It is almost a given that multiple retailers are all over social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, they are attracting fans of their brands, sharing new products, their latest offers and offering advice.
Just because you are an independent retailer, there is absolutely no reason why you should not be embracing social media and using all the advantages that it offers your marketing campaigns.
Here are just a few ideas on how you can use social media to connect with your customers and start building a relationship with your brand.
- Make sure your social media bio contains keywords relating to your retailing niche so that customers searching twitter or any other social media platform are much more likely to find you. The same applies to location if you are a bricks and mortar retailer.
- You may be able to hang up the closed sign on your shop door but on social media the customer expects the shop to always be open. Be clear if you are going offline at the end of the day so customer’s expectations are managed. But remember to go through all your mentions and comments first thing the next day.
- Posting a steady stream of sales messages isn’t very interesting or engaging for your customers so balance them out with posts that inform, inspire or entertain. Remember you are building your retail brand.
- As well as brand building your social media account will naturally become a customer service channel. Expect compliments, which you should retweet, and complaints which should be responded to as quickly as you are able.
- A great way to build a relationship is to be helpful and answer the questions that customers have before they even realise they need to ask them.
- If you are a local retailer, make sure you follow and support other retailers in your neighbourhood. By paying it forward and supporting them, they are much more likely to do the same for you.
- By searching for your keywords on social media you will find conversations happening around your products or niche. Join in the conversations, offering your point of view and advice, and those accounts will remember you in the future. It’s not just sales, it is brand awareness.
- As a retailer, you wouldn’t rush to open more shops before your first shop was profitable. Consider social media platforms as stores; get the first one right and working well for you before you commit more resources to another platform.
- Get your smartphone out and take some photos of your store, your shop front, your staff, your products. Tweets and posts with images are proven to attract more engagement and be shared more often and by including the occasional photo of your store staff, customers will feel like they are building a relationship with you.
- If you get stuck for things to post, talk about what is happening in your shop today, a window refresh, a new display, a new product, a surprise bestseller. Customers love to hear what’s going on without being sold to.
This hardly scrapes the surface of how retailers can use social media to connect with their customers but I hope offers some ideas on what you can do, starting today.