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Selling on social: Four tips to create a sustainable social media plan
Planning your social media content decreases shop stress. Photo: Airam Dato-on/Pexels

Selling on social: Four tips to create a sustainable social media plan


Social media can connect you with customers but without a strategy, it can be a time-suck with negligible effects on your bottom line. Social media strategist Rochelle Latinsky shared how to plan for social in a Jan. 24 webinar

Do you ever scroll through social media, wondering how all of these vintage shops manage to pump out so much content while you feel stuck? Do you want to get your shop in front of more potential customers, but consistently see your follower growth plateau?

Creating valuable content for social media — and posting it consistently — is what leads to increased reach, and is ultimately more likely to convert into sales. The trick to producing that content is in building a strategy.

Here’s the thing about strategy, though: It’s easy enough to plan, plan, plan. It’s the doing that becomes a lot harder when you factor in side hustles and families and day jobs and…you know, life.

A strategy needs to be sustainable in order for it to work. So what does “sustainable” mean for the independent reseller or vintage shop owner?

It’s taking stock of what you have going on in your life and making social media work for you. It’s setting a timer to avoid the doom-scroll. It’s giving some thought to how you want your business to be perceived and spending time to create content to echo that. It’s recognizing that social media is a cog in your business, but it’s not the only one.

To turn these ideas into something more tangible, we tapped Rochelle Latinsky, a college business school instructor, social media strategist and senior digital marketer who has developed sustainable digital strategies for brands like Porter Airlines, Coca-Cola and Harley-Davidson.

Rochelle is also a vintage buyer, and proprietor of My Clementine Vintage, a shop that caters to women who are plus-sized. She worked with members of the Vintage Sellers Community on Jan. 24 to explore content strategy to create workflow efficiencies, and to build out a sample social media content calendar.

What is sustainable for you?

Core to building a strategy is conducting a realistic assessment of your own capabilities as a shop owner, Rochelle says, and how much time you actually have to devote to marketing your business on social media.

This can be difficult to do when social media breeds a culture of comparison, but it’s better to be realistic than to feel like you’re letting yourself down all the time.

Over the past nine years, Rochelle has travelled around North America hand-picking every piece of inventory — but with My Clementine Vintage very much a side hustle, they’ve put social media on the back burner. They do the bulk of their selling at markets and private appointments.

“I’ve made the deliberate approach to make my shop more about in-person, offline connection, because I get my customers through word of mouth,” explains Rochelle. “I work in social for a living, so it may seem counterintuitive, but I know that’s what’s sustainable for me.”

Four tips for creating a social plan that works for your shop

Rather than posting ad hoc, Rochelle suggests zooming out to look at the bigger picture with these four tips:

1. Figure out who your customer/audience is.

Know where your customers spend their time online, and go there. “My audience is someone who’s about my age, who lives in an urban environment, they’re tech savvy,” Rochelle says.

If you know your customers use Pinterest a lot, focus on Pinterest. If you know your customers are on Facebook, then post on Facebook. Don’t worry about other platforms until you have a handle on one.

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2. Build out informative content.

The bulk of the content you post on social media should be story-driven, not sales-driven, Rochelle says. She recommends aiming for a split that’s 80 per cent educational/storytelling, 20 per cent selling/promotional.

“The first word is ‘social.’ It’s not ‘selling’ media,” she explains. “There needs to be a balance between ‘I’m going to sell you something’ and ‘I’m going to share some information with you.’”

If you plan to post five times a week, make four of those posts contain information of value, and one more sales or promotional-focused. That doesn’t mean you can’t sell a product in every post – it just means that should be secondary.

So if you’re showcasing a glass vase for sale in your shop, focus on the historical details of the piece or a “Did you know?” style of post.

Designing your content this way “helps to bring in more people into your community in a way that doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money,” says Rochelle. “It takes a bit of time, but it’s more effective because you know every piece of content you’re putting out there has an intention.”

3. Make a list of the stories you want to tell.

Think about what narratives you want to put out into the world. Why did you start your shop? What drives you? “All of us are small businesses, and we have so many stories that we can share,” Rochelle says.

“These are the things that resonate with people more than ‘This is a 1990s T-shirt, single-thread.’” Weave these stories in throughout the month to help connect with your community.

4. Optimize and repeat.

Track your engagement to see what performs best. Once you know what works, do more of it — it’s better to spend your time on content that will provide a higher return on time investment.

Aim for consistency, but above all, for something you think you can stick with and that won’t leave you disappointed. “It’s less about posting X times per day or X per week, but about making it work for you,” says Rochelle. Once you have a handle on your workflow, you can introduce more posts or even more social channels.

Create a sustainable social media plan: Event replay

The recording of Rochelle’s hour-long workshop, including group exercises with her social media content planner, is available to members of the Vintage Sellers Community.

Join our group of resellers who are actively investing in professional development and exchanging best practices. You’ll get access to all of our events and webinars (and replays!), our exclusive content to help you run and grow your vintage business and improve your skills, our private discussion boards and more.

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