There’s more to social media than just posting pictures from your latest vacation or bragging about your newly acquired prized possessions. A lot of buying and selling activities can and do take place on these networking sites and, in some ways, they are far more effective when it comes to doing business than just online classifieds.
Unlike online classifieds, people have a profile here, they tend to be friendlier and you may have other friends who are in the friend or fan list of the buyer or seller, making the entire activity far more credible and reliable.
And, it is easier than you may think. By following a few simple steps, you can make your hundreds or perhaps thousands of fans and followers pay you by offering to sell things you no longer need, or even new ones, as you interact with them on a daily basis.
According to Sharene Lee, Co-Founder at www.melltoo.com, a website that targets buyers and sellers on social media in the UAE, it all happens in five simple ways.
On Facebook, she suggests going for public post on personal timeline/profile (only for friends). Second, join and post in an open/closed group that is designed to act as a classifieds group (search “buy sell UAE” or “second hand Dubai” on Facebook to discover some groups). Third, find relevant brand pages and post to the “other post” section and you may see interest building up from those on the medium.
There are many groups, open and closed, especially on Facebook, where a lot of buying and selling activities are taking place, says Lee.
This marketplace is primarily for the individuals and some of them in fact expressly prohibit businesses from marketing themselves through the group.
Some popular groups where individuals are making money include www.littlemajlis, UAE ladies market, and then it seems there is at least one group for some of the more popular communities in Dubai. For example, there is a JBR and Dubai Marina group, there are a handful for Springs, Lakes and the Meadows, in addition to one in Mirdiff and different ones for those living in the newly settled Jumeriah Village Triangle and Jumeriah Park communities, among others.
If you’re interested in selling your items (new or old), it’s advisable to become a member of these groups or one where you live. Along with other members, many of your fans or followers are likely to be a part of this group and can easily become your clients.
You can use Facebook primarily for social life, sharing updates about personal life and then for selling things. The pros of using this website are the number of groups that are active here and the hundreds and thousands of people you can meet. However, there’s not a predictable place for a price/description, and you can’t browse/search for specific items, Lee mentions.
Next social media platform that you may want to look at is Twitter. Even though it’s mainly for news and information-sharing, it can also be used to buy and sell. All you have to do is tweet with relevant hashtags. For example, #forsale #dubai #toyota, says Lee and see how things work. But, as with Facebook, Twitter is for news and real-time updates and everything may be fleeting.
Not to forget Instagram. Just post with relevant hashtags and you may soon have a query from a potential buyer.
Besides the popular international networking websites, there are some like www.melltoo.com that mainly target buyers and sellers in the UAE.
All you have to do is post an item for sale, snap a pic, include some #hashtags, choose category and you’re done. You can also check out what’s for sale in your neighbourhood. To instil a sense of trust, there’s a built-in chat and social profiles allow you to see who you’re dealing with.
If you are seriously thinking of making money, then a combination of all this can fit well in this jigsaw puzzle.