Let’s Ask Google: How Do I Use Social Media For Retail?

Amy Statham

Everyone and their grandmother are on social media, but can it actually sell? Is it a beneficial tool for retailers? We say yes. A big yes. Social media can be incredibly useful by way of marketing your product, nurturing customer relationships, developing a brand community and in the end, helping to drive sales.


Market Your Product

Social media can be very persuasive in influencing purchasing habits. It’s estimated that Pinterest and Facebook influence 28-31% of women’s clothing purchases. In addition, fashion bloggers also influence 34-36% of women’s clothing purchase choices! Although these statistics are only in terms of women’s clothing, you can bet that other areas of retail see similar numbers. The lesson here is that social media influences purchasing decisions. So how do you get your product seen?

Nurture Customer Relationships

Everyone wants his or her voice to be heard, especially online. When someone tweets at you or leaves you a Facebook comment – whether it be a compliment, question or criticism, it’s important to address them in both a timely and friendly, civilized manner. Once you display a positive and engaging social media presence it’s more likely that you will attract more existing customer to engage with you and in turn, potential new customers! An important rule of thumb is to not; I repeat not delete negative feedback. Instead, handle the criticism in a civil, rational manner that shows others who may stumble onto your page that you’re willing and able to address any issues that may arise. Great customer service = happy customers.

Another tool that can be useful is bloggers. Regardless what product your selling, even if you’re a restaurant, there’s likely a blogger that blogs about whatever you’re selling. It’s always worth it to reach out and see if they’re interested in promoting your product in some way. It can mean great exposure for your product, help foster new relationships, and lead to new customers.

Social Media Tips And Tricks

Are you there Internet? It’s me, Margaret. Often times if you put out a question to the vast expanse that is the Internet, someone will answer. People are incredibly eager to put their opinion out there and let you know what they think of your picture/ quote/ statement/ etc. Develop a unique hashtag and encourage your following to use it when talking about your product. This not only makes it easier for you to track when people are discussing your brand, but it also increases brand visibility. When you see your brand or product being discussed on any social media platform, don’t hesitate to jump in on the conversation! Reply, comment or like the interactions to let people know you’re listening. Everyone wants to feel special and know their voice is heard, why not be that person to validate them?

Develop A Brand Community

On top of engaging with existing and potential customers, you want to encourage new leads and new customers. Participate in popular online phenomenon like Throwback Thursday, Tuesday Shoesday, Flashback Friday, etc. Do some research on the most popular and appropriate hashtags for your brand and industry. Simply hashtagging your tweets and Instagram posts with appropriate hashtags can be a great way to gain exposure and get in on conversations that people interested in your product are discussing. Check out what other people are talking about in relation to your brand, product or service. Engage with those who are talking about your area of expertise. All of this will help to foster a brand community. If people know they’re going to get feedback and be acknowledged by you, they’re more likely to engage. Then, when they mention you and your brand, their entire following will see how socially savvy you are and the great customer relations you’re implementing.

Stay On Top Of Things

You’ve marketed your product. You have all the appropriate social platforms. You’ve developed a brand community and you’ve nurtured your relationships. What’s next? Keep going and stay on top of interactions! Make sure you keep all of your product information, deals, sales, location, phone numbers, and other important information up to date! Make the most of your exposure by capitalizing on the immediacy of the Internet. Having a sale? Tweet about it! Product deal? Post on Facebook! However, when these deals and sales end, it’s important to update the information on your website and all social platforms.

At the end of the day, no one knows your product or brand like you do! Make sure your social media is an extension of your brand or products personality (in conjunction with these handy tips) and you’ll soon see that social media is an incredibly valuable tool for retail!

Need some help with your social media campaign and strategy? Feel free to contact us!


Amy Statham

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