There is no way around it. Your business needs a strong social media presence to successfully compete in today’s environment. From the smallest local retailer to the largest national company, social media needs to be an essential part of a marketing strategy. A key piece to a successful social media presence is determining your brand identity and keeping that in the forefront of all of your online activity.
Connecting with Customers
In a world where people enjoy shopping from the convenience of their own homes, it’s essential for businesses to connect with customers and potential customers through social media platforms. Even if you aren’t selling online, you should be selling yourself and your business online. By connecting with customers in this 24-hour per day format, you can increase your leads and sales by building awareness about your brand.
Determining your place in the crowded online space of social media can seem daunting; however, starting with your brand is key to standing out in the crowd. What does your business stand for? Are you the customer service king beating out big-box stores or online giants who might struggle to compete with your seasoned in-store sales team? If so, shout about it in your social media. Show how your team’s knowledge, dedication and customer care can make a difference. Moreover, finding a way to differentiate yourself from others through social media can make a world of difference. People are looking for a way to connect in a world that is often full of disconnect when it comes to making a purchase. Yet, an imaging purchase can be so personal since the device consumers are buying might capture the most precious moments in their lives.
Help your customers understand this and use social media to ensure them that you have their back in the purchase. Your business, your brand, is the one they should trust to help them decide what is best to capture the most important moments in their lives.
Building Brand Identity & Awareness
Moreover, if people don’t know your business exists, then how can they become your customers? A simple solution like creating a business profile on all of the major social networks is an immediate action that takes little effort. However, you might see returns right away. Make sure your profile is not only complete but also includes your key differentiator to set you apart from the competition. It should explain how and why your brand is the one they should buy from. This quick and simple task will boost your visibility as well as let you reach a large audience with little time and effort.
In addition, define what you are hoping to achieve through your social media efforts and try to stick with that goal. When you keep your strategy specific, you can determine which social media channels are the best fit for your business and focus on those channels the most.
Whatever your brand stands for in-store is what you should communicate through social media as well. If you walk into your shop and find a friendly and knowledgeable sales team surrounded by brightly lit shelves filled with enticing products, then that is what your social media presence also should feel like. The tone of voice that is used in your social media should match that friendly and knowledgeable feel customers receive when they step into your store.
Furthermore, the images you use to represent your brand should be high quality and lit well. They should also convey the sense of excitement a person feels when they browse your shelves in person. Whether they start off online or offline, the goal should be to convey the same sense of brand.
Becoming More Than a Store
When you build a strong social media presence you are doing more than telling people about your store or the products you sell. You have an opportunity to become an authority in the imaging field. If they come to you for relevant content related to imaging, they will in turn become better customers.
You have an opportunity through social media to show that your business is knowledgeable, approachable as well as trustworthy. Aside from sales and promotions, give them content that will demonstrate how you are a leader in the industry and are looking at more than just sales. Show them that imaging is more than a product or sale to your business. Find someone on your team who not only has a passion for imaging but has a unique way of communicating that passion. Have them write pieces related to your store’s expertise. Customers will see this value and become more loyal.
Stay in Touch
In addition, one of the most beneficial aspects of using social media for your business is the ease at which you can directly communicate with your customers. It’s quick and easy for them and you!
Instead of calling into your store, customers can turn to social media to solve problems and find information. The more responsive you are with inquires, the better your business’s reputation will be. Create a plan before you jump into it though. Develop a system for tracking customer questions and comments and respond as quickly as possible. Furthermore, try to keep the same tone of your brand that you have worked so hard to build offline in these online communications.
Grow at Your Own Pace
Finally, we all know how tight advertising and marketing budgets are these days. Take advantage of social media advertising; it can be as large or as small as you can afford. It is also extremely specific so you won’t waste your budget.
Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to build campaigns targeting the people you are specifically trying to reach. On social media, the most successful campaigns focus on education and also entertainment, rather than sales and promotions. Keep that, as well as your brand identity, in mind as you create your ad content.
With the world literally at your fingertips, growing your business with social media can be as simple as expanding your brand identity online.