Written by Emma Lewis
The sharing economy is a very popular business model right now as lots of big names have sprung up and become dominant overnight. There are still plenty of niches which could benefit from this style of business, so the opportunities are out there. But how do you get people to take notice? Here are a few strategies to use.
- Share customer stories
Of course, you’ll need to have social media accounts running on a consistent basis with high-quality content. You already know that. But what kind of thing should you share? Putting out customer stories really helps. Potential new customers will see that your service actually works, and will be able to understand the kind of success they will have if they use it themselves.
- Collect and encourage reviews
Just because someone arrives at your website, doesn’t mean your online marketing is done. You still need to push them to buy. Having members review one another helps to build your reputation and will be the little push viewers need to become customers. Encourage reviews by offering discounts or other freebies to those who leave them.
- Use video ads
It’s hard to know what kind of advertising to use, especially on social media. For a sharing economy model, you really need to tell a story. Create a short video ad–it can use still frames that follow one another–describing your business. Start by telling the customer’s problem (you’re stuck out late at night with no way home), then show them using the app (you open Uber on your phone), and then show their success (you get home safely in your Uber car). This model can work for any sharing community
- Target service providers
It’s not enough to just target customers – you also need to bring in new service providers. This is really important because you need to have services available when customers log in. If your services are barren, no one will stick around. Offer incentives such as free listings, help them set up their profiles for free and make it so easy they might as well do it.
- Make partnerships
If you were Uber, as an example of one of the most successful sharing economy models so far, then who are your customers already with? They need a taxi because they’re just leaving a club, for example: then you should meet with the CEO of a club chain and offer a partnership, where they promote you in exchange for reduced rates or other benefits. You should be able to think of a brand that would make a good promotional partner for your ideal customers, usually related to the problem you’re solving for them.
- Offer free services
As you start to build your business, it’s more important to get people on board and make them loyal customers than it is to make a profit at first. Again looking at Uber, they offer free rides for first-time users. This cost will come out of your profits, but it gets a new customer into your business.
- Use social listening
A clever social media manager is always watching hashtags and searching certain terms. When someone tweets, posts, or shares that they have a problem you can solve, you can reply to their post with a link to your website and an explanation of how you can help. Bringing on individual customers this way takes work, but it can build a lot of momentum.
The big thing is to get your name out there as much as possible. Over time, you will hope to snowball this effect until you become as big a household name as our example through these tips.
About the Author: Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.