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.

 

 

Site News: June 1st 2011 Was a Great Day

I like posting about accomplishments. The reason being when I look back on the blog and look at my posts I’ve made, I like to look back and just remember certain occasions. I guess I am just a very nostalgic person in general. Maybe you have to be a little nostalgic to be the type of sports card collector I am.

The day started off great. I opened up my email and received a nice letter from Adam of Dave & Adam’s Card World. This was completely unexpected, although I had noticed on my “site meter” that I had a few hits from Buffalo and Tonawanda. I was hoping I would catch the attention of DACW or Blowout on my recent comparison between the two companies. Well I definitely caught Adam’s eye and I received a nice letter from Adam. It looks like I’ll be interviewing him with some questions about DACW in the near future. Hopefully, when I am back in Connecticut I can take a nice drive up to Buffalo and tour their facilities. By the way, if anyone has any questions they would like to ask Adam, please email me or post a comment. I would like some questions other customers may have for one of the giants of the online hobby retailers. So yeah, definitely a good start to the day.

I ended up writing 3 posts throughout the day. Sometimes I just get so excited I want to post something that I see as important. So I just kept on writing. Next, I was also informed that Freedom Cardboard had their new blog system set up. Chris Gilmore, the owner, had set up WordPress blogs for anyone to use through their site. I thought it was a great opportunity to expand my viewers and get more input. So I created Sports Card Blog – Freedom Cardboard Edition. I’m not entirely sure what I am going to do with it yet, but I thought it would be fun to have some added commentary on things every once and awhile, especially in the baseball area where Freedom Cardboard is popular. Why not, right? Plus I’m sure I’ll hold exclusive Freedom Cardboard member contests over there on that blog because it’s so generously hosted by them. Check it out every once and awhile. I can’t guarantee anything over there, but why not give it a try?

Finally, after a ton of people asking me about the 2011 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts checklist I was able to get it emailed to me the night before the product came out. I’d like to thank Upper Deck and Chris Carlin for getting that out to me so I could share it with the hobby community. Oh, and share we did. Almost 600 people visited Sports Card Blog late yesterday afternoon and evening just to catch a glimpse at the “checklist heard around the world”. Obviously, a new record in a day for the site. I love numbers and just seeing them pile up is great for me and the hobby. People were questioning whether Upper Deck would have the guts to put the checklist out and they delivered. If you like historic baseball and Americana autographs I would totally check out 2011 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts.

So I would like to say thank you to the hobby community for embracing this blog and taking your time to read what I have to write and say. With that, I will be posting a contest either later today or tomorrow to thank everyone. Prizes will not be announced, but you will soon find out why. Don’t worry, I won’t be giving out redemptions. When I said I was building something for this site, I really was. I’ll leave you with one word until I post the contest. Spin.

Again, thanks. I’ll have some more hobby news shortly.