In the 15 or so years since coming on the scene, social media has become an indispensable tool for most businesses. This is particularly true for the retail industry as social media platforms offer a fantastic way of creating meaningful connections with customers. Yet despite its many clear advantages, only 41% of independent retailers rate social media as a very effective marketing tactic.
What are the benefits of social media for independent retailers?
When intelligently leveraged, social media can yield many positive results for retailers. For example, social media can help to drive purchases as customers can often be driven from social channels to in-store visits. In fact, one research study has found that 60% of customers engage with a brand across their social channels before making a purchase.
Another major benefit of social media is that it can be used to build loyalty and increase customer retention rates. A steady base of loyal customers is the key to sustainable profitability and retailers can encourage loyalty by sharing authentic, engaging content on social media.
Customers who engage on social media spend between 20-40% more in the long-term. You can encourage loyalty by using social media as a customer service tool as ensuring customers get quick and informed responses to queries on social is just as important as having it via phone, email or in person.
If you’re feeling creative and your social media manager looks like they need some inspiration, you can discuss how to turn customer feedback into trust-building social media posts.
Creating a cohesive social media & in-store experience
To get the most out of social media, it’s important to put serious consideration into strategy and content. Sadly, many retailers don’t use social media strategically enough to drive sales and customer engagement. With social platforms brimming with millions of brands vying for customers’ attention, it can be all too easy to get lost in the crowd.
So, what can you do to set yourself apart from the competition?
The first step would be to check out this infographic from Colourfast which outlines the role played by social media in guiding the online customer’s journey and offers an insight into the many ways in which retailers can integrate their social presence into their in-store experience. It provides some inspirational examples from famous brands and sums up some simple key takeaways on the topic.
Hopefully, you will take away a few practical pointers from it. Enjoy!