Using social media marketing in retail

May 16, 2012

Why using social media marketing in retail is indispensable

As we know, marketing today is not just a one channel form of communication; it is increasingly reliant on social media and the two way channels of communication created by these platforms. It is a type of marketing that many businesses are using and can be extremely beneficial in the world of retail. Once upon a time, shopping was a hands-on experience that took place in-store. Now, the lines between the shopping experience in store and out of the store have blurred, and retailers need to get creative. For a while, it seemed as though retailers were a little lost amongst Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. But, with an increased understanding, the use of social media marketing in retail is on the rise as retailers begin to intelligently use these platforms to form pull campaigns and grow their consumer database.

Today’s consumers have many options (too many, some might say), making it more necessary than ever for retailers to stand out from the crowd. Even though a customer may not physically be in store, it does not mean they aren’t interacting with your brand in some way. What retailers need to provide is a unique, pleasurable, consumer experience; something they aren’t expecting, something new and above all something that will get them talking about your business in a positive way. Every moment of social media marketing in retail needs to count, and it needs to be branded, targeted and leave an impression upon your customer.

The positive experience a consumer had with your brand in store needs to continue to be just as strong once they’ve gone home – or online in this case.  As well, it is often the case that consumers hear about your brand online before visiting the physical store space, and any use of social media marketing in retail needs to be created and kept up with this in mind.

One clear example comes from Target Australia’s Facebook page. They have pulled customers in via open channels of communication and active, yet professional involvement, both of which have spread positive word of mouth – something money can’t buy. Here is what they are doing:

  • Daily deals: Target posts daily deals (eg. 40% off sheet sets) that are only available to their Facebook users – otherwise known as optimised marketing, and an effective use of social media marketing in retail.
  • Video marketing: Target has posted videos that explain the features of their products, promotions and events. This is a way of offering individualised information to consumers.
  • Consumer/retailer interaction: the retailer has not only encouraged conversation between its consumers, it has pulled customers into conversation with the brand. Any consumer problems or comments are responded to with a constructive solution, which is really customer service at its best.

 

This is just a sampling of the ways social media marketing in retail can be utilised. It is time for marketers and retailers alike to reinvigorate the retail spaces accessed by consumers, namely those online. Look beyond traditional marketing rules to make your business’s social media pages irresistible to your consumers. There is no set way to do this – learn to listen to your customers and always be willing to change with the times. It is time to get creative and give customers quality and relevant content!