Social Media Basics for Brick and Mortar Retailers
You may have accepted that you can’t advance in this day and age without social media and a digital presence, but you don’t really know where to start. We’re here to help.
It is important to understand; how to use social media effectively, why you are using social media, and which platforms to use for your business type and industry instead of diving in blindly. In the case of brick and mortar retailers especially, many believe that it is not necessary to have a strong digital presence or be on social media if their offerings are exclusively offline. Many believe that simply creating a profile on every social media platform will do the trick. This is not the case. If you are going to invest in social media for your business you need to be fully invested and this means posting frequently and consistently while actively engaging with your followers.
Where to start with social media
For brick and mortar retailers the best place to start is Google My Business, although many argue that this is not a social media platform, Google My Business will play a vital role in making your business searchable and then locatable.
Google My Business makes it easier for people to find valuable information about your business on Google search and Google Maps, including directions to your company, trading hours, ratings and pictures of inside and outside the store. To claim your business on Google My Business simply visit www.google.co.za/business/ and follow the instructions on screen.
If you already have a Google My Business listing check that all of your information is up to date. You do not want to lose foot traffic because Google Maps is telling people your business is closed or gives the wrong directions.
What social media platforms to choose
Many believe that they have to be on every possible platform, but running a business’ social media is time consuming and the majority of these platforms are often neglected. It is better to pick out two or three platforms and manage them well.
Twitter is great for larger companies that deal with a lot of customer service issues or those working in media. Pinterest is mostly used by creative and makers – so this can be very beneficial in the DIY industry, and Instagram only works if you have visually appealing content. LinkedIn is best used for B2B marketing. Each platform has its pros and cons and should be considered carefully but for retailers Facebook is a no-brainer.
This year Facebook announced that it has reached over two billion users. With this reach potential and Facebook’s superior advertising capabilities you can be sure that your business will be in good hands here.
Making the most of your social media
It is important to keep your social media activity consistent once you have stared. When clients see that you haven’t posted to Facebook in months they can get weary and wonder if the business is still running. Unanswered comments – whether they are positive or negative –can lead people to thinking that a business does not care about what their customers have to say.
Before assigning the task of managing your social media to someone in your company make sure that the person responsible is knowledgeable in social media, or send them on a social media course to ensure that your company pages are managed in the best possible way. Hiring a professional social media agency is also an effective option – this way you can rest assured knowing that your social media and online reputation will be well taken care of.