Now is the most important time of year for retailers to look at the trends and forces likely to shape the industry in the months ahead. With the worrying decline of the high street and fear over the future of brick and mortar store closures. It’s now more important than ever to look to the future and ensure you’re business is doing all it can to stay relevant.
We’ve witnessed profound changes in this industry in the past five years and it’s fair to say that being prepared for change is a key driver for retailers in 2019. Social media is one of the most important tools a business can use to not only increase their online presence – but also allows your retail store to communicate with its audience in a fun, inviting way!
Today we’re looking at what retailers can do to better engage with their customers on social media. Below we look at some of the platforms and the best advice for retailers to post and advertise on them.
Facebook – ‘The Social Network’
There are an estimated 1.74 billion active mobile users on Facebook which increases year-on-year by 21%. Facebook is the largest social media platform and in the last few years has become an essential tool for businesses to use. With Facebook advertising, product tagging, location info and group & communities there are many options to get your business out there.
So where do you start? Setting up a Facebook Page is easy and maybe you already have one but it’s not that active. The key is to post content that encourages people to interact and using visuals wherever possible. Posting pictures of your products alongside prices is likely to not be very effective. Retailers need to engage and create posts that might have their products in them but focus on something potential customers want to see.
These two posts are perfect examples of how to tie in your products while not appearing “too pushy” with your content on Facebook. Ideas like highlighting your staff members, running polls, competitions, events and more is what you should be looking at when posting on any platform.
Twitter – ‘Tweet Tweet’
Twitter isn’t for every retail business. Twitter relies heavily on communication through text posts and tagging. It’s worth setting one up but often Twitter is a more difficult platform to engage with potential customers. The key is hashtagging and posing questions and topics to your visitors. Below we look at some examples of how businesses interact with customers – (Pay attention to the number of words used).
As you can see ‘less is more’ when wording your posts on Twitter. As 42% of companies tweet between 1 – 5 times per day – it’s important to keep your posts brief and easy to read. Keep the subject simple and cut down on irrelevant information. With Twitter, try to keep topical with the posts you create. Look at sites such as OnThisDay.com which can give you ideas of posts to create involving historical dates.
Instagram – ‘It’s Instant!’
Specifically a visual platform, Instagram is used by many artists, designers and photographers. If your business is looking to get started on Instagram it’s important to have a range of visually strong photos to get engagements and increase your brand awareness. Posting photos of just products and your store won’t be enough to gain traffic on this platform.
Using images with bright colours is seen to be a good source of engagement for potential customers. Instagram stories are also the perfect way to quickly and easily engage with customers. Take photos on your smartphone at a store event and upload to your Instagram story.
LinkedIn – ‘Link Us Together’
LinkedIn is known as a platform most exclusively used for B2B companies and HR departments however recently there has been push for many B2C businesses to join the social network. LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to highlight your staff and why it’s a good idea to work for your company.
500 million users are on LinkedIn and it can be an essential platform to build contacts within your industry, increase brand awareness and appeal to customers.
Showcasing your hardworking team and the “behind-the-scenes” of your business is an excellent way of building brand-awareness and humanising your retail store. It’s also important that when posting on ALL social media platforms to have your staff help and engage with posts. This is usually the best starting point when you begin posting on social media and LinkedIn is the perfect platform for this!
SnapChat – ‘Snappy Chappy’
Snapchat appeals to a younger demographic with 78% of its users between the ages of 18 – 24 years old. Having a Snapchat can’t really hurt a business but unless you find that your customers are between 18 – 24 – it might be worth skipping this platform.
Combining offline marketing with linking to your social media can be a great way to increase awareness online. Asking customers to pose in your retail store or posting pictures is the perfect way to engage with a younger audience.
Overall social media is about appearing fun and inviting! You want to try and give a professional face while not seeming too ‘fake’. If you’re having trouble with Social Media it might be worth employing a representative to help build your brand and give you advice on advertising on different platforms.
Be sure to check us out on social media: LinkedIn and Twitter!