Social Media for Retailers- Getting Started

January 30, 2016    

Social media is now a requirement for retail businesses. But how do you know what to do? How often should you post and what should you say?

Getting Started with Social Media

Get out a piece of paper-or a white board (my favorite thing) and start writing. First, think about your brand. What is your brand voice? Is your brand fun, serious, health conscious, environmentally focused, etc?

Next think about your audience. Are they younger, older, men or women? What kinds of jobs do they have? What are their other interests. Are they on facebook, twitter, pintrest, instagram, yelp, urbanspoon or are they reading blogs?

Start with a Social Media Plan

Like most things in your business, social media works better with a plan. Once you have decided who you are talking to and how you are going to talk with them, it is time to decide WHERE you are going to reach them.

If you are a small retailer, trying to get social media going, take one or two platforms and make a plan. Better to do one or two fully engaged, than to do a bunch of them half way. For most small retail businesses, the starting point will be Facebook and twitter (or instagram).

Decide what you want to promote next month. Are there any specials, promotions, contests or holidays that you need to talk about? New products or services that you will be offering? Make a list.

What else is your audience interested in? Think about ways that you can engage your audience. Are there great quotes you can share. If you are a restaurant, forget about posting about your restaurant one day and post a great quote (maybe in a graphic) that will get passed around or commented on. What about a recipe? Or once a week talk about a piece of equipment you love. Better yet-ask your audience what piece of equipment they can’t do without. What can you use in your business?

Choose your photos. Pick a photo for each of your posts. Photos are a great way to build interest.

Next pull up an excel spreadsheet  and create a calendar for the next month. (Download a Calendar Sample Here) Write down everything that you are going to say each day. Create at least one post a day for Facebook and 2-3 tweets for twitter. Every day. Tweak them, make them interesting, ask a question, take a poll, say something that will provoke a response.
Don’t forget to link back to your website or blog post as appropriate.

Then remember to post every day. And don’t be afraid to add a post or change it out if something happens and you want to be timely. On twitter and instagram, you want to make sure that you are adding something current and topical each day.

Once you are posting regularly, you can add promotions and contests. But the first step is to create the plan and get started. Let us know how you are doing.





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