We probably don’t need to tell you that social media is a powerful marketing tool for promoting your business and engaging your customers. However, did you know that brick and mortar stores are in a unique position to play off the powerful combination of a physical store location and a robust online presence? Being able to visit a place can make those digital interactions more meaningful, allowing you to create relationships with your customers beyond their mobile phone or desktop.
How do you go about enhancing your relationship with your customers through social media? We have some tips for you below:
Tip 1: Use Social Media to Keep Your Store Top-of-Mind
People visit social media daily, and feeding the different streams regularly—Facebook updates, Pinterest pins, Instagram photos or tweets—means you are reaching perhaps hundreds of eyes at different times, reminding them you exist. Consistently making sure to announce new pet products, sales, and in-store or neighborhood events online keeps you visible and top-of-mind. Scheduling when and what you plan to post on a calendar helps immensely, but you don’t want to post so frequently that quality suffers. Share things pet owners will find interesting or of value, such as unique pet visitors or pet care tips.
Tip 2: Use the Most Effective Platforms
No two businesses are alike. Pet boutique stores and their products, branding, and perhaps even staff, will work better on some platforms over others. So don’t worry about being everywhere—focus on maximizing your engagement on the platforms that work well for your store. Pinterest, for instance, is a place where people gather ideas, while Twitter is a place to have a conversation. Facebook and Instagram are more advertising-friendly. You will also want to use platforms your current and potential customers are already on. Go ahead and ask your customers what social media platforms they use—that direct information is better than relying on the stats coming from Facebook.
Tip 3: Direct Back to Your Website
Your website should lie at the heart of your online presence. When the winds of change affect social media platforms, you don’t want your marketing to go along with it! Linking back to your website content, whether it’s a page, blog, or image, provides another opportunity for customers to connect with your store on your terms. Note that Instagram makes linking back a challenge within each post, so be prepared to change the links in your profile to correspond to your current marketing campaign.
Tip 4: Create for Interaction
Every social media platform has opportunities for users to interact, not just read or watch. Give your customers reasons to share your content: ask for comments or stories, hold picture contests for pets, and offer social-media-only sales. Partner with local organizations, like pet shelters and dog parks, and share each other’s events. Your goal is to entice your customers to interact with you online, reminding them of how much they like doing business with you and sharing that love with their friends. Don’t forget to reward them when they do engage by responding, sharing, and liking!
Leveraging the power of social media allows you to expand your brand, increase customer engagement, and get the word out about your products and services all at the same time. Visibility is essential to business success, and there’s nothing quite as visible anymore as a vibrant online presence.
Do you have any social media wins or uh-ohs to share with your peers? Visit our group Facebook Page to join the conversation!