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Using Visual Social Media to Promote Your Retail Store

September 20, 2015

There is a lot to be gained by using new social media to promote your retail store. By this point, it’s safe to assume that most retail stores have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media channels improve every day, and retailers should explore new channels that offer unique features. For instance, Instagram is a great way for retail stores to promote products, and they just added new “clickable ads” that allow consumers to buy featured products with just a click. Pinterest recently announced it would improve its content publishing program for brands, meaning that businesses will have a streamlined way of creating pin boards and gaining data insights. Learn how to use visual social media to promote your store and gain leverage in the e-Commerce world as well.

Getting Your Point Across Fast

Consumers absorb information left and right, and businesses that make it easy will garner more customer interest. Social media posts are getting shorter, and people are downsizing their blogs in favor of image-only content. Images are a big deal. Photos on Facebook average about 53% more likes than text posts and attract 104% more comments as well. Visual social media is a way to share your brand where everyone is looking and get your message across fast.

Retailers might benefit the most from using visual social media like Instagram and Pinterest. Apparel stores can post editorial photo shoots of their clothing on Instagram and encourage followers to share their favorite “outfit of the day” (#OOTD). Pinterest can be used to convey a lifestyle with pictures that tell a story of where your brand has been and where it is going. It gets your followers involved. In the marketing world, content is king, and visual media is a great way to publish quality content that works fast and gets likes.

Tying together Your Site and Store

For retailers with an e-Commerce site, visual social media is a valuable link between site and brick and mortar location. Get people talking about your store on social media channels, and then get them to come in. When they do come in, give them fun ways to talk about it on social media. Nordstrom recently adopted Pinterest as a major component of their marketing campaign. When customers come into the physical store, they see popular items from Pinterest, which are marked with a Pinterest flag.

Nordstrom also developed an app that helps customers and sales associates search for popular items within the store. Retailers gain a lot from merging the two worlds of digital social media and physical location. Encourage your customers to talk about your store with a company hashtag; or, maybe there’s something unique in your store that would make for a great photo opportunity. The cosmetic company 100% Pure promotes their brand this way. They encourage customers to use their company hashtag when visiting in-store events and award incentives when they do. People are talking about their brand both in-store and online.

Connecting With Your Customer

Everyone wants great customer service; we all want to feel special when we shop at our favorite store. Visual social media platforms allow you to connect with your customers in real-time. Many consumers use social media to ask questions or make comments about products, and you have the ability to respond immediately.

Community engagement is valuable to any customer, and sharing your brand story on Instagram or Pinterest speaks to your customers in a way that they can absorb quickly. Does your company participate in community fundraisers? Did your business donate money or products for a cause? These are the types of events that do very well on visual social media. You can write about the fundraiser you hosted on your blog, but pictures speak a thousand words.
Use visual social media to raise brand awareness, tie your physical and digital stores together, and interact with customers before and after they become buyers. Your business is building an almost self-sustaining marketing channel.

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