Recently our BRICK. team headed to the exclusive Grassroots Connect Show in Knoxville, TN to share social media tips in a presentation explicitly targeted to specialty retailers. Our education session kicked off pretty early that morning and was fueled by lots of hotel coffee and a group of retailers who were eager to learn more about how to make an impact on their social media channels.
The concept behind BRICK. and our educational session was predicated on a response to the growing threat to small, local retailers from increasing competition of online vendors and DTC business models. The objective of the presentation was to educate retailers on how they can leverage social media to help their store stand out in a crowded marketplace. We received such an overwhelming response during our presentation, that we wanted to share a few of key takeaways from both the show and our presentation below:
1. Retail isn’t dead yet.
According to the US Census report, e-commerce only accounted for 9.5% of total retail sales, which were estimated at over $1.3 trillion. While e-commerce may be growing at a faster rate than brick & mortar sales, people are still clearly, overwhelmingly making their purchases in a store.
2. Develop a brand voice to separate yourself from the competition.
Whether a leading brand in the industry or a small mom and pop shop, have a message on social media. Simply being the closest retailer to a consumer isn’t an effective strategy for securing their business. Industry giants like Patagonia have developed a loyal following by being a leader in the environmentalism movement. Honing in on a brand voice can be done a number ways, whether it be the local experts on fly fishing or using witty copy that relates to millennials.
3. Know your customers!
You cannot appeal to the emotions of your audience on social if you don’t know who that audience is. Luckily, Facebook and Instagram business tools offer specific demographic data. Using audience insights, identify the specific age, gender and interests of your audience to know who you’re speaking to on social media.
4. Constantly measure the ROI.
Social media can feel like a total crapshoot if you aren’t constantly analyzing your efforts to determine if you’re getting a real return on investment. With the amount of data available, it can be overwhelming to sort through the noise on which numbers matter and which don’t. A few of the KPI’s that we focus on include:
5. Don’t forget the objective of social media – to be social!
It’s easy to lose focus of why social media was initially invented; as a means of interacting with others. It’s important to take the time to respond to fans on a daily basis. Is a fan commenting and engaging on social? This is a golden opportunity to cultivate a relationship and build lasting brand loyalty. We like to tell our clients that ignoring a customer’s question on social is the same as neglecting to respond to a customer service email or turning away from a customer asking a question in your brick & mortar store.
If you’d like help diving deeper into your social channels or are curious what BRICK. can do to enhance your shop’s presence online, learn more here or drop us a line at 828.254.0914.