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Whether you’re a natural with social media or you view it as a necessary evil, it’s true that mastering the algorithms can have a big impact on your business. For increasing brand awareness, sharing information with your regulars or celebrating local produce, it can be an extremely useful tool.
Charlotte Sheridan, director at The Small Biz Expert shares her tips for getting the most out of your social media channels this Christmas.
“Retailers, no matter what size, should always start with an in-depth look at their target audience to best understand what will resonate with them.
“While of course location demographics will give some indication of your target audience, to really engage properly on social media it’s vital to understand what may make your potential customers tick. For example, are they ethically conscious - if so, how does your service meet those needs?
“Are you selling to local residents, office workers in your location or maybe even tourists? Each of these will have differing priorities, so address them in your posts.
“And don’t just sell! Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% informative content and 20% ‘sales’. As an independent, you really have the opportunity to stamp your personality on your social media, so make sure to tell a story.”
“The run up to Christmas offers a great opportunity to mix up your standard social media posting and appeal to what matters to your customers.
“It’s a season where we all want to feel cosy and looked after, and your presentation can embrace this. If you offer products which are considered traditional festive fare, think about how this looks and package up your images appropriately rather than just using the same old photos you use all year around.
“If you do something different, think about messaging. There always comes a point in the winter where consumers are tired of mince pies, turkey and cheese, so be clear on how your provide an alternative.
“Always consider your target audience and your existing customers and make sure that what you offer appeals to what they believe the festive season looks like.”
“Run a competition for, say, a hamper or selection of your goodies, but be careful not to ask for likes and shares as this goes against community guidelines.
“Instead get creative with the competition itself; ask people who they would share with and encourage them to tag them (but don’t make it a ‘rule’ of the competition).
“Write engaging posts that offer your customer a chance to influence your business, for example ask them to name a festive version of a hot drink, or Christmas edition of a product you sell. People love to be involved.”