Selling Via Social Media

When it comes to using social media for business, the oft-repeated advice of experts is to eschew direct-sell pitches. You’re instructed to provide content that interests, entertains, informs or even champions clients and prospects, and by so doing, raise awareness about your brand, thus influencing people to one day buy from you. While that approach is generally sound, many decorators who are successful with social media aren’t afraid to additionally pepper their feeds with posts about deals, special offers and products. “You don’t want to overdo it, because people will tune you out, but if you sprinkle in promotions once and a while you can get great results,” says Lee Romano Sequeira, who boasts more than 5,100 Twitter followers.

The co-owner of Sparkle Plenty Designs (asi/88442), Sequeira helped generate strong sales of glittering bracelets recently by posting about a great deal being run by her Philadelphia-based company, which specializes in rhinestone and crystal decoration for apparel and accessories. “Sparkle Special! Buy 2 get 1 Free! Purchase any two Swarovski crystal stretch emerald-cut or tennis bracelets, we’ll include 1 FREE,” read tweets and posts on Sparkle Plenty’s Facebook page, which has more than 1,800 followers. The online announcements contained links to a Web store where the bracelets could be bought. Through the store’s back end, Sequeira was able to strategically track where the eager shoppers were coming from. As she found, the social media postings funneled in much of the traffic. “We blasted it out there,” Sequeira says, “and we started getting orders.”

In what was a business-building bonus, some people who initially connected with Sparkle Plenty about the bracelets decided to buy other merchandise, including bling-decorated shirts and decals for their automobiles. “Sometimes they see something on Twitter and call and that leads to conversations about other things we can do for them,” Sequeira says.