In today’s online era, retailers have more competition than ever before. At one point, competition came solely from fellow brick and mortar stores. Today 73.4% of users follow a brand because they’re interested in the product and or service. If you’ve ever wondered how social media can help your retail store, you’re not alone. Nearly all retail store owners struggle with the time and knowledge it takes to effectively manage social media, resulting in a negative opinion regarding the role that social could actually have on their businesses. Fortunately, businesses that engage in social media regularly are able to easily see the ROI value it has on their stores.

So we ask you one question. What are you willing to do in order to win the great Social Media war?

Here are 3 tips to help you become victorious.

Tip 1: Determine Your Voice. The voice you create on your social media channel is how your audience will perceive you.  It is important to make a person feel comfortable during their buying decision.  So your brand tone tells your consumers what your company’s values are and whether they want to buy from you. However, keeping customers happy while entertained is tricky to balance, but this means you need to uphold a clear voice right from the beginning. Some questions to ask your social media team are; does our brand speak freely on subjects? Or how will you handle negative feedback expressed by unhappy consumers? The goal of social media isn’t to please everyone. Be proud of your brand and make sure your team has a clear vision on how to promote your brand voice and by doing so your social media interactions will get a lot easier.

Tip 2: Influence Their Purchase Decisions. It is common for buyers to go through a series of stages before actually making a purchase. Stage 1 “Awareness”- Stage 2 “Discovery” – Stage 3 “Intent” – Stage 4 “Evaluation” – Stage 5 “Buy.” Advertising on social media allows companies to lead their consumers into the “awareness” stage, and coach them all the way through to the “buy” phase. According to Forbes.com, Are Brands Wielding More Influence In Social Media Than We Thought? ”81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts.” One great way to showcase your product and/or service is to be original and engaging as possible, by always using visuals.  Using an eye catching image can help engage your customers by opening up your brand to be more personable, while hopefully starting social conversations.

Tip 3: Track Your Social Media Metrics. Social media metrics are data and statistics that give insight into your social media marketing performance. Learning more about your social followers will help your company understand the demographics regarding the people who might also be interested in your products. Measuring social performance also helps gage your appeal to specific social targets. For example; your Instagram audience may be extremely different from your Facebook audience in terms of age and interest. Understanding the demographics of each platform allows you to determine which social media platform should be given more marketing priority than others.

As of January 2018, coming in at #8, of Top Reasons People Say They Use Social Media, is to research new products to buy. The line between online and offline shopping experiences no longer exists because consumers today expect constant brand and service awareness to reach them across all social platforms, whether they’re physically in a store, browsing products on a website or exploring their social media channels. So what’s the only way to win the social media war? Be an active player.

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