Although it can be tricky to measure the specific ROI of using social media to promote your retail business, there is no denying that there is a direct correlation between a strong social media presence and increased web traffic, foot traffic, and sales. If your site and store have the content to back up what you promote in your social media accounts, you’re sure to drive more business. And as long as you develop a solid marketing plan and have a clear understanding of just how you want to use social media to boost your brand and store, a retail social media presence can be just the marketing tool you’ve been looking for.
Bolster Brand Awareness
Social media is an excellent way for customers and prospects to become familiar with your brand. Sure, shoppers may know your product, but what do they know about you as a brand? Social media is the perfect platform to inform your customers what you stand for as a company. You can also promote digital content and product pages through social media, driving visitors to your site and reducing bounce rate, as these visitors have already seen something they like and consciously clicked through.
Drive Foot Traffic
Focusing on your social presence can be a major factor in driving traffic to your physical store, just as much as to your ecommerce site. Make sure all accounts list your address, contact information, and most up-to-date business hours. Show off new arrivals, especially if they hit the sales floor before they hit online, and share photos of your Instagrammable displays and interior details. Incentivize customers to follow you with special offers found only through your social accounts, like, mention this post to receive 15% off your next in-store purchase.
Retail social media accounts should also be optimized for in-store visitors if you plan on doing any paid geo-targeting advertising. You can reach potential customers within a very confined neighborhood space, but if it's not clear from your handles that you have a physical store, you're likely wasting those advertising dollars.
Crank Up Community Engagement
Another pro of social media is its ability to allow for community engagement. You can team up with local brands and link to one another, letting users know about affiliate companies and also attracting those followers to your own site and store. If your brand is involved in local functions, social media is the perfect way to publicize those, further increasing your brand awareness. If your brand is associated with a local charity or a well-known event, it’s important to give those partnerships a platform. Community engagement is important to show that your company is one made of people, not just a faceless ecommerce site. Remember you are selling yourself, not just your products.
Like many things in organic marketing, measuring the exact ROI of your retail social media efforts is not an easy feat, if possible at all. But that doesn't mean that there aren't quantifiable benefits. Before you dive in blindly, you must define your goals: Are they directly tied to sales? Web traffic? Brand awareness through reach and impressions? Increased followers and engagement? Remember that goals must be set for specific campaigns too, like in-store events or online sales and other promotions. Just as you must determine the most important KPIs for your retail business as a whole, the same must be done for your social media strategy.