One of the reasons for the success or failure of new and upcoming retail companies resides in their use of Social Media and the implementation of a seamlessly accurate Social Media Strategy. In using the web 2.0, creating engaging content and interacting through the social platforms with customers, most of the companies are able to create a good base of followers/consumers with whom they are able to build their success.
This is especially true in the case of the eCommerce retailers. As long as you operate in the online world, you have to provide an engaging experience throughout all of your channels. Meaning that you have to fully embrace the new social media platforms.
Firstly, be aware that in designing a good social media strategy you have to be SMART. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Your goals have to be designed to accomplish these 5 simple rules. Here we have shared the initial 6 steps to follow in order to create a successful strategy for your upcoming retail company.
Step 1: Define your goals and what the company wants to achieve with a proper Social Media Strategy
Initially, your Marketing team should define the goals of the overall strategy. For this reason, you should question yourself and answer every possible question. Here you have a good bunch of questions to get started:
- What is my audience target?
- Do I want to attract new consumers? Create long-term ones?
- Am I selling a product other than my brand?
- What is my overall capacity for this work? Am I available 24/7 to face the needs of the platforms?
- What are the numbers that I want to achieve?
You will have to ask yourself many more questions, but your target is always a good way to get started. Suffice it to say that, once you have your goals designed, your strategy should only move forward based upon these goals.
Step 2: Define which are the most suitable networks for your company
Once you have defined your goals, a good starting point is defining the social channels available for your use and choosing which ones suit best your goals. It may be just the one platform, maybe three or maybe more than six altogether. Generally speaking, you should also keep in mind that:
- Instagram is the platform that is most used among millennials and influencers trend-setters make it a perfect ground to build a retail brand. Additionally, now it is possible to make purchases within the app, with an icon popping up in certain shoppable Instagram stories.
- Twitter is really good in terms of engagement and it is a tool in which users always expect interaction with the brand. Hence it is good for building bonds and connections. Also, if you are looking for Twitter statistics, 36% of Americans aged 18 to 29 years old use it.
- Pinterest is extensively used in Retail and it drives a lot of quality traffic to your site when used properly. Check out Arema Connect’s Pinterest profile.
- Facebook, it is useful for a broader audience to receive customer support and create long-term engagement.
- Snapchat is the platform the most used among the Gen Z of the US. Its commercial use has not been properly exploited yet, but if, eg., you are targeting teenagers, it may be a niche to research.
Step 3: Define what kind of content will fill your timelines
After deciding which networks you will use, don’t get ahead of yourself by creating new accounts. Firstly, you will have to discuss what kind of content you will use filling those social media timelines. You don’t want to start a profile to publish loads of stuff during the first week and then being 2 weeks without content because you have not properly planned your schedules. Therefore, decide about the frequency of the posts and start creating content to have it ready to go. This does not mean that you can’t be spontaneous and publish something new on the same day, but you have to be prepared.
Think outside the box and evaluate your capacity to create a good quality and engaging content. Will you be using your own pictures? Are you able to keep up with multimedia formats? Will you ever use stock images? Are you creating and using your own content? Will you be able to keep that up? Do you want to show your products or your employees? Think about everything and anticipate your needs.
Step 4: Define a general tone and the rules of engagement
While creating the content, you also have to gather and decide on a few basics of how your profile will work. Write down a manual and a script as to how to approach every query and interaction that may come throughout the channels. You might also think about the tone of the network and which kind of language you may use, although the way you manage your site will probably be a useful -and already done-guide for that.
Will you engage in discussions? Will you answer in a timely manner? If so, how long will it take you to answer? Can you afford the immediacy? In this scenario, outsourcing your social media support might be a profitable option, as it will void you of the endless hours and costs of training your people, plus the time consuming tasks of the every day monitoring they will entail.
Being a retail brand, your Social Media Strategy must accomplish what your product and brand stand for. Meaning that if you are a brand selling casual shoes, your language must go along the lines of casual fun and informal talk. Everything has to come together.
Step 5: Define a calendar and a proper stock for every network
While you were creating your content, you surely would have thought about a good image that would be fit for Christmas or another one useful for the summertime. That is good, it means that you are already in the process of creating a calendar to schedule your content. Benefit from the creation of your stock photos and plan ahead of time.
Step 6: Start using your networks and monitor every minor detail
Set a launch date when all the other steps are completed and stick to your goals and calendar. Once you are live, you have to monitor everything happening throughout the networks. Whether it is a retweet or an Instagram comment, you have to be aware that it happened.
There are tools that can help you with the monitoring tasks, although you can also outsource this particular job to the professionals. At Arema Connect we have been providing social media support for 5 years now. Therefore, we are able to accompany your brand in the implementation of your Social Media Strategy, as well as monitor and answer every new comment/query.
A successful Social Media Strategy: the power of measurement and reporting
Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the power of measuring your results. Set your KPIs and establish the ways to measure your success or the kind of engagement your content creates. Your Social Media Strategy must have set the Key Performance Indicators to get a glimpse of what you are intending with it.
If you know which kind of answer it wakes up in your users, you will have the power to use it at your advantage. Measure everything and start understanding what will make-or-break your success.
About Sabela Rey
I am a Communications and Media graduate working as an intern at Arema Connect. I studied at the University of Santiago de Compostela and I also have a background in Film Studies and Research. Throughout my professional experience, I have worked in Marketing departments in different organizations. Here at Arema Connect I support the Marketing department with their campaigns. After my time in Cork I plan to further my experience in international and challenging environments.