This month, Nobull proudly features in Pet Product Marketing, the UK’s leading media platform for pet retailers. As an agency, we believe that marketing isn’t just for the big players and that there are always options to enhance and grow your brand – whatever the size of business. In today’s media landscape, where conventional forms of advertising are costly, social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools around. Like it or loathe it, it’s the quickest and easiest way to reach the largest number of customers on the lowest budget, making it indispensable for small chains and independents.
Here are our top 10 tips for independent retailers on unleashing the power of social:
1) Do your research
Whether you’re new to the social media scene or you’ve already dived in, take a look at what other independents and smaller brands are doing for inspiration. It’ll provide an invaluable feel for what works and what doesn’t.
2) Set your objectives
Nail the reasons why you’re doing social media and jot them down. Having a clear set of written objectives will help stay you on track with a clear action plan that delivers your commercial objectives.
3) Planning helps
Doing social media ad hoc can feel disjointed and time consuming. Instead, setting aside a couple of hours each month to plan your posts gives you the opportunity to focus and create better quality core content in one sitting.
4) Keep it consistent
Start small and make sure whatever you’re doing is sustainable in the long run - agree to a schedule and stick to it. And remember, quality is more important than quantity. No-one likes to be spammed with irrelevant content.
5) Personality is key
Steer clear of sales-heavy messaging and inject humour and playfulness into your posts. Keep it relevant but make sure you’re also thinking about what you’d want to see as a pet lover. Don’t be afraid to show your personality – the more approachable you are, the more enticing your business.
6) Use your tools
When was the last time you checked your analytics? Account insights are invaluable and they’re free. Analytics are great for letting you know what content is working and what isn’t, how you’re tracking on reach, your audience demographic and the best times and days to post for maximum impact.
7) Love your community
If you do your social well, people will engage with it. Questions and conversations provide an invaluable opportunity to get to know prospective customers and gain insights from them. Don’t be overly afraid of negative comments either, handled well they show that you are listening and that have high customer care standards.
8) Check out influencers
Influencer marketing is not as scary as it sounds. Look for local pet personalities or have a search on Instagram for bloggers based in your area. Then decide on some ways they could help attract new customers – could they run a competition to win a store voucher? Or post a reel shopping for their favourite pet treats?
9) Think with your eyes
Social media is all about visuals – cute photos and engaging video content is what will strike a connection with your customers. It’s the difference between someone scrolling past your post or stopping to read it. It doesn’t need to be too polished either – phone cameras can do almost anything. Asking your customers for photos of their pets is a great way of creating content too.
10) Once you start, don’t stop!
Social media success rarely happens overnight, unless you have a huge advertising budget to splurge. But authentic, fun and engaging organic content, posted regularly, can create an online showroom for your business that shows customers you care and that you’re relevant.