There still seems to be a line of thinking that certain businesses and brands can’t benefit from social media. Social media for offline businesses still seems like a waste of time for a lot of business owners, but in reality, it can help boost business and even build a future online customer base. Take the jump into the world of social and be sure to keep the following tips in mind.
Optimize your location and contact info.
Facebook graph search has finally been rolled out completely to U.S. users, which means it will be easier for local customers and friends of local customers to find you. Make sure that your profile is prepared for that by optimizing your location and contact information. If it isn’t clearly highlighted, make sure to fix that. You might also want to add a map tab to your profile tabs, giving customers and perusers the opportunity to find directions easily.
Highlight your products with great imagery.
Just because your products can’t be bought online doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to “sell” them to your customers and fans. Promote your products, especially new items, through photos and short descriptive blurbs on your social networks. But be sure to take your time and showcase the products well — “good enough” won’t cut it in this instance. Highlight items by placing them against a white or solid background, and show off clothes and accessories by putting them on a model, dress form or mannequin. The better they look online, the more likely your fans will be to take the trip to the store to check them out.
Explore niche social networks catered to you.
There are lots of social networks out there that you might not be aware of because of their niche focus. Take the time to do some research and see if any of them can help you advertise your goods or even help you sell them without having to establish an online store. Furnishly is a great example. It allows small businesses to post and advertise their furniture and decor items, and allows sellers to create mini online stores to allow buyers to pay directly through the site. The buyer then simply goes to the store and picks it up. Search and see if there’s a niche network that would be useful for your store.
Give customers and fans content they can use.
Sure, you want to show off your merchandise, but you need to have content that will keep people interested. What tips, advice or interesting content can you offer users? Find an angle that will appeal to your audience and then create content around it. After all, the fans you gain could serve as a built-in online customer base if you ever decide to create an online store.
Promote in-store events.
Most of all, you need to get people in your store. Create in-store promotional events, like sales or open houses, that you can then promote to your online audience. This will help get customers into your store that may not have known about it otherwise. Offering a discount especially for your Facebook or Twitter followers will also spur traffic.