By 2018, a projected 2.5 billion people around the world will use social media. As a vape shop owner, this is a statistic that you can’t afford to ignore. To generate leads and attract sales, you need to go where your customers are — and your customers are on social media.

How important is social media to your marketing strategy?

  • More than one fifth of the people on Earth use Facebook.
  • YouTube has a wider reach than any cable television network in the United States.
  • Snapchat users share 9,000 photos every second.

Although virtually every vape shop owner uses social media to some extent, many are unsure about how to achieve the best possible results from social media marketing because social networks don’t allow e-cigarette companies to advertise. We’re going to give you some suggestions — but first, here’s why your vape shop needs a social media presence even though you can’t pay for advertising.

Why Social Media Works for Vape Shops

1. Expanded Content Reach

Every time content appears in a new location under your vape shop’s marquee, the chance increases that someone will see the content and become familiar with your brand. If a person who sees your content on social media isn’t familiar with your vapor shop already, then your content has reached someone it probably wouldn’t have reached otherwise. If it reaches someone who has purchased from your vape shop already or seen your content elsewhere, that person will begin to develop a feeling of familiarity toward your brand. In either case, becoming active on social media will help to generate brand awareness.

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2. Increased Customer Loyalty

When a social media user follows a brand, he or she gives the company behind the brand a vote of confidence. That person wants to read the brand’s content and stay on top of product releases and other announcements. Every new follower on social media is an opportunity for your vape shop. If you give your social media followers what they want and build a relationship with them, you’ll create loyalty that lasts.

3. Chance to Generate Sales

On social media, you’ll spend most of your time posting content about your vape shop and communicating with your customers and potential customers. When you answer questions, you have an opportunity to build confidence and trust in your brand. When you post content, you’ll almost always link to your website. In either case, your actions can directly result in sales.

4. Chance to Increase Sales

People love the fact that companies tend to remain active on social media and answer questions as quickly as possible. The fact that you answer questions quickly on social media tells your followers that there are real people at your company who care about their needs and concerns. That creates trust — and trust is necessary to complete any sale. If you remain consistently active on social media, your sales will increase.

How to Promote Your Vape Shop on Social Media

Advertise Vape Shop Social Media

Since you’re here, you probably don’t need us to tell you how important social media can be to your vape shop. You were probably given a rude awakening, though, when you attempted to advertise your vape shop and discovered that social networks treat vaping and tobacco use as the same thing.

Social networks are flooded with more content than their users can possibly consume. Since social networks use filters to help their users identify interesting content, organic reach on social media is at an all-time low. To make matters worse, social media users tend to ignore material that seems overly promotional. How are you supposed to promote your vape shop on social media when just reaching your customers is so difficult?

Marketing a vape shop on social media begins with finding the right place in which to connect with your potential customers. Once you’ve found the ideal network, you’ll need to build relationships and cultivate trust. Present your products creatively, and show social media users that you are committed to providing a great experience. Sales will naturally follow.

Finding the Right Social Network

If you want to add social media to your arsenal of sales tools, you need to be where your potential buyers are. You probably won’t find many local business owners looking for consultants or attorneys on Instagram, for example. Find out where your potential customers gather online by creating user accounts and looking for discussions relating to the vaping industry. If you can find people talking about problems that your products can solve, you’ve probably found an excellent social network on which to sell your product.

Since smoking and vaping both transcend demographics and geographical boundaries, you can really market your vape shop on just about any social network.  LinkedIn may not be ideal, though, unless you operate as a supplier for other companies in the vaping industry.

Building Relationships and Cultivating Trust

Your potential customers already know that, as a business, your primary purpose for being on social media is to sell. Your social media followers will ignore overt sales pitches, so you should focus on being useful instead. If you’ve done your research, you should have an idea of what your potential customers are talking about on social media. Try to find a way to join those conversations in a helpful and engaging way.

If you have an established vape shop, it’s likely that you have some regular customers who follow your company online. Social media gives you an opportunity to deepen those relationships by showing those customers how much their business means to you. If a customer mentions your vape shop on social media, thank that person and share his or her post with your other followers. You might even consider offering special discounts to your best advocates.

Presenting Products Creatively

The purpose of social media has changed greatly over the years. People don’t only use social media to communicate with friends and family anymore. They also use it to discover trends, read news, ask questions, solve problems and more. Problem awareness, product discovery and purchase intent often intersect on social media. If you can place your product at that intersection, you’ll make a sale. You’ll also create a very happy customer for having presented the perfect solution at the ideal time.

To sell on social media, you need to present your products in an appealing and creative way that straddles the line between content and commerce. Suppose, for example, that you’re having a sale on rebuildable atomizers. You could create a social media post advertising the sale, but most of your followers will ignore it unless they happen to see your message when they’re already looking for RDAs and RTAs.

Instead, consider creating a post with an image gallery showing the five most beautiful coil builds that your followers have ever posted on social media. E-cigarette users love to look a great coil builds, and if you sell any of the products pictured, your photo gallery will advertise your wares in a less overt way. “Do you like this build? Get everything you need to make it yourself for 20% off, this week only!”

Image credits: Jason Howie, Yoppy