When you operate a small retail business, it’s easy to believe you can rely on foot traffic and word-of-mouth, but don’t underestimate the power of marketing. Marketing lets your bike shop communicate with your audience, and build a solid, supportive customer base. In fact, marketing is one of the essential pillars that supports a company’s success.
While some businesses invest thousands of dollars and countless hours into their marketing strategy, you may not have those resources. Continue reading as we discuss five affordable marketing ideas for bike shops.
1. Get Involved in Your Community
Set up a tent at a farmer’s market or street fair, and offer your products and services to attendees. Getting involved is a great way to start a conversation on social media. Post about your participation before and during the event and use hashtags to get people buzzing about your bicycle shop.
2. Stay Active on Social Media
It’s easy to put social media for your bicycle shop on the backburner when you’re handling the ins and outs of running your business. However, one of the keys to success in social media marketing is posting consistently. Social media is a helpful, low cost tool that can greatly grow your business. Let’s examine some ways to use social media effectively.
Provide high-quality, valuable content
Publishing useful content can help you grow your social media platforms and, in turn, your business. Share your insight on must-try local bike paths or navigable, low-traffic streets. Post helpful tips for novice and advanced cyclists. Keep your followers aware of current promotions and company news. Sharing valuable content establishes your expertise, making you the go-to resource for new and existing customers.
Engage with your customers
When a business interacts with them on social media, consumers spend 20-40% more. Use a marketing automation tool to help you efficiently communicate with your customers, improve their experience, and save yourself time, money, and energy.
Maintain a consistent posting schedule. Interact with your customers in the comments. Always respond to messages, and use automated messaging tools to improve the process. Some social media platforms, such as Facebook, have automated response capabilities for their business accounts. Engaging with your customers displays great customer service that can win more business in the future.
Use multiple social media channels
Conduct research on your target audience to learn how they spend their time online. Once you’ve identified who your audience is and what social media platforms they use, you can focus your efforts more effectively.
Speak to each audience by tailoring your content accordingly.
3. Monitor Your Online Reviews
Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook are three popular places customers leave reviews. Both positive and negative reviews can be a determining factor for customers looking for a bike shop. 75% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Offer your customers an incentive, such as a discount, in exchange for leaving a review on your business page.
When you receive positive reviews, repost them to your social media accounts to acknowledge the customer and reinforce the value you bring to your customers. Negative feedback is always an opportunity to showcase your customer service with a professional, timely response.
4. Utilize Strategic Website Content
If you don’t have the budget or time to put toward paid ads, creating content based on an SEO strategy is a great way to increase traffic to your website, organically. Over time, your SEO efforts will help your website appear higher in search results, which is important considering about 75% of searchers never search past the first page. What’s more, 93% of people looked online to find a local business — making it all the more important to optimize your website for local search.
Conduct research on what your customers are searching for and then publish content that addresses those questions and concerns. Anticipating their questions will keep them coming back well after a sale is made.
5. Team Up With the Brands You Carry
With helping customers, managing employees, handling inventory, and more, the last thing you may think of — or even want to do — is create content for your social media pages. However, posting high-quality content that displays the value and capabilities of the products you sell will put both your shop, and the brands you carry, in a positive light.
Creating this content yourself can be challenging. A social media automation tool, like ThumbStopper, streamlines the process of content creation and publishing, saving you time, energy, and resources that you can reallocate to running your business. Connecting with your customers is essential to the success of your marketing efforts. Collaborating with the brands you carry gives you the benefits of their visibility and brand recognition, all of which can establish and foster this connection.
Let ThumbStopper Maximize Your Efforts
Implementing the above marketing tactics are effective ways to attract more customers to your store. However, with a powerful social media automation tool designed specifically for bicycle shops, you can maximize your efforts even more.
Thumbstopper bridges the gap between retailers and brands — helping you publish brand-curated content on a consistent basis, so that you can focus on growing your business. Get started today and learn how ThumbStopper can help you reach people in your local community and turn them into customers.