Finding a formula or social media concoction that works for retailers can be rocket science if you make it, keeping things simple is best! Like other forms of advertising your social media target audience should be identified and a plan must be created. Most independent retail stores have a target audience of generation ages 32-54 to older boomers (65+). Of course there are over a dozen decent solutions waiting to eat away your valuable time; a few include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Google Buzz, FourSquare, and Tumblr. So, how would you dare know where to begin spending time on the social web?
First and foremost, while this article is being written, printed, and distributed Facebook has just gained enough users to make up a small country. There are more subscribers to Facebook than there are people in the United States. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest country in the entire world just behind India and China. Therefore, your uno, number one choice for social marketing for retail stores and brands should be Facebook!
With over 500,000 users think of Facebook as the largest newspaper in the world that more than 50% of the subscribers actually login to read every single day. Yes! That’s exactly what happens people read what’s happening in the world by going to their Facebook “newsfeed” before they open their email! Facebook makes it easy for people to like and share all of their favorite things. When each subscriber has an average of 130 friends you can bet that those “things” that they like spread like wild fire!
So what’s the missing piece of the puzzle??? Many independent retailers dive into Facebook and other social media as if they’re the BIG BOX and BIG BRAND. Think about it! Does the world know your brand? Do they know of your store? OR do they know YOU!??? In many instances, many independent retailers fail to use their personal relationships in their social media campaigns.
How do you rewind??? Start by creating a personal page, expand your knowledge with the platform and then of course find some friends. You may be thinking there’s no place or space for you. Or that you prefer not getting caught up in the social web or that you’d just prefer a “place” to advertise your business. The last excuse is what I tend to hear most from retailers…they want a “place to advertise” their stores for free. Free is good, but it working to increase your bottom line is better.
Building your “personal” page and “personal” friendships on Facebook are more valuable than you think Remember: Each Facebook user has an average of 130 friends. Therefore, if you can find 100 friends that are in your community that already know you, like you, and may know of your store, then your chances of reaching the masses for FREE are greater!
After setting up your personal page, first and foremost….make the page personal! Fill in as much information as possible on your info tab. You can choose to hide specific information by going to account (top right hand corner) and then privacy settings. I recommend that you leave your information page visible to all, yet hide your posts and wall so that people have to ask you to be a friend in order to see your comments and posts. Be sure to add photos, comments, and positive personal comments that are well written. Post your favorite quotes so that your new friends know something about you.
Next, on the right hand column of Facebook Newsfeed, under Get Connected allow Facebook to find your contacts from your email service provider (ESP). If you haven’t imported your customer email list into your ESP, you’ll want to do so. With a couple of clicks, Facebook will begin to find ALL of your customers for you almost effortlessly. You’ll have hundreds of friends before you know it!
You maybe thinking…”I don’t care about having friends, Christi!” I want my business to benefit! On social media it’s most important for your to connect personally so that you can advertise your business secondly. Think of how your relationships with sales reps, if you have a relationship with a sales rep you’re more likely to buy from their manufacturer. The same is true for your customers.
In most cases, the BIG box stores have products that are like or could replace the products you have in your store. What is the major difference between “Jane’s Hallmark” and Target? RELATIONSHIPS! Target and Wal-Mart change employees faster than most of us change underwear! Independent retailers have the advantage of the relationships and customer service-make yours count 🙂
To learn more about marketing your retail store on social media including Facebook and Twitter, join Christi at AmericasMart University – Thursday, January 13 at 9 a.m. Location: Building 1, Floor 10, Room 1002
Have questions about Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, or other social media sites? Ask Christi on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/PuTTinOuT