Social Media Tools for the Retailer!

Posted October 9, 2012 – 10:27 am in: Wholesale Closeout News

Trending Twitter hashtags, “Like Us” on Facebook, check out this viral video on YouTube, pinboards on Pinterest – the social media presence is a phenomenon that is hard to miss. Social media has changed many ways that individuals communicate and interact with each other.

As a retailer it may seem daunting to engage in social media and if you are using social media, questions may arise such as am I doing this right? Should I join Pinterest or LinkedIn or Myspace or Twitter? We’ll attempt to highlight some keys things that retailers need to know when using social media and in the process equip retailers with positive tools to help in their social media implementations.

Social media acts as an avenue to reach people and distribute information in turn building relationships. Because of this it is an important aspect of any retailers marketing mix. Monitoring social media sites for a retailer can be time consuming, but it is also fun! Whether you choose to blog, use Twitter, have multiple pinboards on Pinterest, or update your stores Facebook page, consider the time spent as a positive reinforcer for your retail store.

social media

1. Don’t overextend

This is very important. There are over 200 popular social media sites and even more that are less common. There is absolutely no way to have a presence on all of these sites, nor would you want to. The best thing is to choose which social media site or sites best fit your business and your target market. For instance if your business relies heavily on photographs then create an Instagram or Flickr account. These photosharing sites could also be linked to your Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest account. If you are comfortable with your Facebook page and not so sure about these other social media sites, explore them a little bit. See if there is a way to incorporate one other network and link it back to your Facebook page. In this way you are driving online traffic back to your store and reaching a wider audience. But keep in mind do not overextend your social media presence. You don’t want customers searching for your Facebook page or Twitter account that has been dormant for 6 months. If you have a social media site you’re neglecting just close the account and focus on the ones you can manage because at the bottom line you want to …. Do it well!

social media

2. Do it Well

If you know you absolutely do not have the time to write a blog or even microblog through Twitter then stick to your Facebook page and DO IT WELL. (There are even ways to link multiple social media accounts. HootSuite.com is a great tool where you can post simultaneously on Facebook and Twitter). Add new updates, pictures, and other content regularly. The world of social media is constantly changing daily and if you do not take the time to update on a daily basis your content will get buried under everyone else’s. Spend time linking with other business’s content. Your customers do not want 100% promotion of your store showing up on their Facebook news feed. They want to be able to join in a conversation with you. Think about this – 80% of the information should be ‘pull’. It is so important to get a positive and interesting conversation started and this can be achieved by linking to relevant fashion articles, posting pictures of accessories your business really loves, or linking to an informative YouTube video about great fall styles. The other 20% should be pushing your stores products, promotions, and relevant content.

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3. Monitor the flow

David Dalk an independent marketing consultant says, “Engage every person, whether it’s a positive idea or a complaint, and show them you’re listening and reacting. You’ll gain fans. They’ll root for you to succeed.” This is so true. Part of the daily activity on your social media sites should be to monitor the conversations surrounding your content. Whether it is multiple likes and comments on an article you post, retweets on Twitter, or repins and followers on Pinterest, take the chance to specifically engage with these people. If they say something positive about a photo you pin on Pinterest, thank them directly and in that moment you have an opportunity to pass along some information about your own products or store promotions. Or if a customer has some negative criticism about something you post or an experience they have had with your store, you must address it! Others will read this comment and the power of online word-of-mouth can spread like wildfire and you want the fire to be positive. So, take some time to address complaints with an apology and take the chance to make things right and improve. Other customers will see this and feel confident about continuing to follow you and shop at your store.

 

The keys are simply to keep the content flowing, monitor conversations surrounding your content, and take the time to develop a social media presence if you haven’t already. Customers will appreciate being able to like you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter or Pinterest. You’ll be in a position to reach more customers and generate positive word-of-mouth about your business!

Here’s a challenge for the week:

  • If you are not using any social media at all – start one this week
  • If you are only using 1 form of social media like Facebook – this week branch out and explore Twitter or Pinterest or another social media forum (if it doesn’t work you can always close the account, but give it at lease 3 months!)
  • If you have an account open on every social media forum and a dormant blog and a dusty old YouTube account – close some of these accounts and brush the dust off the one’s you’ve chosen to give more attention to

Have Fun With It!!

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