3 tips for social media for independent retailers

Did you know that 90% of shoppers turn to social media for retail and for help with buying decisions? This is a great thing as it allows you to engage with customers at every step of their purchase journey. Social Sprout say the top 5 reasons shoppers follow a brand on Twitter are as follows:

  1. Promotions and discounts
  2. For latest product information
  3. Customer support
  4. Entertaining content
  5. Ability to offer feedback

Social media can be a really effective tool to help grow your customer relationships and help drive online sales and offline footfall. For the time-strapped independent business owner, social media can be seen as a mundane and unimportant task, but with a little elbow grease and some clear guidelines, it can be turned into a great sales and customer support channel.

1. Listen 

Look out for mentions of your business on social networks. You can monitor this by tracking your business name and products on Twitter using the search function, be sure to include variations of your business name as your customers won’t stick to your brand guidelines. Tweetdeck is a great tool you can use to set up searches and monitor them – you can also reply to your customers from here.

You can also help out customers who aren’t aware of you yet by searching for questions and terms they may be talking about. For example, a local coffee shop may want to search for people who are saying ‘Need a coffee’and reach out to them.

2. Respond

People often take to social media to air negative feedback, that’s cool,  you can’t please all the people all of the time but you must respond. The general rule is to acknowledge what your customer is saying and tell them how you’re going to sort it out. It is best to take the conversation offline as quickly as possible.

Example: Sorry to hear that [name], DM us your email address and order number and we’ll sort this out for you.

And don’t forget to reply to the positive comments too and show your customers some love.

3. Give people a reason to visit 

Give customers a reason to visit your store. Using social media to post promotions, new products and in-store events helps spread the word and attract new shoppers. Think of how you’d attract customers offline and translate this to your posts on social, if you need help getting started take a look at this guide for attracting local customers.

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