Social Media for Small Businesses and Retailers

As a brand retailer, social media is your voice! Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms to meet your customers where they are.

Social Media is a Powerful Marketing Tool

Customers expect to find you on their favorite social media channels. 90% of shoppers buy from stores they follow on social media. What’s more, people now often turn to social media instead of a search engine to look for a business. Your retail social media presence can boost your chances of showing up in search engines, too. Google crawls social media for keywords just as it does your website.
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How Small Businesses Use Social Media

Retailers are finding all kinds of creative ways to use social media to reach customers. Chances are, your competitors use it — generally in one or more of these ways:

  • To share attractive product images
  • To communicate about what brands they carry
  • To express their store’s unique personality
  • To engage in conversations with customers and potential customers
  • To syndicate the content they create for their blog and other media
  • To provide customer service and support as needed

Social Media Challenges for Small Retailers

Retail
Some retail businesses make social media look easy. It’s not. Engaging customers through social media takes more than just posting whatever comes to mind. It requires its own marketing strategy, using a content calendar, thoughtful planning, and the ability to act on results. Accomplishing all of that takes time and resources, which you might prefer to dedicate to other areas of your small business. These are some of the challenges you may encounter while managing your social media presence:
Retail
Lack of access to high quality, branded content

Quality imagery costs money. Simply taking photos of products in your store will not convey the professional image you need or show the products in their best light. In addition, you may not have access to high-quality versions of a brand’s logo or other assets they use in their big budget marketing.

Retail
The struggle to post in a timely manner

Social media engagement happens in the moment. You need to keep it fresh and post at the times that your audience is online. If you miss them, they may never see your posts.

Retail
Inability to manage multiple channels

Before jumping into a social media plan, it’s important to know which channels your target audience uses. It varies by age group, interests and lifestyle. Three quarters of the public uses multiple social media platforms, and you may struggle to keep up with even one. Each has its own specifications for size and formatting of images.

Retail
Lack of consistency across your social content

Part of establishing your retain brand within your industry is consistency. It may be tempting to entrust your Twitter account to one employee, your YouTube channel to another, and your Facebook page to a third. Or, you may post content of differing quality and tone depending on how much time you have to devote to it. Without an overarching strategy, you will present a disconnected image to your target audience.

Retail
A simple lack of time to make it all happen

Running a retail business means never having enough hours in the day. With the many responsibilities of operating a business, managing employees and providing customer service, marketing tends to fall down the to do list. Without adequate time and energy devoted to it — which you may not have — your social media strategy will suffer.

Lack of access to high quality, branded content

Quality imagery costs money. Simply taking photos of products in your store will not convey the professional image you need or show the products in their best light. In addition, you may not have access to high-quality versions of a brand’s logo or other assets they use in their big budget marketing.

Lack of access to high quality, branded content

Quality imagery costs money. Simply taking photos of products in your store will not convey the professional image you need or show the products in their best light. In addition, you may not have access to high-quality versions of a brand’s logo or other assets they use in their big budget marketing.

The struggle to post in a timely manner

Social media engagement happens in the moment. You need to keep it fresh and post at the times that your audience is online. If you miss them, they may never see your posts.

Inability to manage multiple channels

Before jumping into a social media plan, it’s important to know which channels your target audience uses. It varies by age group, interests and lifestyle. Three quarters of the public uses multiple social media platforms, and you may struggle to keep up with even one. Each has its own specifications for size and formatting of images.

Lack of consistency across your social content

Part of establishing your retain brand within your industry is consistency. It may be tempting to entrust your Twitter account to one employee, your YouTube channel to another, and your Facebook page to a third. Or, you may post content of differing quality and tone depending on how much time you have to devote to it. Without an overarching strategy, you will present a disconnected image to your target audience.

A simple lack of time to make it all happen

Running a retail business means never having enough hours in the day. With the many responsibilities of operating a business, managing employees and providing customer service, marketing tends to fall down the to do list. Without adequate time and energy devoted to it — which you may not have — your social media strategy will suffer.

Overcoming the Challenges: Automated Social Media

Automated Social Media

Savvy social media managers are always looking for opportunities to grow their audience. Automation holds the key to expanding your reach, along with alleviating many, if not all, of the above challenges. Social media automation means setting content to post on a regular basis, to the right channels with perfect timing. You can still choose to post on the fly when there’s something unique to share, like an in-store event. However, you can outsource much of the heavy lifting. Here’s how social media automation makes your life easier by:

  • Sourcing polished, professional content from the brands you carry — content they invest in heavily
  • Monitoring the social landscape to know when your customers are active online and timing delivery for optimum visibility
  • Posting to the right channels, and multiple channels at once
  • Keeping content consistent across channels
  • Saving you valuable time and people power

To get started with social media automation, find the software that fits your needs and budget.

Social Media Automation Software

Social media automation software is a tool for planning, scheduling and syndicating content, as well as gathering analytics on the results. It lets you plan your content holistically, perhaps a week or a month at a time. With a high-level view you can ensure a strong rotation of different types of content and different products, each at the right cadence. You can schedule certain pieces of content to post multiple times if you need to. The best automation software will even adjust the timing of posts automatically, based on the times your target audience is using a certain social media channel.

ThumbStopper Stands Out Among Automation Platforms

ThumbStopper’s turnkey solution automatically maintains and posts brand content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google My Business. You get the benefit of high-quality assets that brands are already producing. You get all the benefits above and more, specialized for key retail verticals.

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