So, you are a flea, fair, or festival vendor with a thriving booth business. You’re ready to take things to the next level. It’s time to establish your digital presence so current customers can continue to engage with you beyond the booth, and new customers can find you more easily. If you’re brand new to bringing your business online, here are the first five things you should do.
1) Make a Facebook Page
You likely already have a personal Facebook account — maybe you even already have one for your business. According to our annual surveys, Facebook is the most-used social platform by flea market business owners — and for good reason. Flea markets have their own pages and events, so it makes sense to post about your business and let shoppers know you’ll be there.
Many towns also have their own community-run Facebook group, which is a great place to spread awareness about your business and learn of new vending opportunities at neighborhood events.
Facebook also has a marketplace feature built in, so you can sell your wares directly through the site. The messenger platform allows customers and potential customers to easily reach you. Overall, Facebook is a super valuable tool for small businesses that helps you engage with the local community.
2) Start an Instagram Account
Instagram is any retailer’s dream. This highly visual social platform lends itself perfectly to showcasing products. Build a following by posting pictures of your wares. Some flea markets have told us that posting extra pictures during market hours is a great way to entice shoppers out of their houses and into your booth.
To gain additional exposure, make sure to include hashtags that correspond to your business. There are tons of popular hashtags dedicated to #FleaMarketFinds. Also be sure to include any tags that are specific to your market or your geographical area. On Instagram, users can follow hashtags in addition to other accounts; so using hashtags is a great way to allow more people to find your business.
3) Google Your Business
Google My Business is Google’s official tool for business owners. It allows you to enter all the correct info about your business, such as phone number, address, website, and hours. It also lets you publish photos and posts. All of this information is available to anyone when they perform a Google search on your business. The tool is completely free and allows business owners to ensure information about your company is accurate. Visit www.google.com/business to get started.
4) Create a Yelp Profile
Yelp is still king when it comes to online reviews. Having an active Yelp account and responding to reviews shows other potential shoppers that you take customer service seriously and that you care about providing a quality customer experience. Go to Yelp.com, scroll to the bottom of the homepage, and click on “Claim Your Business’ Page” under Yelp for Business Owners to get started. This tool is free and allows you to upload photos, create deals, and respond to reviews as your business.
5) Build a Website
If you’re successfully managing your Facebook and Instagram account, have your Google listing up-to-date, and a defined profile on Yelp, the next step is to make your own website. Your site doesn’t have to be anything fancy, especially if you aren’t planning on selling your products online. But, having an official site that you can link to from Google and your social pages adds another level of legitimacy to your brand. It’s a great way to showcase high-quality photos, announce upcoming events, and share a little bit about yourself and your business. There are many sites that help you build one for free, with zero coding involved. Wix.com is a popular web-building site that has options to add features and upgrades down the line. Google Business also has a free tool that helps you create a simple website based on your Google listing.
The most important part of building your online presence is not biting off more than you can chew. Take one step at a time and make sure you can consistently update and engage with your customers on each platform before adding another one. For more tips and tricks visit the How-To section of FleaMarketZone.com.