February 19th, 2020
Using Social Media to improve your local store presence
21 Dec 2015 Dominic
Social media has come to be one of the most essential marketing techniques for all types of businesses, including retailers to engage and communicate with customers and prospective customers.
2 billion people are now ‘active’ social media users across the Globe (The State of Social Media, Nov 2015)
Although it may be difficult to establish a direct relationship between social media activity (likes, followers, engagement level) and in-store sales, few would deny the influence that it bears on consumers’ purchase decisions, brand awareness and overall opinion of your store.
The micro-blogging site is excellent for real-time engagement with consumers. It allows a quick way of exchanging information in 140 characters and staying up to date with punchy online announcements.
You can share the latest news in a quick snapshot message, allowing information to be shared instantly while offering fodder for thought-provoking conversations around your business and being ‘social.’
However, because of its real-time nature – you need to update and respond frequently. It is ideal to engage with people on-the go via mobile devices because of its nature. The # provides a way of ‘filing’ posts and being able to find related posts/interested parties.
Is probably the most well known ‘original’ social platform whereby after creating a profile, you can share rich content such as videos, photos and connect with your followers and those that like your page. It is perfect for longer story-telling about things in store, staff stories – rather than blatant plugging of products and services. People can comment and interact freely and it becomes a great story board.
There are now 14 million active user on Instagram, overtaking Twitter recently. It is basically a mobile-only platform, which is simply designed for ‘visual sharing’ of photos and videos and allowing various filters and captions to be added. People can comment and like images and when captioning use # to allow people to find your posts.
Plan your content and make sure you put the right kind of content on the right social platform.
Don’t link Facebook and Twitter accounts – this doesn’t work.
- Tell your fans and followers what’s new in the store:
- Use your social accounts to offer your followers a peek into your store – the products, the team etc…
- This could include any new stock that’s arrived, or even changes you’ve made to your store. Take photos and short videos.
- Which products do you LOVE
- Of all the items you have in store, tell your followers which ones you love most and why.
- How about starting an advent of the best ‘Stocking Fillers’ via Instagram? Take 24 beautiful shots of £10 and under gifts for all and then create a post everyday. #stockingfillers #christmas2015 #under£10 #gardencentre #christmasdecorations
- You could also share employee-favourites – feature a favourite pick of one of your employees each week and post onto Facebook with an image and some details around the product and features/benefits and why the Love it.
- To build traction, you could also request your employees to share the posts through their personal accounts, apart from publishing it on your business’ page.
Recommendations make it easier for your customers to make their purchase decision and if you do them with a little more thought and position like above – they don’t come across as blatant flogging something….
Send special event invitations
Facebook is good to set the event up, and then promote the link via Twitter too
- If you’re organising events at your store, promote them on social media.
- Share details of the event, the activities involved and even the prizes/rewards, if any.
- This might be Event Launch, 20% off special days, launch of new menus in the restaurant, new spring bulbs, bank holiday weekend events, special late opening evenings etc.. etc…
- You could run a contest ahead of the event and offer winners special invites to the event with VIP Goody Bags
- This will also help increase the footfall in your store.
- Events are also a good way of integrating your online and offline marketing efforts
Offer exclusive deals
- To keep your followers hooked to your social pages, you have to offer them some incentive.
- What better way to do this than offer them exclusive deals?
- The frequency of these deals and offers will of course depend on other factors that effect your bottom-line
- 10 #free #mincepies available in the restaurant NOW! Come and mention this tweet to redeem! #mincepiefreebie
Social Media Engagement Tips
Find and identify the areas in social media land where the people who engage with your brand are having conversations about you. Start with those where people are already mentioning you
Always offer something of value. This is when getting involved in a reactive manner or proactively creating your own social media content. Value can be classed as good information and insight or even providing “VIP” offers and treatment…it also needs to be offered for free, no catches!
If you’re creating groups, apps or widgets in social media/networks be entertaining and fun. That’s what people want and that’s what will encourage the viral aspect. Do not compromise your brand personality however.
- Right Time & Place –
Be there for your target audience when they want you and where they already spend their time. Consider the mobile platform seriously. Mobile devices have finally reached the point where surfing the web is now akin to the computer and is in fact taking over.
- Be Social – Don’t always be about “YOU”.
People will quickly become bored if you’re always talking about your brand, product or service. Take an interest in the people you want to engage with and offer something they can use in their social life….it is social media after all!
- Think Awareness – and nothing more.
If your involvement in social media raises your awareness, in a positive manner then that is great. If it also creates interest and involvement then that’s a bonus.
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