If you own a store or e-commerce site, you know just how important social media can be to the success of your retail business. While having a strong social media presence is essential for retailers small and large alike, it’s easy for even the most social media savvy retailers to make common mistakes when interacting with their customers online.
If you’re trying to buff up your social media profile to increase traffic to your store or website, there are a few things you won’t want to do. Among them? These five commonly-made mistakes via social media below.
Neglecting Your Target Audience
All too often, retailers make the mistake of posting the type of content that theywant to see via their social channels versus generating content catered to their target customers. For example, sharing a last-minute announcement of an in-store sale may seem like the right post to make…but stating you have a sale versus identifying why customers should want to come to that sale are two very different posts to make. The best way to avoid these types of mistakes are to know your audience, therefore positioning yourself to better communicate to this target market. From content to imagery to social campaigns and more, you can generate maximum traction for company’s top demographics when curating the right posts based on your target audience.
Failing to Differentiate Content by Channel
Your customers use different social media platforms for different things, so it doesn’t make sense to stream the same piece of content on all of your company’s social media accounts. Instagram, for instance, should be used to share aspirational or beautiful imagery that best represents your brand while Twitter is a great place to posts links to articles that might highlight your retail business. Facebook, on the other hand, is a great platform to share insight that establishes your store and the people who make up your team as experts in your respective retail space. Remember, it all comes down to understanding the type of content that your target customer connects with on each type of platform and then making that content work for your business’s goals.
Posting at Inconsistent Times
There is no overstating the importance of posting consistently on your branded social media channels. Think of your social media activity as an ongoing relationship with your customers. If you don’t post for a few days – or suddenly stop responding to your followers – it can lead to unfollows and decreased engagement from your social audience. To prevent this, set a goal for how many daily social media posts you will do on each channel, and don’t hesitate to utilize Hootsuite or Buffer to help you preplan your posts when you know you will be busy. The catch? While automation can help you stay consistent, don’t let automation overpower your authentic brand voice. Stay engaged with your audience via social media to ensure they stay engaged with your brand, as well.
Letting Your Content Become Predictable
Boring content is the kiss-of-death for retailers on social media. Luckily, live video is skyrocketing in popularity, and it is a great way to prevent your content from getting stale. Most social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter give users the ability to stream live video into their feeds. However, live video alone doesn’t have enough staying power to hold up your entire content marketing strategy. According to Adobe, “live streaming within Facebook and Instagram can boost engagement in the moment, but tend to get buried once the moment is over. You also need (lasting) video content that is short, snappy, and captures attention within 3 seconds.” Keeping this in mind, what can you show off in your store via video that both engages and inspires your customers? Whether it’s fashion trends or how-to-videos or employee introductions that share fun, quick insight to the personalities that make up your business, there is no shortage of video content to share via social.
Forgetting to Respond to Customers
Customers have zero patience when it comes to waiting for brands to respond to their questions and comments on social media. In fact, Statista reports that 48 percent of global customers expect brand to respond to their queries in “24 hours or less,” and 18 percent of customers expect responses from brands within the hour. What does this mean for your company? When engaging with customers on social media, it’s important to respond ASAP to avoid losing out on sales and online engagement. Of course, you can’t be on social media all of the time, so consider ways to handle online customer service without compromising response time. This may mean allocating employees to watch social media during certain time frames or setting store standards on how to response to specific inquiries. The main takeaway is this, however…don’t overlook the value of engaging via social media to ensure your customers feel as if you care.
It’s important to avoid the pitfalls listed above so that your company’s social media progress keeps moving in the right direction. After all, social media is an essential component of your company’s ability to generate traffic and ultimately to boost sales from consumers. Keep your eye on the prize of increasing profits for your business…and enjoy added visibility for your retail business along the way.
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By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, RetailMinded.com