A beginners look at social networking
To most people who buy and sell antiques, social networking is a mysterious concept that has no bearing on them, or, what they do for a living.
Facebook? Pinterest? Twitter? What is the point in making the effort trying to get to grips with something that has passed them by? What is the point in wasting valuable time, when this social networking or whatever it is, is solely for younger generations?
You can almost hear the dealers convincing themselves of this only moments after complaining how bad things are and how there is a general lack of opportunities. (You need to remember that antiques dealers complain whether things are good OR bad!)
The truth is, sometimes the thought of having to try to understand technology can be quite off-putting, nobody wants to look a fool by getting it wrong.
If a dealer does take this approach they are missing out because it really is worth a little effort to get involved. Taking the step of delving into this new world creates many exciting opportunities, particularly for antiques dealers; it is something they really should embrace.
For businesses, social networking has become an extremely useful, inexpensive marketing tool and a fast way to get to a new audience. For antiques dealers, who can't rely solely on local business, meeting people who may become clients wherever they may be, is imperative.
Social networking sites like Twitter, which is the best place to start, connect people with shared interests. In the case of antiques; sellers, collectors and enthusiasts can meet like minded people and "Follow" them. When you "Follow" a fellow twitterer you are presented with each and every one of their messages in your timeline. The Timeline is a list of the latest posts by all the people you are following.
Posts or "Tweets" as they are known are greatly varied. For antique dealers this may be "Hi all, just found a great new Imari vase take a look at our web site". Interested followers then make a beeline for the web site. So far so good.
It is important that Twitter users get the mix between out and out commercial posts and informative and friendly ones. If their posts are sales only orientated they will soon find their followers disappearing. Mix the sales pitch with links to interesting antiques related news items or friendly chat and the followers will grow. Etiquette is important.
Twitter is unique in as much as it lets users only post short messages of a maximum of 140 characters, it is short sweet tidbits of information. Dealers may be surprised to find that far from being the domain of the young, Twitter is used by a great range of people of all ages, grandchildren to grandparents.
One thing that is daunting for Twitter users is where to start. Let's make it easy, click on the "Follow" link on the Twitter application above to join up, alternatively go to www.twitter.com and don't forget to visit the Antiques TV twitter page at www.twitter.com/antiquestv and say hello, we will be more than happy to follow your every word!