Social media is gaining authority and any business that is not present on one of its platforms runs the risk of falling behind its more digitally available competitors. As of January 2018, there were approximately 3.196 billion social media users around the world, which shows a growth of 13% from 2017. This Smart Insights data suggests that not only are billions of people — and potential consumers — engaging with social media platforms, but that this number is also growing.
Is your retail company currently making the most of social media? Or is there more you can do to boost your marketing return-on-investment rate? Browse our social media for retail guide to start gaining brand influence on your social media platforms.
Boast about your brand’s achievements
Social media gives you a stage from which to shout about your accomplishments as a brand. There are many retail awards events hosted throughout the year that highlight industry-specific accomplishments, as well as countless corporate events that are designed to promote networking within the sector. So, why not use these to harness the power of social media?
Make sure you take plenty of snaps of your team at your next award show or business event and get these on your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Consider using a customised selfie frame featuring your brand logo to give your upload an edge! This not only shows you’re a modern company, but it also gives your brand a personality and allows your audiences to see real people rather than just products and a company logo. Of course, many businesses have cottoned onto this brand-boosting tactic, so you need something to stand out. According to a study commissioned by Tesco Mobile, Brits scroll just over five miles on their smartphones a year, so you must make your visual posts as interesting as possible to capture a ‘scrolling audience’.
Investigate your platforms
Ideally, you’ll be present on multiple social media channels in order to reach a wide audience. According to the same Smart Insights report mentioned previously, Facebook claims the title of most daily active users in the UK, followed by Snapchat, Instagram, and finally, Twitter.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms all have their merits, so it’s important to research which is best for your brand and consumer. Look at which of your platforms has the most followers — this will show you where to channel the majority of your efforts. Then, determine which have the least and start boosting these numbers. Many brands have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but fewer may invest much time in Instagram and Snapchat. This imbalance of efforts could be detrimental to your company — particularly when you consider the fact that Snapchat is anticipated to overtake Twitter in ad revenue by 2019.
Don’t simply advertise
Although social media is a great free platform for advertising, try not to make your social media presence solely about this.
Knowing the typical age, location, family situation and interests of your target audience will help you create content that will engage with them and stop them from simply scrolling past you. If your target consumer is mainly parents, then share information about family-related topics. If you sell to mainly professionals, keep your posts and language tone mindful of this. Remember, despite being a retail business, not every post has to be about your company or industry: you can further your engagement with your target consumer if you discuss topical trends, too.
Pose questions and upload exciting posts to boost the rate of shares and engagement. Uploading an image of a new product or simply posting details about an upcoming sale with a link to your site isn’t going to cut it in 2018 and beyond. Brand social media is about creating a conversation and familiarising people with your company to boost brand loyalty and awareness. Conversions and repeat customers will follow.
Get on board with social shopping
There are around 17.2 million people aged 13 and over on Instagram in the UK. That’s a lot of people who may be spending their time browsing products that they need to buy. With the shopping feature on Instagram, you can create a virtual store for your retail brand and sell your products using descriptions and high-quality images, letting people browse items without leaving the app. Cost-effective, fast and simple to create; this feature is a retailer’s dream. Plus, Instagram doesn’t take anything from your transactions.
The opportunity of video
Four-fifths of online content will be video by 2019, according to Entrepreneur Europe. But is your brand prepared for the shift towards video or not? Your first step towards bringing together engagement with advertising on social media is Facebook’s live streaming feature. Using just a smartphone, you can record videos like tutorials and demonstrations to offer your followers quality content that they want to engage with. For example; if you sell tech gadgets, do a livestream of how to set these up, or give a beauty tutorial if your range includes cosmetics.
How about asking your staff if they mind being filmed while doing their day-to-day tasks in the factory or office? This can help personalise your brand to its target audience. Let your staff chat about your company’s processes to open channels of communication with your followers and let them see the innovative processes and dedicated workers behind your brand. Alternatively, you can video charity events and team-building events that your staff take part in — this will show that your brand cares about more than profits.
Is 2018 the year that you take social media seriously?