Social media can be a great way for retailers to reach customers on social media. It’s a great tool to really engage with your audience, to build loyalty and sell your products and service but it can also be easy to get it wrong. These 5 common mistakes to avoid will help you get the most out of social media.
One of the biggest mistakes that retailers can make on social media is thinking that they know and understand their audience without doing their research. With the wealth of information available through Google Analytics and the analytics and insights on each of the platforms, it’s possible to learn all the information that you need to know about your customers, including who they are, where they are, what content they like and when they are most likely to be online. Once you fully understand your audience you can create content that they are more likely to engage with, at the right time and on the right platform. Without doing your research you are much more likely to get it wrong.
Each social media platform operates differently but this can sometimes be forgotten. General themes and the message can be the same but should be adapted for the different platforms and you shouldn’t link your accounts so that content from one is automatically pushed to another one. Net-A-Porter, for example, have showcased their 70s influenced fashion favourites on Facebook and Twitter. The core images are the same but the message and the image have been adapted with a video on Facebook and an image on Twitter.
As each of the platforms make changes and continue to add tools it is important to stay up to date. It can be tempting to stick with what you know but that means that you could be missing out on new tools to help you get your content and your products in front of your customers. Are you using the carousel on Pinterest, live video on Facebook, using notifications to monitor messages and interactions with your customers, Stories on Instagram and have you verified your profile on Twitter?
Fundamentally retailers are on social media to sell products so there can be a tendency to talk about them all the time but this is the easiest way to turn your customers away. Yes, you can talk about your products but you shouldn’t talk about them all the time. The reverse can also be true. Not wanting to appear pushy or too “salesy” retailers can shy away from talking about their products so talk about anything but what they want to sell. Successful social media is a balance of the two and finding creative ways to sell your products without directly selling them. Iced Jems on Facebook are a great example of this. They regularly share hints, tips and “how to” videos that help their customers, and potential customers but also showcase the equipment and products that they sell.
When you’re busy it can be tempting to just react on social media and post whatever you can but taking time to be strategic can make a huge difference. Plan ahead and you can use your quieter times to find, create and schedule content so that you don’t have to worry about finding new content in your busier times. Taking time to understand your audience can make your content more meaningful to your audience and more successful. Developing a social media strategy may take time now but it will save you time in the long run and will give you a much better chance of getting what you want out of social media.
Even in the digital age, reviews are marketing gold but retailers can be reluctant to ask for them. There is always a small chance that you will get a negative review but positive reviews can make your business and products stand out so encourage your customers to review and make sure that they are shared across your platforms. Always make sure that you monitor for negative reviews and respond to them where possible. A positive response that acknowledges and handles the problem can still work in your favour.
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