The COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of retail and how we conduct business. Indeed, it has created a dent, especially with brick-and-mortar shops. To date, countless physical shops have transitioned into online counterparts. Unfortunately for some, business cessation was the only way to cut down losses and veer away from bleeding out. As a result, social media has played a vital role in digital and traditional marketing during the pandemic. In addition, social media-driven efforts became one of the most efficient ways to raise awareness and maintain visibility during a crisis.
With the remnants of regulatory guidelines still in full swing, digital marketing strategies for companies are non-negotiable. Businesses must have a solid online presence with social media at front and centre. Moreover, it is cost-efficient to funnel funds towards social media with its vast reach and affordable advertising solutions. This article will tackle eight social media strategies that are worthwhile to deploy towards the new normal.
1. Share the limelight with your consumers
Gone are the days of brands focusing on their products and services. This time around, consumers typically support a customer journey that is reflective of their own. Therefore, instead of featuring specifications and product lines, it is best to highlight product integration into the consumer’s day-to-day activities. A case in point is Nike’s “Just do it” marketing campaign wherein all digital output focuses on the athlete and not so much on the shoes and apparel.
2. Collaborate with influencers
The Kardashians and Jenners made a living out of influencer marketing strategy. Social media influencers are in demand as of now and capitalising on the number of followers they have. However, to grow and expand reach, retail enterprises must work with influencers that are either thought leaders or known trailblazers and establish your brand as an innovator. A successful campaign that captures this kind of social media marketing is Chrissy Teigen for BECCA cosmetics. She announced through her social media that she would be posting a new make-up palette. It garnered over 5 million views in just minutes of release.
3. Community building
It is impossible to create a brand without a following of loyal supporters. Whether cult brands like Samsung or retail brands like Walmart, they have amassed thousands of followers via social media. In social media community building, it is essential to follow the four steps.
- Grow online followers through recruitment. Regularly create and post quality content and place relevant hashtags.
- Create buzz and encourage engagements through raffles, activities, mentioning, and reposting
- Sustain engagement through exciting content. Build a social media plan and follow through with relevant events
- Harness advocacy by encouraging other people to talk about the brand and its values.
Community building is the central social media message of the yoga wear brand, Lululemon. Lululemon has over 500 shops globally and a solid e-commerce shop. On top of its products, the brand also involves the community of Yoga and Pilates advocates. The company partners with yoga instructors and fitness professionals to conduct classes in their physical stores. These teachers also serve as ambassadors for the brand and micro-influencers in their niche. In addition, online courses are Lululemon-sponsored, with #TheSweatLife consistently posted on all of their content.
4. Start an initiative
Nowadays, consumers are after the social movement and advocacy the brand is standing for. More than income and revenue, the woke generation fully supports retailers that manifest their values and live them. For example, various food and restaurant companies practice a sustainable lifestyle from farm to table. They even advocate for reducing the carbon footprint by reducing plastic usage, recycling, and regular planting initiatives.
5. Harness Instagram
The Instagram platform is an excellent avenue for image, video, and text content. With features like multiple posting and IG stories, it is convenient to create Insta-worthy, eye-candy, and Instagrammable moments. For example, famous Japanese eyewear brand, Own Days transformed their retail shops into art deco studios by building art installations. The event was a huge success producing a huge amount in revenues.
6. Digital advertising
Social media advertisement is something business owners can’t do without, especially if the target market is millennials and Gen-Z. It is a worthwhile investment to invest funds on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube with this market. Utilising ads on socials also improves search engine optimisation (SEO), diverting traffic into your website. Google remains the go-to directory for products and services. Therefore, search rankings for your brand must be high. “Google is continually improving, evolving, and so too must good search engine optimisation”, according to XIST2, SEO specialists in Oxford. Collaborate with a reliable digital marketing agency that serves as a one-stop-shop for all your needs – social media management, digital advertising, web design and development, and SEO tactics. Shein, the leading e-commerce clothing retail store in China. Shein vastly invests in Facebook ads through multiple ad placements, promotional ads, seasonal specials, and product launches with billions in revenue.
7. Trend jacking
Trend jacking, also known as newsjacking, integrates your ideas and angles into breaking news bits in real-time to generate media mileage for the business. It is one of the commonly used social media strategies that help a brand achieve exceptional publicity through a tremendous increase in web traffic and views riding on a news item.
The Swedish furniture giant Ikea is known for this kick-ass tactic. The Ikea marketers are witty and quick on their feet to create quirky and viral content riding on television shows, celebrity happenings, and breaking news. The latest one is when they launched minimalist storage boxes focusing on a “Sparking Joy” marketing campaign about Marie Kondo’s decluttering techniques.
8. Social media as a resource tool
Social media platforms like IGTV and YouTube are great venues for your brand to educate and sell. Case in point, Samsung appliances have a massive following on YouTube for recipes for their kitchen appliances like the Smart microwave, mixer, and electric griller.
To win the digital marketing game, adopt these eight social media strategies in your retail business. These are sure-fire ways that encourage brand growth, online visibility, brand relevance, heightened engagement, trigger sales, and foster brand loyalty.