Top 7 Ways Retailers Are Wasting Social Media

Remember that social media is as much a retail marketplace as any storefront.

We took an opportunity on Facebook Live to talk about social media for retail. Check out the video, or read over the recap below.


Social Media & Retail

Posted by Visceral Concepts on Thursday, May 25, 2017

Social media is a huge part of retail selling today. On every network, you see the things people want, the things people buy, and the places they get them from. It’s become a huge factor in directing the way people make their purchases.

That’s why it’s important to get the most from it.

All small businesses, not just the retail ones, need to get the most for their marketing dollar. Revenue growth year after year can make or break the future of a company. Wasted marketing is wasted money and time, something too expensive to waste.

Retailers Not Using Social Media Are Losing

Yes, it’s a fact. Social media is one of the simplest ways for any retailer, large or small, to build brand and product awareness. To ignore that fact is an absolutely stupid mistake. Like, the kind of mistake your business can’t afford.

The kind that costs long-term growth.

Social media is all about visibility for retailers.

The truth is, it’s going to cost more than that over the life of your company. The longer you fail to use social media, or to use it wrong, the lower your chances of staying in business. We live in a share economy. Isolation isn’t an option. Visibility is everything.

Retailers Must Use Their Social Media Correctly

Ok, if you’re going to continue reading, let’s start with some assumptions. Everything about this article assumes the following:

  • You have a retail business.
  • Your retail business has an established social media presence.
  • You actively participate in social media on a personal level (not necessarily with your retail business).
  • Your retail business’ social media account is either inactive, or you’re uncertain if you are using it correctly.

Now, if any of these isn’t true about your retail business, feel free to learn. You’ll just need to take the assumptions in to consideration if you aren’t sure how to apply the advice and make the appropriate adjustment.

Let’s face it, some things are different if you or your retail business is new to social media.

Most Retailers Are Wasting Their Social Media

It’s kind of a sad reality, but most retailers are not taking advantage of the way social media benefits consumer product sales. Like, for real, some of the biggest retailers in the country are using their social accounts like crap. Target, for example, has over 23 million likes on their Facebook page, but their average post has under 1,000 reactions.

There are 7 major things retailers are doing wrong with their social media. Here they are, counted down for you.

#7. They Ignore Their Customers

Seriously, when is the last time you posted to a retailer’s social media?

Most posts are entirely ignored by the average retailer. Customers respond to a photo or a shared link, and the retailer (whether big-brand or small & local) has nothing to say in return. It’s disheartening, and it makes customers feel they aren’t important.

Instead, try to respond to everything your customers say, good or bad. Whether it be a comment on a post or a review, people like to know you’re listening. When you show them you are, you show them you care about what they have to say.

#6. They Don’t Tell Stories

The best use of social media for any business, not just retail, is to communicate the brand story. However, when you look at most retailer’s social feeds, you see a whole lot of product pushing and not a whole lot of sharing. They go for the sell without making the connection.

When you work on your social feed, make sure you’re sharing the stories of your brand that make people want to be engaged. Talk about clients who benefited from your product without asking your followers to buy that product. Share anecdotes about the day’s happenings around the office. Give them something to connect with that doesn’t require their wallet.

Retail stores forcus on the wrong social media metrics.

#5. They Focus On Paid Ads For Reach

It’s clear that a social media page is wasted if nobody sees it. However, focusing on visibility through dollars is seriously the wrong way to do it. When you get visibility the wrong way, you lose out on loyalty, attention, and long-term clients.

Instead of paying for reach, use engaging content to capture your audience’s attention. Great visual cues and interesting stories make better methods of getting attention than ad dollars ever could. When you pay to get bad content spread, people ignore it. When you make good content, paying for reach works better.

#4. They Focus On Likes And Shares

Likes and comments are awesome, and they make you feel wonderful as a content creator. However, when it comes to social media use for retail – or any – businesses, those metrics don’t make money. If they’re your focus, it’s likely you’ll be spending a lot of money without getting much in return.

You’ll be spending a lot of money without getting much in return.

Rather than focus on these superficial metrics, pay attention to the ones that matter. Click-through-rates, bounce rates, and shares. You need to know what’s getting your audience to visit your online sale space, get them to want to stay, and get them to share with their friends. That’s what will grow your revenue.

#3. Their Social Media Budget Is Tiny

Many retail companies still spend a tiny percentage of their marketing budget on social media. They’ve failed to realize that we’re amid a cultural medium change. Social media today is doing to advertising medium what television did in the 50s, and what radio did in the 20s.

It’s time to realize that Social Media is the marketing medium of the present. It’s not even the medium of the future now. Get your retail business onboard, and devote a large portion of your marketing budget to the efforts that root in social media. Make is a priority.

#2. They Don’t Gather Data

With so many people interacting with so many different social media platforms, there is a ton of data to be gathered and learned from. However, tons of retailers – especially small ones – aren’t using that data to learn about their customers. And they’re missing out big.

Gathering psychographic data using services like FullContact offers your retail business the added info about what matters to your customers. Use the publicly available data to make better choices about your advertising and your products. When you know what your customers want, you can improve the way you deliver.

#1. They’re Boring

The single biggest waste of social media space is boring content. Retail companies tend to focus so much on what they’re selling that they forget to make it worth seeing. They train their customers to ignore them, and therefore lose sales.

Make entertaining content that your customers want to pay attention to. Sharing stories that engage, captivate, entertain, and amuse is sure to get the kind of attention you’re looking for. Once they’re looking, they’ll be far more likely to make the purchase later.

This woman is insanely happy about the retail purchase she just made through social media.

Make It An Experience

Remember, the most important thing about social media for your retail business is that it’s something your clients want to take part in. Use it intelligently with a clever angle and see your clients respond with glee.

After all, people buy with their heart, not with their head.

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Top 7 Ways Retailers Are Wasting Social Media

by Michael McNew Read in 5 min