If you own or manage a musical instrument store, you’re certainly an expert in one area: music. Whether you’re a musician yourself — which you probably are — or you just appreciate and support the artists who express themselves that way, you have your niche. What you may not be an expert in is digital marketing, and that’s okay. Social media has put powerful marketing tools in the hands of small business owners. With just a Facebook or Instagram account, you can potentially reach millions of customers and fans on a shoestring budget. You just need a few tips to make your social media strategy effective.
Set up your page(s) correctly
This advice applies to all businesses, not just music stores, but it’s crucial. For Facebook or other social media profile pages, start by fully setting up all the features. Choose eye-catching, professional looking cover and profile photos. Fill in all of the information, such as store hours, location, contact information and website url. If you want to go an extra step, set up Facebook instant replies to provide great customer service.
Follow all of your brands
As yourself or as your business, follow or like the accounts of every instrument brand you carry. You will gain two main advantages. First, you will see who engages with their posts and what they like to talk about. You can join the conversation or simply observe to learn what tactics to try. Second, you will get the latest updates from those brands, which you can then share in your feed. Resharing content can take time and may not get the reach you want, though. Later in this article we’ll talk about a way to automate brand content.
Create content for beginners as well as experienced musicians
Taking up a musical instrument can feel intimidating, especially when someone is still getting familiar with the terminology and the brands, let alone learning the craft. Write in a way that shows you know your industry well, but that you’re open and willing to bring newbies up to speed. They will learn to trust you and hopefully stick with you as they get better and better at music and upgrade their gear.
Ask permission to take video of customers
In July 2020, a video of a young man delighting antique store customers by playing “Don’t Stop Believing” on an old Steinway went viral. (The store owner wound up tracking down the performer through social media and giving him the piano as a gift.) While not every customer in your store might generate this kind of buzz, musicians love to perform and audiences love to hear them. Capture short clips of them trying out your instruments and showing what they can do — with permission. You can even track their progress over time and inspire your followers to practice, practice, practice.
Tag local musicians and venues
You probably have real-life relationships with numerous people in your local music community, so bring those relationships with you into the digital space. Tagging others in your social media posts shows gratitude and gets you noticed. For example, you might talk about how you’re excited for an upcoming performance in your neighborhood — tag the venue as well as any performers you know. They might reshare your post or comment on it, generating engagement.
Test paid social advertising
Organic social media, which you post free of charge, is only the beginning for how to market your business on Facebook. Actually, when you post to your feed, only a small percentage, perhaps 10-15% of your followers, see any given post. However, paid social media provides another whole avenue where you can target specific audiences based on their interests and location and bid on the opportunity to have them see it. You pay as you go, and you get great control over your budget. Paid social takes testing and patience, but it can greatly enhance your social media success.
Use a social media automation platform
Remember how we said your brands are a great source of high quality social media content? National music brands have big budgets to photograph their instruments, create videos and animation, and write professional copy. They want to get all of that content into your feed. ThumbStopper makes that happen. You and your brands sign up, then their content gets pushed automatically to your feed, tailored for the best time to reach your local audience, so you don’t even have to think about it. This high quality content tends to get higher engagement, giving you greater exposure and growing your fan base.
You can also try our social post builder for when you need a fresh idea for what to post or download our free social media posts for small businesses. With automated brand content taken off your to-do list, you can focus on the fun, spontaneous content like capturing that amazing video of a talented customer!
ThumbStopper has products designed for organic as well as paid social media. Ask you brands whether they already work with us, or get started on your own today.