How To Use Social Media as a Vegan Market Trader
One of the best things about being a market trader is having a real, direct connection to your customers. In our modern digital world, there's really something to be said about meeting your customers in real life, chatting to them, and seeing their reaction to your products. One of the things we get told all the time by people who come to our events is that our traders are so lovely and friendly, and they enjoy meeting you all!
However, it's important not to forget about the power of social media - it's a useful tool for turning one-off customers into real fans, and keep them coming back for more! Say you meet a customer at a market that loves your food, you get chatting and start to build a connection. After they leave the market, that might be the last you hear from them! If you have a social media presence, it gives them a place to follow you, see how you're progressing, and find out which other markets you'll be at so they can come back for more.
We know that as market traders you have a thousand things on your to do list, getting ready for that all-important market day. So we've put together a quick, simple guide to using social media to squeeze even more out of your market day and turn your customers into fans!
Step 1: Before the market
Share some photos of you prepping for the market
One of the reasons people who attend our events love our vegan traders is that they're all small businesses - they're not big faceless corporations - so play on this and share some photos of how you do things! It's lovely to show customers a sneak peek of how you prepare things, whether that's a shot of a cake straight out the oven or a candle with its wick held in place while it sets. Help to get them excited for the market by showing them that you're excited too!
Get people raring to go with set-up shots
On the morning of the market, try sharing a photo or two of you setting up - maybe you can show them the back of your van filled to the brim, or share a short video of you arranging things on your table. Show everyone the love and care you put into getting everything just right for them! Markets are super busy and this kind of thing is often left out because the to do list is just so long - but if you're one of the few people sharing your stall on social media, people will be more likely to look out for you and try to find your stall when they get to the market.
Make your social media handles clear
It's a good idea to have a little sign or business cards where people can see where they can follow you online. Encourage them to not only follow you, but share photos! Write a little note reminding them to tag you in their photos - or you could even create a mini photobooth on your stand where everyone can take a pretty shot of their product or food before they take it away!
Step 2: What to post during the market
Start an Instagram story
If you've never done an Instagram story before, it's really easy - just hit the camera icon in the top left of the feed. They're temporary, so the photos you share will disappear within 24 hours, and many people use them to share a specific event with off-the-cuff and raw photos without disrupting their pretty, more planned-out permanent Instagram feed. Your photos will display in order, so you can really tell the story of the day, from set-up to close!
Share feedback from customers
If you spend your day having lovely conversations with customers, share some of these insights! Maybe they've given you some lovely feedback that you can highlight as a quote, or maybe you had a really interesting conversation about veganism or they shared a great tip with you - share your conversations so everyone can get in on it!
Tag other sellers that complement your brand
Share the love! If you're a vegan cake company, share photos of companies that sell hot lunches, candles, eco-friendly products, or drinks. People love the sense of community our markets have, knowing everything there is vegan and getting to meet other vegans. Get involved in the trader community and share the other brands you're excited to see there!
Interact with people who interact with you!
If someone tags you in their photo, leave a like and a comment! If someone shares an Instagram story featuring you, add it to your own story. Engage with the people who are enjoying your products!
Step 3: After the market
Save the best Stories to create Highlights
Highlight are those little circles you see at the top of someone's Instagram profile. They're created using stories, collecting together the best ones to create a permanent highlight reel that displays in a separate area to your feed. You could create a highlight for each event you attend, or you could create one 'Events' highlight sharing the high point from each market you attend and collecting them together into an Instagram highlight reel! Remember that stories are temporary, so save any you don't want to lose.
Follow back your new followers!
Hopefully you've gained some new followers during the market, so take a little time to follow them back! It's lovely when brands engage back with their followers and really get involved. After the market is also a great time to take a look at everything you've been tagged in, as it might be hard to find time to do this during the day. Have a look at the photos, like them and leave a comment. Then share a post telling all your new followers where they can find you next!
And if you want to interact with us during the market...you can find us on instagram @veganmarketsuk