By now, businesses of all sizes realize just how important having a strong social media presence is to their company's success. After all, 78% of consumers say that social media posts from businesses impact their purchasing decisions. However, many retail store owners seem to have misunderstood the approach they should be taking.
In response to the news that social media is now more powerful than ever before and is likely to have a direct impact on the purchase decisions people make, many online retail stores have opened up accounts on every social media channel under the sun. Others have stuck to the primary platforms, like Facebook and Instagram.
Regardless, most of these online retail store owners share the same challenge: They're posting regularly, but their social media content is failing to produce the results they expect. This leaves many turning away from social media all together, thinking clearly the statistics don't apply to them. Their posts aren't generating any sales or buzz, so why post at all?
Other retail store owners stick to it and continue pumping out content anyways, but to no avail. This leaves these businesses scratching their heads and wondering what exactly are they doing wrong. And, the answer is simple: posting on social media all the time.
You might share in the misconception that these other retail store owners have that "something is better than nothing" and "quantity counts". While these sayings are true to some degree, they don't exactly apply to social media when it comes to trying to get your business more sales and increase brand loyalty. In fact, they can largely hinder your efforts. So, what gives?
Quantity matters, but so does quality when it comes to social media.
It’s Just Noise.
What many retail store owners don’t realize is that social media is already a very noisy place. Businesses from around the world are logging on, pumping out content, and then logging off until it’s time to do it again tomorrow. Consumers have become very much aware of the content farming many company social media pages are doing. They release content at random with no real structure, theme, or aim. The content fails to resonate with readers and often turns them off to the page (and brand) all together.
So, what sets a successful brand page apart from a noisy one? The strategy the page is using--or lack thereof.
Strategy Is Key
Chances are, if you are reading this post, you do not yet have a social media strategy created for your business. Maybe you’ve been telling yourself that it’s just not important and posting at random is the way forward. Unfortunately, you couldn’t be much farther from the truth.
Having a social media strategy is the only surefire way to ensure that your social media content is resonating with readers and actually helping you make sales, close deals, and gain loyal new customers. Your social media content needs to:
● Be consistent in voice, style, and purpose with your brand’s image.
● Speak to people in a way that will engage them with your content.
● Do more than just shout about the latest sale and actually inform, connect & educate consumers.
Building A Strategy
Building a social media strategy is a two-pronged approach that involves (1) identifying your audience and what it is they want to read/see and (2) figuring out how your brand can deliver those things to them in a way that’s consistent with your brand’s values and image.
Of course, if you are unclear about what your brand’s values and image include, you need to clear that up first before you begin your social media strategy. After you have that information all together, you can move forward with building your strategy.
Your social media strategy needs to work with your business overall strategy, which of course, is aimed at increasing sales and increasing brand loyalty. Basically, you need to be producing content that helps represent who your brand is and what you stand for without being 100% salesy. It’s okay to throw in some offers and promotions every once in a while, but as a general rule of thumb, promotional content should make up less than 10% of your content.
Here are some other best practices to follow:
● Include images. Most people don’t get on social media to read long form content, so keep posts short and sweet using images to get your point across.
● Make shareable content. Having popular content will help boost authority and it can also lead to new users discovering your brand.
● Use hashtags. Whenever you can employ a #hashtag in your post, do so. It will help the content get found and it will also help the site’s search engine classify the content properly.
● Create long form Video content, Facebook is pushing for users to upload video to the platform. Video that is series based and will have people tuning in to watch from week to week.
Ready to get started?
Social media is a big deal. It’s now the primary source of word-of-mouth advertising and it’s a place many people check into before making a purchase decision, whether they fall into the 31% bracket that browses social media looking for items to buy or the 81% bracket that looks to other users’ social media posts for recommendations.
Either way, if you have not yet implemented a social media strategy, you are not Maximizing, optimizing and utilizing this powerful tool. Social media is only getting bigger and more powerful. It’s time your business made the most of it.
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