Are you using social media marketing to grow your retail business?
Many of the small business owners and operators that we work with find retail social media campaigns to be confusing at best and downright frustrating at worst.
As we talk about in our online marketing guide, The Download for retailers, social media marketing doesn’t necessarily require a lot of intellectual elbow grease.
It simply requires a little time and knowing which social media networks matter the most for small businesses.
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The primary goal of implementing a social retail program is to increase awareness and engagement among both your loyal customers and potential customers.
First, let’s see how you can get the most out of social media marketing for retail. Then, we’ll explore two highly effective social media networks used by many small business owners and operators.
How to get the most out of retail social media campaigns
Just a few years ago, the most important online marketing strategy for small business owners and operators was to build a website. As we enter the third decade of the new Millennium, a rapidly growing number of retail businesses connect with regular and potential customers via at least two social media networks.
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Social media can put your business at the front of the retail industry, but you have to know how to do it right.
It starts with awareness
You probably have heard the saying, “I threw a party, but nobody came.” Well, this can potentially happen with social media marketing campaigns for retail. For any social media campaign to be successful, you first have to define your audience. This is critical to the success of your marketing, and you can learn more by joining my free marketing community.
Once you have your audience defined, then it’s time to let everybody know about your presence on social media networks.
Place links on your business website to every social media account. You should do the same thing for online ads, whether the ads are banners or part of the Google AdWords program. Then place the information about your social media accounts at every point-of-sale terminal. Explain to your sales team the importance of mentioning your social retail presence online as well.
Content is still king
When you designed your business website, you heard about the importance of presenting useful content that helps your customers solve difficult issues. For example, if you own a plumbing business, offering a few tips about how to prevent sink leaks goes a long way toward building the level of trust that generates repeat business. The same “content is king” principle applies to your social media networks.
High-quality content, in both written and video form, can hook customer prospects into becoming regular visitors to your social retail pages. Videos are an especially effective content marketing tool, as they can increase customer conversions by as much as 80 percent. For social media videos, you can switch off between longer videos, with informational content, and short and sweet videos (15-30 seconds each) as quick attention grabbers.
Notice how the pinned video on my Facebook Business Page explains the importance of online reviews while the videos below are quick snippets to demonstrate my personality.
It is one thing to initiate a comprehensive social media marketing for retail campaign. It is quite another thing to stick with it by engaging your customers. The key to interacting with your customers on social media networks is to get back with them as quickly as possible after receiving a message or seeing a comment. You need to keep your target audience updated about upcoming specials, as well as the introduction of new products and services.
Now you know about the importance of engagement. The question is which social media networks stand out for retailers. We like two social retail networks: Facebook and Instagram.
Marketing tips for Facebook
When you Google a business, you notice the company website near or at the top of search engine results. Do you know what else you notice? The Facebook listing for the same business. For years, Facebook has led the social media industry for signing up small businesses that include companies operating in the retail industry.
Here is why Facebook should be a part of your social media marketing for retail campaign:
- Promote special events
- Advertise upcoming sales specials
- Highlight specific products and services
- Present customer testimonials
- Answer customer questions
- Respond to customer reviews
Marketing tips for Instagram
Known as the premier social media network for posting images, Instagram now has more than one billion active users. The social media network is a prominent player for increasing the exposure of retailers. The image-driven social media network allows you to post photos, videos, and computer graphics that leave a positive long-lasting impression on both loyal and potential customers.
The key is to know how to optimize Instagram for retail social media campaigns.
- DIY ideas
- Customer photos
- Promote holiday events
- Advertise new product launches
- Highlight product features and benefits
Final thoughts on social media marketing for retail
Digital marketing can intimidate small business owners and operators. However, you can break down the online barrier that separates you and your customers by implementing highly effective social media marketing for retail.
Take a few minutes out of your day, download our online marketing guide, The Download for Retailers, and read more about how social media marketing helps small retail businesses to increase sales.
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