Social media for retail – a short guide

Corner Shop Retail photo for social media for retail article

I can’t often talk about the work I do when I support agencies as it’s under NDA. That’s the case this time around too.

But what I can say (I sound like a politician now) is that I just wrote a short guide about using social media for retail business growth.
Specifically, the guide focused on one section of the retail sector: those SME / small, local retail owners who will often – but not always – have less experience and fewer resources than the biggies.

It was commissioned by an agency for their UK Wholesaler client. It’s being supplied to their local retail customers (often small convenience stores) to help them grow their business. Which makes good sense all round. Whilst researching the guide I found some great examples from indie retailers, both here and in the States who use content marketing and social media for retail – and to great effect. And the wholesaler client also shared some great customer example uses / case studies. My work was done –  it was less a ‘teach’ type of guide and more a curation / explanation type of thing.

No blog post is complete without a bullet list so here are some reasons I gave for using social media (listed with novice store owner/manager marketers in mind).

  • You can reach local people and can get involved in your local community
  • You can showcase products and show off what you offer in the store
  • You can reach trade and suppliers, which gives you an avenue to interact with them and pick up ideas
  • You can link with and communicate with other retailers, learning from each other.
  • You can post offers (but don’t ‘hard sell’ your messages)
  • You can use Facebook to advertise for jobs in your store
  • Both Facebook and Twitter give you a 24 hour platform so you can focus on the store in the day your social media marketing out f hours.
  • That said, mobile apps allow you to easily interact on social media in the store, you’re not tied to a computer in the back office.
  • You can swap networks to reach different audiences. Some retailers use Pinterest and Instagram to post photos and communicate with specific audiences.
  • People can ‘review’ (give you a score)  publicly on Facebook, showing what a great business / store you have
  • You can detail your opening hours and your location, which is great customer service right from the start

There was also some ‘how to’ type of stuff and ideas for content that could be shared on social networks. I found it difficult to keep to around 10 pages actually.

I really enjoyed putting the guide together as I had a few local shop/trader compadres in my village in mind. They are all, to differing degrees, ‘on’ social media and doing a great job. But any tips I can give them and other small businesses around the country, that could help them to grow makes, me feel good.

 

Corner shop image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/polandeze/ under CC usage.

 

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