.

Samples:
Monopoly Branding on Social

Mr Monopoly Brand on Social Media

3. Engage with your audience by asking questions, or providing prompts.

For example, in this Pokemon post, they ask people to TAG them with #Pokemon20 on other channels. Note: they have added a link that goes back to their website.
Pokemon on Social Media

4. Use your page to make product announcements. Example: Arriving at our store in Spring etc. – post a photo or link an article. Even better, post a video.

Minecraft announcements on Facebook

5. Create a contest or do a giveaway to engage your audience.

Step 2

6. Boost a Post or Create a Facebook Ad (with easy to use tools and target marketing, you can get the most bang for your back on boosted posts or Facebook ads, for just a few dollars a day you can reach EXACTLY who you want to reach –you can pick the age of your customer, their hobbies, their likes, where they live etc and target them with your post or ad)

Sample.
Post with no boost.
Sample Facebook Post

Boosted Facebook post sample. With a small budget for a boosted Facebook post, you can increase your reach.
Boosted Facebook post

** Of course, this was all I had planned to say at the Social Media seminar but what actually happened was more interactive and free-flowing. It was great to hear the seminar participants’ own experiences with social media. My goal as a speaker and social media consultant is to help YOU use social media to market your business. Everyone is different and each business has its own set of goals. But it is only through engaging with your customer, planning a strategy and executing the plan that you can make any headway with your business using social media marketing tools.**