Steven Sinatra is a second-generation pawnbroker who, along with his father, runs World Pawn Exchange in North Bend, Oregon, where he is GIA jewelry professional and managing partner. As someone who grew up during the technology boom of the mid-90s, Steven has a unique understanding of how to best reach his customers through the platforms that they use every day. He approached PawnMaster to write a guest blog on the topic, and we were happy to take him up on his offer.
Social media. I know what you're thinking. It’s a hassle and a waste of time, isn’t it? Well... that all depends on how you use it. I’m going to show you how to get more customers, and make more money using Facebook, and the best part—it's easy-peasy.
Here is exactly how we did it at World Pawn Exchange: We ran a giveaway. But wait, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Following is the template on how we reached 14,000 people through Facebook.
Decide What Type of Customers You Want to Bring In
Pick an item that they want, it doesn’t have to cost you much. We used a sterling silver ring that we paid $3 for. We polished it up nice and took a couple good pictures. Jewelry has a high perceived value, so it’s a good choice. You can also do shirts or hats with your logo, I had some custom PVC patches made and my gun guys love those. Insulated "Yeti" cups are also popular giveaway items. Or if you want to stir up even more hype, I know a guy killing it by giving away TVs and guns!
Decide on An End Date
Depending on how expensive of an item you’re giving away, the time frame will vary. On cheap stuff, a week or less is good. On items valued over $100.00, two weeks would be appropriate.
Post It on Your Facebook Business Page
Set up a post for the item you chose on your Facebook Business Page. Using hashtags is a great way to bump your post. Here's a sample of the copy and a screenshot of a sample post.
Free Ring Giveaway! Post a comment to be entered! It is a sterling silver ring, size 10. What a beauty! The winner will be announced Sunday at 12:00! Please share or tag a friend! #Jewelry #Ring #Silver #Giveaway #(your business name) #(your city)
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. By entering, Entrants agree to a complete release of Facebook.
This completely complies with Facebook's giveaway rules. You can’t make people share it, or tag a friend as a requirement to be entered. But you can suggest that they please share or tag a friend, and a lot of them will. The last two sentences above in italics are necessary to comply with Facebook's rules, so leave that in there! I see tons of giveaways that don’t do this, but better safe than sorry.
Share It to Your Largest Local Facebook Groups
This will have to be done through someone’s personal account, I usually use my own. Go to the search bar at the top of Facebook and type your city’s name. We’ll use Houston, Texas for example. Once you type it, and hit enter, there will be several options under the search bar. Look to the right and click on Groups. There will usually be several groups with 40,000+ people in them.
The trick is finding the ones that allow sharing a giveaway post. Each group will have their own rules, so just open the top 10 best looking ones, read the rules, and figure out which ones you want to post to. In my experience, most groups are cool with giveaways, especially for local businesses.
You can try posting in buy/sell groups, but I’ve had better luck with the community-style groups, local news pages, and the “What’s Happening” kinds of groups. Some places have them and some don’t. You can also search within your county instead of city. Heck, even do other cities close to you. The more eyes the better.
Every time someone comments on the post within the group, it will be pushed back up to the top of the group’s feed. When you post in the group, make it clear that they have to comment on the original post on your business's page to be entered, and not on the post that’s in the group. This gets eyes on your Business Page, and may get you a couple additional Likes and Follows as well.
When You Reach the End Date, Pick a Winner
The first giveaway we did, we actually hand wrote all of the names and picked them out of a top hat. Made for a good video for our page, but now I use commentpicker.com, it’s fairly easy to use and it saves you time.
OPTIONAL STEP: Add a Bonus Prize if You Get A Certain Number of Comments
People love this, and it keeps the excitement going. You can say in your post, “If we get to 500 comments, we'll give away TWO TVs!” Something as easy as that. It gives people even more incentive to share the post.
So that’s the mechanics of it. Pretty simple, right? Something I noticed after our first giveaway was there were some pretty positive unintended benefits:
1. Our page started gaining 10-15 new likes a day. That means when you post on your page, it will pop up on more peoples feed. That's the ultimate endgame with social media.
2. We got several reviews on Facebook. I was surprised by this, but it's really good. (A note: They’re now called “Recommendations” and they are a bit different, but you still want to get as many as you can.)
3. There is a TON of excitement and bus, and in our case it was all over a silver ring.
4. The comment section was filled with positive things people said about our store. Huge!
5. Most importantly, we got more people coming in and looking at our jewelry! That was the main goal, and it worked. When 14,000 people see your post, a few are likely to come in.
Doing giveaways is a great way to stay top of mind in your community. You don't need to over do it, two a month would be just fine, or even one! We started pushing our jewelry on Facebook over a year ago, and we've seen great results. We keep gaining followers on our page, and people are interacting with our posts more. But let's get down to brass tacks—what about the money?
We were able to double our retail jewelry sales. That’s BIG.
It wasn’t magic, it was a combination of customer awareness, and putting in the time to make the jewelry look good. It doesn't have to be just jewelry, this can be applied to any category of your business that you want to grow or get more eyes on. The bottom line is it's easy to use Facebook to get more people in your door for less, and isn't that what it's all about in the end? Best of luck!