I was recently asked to write an article on social media which was distributed across Australian independent shoe retailers. As social media can be confusing for a lot of small businesses owners I thought I would share it here for all independent retailers who are wanting to maximise their business and sales.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Linkedin. The list goes on and on and on with social channels that retailers can use to market their business online. When looking at them en-masse it can be overwhelming, daunting and intimidating for any retailer wanting to make their mark in the digital space. However when you strip it back to basics it can be manageable and an effective tool.
My top 7 tips for managing your social media presence are:
- Choose two channels and do them really, really well.
I’m a big believer in the K.I.S.S theory. Keep It Simple Stupid. The number one mistake many small businesses make is spreading themselves across every social media channel thinking it will reach the most people and customers. If you’re an owner/operator this can be extremely exhausting and can suck you into the social media vortex of time consumption. It will give you a false sense of hope and will cause desperation, frustration and irritation.
So look where your customers are and from there you will figure out which two channels work best. i.e: GenY & Z is on Instagram and Snapchat, 30+ is on Facebook and Pinterest.
Once you have chosen the best channels, spend the time fine tuning your presence and building your community of followers. I always compare building a social media following to a seed growing into a beautiful flower. Its takes time and a bit of work initially, but the end result is so rewarding.
- Change your attitude.
Social Media is about community building and brand awareness, it’s not about the sell sell sell, its seduce, seduce seduce!! Yes it will lead to sales but only once you change your mindset. Once you start viewing your followers as a community that needs nurturing and enticing, you’ll see your business thrive. You need to make each and everyone one of your followers feel special and that they are part of your business. This is why they follow you, they are not only showing you their loyalty, they want to be kept up to date with your news. Make them feel like they are part of your business and watch the sales increase.
- Fine-tune your merchandising skills for photography.
You merchandise your store to attract the passers by. Start doing the same for your social media posts. Pretty posts go a long way. There is a reason it’s called a “browser”, the public are mindlessly scanning, double tapping here and liking there. Because consumers are endlessly scrolling through their newsfeeds you need to jump out and grab their attention. Creating attractive posts will get them engaging with your posts. The more they “comment” or “like” your photos on Facebook, the more you will appear in their newsfeed without having to give a cent to Facebook. Your posts will also dictate to you what your followers like and don’t like. So get creative, experiment and have fun while you nut out what works and what doesn’t work.
- Be authentic and stay true to your brand/store.
Ignore what everyone else is doing. Only you know your customers’ needs and wants. What works for one store or brand isn’t necessarily going to work for you. Every shop is different and your social media presence should reflect this. Develop your own style and stick to it. The most successful businesses on social media are the ones who have created their own unique appearance that stands out from the rest.
- Don’t act desperate.
We’ve all been there, it’s been a slow week, sales are down and your social media posts aren’t getting any engagement. These times can bring on what I like to call “pang posts”. Consumers can feel desperation when they walk in a store and they can certainly sense it on social media.
Stay strong and continue being true to your presence. Its just a little speed hump and you will drive right over it.
- Post consistently.
The shelf life of a Facebook post is 24hrs, a Tweet is 2hrs and Instagram is 6hrs. You need to stay in consumers’ minds, constantly. They might not be purchasing anything right now but they may well do so in the future. Posting regularly reminds consumers you are there for when they are ready to make their purchase.
- Surprise and Delight.
Everyone loves to feel special and rewarding loyalty goes a long way. By keeping a close eye on your followers will be able nut out the loyal ones from the flakes. If you have a follower/customer who regularly likes, shares or comments on your posts and who also shops at your store, spontaneously surprise them them with a gift voucher. Either give it to them in store or contact them via social media. See them squeal in delight sharing the news with their few hundred Facebook friends and at the same time watch your page likes grow.
Also If you are a small business needing a social media shake-up you can book a for a one-on-one intensive session with moi.
More details -> here