The internet is a powerful tool that has been helping small businesses thrive. Between the power of websites, Google and social media, it doesn’t take long for a start-up retailer to get their products out there for the world to see. In fact, 88 percent of consumers pre-research their buys online before making a purchase either online or in person, which means your customers are doing a lot more internet work than you may think.
Social media is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to promote your business on the internet. Not only can it help to engage your current customers, but you can also attract new ones as well. All one has to do is share a photo or check in at your location, and then all of their friends can see their status update. Boom — instant free publicity.
According to Duct Tape Marketing, small businesses actually have a leg up when it comes to marketing on social media. The effectiveness of social media boils down to engagement, so if a company doesn’t engage with their customers, their marketing is practically useless. And if there’s anything indie retailers know best, it is creating personalized customer experiences.
To help your business build up your social media presence, Independent Retailer has some key factors to keep in mind when marketing yourself:
Always Include A Photo With Your Post
Photos are an essential, core component of a successful social media marketing strategy. Photos are so important that content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than content without images. Just think about yourself scrolling through either Facebook or Twitter — if you see a nice picture, you’re more likely to stop for a second and look at the post rather than scroll past it.
Especially if you’re posting a picture of a new product, your customers are more likely to share that post with their friends rather than if you just describe the product in a sentence or two. It’s important to still have descriptions with your image posts, but with such an image-conscious consumer base between both Millennials and Gen Z, photos should be the highlight of your posts.
Make Yourself Available & Connect With Your Customers
Another great thing about social media outlets is the ability to talk one-on-one with your customers via messaging. Keep your business number available for anyone who wants to call, but some consumers prefer the ease of messaging a quick question. It’s also comforting to know with small businesses, customers can get through to you or a member of your team instead of an automated robot.
Make sure to respond quickly as to keep the customer’s attention and let them know you’re there for them. It’s also easier for independent retailers to easily handle the influx of comments from customers. Always welcome reviews, questions, comments, and concerns from consumers. If they’re happy with a specific product, you can ask them to post a picture of it online to share with their friends.
Work With Other Retailers & Small Businesses In Your Area
This is especially important for retailers selling in the same area as your shop who also happen to sell the same types of products. Instead of competing against one another, you can team up and offer coupons to another business for customers who shop with you. Not only can this help promote businesses in the area, but it can also help keep customers loyal, especially if they know they’re getting discounts out of it.
Post about these deals and promotions on your social media accounts for your followers to easily share with their friends. By teaming up, you and the other retailers can build brand awareness, get on the radar of potential customers and encourage individuals to buy from both businesses. Camaraderie at its finest!
Utilize Small Business Saturday as a Marketing Advantage
Small Business Saturday (SBS) is a nationwide event that promotes small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This day was established by American Express in 2010 to encourage consumers to shop small, and it’s been growing ever since. Last year, American Express reported that an estimated 104 million American consumers supported local retailers and restaurants, spending $17.8 billion on Small Business Saturday 2018.
With its growing popularity, more and more businesses are taking part in SBS, making it easy for indie retailers to piggyback off the expensive marketing from the big guys. American Express already advertises loads for the big day, especially on social media, so make sure to follow them so you can repost all of their SBS marketing and add comments promoting your business.