Do you ever get frustrated with people who can’t take their eyes away from their phone? Guess what? You can turn that frustration into a business opportunity! More often than not, if someone’s on their phone, they’re using some sort of social media platform to engage with friends, family and other businesses all over the world, it’s time to make your business one of those businesses!
There’s no doubt your ideal customer is on social media, looking for your product or service, and just waiting for your business to pop up on their news feed to take action. Can social media be beneficial for retail businesses? Hell yeah it can! Whether you sell your products online or you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, social media should be a crucial part of your marketing activities and one of the best ways to grow your business!
In 2018, there were an estimated 2.65 BILLION people using social media worldwide!
Social media and online presence is our modern day ‘advertising’ platform. Rather than using old fashioned radio & television, we now have access to a plethora of social media platforms to reach potential customers and engage with them in ways we have never been able to before. The sky is absolutely NOT the limit when it comes to what you want to do on social media, the ball is in your court! Let’s get creative and look at ways you can benefit from social media in your retail business.
Tell A Story
Every business and person has a story, and it needs to be shared. Now, not everyone will engage with your story, but not everyone is your ideal customer either. There will be a certain group of people, who will fall in love with your story, who will relate to it and engage with your business online, these people are your target market. By telling your own story and allowing them to relate to you, this provides you with an opportunity to help them and solve their problems - through the service or product you sell! See where we’re going with this?
According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses.
Get in Front of People
Nowadays, not many consumers will know who you are or what products/services you sell, unless you’re online, and if that’s where your customers are spending their time, that’s where you should be too! With a good social media presence you can be in front of your customers daily. Not every customer is going to be ready to buy from you when they see you pop up on their social media today. However, if you create an enjoyable experience, clearly demonstrate how you can help people, stay consistent on social media platforms, and engage with your customers regularly, there will come a time when someone is ready to buy a product or service that you offer and YOU will be the first business they think of! We like to call this one Brand Awareness!
Keep Them Updated
Social media is a great way to keep your customer base and audience updated on all things going on in your business. Perhaps you have a new service or product available? You’re running a sale this month? Or you have a new staff member you would like to introduce? Social media is the best platform to do this! Customers like feeling like they’re part of something special; bringing them into the business by sharing updates, behind the scene action, and meeting the team will make them feel like they are part of your journey.
The language you use online and the way you present your business through social media will become a big part of your branding and it will depict the type of audience who will be interested in hearing from you. Aim to keep your language and the overall message consistent throughout your social media presence and general business interactions, speak the language of your perfect customer and eventually you will grow an audience of like minded people who are interested in what you have to say, but most importantly what you have to offer!
The goal is to sell your brand beyond your products. It’s great if you get a sale from a new customer, but imagine if that sale turned into a loyal customer who returned again and again to buy more of your products, and recommend your business to other people? When a customer has a great experience and they love their product/service, why wouldn’t they want to come back for more?
Getting your brand in front of these customers regularly will help to build brand loyalty. With social media you can create valuable content for your customers; whether it be providing solutions to a problem they are having, lightening up the mood with a fun/silly post at the end of the day, or demonstrating how to use one of your products. The more a customer continues to engage with your brand on social media, the more loyal they will become to your brand and become a returning customer and great referral for other customers too!
Whether your customer has had a good, great or terrible experience, you want to know about it. Most social media platforms will have a review/feedback functionality, and this will help your happy customers share their great experience and recommend your business to other potential customers, or for other customers to express their disappointment. Now, of course bad feedback is not good but it does allow you to resolve the issue and perhaps finish with a happy customer, or work on your business customer service/products to ensure future customer experiences are not the same.
45% of smartphone users will read customer reviews before making a purchase.
Imagine if an uncertain customer jumped on your social media platform and found an endless list of great reviews on your product or service, they could easily make the purchase with confidence, no questions asked! But imagine it the other way around… if you had no platform for customer reviews, the customer would probably end up taking their money elsewhere and buying a similar product from your competitor with great reviews!
User Generated Content
Your happy customers can be a great source of content. This is called User Generated Content, it can be really fun and it’s a great way to encourage engagement. Not only does this create brand awareness (everyone always wants what everyone else has), but it also speaks volumes to your potential customers. A happy customer wants to tell the world about their new purchase, and it’s important to give them a way to do that. Customer photos are known to increase conversions and engagement amongst your audience; it gives them confidence when they see someone like themselves using your product, and it makes them want to be a part of the community of like minded people who use your product.
If you have an advertising budget, social media can be a great place to invest it! As we’ve already mentioned, your perfect customer is already online and plenty of them are ready to buy! Unlike the old forms of marketing/advertising where your budget could potentially be wasted in giving information to the wrong people (think radio & television), social media allows you to target a very specific audience so you can get your advertisement directly in front of your ideal customer! Now, we’re not going to lie, there’s a fine art to social media campaigns and using the platforms correctly to target your ideal audience. If you’re new to this and you want your hard earned dollars to be spent wisely, we can help set up social media advertising campaigns that will get you results and most importantly - SALES!
So, What Now?
Now you know all about WHY you should use social media in your business, it’s time to take action. Whether you have no social media presence whatsoever, or you’ve been a bit slack with being consistent on your social media platforms, we hope this can motivate you to develop a social media plan that you can stick to and start engaging with your customers online ASAP. There’s an endless list of social media platforms you can use to engage with customers, so it’s best to research what platforms your ideal customer uses regularly. We would recommend using 2-3 different platforms and executing them well, rather than spreading yourself too thin.
If you’re in need of professional help to develop a strategic marketing plan, decide on which platforms would be best for your business, establish a strong brand and create engaging content to drive more customers, take a look at our social media packages or get in touch with us today. We would love to discuss your business goals and work together to make them a reality!