Using Social Media to promote your business
More than a quarter of shoppers now follow retailers on social media. Don’t miss out.
Social media is an incredibly effective marketing tool if it’s done well – you can increase your potential customer base, really engage with them, boost your business’s profile and increase sales.
But it’s essential to take time to think and plan – don’t just rush into this for the sake of it; make sure you use social media to your full advantage.
Partners for Growth’s free and impartial expert advice helps independent retailers improve their overall business performance. Besides information on best sellers, category management, merchandising and layout, it offers insight into best practice, including making the most of social media opportunities.
Working with members of Partners for Growth’s seven-strong Retailer Advisory Panel, who have been making use of social media for sometime, we’ve been able to compile a handy factsheet with hints and tips on how you can maximise your impact in social media so that it becomes a valuable asset for your business.
"Social media is a free tool that works wonders if done the right way,” says member Mandeep Singh, of Singh's Premier, Sheffield.
Singh's Super Heros Fundraising Event
As well as communicating price promotions and competitions, his store’s Facebook page carries posts about community activities, including charity fundraising and sponsorship of local sports teams. It also has its own fantasy football league – a great way of building community spirit and encouraging shoppers to make contact in store.
“We have been active on Facebook for a year now,” adds Mandeep. “We've gone from 291 members to 9,000 plus. It helps us to engage with our customers, build loyalty and through word of mouth attract new customers [...] We've just started on Twitter and that's also doing really well."
Fellow panel member Jonathan James, of The James Graven Group, agrees that social media has been great for his business overall, particularly Twitter.
“We’ve found it a great way to connect on a more personal level with our customers", explains Jonathan. "We use it to help build our brand, drive traffic to the website and keep up with the latest trends in the industry.”
Follow our simple tips below and download our Social Media Fact Sheet to help you to take full advantage of these powerful free marketing tools.
Do your research
- Search your name, and your store name on Google – your customers may already be doing this - and see what comes up! If you like it, then build on it, if not then start working to change it!
- Look at the other businesses’ social network profiles.
- See what works and what’s popular
Think about what you want to include
- Discounts, rewards, giveaways and competitions – 44% of shoppers want these
- Daily deals on high value categories such as Laundry and Personal Care tempt Top Up shoppers
- For categories where NPD is critical, such as Ice Cream and Personal Care, highlight new stock or limited editions
- Posting a ‘secret’ word for followers to get discount on certain items could bring in new customers. You could base these around ‘Food For Now’ items, such as hot drinks
- ‘Meal For Tonight’ seasonal recipes and promotional deals will draw in shoppers seeking easy meal solutions on their way home from work
- Questions that engage users – eg. favourite ice cream or soup flavour? Can give you useful feedback
- A forum for customers to interact – swapping recipes etc – creates a community feel and highlights some of your products
- Social media conversations can help cultivate relationships – those customers will come into the shop to spend
- Posting pictures and profiles of staff gives the store a friendly feel
- Highlighting involvement in local concerns or fundraising creates a positive community image
But do take care about what not to say!
Don’t get drawn into disputes or spats with other people on social media, as there is the possibility for recourse through the law. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, then don’t say it on social media!
Social Media Factsheet Downloads...