We all know that social media is an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy, but choosing which platform can get confusing for any of us. If you find yourself sprinkling content here and there, jumping from one hot platform to another, and not getting the traction you desire, it could be that you’re spread too thin and perhaps don’t know enough about any of the platforms to maximize their features. If any of this sounds familiar, then try this: focus on one platform that your ideal customer uses most (even if you don’t personally prefer it) and once you’ve mastered that, then add another platform.
Each platform is very different, so taking it one at a time gives you an opportunity to get your strategy right. In addition, I strongly warn you against hiring a “young” person just because they’re young and then jumping on whatever platform they use because they’re comfortable with it. This is a mistake I’ve seen over and over that usually ends up with a frustrated retailer and lack luster marketing results. It shouldn’t be up to them to decide where to market your business. Yes, young people do tend to embrace the newest thing in technology and social media, but that doesn’t mean they know what to say to engage your customers or where your customers are online. Unless they have marketing experience, they may not know yet how to attract your ideal customer, write captions in your voice, and create content that is tailored to your specific audience or customer.
Think of it this way, if you were going to place an ad in a magazine and the person you just hired said they only read magazines about hunting (or any interest that does not apply to your shop or customer’s lifestyle) would you invest in advertising in those magazines? NO. Same here. Just like any other position you hire for, you need someone with the right skills to promote your business no matter their age. Or you need to know enough yourself to train someone. Which brings me to…
Once you’ve done the research of having conversations with customers about which platforms they’re on, how they use them and what they engage in while on the platform (groups, shopping, recipe swapping, etc) and chosen your platform, become a student of that platform. Learn all the functions and features of your chosen platform. Discover what is trending on that platform (types of posts, content, hashtags) and what the best practices are. Then test various types of content that reflect your store and the customer experience when inside your store. Even if you’re not going to be responsible for the social media marketing, I do recommend as the shop owner to have a good understanding of how it works, how to use it to create community and sales for your business, and have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is and what your brand voice is so that you can either train someone you hire or share this information with the agency you hire.
There are a lot of sources with free information on how to use any platform—including the platform itself—and there are also many people teaching online strategies, but they don’t necessarily focus on brick and mortar businesses. This is the chief reason I started this blog: to give brick and mortar shop owners a place to go for actionable tips, training, and inspiration all with the end goal of increasing foot traffic, not just web traffic. Because as I’m sure you know, customers will purchase more items per transaction in person vs in store.
The last thing for you to decide is how much time you can devote to promoting and amplifying your business on the platform. Be really honest with yourself and realistic about this. When it comes to being a part of the social media community, consistency is everything. It’s with that consistency and messaging that you create a connection strong enough to bring people into your store.
Inside my course, Retail Social Academy, retailers learn how to define their ideal customer, how to drive traffic from online to their stores, and strategies for promoting their shops on Instagram and Facebook and so much more.
For more information, go to: https://www.retailsocialacademy.com/rsa-reg