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3 top tips for retail social media

Posted: 8 August 2019

Social media is everywhere. We spend more than 215 weekly minutes on social media via smartphone, and more than 80 per cent of us in the States has a social media profile. The prolific use of social media within the US provides an opportunity for retailers. Here are our top three tips for bricks and mortar stores to get the most out of retail social media.

1. Engage

Social media provides a platform from which retailers can tell their story and build a sense of community. By posting content relevant to followers, the retailer becomes a part of their world and the follower’s sense of loyalty to the retailer increases. It’s about showing you are on the ‘same page’ as your followers, you understand their interests and you are an integral part of their interests.

Passive engagement activities could include re-posting content from other places that will interest your customers. Active engagement activities could be running special promotional campaigns that get your customers doing something linked to your brand. Victoria’s Secret ran a successful active engagement campaign where social media followers took a selfie outside of their store and then received a free gift within the store once they had posted the photo to social media using the special hash tag. The really clever thing about this campaign was that it mixed the social media world with the retail environment and got people down to the stores.

2. Urgency

Use social media to widely promote special offers that are available for a very short time such as flash sales, special codes and limited-time offers. People instinctively don’t like to miss out, so quick-time offers get snapped up and can create a frenzy of excitement both online and within the store.

This is another way that you can mix the world of social media with your in-store environment – a promotion online that is redeemed in the store for example. Nike took this to the extreme when launching their Air Max 270, setting up pop-up stores around Paris for just one afternoon and announcing it on social media. Within a very short time queues could be seen around the city and all the pairs of trainers had been snapped up.

3. Responsive

It is imperative to be responsive to your followers on social media. We talked above about creating a community related to your brand on social media, part of this is being responsive to comments and encouraging dialog.

Your social media presence helps increase the amount of time potential customers spend interacting and engaging with your brand – it is not only the time they spend within your store. In this way social media provides a huge opportunity for bricks and mortar retailers. And active participation and discussions from your followers are an indicator of brand connection and trust.

Remember this is also where many customers will go if they wish to complain. Complaints left unanswered damage your bottom line, with one in three people going elsewhere if they are ignored online. Take the time to regularly check in and respond.

Key take away

While the tough retail environment shows no signs of abating, social media provides an opportunity for bricks and mortar retailers to retain and build their businesses. Social media can be used to increase interest, build brand loyalty, and encourage footfall in to the store. If a retailer wants to succeed on today’s retail climate they cannot afford to be out of the game, social media is a necessity for success.

Read our in-depth article ‘Is social media helping retail?’ for more ideas.

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