There’s this strange myth out there that social media is killing retail. But, in reality, retailers have a lot to gain from social media marketing; it’s actually encouraging the retail space to evolve, and it can come with a lot of benefits.
For retail, social media is centered around the customer journey. Whether someone’s learning about your brand for the first time, or they’re making their tenth purchase, retailers need to create a social customer journey that encompasses all possible actions—instead of just acquisition. Creating a journey that touches on all possible actions might sound overwhelming, but it only means good things for your brand! It means you can engage with anyone, at any point of the customer cycle.
That being said, it does present certain social-media-specific challenges. But we’ll help you with that part. Here are some tips to get you started.
#1: Widen Your Reach
As tempting as it might be to hole up in one social media platform, that won’t do much for you. You simply can’t afford to lean on just one platform. We get it—you don’t want to spread your resources too thin. But doing this means you’re quite literally leaving money on the table.
Sure, put a lot of focus on Instagram and posting stunning photos of your products. But then share those same photos on Pinterest! Invest in Facebook advertising! We’re not saying that you have to go all in on every platform—but make sure you’re dabbling in several.
#2: Make Social a Part of Your Existing Marketing Strategy
Whatever kind of campaign you’re running, never just assume that your followers will see your ads elsewhere. You have to cover all of your bases. Your audience might see some duplicate content (not literally duplicate, you can switch things up visually) but that’s much better than the alternative—leaving some of your audience in the dark.
#3: Utilize Feedback
Social media isn’t just for promoting your deals and getting people to buy. Shocking, we know. It’s a place to sell your brand instead of just your products. That means you need a good grasp of your brand identity, and making connections with customers. Like real, genuine connections.
A great way to do this? Asking questions! Ask your audience directly what they want—how exciting! Ask them what kind of content they want to see from you, what kinds of products or variations of current products they want, etc. Picking people’s brains is easier than ever. Make sure you’re using that to your advantage.
Not to mention, questions encourage people to interact, which is great for satisfying the almighty algorithm.
#4: Customer Service
We all know that social media can get messy. Anyone else post up on the couch with a glass of wine to scroll through comment fights? No? Okay, anyway—the worst thing you can do is ignore this mess! And we’re not talking about laughing at comment arguments. We mean from a business standpoint. You have to clean up any messes you find in your comments, or at least keep them from getting out of hand.
Customer service concerns are one of the top reasons consumers engage with their brands on social media. This is the perfect opportunity for you to address problems your customers are having—some of which you might not even know about. Address these problems on social media, before they turn into a permanent bad review.
It’s alway best to address things as quickly as you can. The longer a problem sits in the comment section unanswered, the more people will scroll by and assume that you either don’t care, or you don’t have an answer.
Cheer your customers on through social media—and help them when they have problems. It goes a long way in building brand trust.
#5: Keep Things Trendy
Yeah, we’re a professional marketing agency. But you don’t need us to tell you that social media trends are changing all the time. Like, daily. Brands are always experimenting, and there’s a lot of competition out there, which means there’s a lot of noise you have to break through to get noticed! Make sure you have a firm grasp on your industry, where it’s been, and where it might be headed.
Again, your customers can be an amazing source of inspiration and ideas. Just make sure you’re listening to them!
#6: User Content Is King
Have you ever been featured, tagged, or messaged by one of your favorite brands? There’s nothing quite like it—what a rush! When you have a satisfied customer, use them! Whether you’re using their five-star review in your caption, or sharing a photo of them using your product, everyone loves to see other people like them enjoying or raving about your product. Yes, we know you’re people too—but we mean people who aren’t trying to sell them something.
Almost nothing does more for brand trust than showcasing real people who really bought your product and really love it. That speaks volumes more than your landing page ever could.
Having a hashtag specific to you or your customers is a great example. Encourage your loyal customers to use the tag when they’re posting photos of your products!
#7: Make Shopping a Breeze
When your customers are ready to buy, make sure there’s nothing in their way. You want to move them from point A to point B without them getting distracted or lost along the way. Social platforms are constantly rolling out new shopping and advertising features tailored for social media for retail. Use them!
#8: It’s All About the Details
You have a fantastic opportunity to wow your customers after they purchase something from you. Your work is not done once they click “pay now.” You can combine your social presence with your physical presence through packaging!
Stickers, business cards, thank-you cards, branded tissue paper—there are a million ways to personalize your packaging. Tap into your brand identity and add some flare to your orders. Really lean into that “happy mail” feeling. Those little details really stick with people—they’ll be more inclined to share it on social too! Who doesn’t love an unboxing video?
#9: Increase Value
The main goal of social media for retail? Creating lifelong fans of your brand. You want your customers to come back time and again because they trust you and love your product. Growing your follower count is great—and important—but you can’t stop there. Focus on how you’re increasing what your social following is worth over time.
Keep an eye on your analytics, always keep your customers in mind, and focus on long-term goals. You’ll get there.
Need some more guidance? Uptick is here to help. We’ve got a whole team for this kind of stuff; start a conversation with us today!