Utilizing Social Media For Your Card Shop

This is part of an ongoing series of posts in which SportsCardBlog.net is working to help card shop owners “Save the Card Shops”. We’ve been working with collectors and utilizing the knowledge within the hobby to create more business and a better environment for sports card shop owners and collectors alike.

From what I understand, there are still many card shop owners out there who don’t utilize the internet in order to help their business and bring customers into their stores. In today’s marketplace, not having an internet presence for your store is practically destroying your business.

There are several simple and free ways to market your card shop online to your customers and future customers and that is through social media.

The biggest places to utilize social media are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However there are several other hobby oriented sites as well where you can find new customers and interact with customers as well.

We’ll start with the big three.

Facebook

Creating a Facebook page is simple and it’s something that collectors around the world use. Create a page using your shops name and make sure to include the address, phone number, as well as store hours.

Continuing to post information is vital, so posting when new products arrive is a great way to start. I also recommend if you have customers that bust product in store to take photos and show off those big hits that come from your shop. You can spend some time engaging with your customers as well. All of this takes up very little time and is a great place to promote your shop.

Make sure your customers know you have a Facebook page as well by printing out a simple sign with the Facebook logo saying “Find us on Facebook!”

Twitter

Twitter is a great place to get out information as well as speak directly with the companies representatives on a more personal level.

As with a Facebook page, create a Twitter username with your card shop names and make sure to fill in other information on how to find your shop in the “About Me” area. You can post about when your products are released and keep in contact with your customers and company representatives about their products that you sell.

You can also engage in discussion with other collectors and follow collectors to see what’s getting popular in the hobby or what products they are looking to open so you have it available in your shop.

I’ve seen companies even “retweet” card shop tweets about big pulls from their products. Collectors follow the companies as well so if a collector sees that a shop is close by and they may not know about it, that’s another possible new customer and at least a new “follower” of your tweets. You tweet that you got a new product in for a great price, your customers see it and they’ll want to pick it up.

Again, post at your shop that you have a Twitter account so your customers know to follow you.

YouTube

Every card shop should be opening product for customers. What a better way to open product on camera and posting it for the world to see?

Sharing your YouTube videos with customers and people from around the world is a good way to promote your site. People are always on YouTube wanting to see breaks and what kind of cards are being pulled. (You can even link to your videos on the above channels.)

I’ve seen people share their breaks of Panini products and Panini has featured their shop in their “best hits of the month” videos which are seen by thousands of collectors around the world.

Unlike the other mediums the visual appeal of YouTube is perfect for sports card collectors. Nothing like seeing a full box or case of product being opened.

Forums/Blogs

If you aren’t reading and interacting in collectors forums and blogs you are really missing out on information.

Do you know what “group breaks” are? This is a popular trend in the hobby I will go over in the future, but the only way you could have learned about them is through blogs and forum sites.

Do you know what the hottest products are that collectors are most excited about? Do you know what bloggers have found wrong in certain products that may have affected your customers? If you aren’t reading and participating, you aren’t in the know and it affects your sales by either not being knowledgeable or not being prepared.

Check out the links I have on the right sidebars for great blogs and communities around the web.

These are a number of ways to get your shop out there on the internet and interacting with your customers and future customers. It makes your shop more visible, keeps customers in the loop about products, and it shows that you actually care about your shop as you are knowledgeable and friendly with your customers.

As with all these posts, I invite collectors to share their thoughts about card shops using social media and some recommendations collectors may have to interact with card shops.

 

 

2 New Contests For This Week

I think this is contest round #4 here at Sports Card Blog. We’ve only been around for a little over 3 months and we are getting some great feedback from our readers and we love you all.

See, this love seems to go both ways. What do we do when we love someone and they love us back? We give out free stuff.

So this time around we have two contests going.

Contest #1 is to read my review of 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars Football and post in the comments area of that post what you think about the product and what you think about manufactured patches like the one I pulled. A random comment will receive a Vincent Brown autograph manufactured patch rookie, 4 rookies, the Philip Rivers Longevity parallel, a rookie insert, and all my doubles of base cards. This prize pack is 19 total cards, so it’s a big one.

Contest #2 is also a big one in terms of cards. For this one, all you have to do is “Like” the Sports Card Blog page on Facebook. We currently only have 38 “Likes” so I’m looking to up that number a little bit. If you wish to post that you “Liked” the page on here, go ahead, but I’ll be picking from all the Facebook people for this prize pack. This one consists of cards pulled from my 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard basketball review live from the 1977 Portland Trailblazers NBA Championship court and my 2010-11 Panini Season Update basketball review. Right now the prize pack consists of the Karl Malone GU, the DeJuan Blair GU, and the Chris Kaman GU. Plus 2 other numbered cards from Gold Standard and a bunch of inserts from Panini Season Update. If we can get up to 75 Likes, I will also include the Udoh/Johnson dual rookie autograph numbered to just 20.

Both of these contests will end on Sunday, August 7, 2011, at 5pm PST.

Make sure you thank Panini for giving us the opportunity to review their products and give away some of their fine cards that I pull. Make sure you visit their blog as they always have giveaways as well and up to date news on all their upcoming products.