Why Social Media is a Critical Tool for All Retailers

In a time where there are countless retailers competing for consumers’ attention – it’s a no-brainer that you need to find ways to make your business stand out. That means you should be doing more to not only optimise your marketing strategy but also to engage with your prospects and existing customers.

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But how? Social media – that’s how. With the number of worldwide social media users expected to reach 2.95 billion by 2020, you have a huge audience at your fingertips. Furthermore, if you don’t evolve and increase your visibility with social content, then you risk losing out on a lot of business.

Using social media can help you to build awareness about your retail store and attract new customers. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, etc. also provide you with a wealth of information about consumers and which of your products are favoured by buyers.

The bottom line? Social media is a critical tool for converting prospects into repeat customers, offering you more than any other form of traditional marketing.

Photos and videos

Today’s customers live in a fast-paced world and they don’t always have time to read a lengthy article. Photos and videos are simple ways to captivate your target customers and grab their attention. It could be that you have a new product about to hit the market. Maybe you just gave your stores a redesign. Don’t just write about it. Share visuals. Consumers can’t get enough of them and they encourage interaction.

Social media for retailers is about personalising the seller to consumer experience and influencing customers’ behaviours. As long as your photos and videos are relevant to your business, they’ll help you to build trust between you and the people you want to reach much quicker, as well as humanise your retail brand.

Real-time engagement

Social media platforms let your customer service representatives respond to your followers’ comments and feedback in real time. This is gold for retailers, as it helps you nurture and maintain your relationships with your customers. You’d be surprised how many people turn to retailers’ social media pages to ask questions, comment on products or post any concerns rather than visiting the store or contacting customer care teams.

You’re lucky to have the opportunity to stay engaged with your customers online, so don’t ever waste it. And let’s not forget about Facebook Live. It allows your team or brand advocates to have a live conversation with your audience. That’s brilliant news, especially as people prefer to connect with you in real time for a more intimate experience and to get direct replies to their questions and comments immediately.

User-generated content

Believe it or not, you can actually get your customers to generate content for your retail brand. As long as you give them a worthwhile incentive, they’ll jump on board in no time. You could ask your social media followers to share or tweet a photo of a product they bought in your store to win a prize. Whether you only award the best entry or offer multiple prizes to make people feel they have more chances to win something, just be sure to pick a prize that’s relevant to your business.

When you ask your audience to contribute to your content creation, it’s basically free advertising. Plus, people are more interested in hearing about the things their peers like than your sales messages. But that’s not all. You will have created a way to continually engage with your customers, build and maintain relationships that truly connect and widen your reach.

Time to get social

In light of everything I’ve said, there has never been a better time to start embracing the use of social media to boost awareness about your retail business. Shoppers appreciate retailers who care about engaging with their online community, meaning they’ll be more inclined to buy your products.