The Value of Social Media Marketing for Retailers
Social media is a valuable marketing tool retailers of all sizes and industries should use. Consumers spend a lot of time on social media sites, and retailers should take advantage of this. In comparison to many outbound marketing practices, social media is a simple, cost-effective tool for retailers to reach consumers and lead them to their website, as well as convert leads into sales.
Research from Business Insider shows consumers have increased their time spent on social media, becoming their top internet activity. Americans are spending more time with social media than any other internet activity, including email. It's clear that social media isn't going away any time soon. Rather, its popularity is only going to increase. Therefore, it's important for all retailers to embrace social media for all its worth, using it to increase the visibility of their brand and engage with consumers.
Here are four easy ways retailers can use social media to successfully market their business:
1. Share content. Your social media channels are a great platform for connecting with your customers and improving your search engine rankings. Major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo attribute more authority to websites that provide fresh, interesting content to users on a frequent basis. A simple and effective way to do this is through blogging. Once you write a blog post, share and promote it on all your social media channels. By sharing blog posts via social media, you increase the number of consumers who see them and visit your website.
2. Use ads. Major social media platforms — e.g., Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — allow you to purchase ads. Purchasing an ad on social media can be an effective tactic to reach existing and potential customers. You can create an ad and have it target a specific demographic. For instance, if you have a clothing boutique in Haddonfield, New Jersey, you can choose to target consumers who would be interested in your products within a 100-mile radius.
3. Grow your email list. Social media can help your business acquire more email subscribers. You can provide a sign-up form on your social media channels to make it easy for consumers to sign up. To get more signups, offer incentives such as a free giveaway or discounts.
4. Monitor your success. Retailers can easily track and monitor the success of their social media marketing efforts. You can run an A/B test, also called split testing, to see if your social media efforts are reaching the intended audience as well as which types of posts consumers are most interested in.
With these simple tips, retailers can use social media to connect with consumers, increase the exposure of their brand and set themselves apart from competitors.
Hugh Sinclair is the vice president of logistics at Shopping Blitz, an online marketplace that sells clothing, accessories, shoes and lifestyle products.