Online selling is proving to be a lifesaver for antiques dealers. Those who are actively selling online have experienced a surprising level of success. Social media platforms can play a critical role in online antiques and art sales. If you are new to marketing on Facebook, we want to walk you through the basics.
Why Facebook for Art, Antiques, or Collectibles?
Facebook is one of the original, and most used social media platforms, with more than 2.5 billion active monthly users. When considering social media to increase your online business globally, building and posting on a Facebook business page is a critical piece of the puzzle.
The Basic Steps to Create a Business Page
If you are not currently on Facebook, your first step is to create a personal profile. You may already have a profile, and if so, that is your starting point. Log onto your personal account first to build your business page. You have an option to click on the plus sign on your profile to create a page. Name the page after your business and select the business category.
Once you have entered the required information, upload your business profile image, which is usually your logo. Next, upload your cover image – this will be the largest image on your business page, so choose an image that you feel communicates what you do. You will need to create a username, and once you have done that, your business page is now up and running, ready for you to post. For more details, Facebook has outlined how to do it here.
Ensure you do not use your personal profile for your business, as this violates Facebook’s terms of service and could lead to the deletion of your profile. Once you become familiar with Facebook, you create a group to promote “Facebook Live” events, showcase new inventory, discuss your insights into antiques, or any strategy that appeals to you.
Why You Need a Facebook Page for your Business
The idea that “you need to be on Facebook because every other dealer is” may seem silly, but it’s true. Dealers of art, antiques, and collectibles are on Facebook in force. Qualified buyers engage with them, comment, share, and send instant messages for more information and purchasing. You want to be there.
Join Virtual Events
While many in-person events are canceled, most fairs have moved to online events, including on Facebook. Your presence allows you to participate in virtual events and increase your worldwide customer base.
You can invite customers to “like” your business page – and many of them will. Your existing customer list is the ideal starting place—post images of your favorite pieces with a brief story, your shop, or other exciting shots. Posting regularly – one or two times per week – is a good start towards building a following.
Facebook offers “Facebook Live,” where you can be on camera to discuss the details of a piece, any topic of interest to collectors, or showcase your latest find. These events may start slow but can build up the number of followers over time.
Art and antiques collectors have not stopped buying, shifting to online buying, as many live antiques and art fairs are canceled. When posting images and writing bits to attract buyers, there is no need to get complicated. Just like in your shop or at shows, your unique personality will help you establish a connection with potential buyers – just be yourself. Tell a story about the piece, how you found it, why you love it, and post lifestyle images that can help a potential buyer envision it in a home or office setting or attract a designer searching for a unique piece.
Facebook ads can be useful to drive in business. The first step is to consider the ad’s objective – do you want to sell a specific piece, promote a sale, or build awareness? Look at what your competitors are doing for inspiration. Facebook ads can help increase traffic to your website. You can choose your target audience, placements, and schedule based on the budget you can commit.
Facebook has made the process of running ads reasonably straightforward, even for a novice. You will select your audience based on demographics, location, and age, and other details. Use the demographics and areas where you have your best customers as a trial run. You can find information on the process here.
You may not want to spend hours on social media, but taking a few minutes twice a week to post an image with a comment about a piece, a video, or a story about your finds that will be interesting to others. Online content is being consumed at an unprecedented level, so take advantage of it!