The question of whether or not social media can result in sales is pretty much as old as social media itself. What we’re seeing recently is an increase in social commerce – where both aspects are able to live happily next to each other and companies can track ROI for time and money invested in social media. A recent online study, conducted by Minneapolis-Based General Mills, of about 360 c-store shoppers aged 18-64, c-stores lagged behind in connecting with consumers via texts, alerts, emails or social media deals. It’s simply not enough to build loyalty and drive traffic with a great app or email program to get noticed or used. By using a social media marketing strategy to build awareness and actively market your services or products is critical in building participation through social media channels.
Key findings in this case:
- C-stores reports on 30% shoppers visiting websites vs restaurants which are up to 58%.
- Emails from c-stores average 24% of shoppers vs 44% from a drug local store.
- Texts/apps from c-stores average about 13% in responses while other retail organizations receive 20% or more in active engagement.
If social media is everyone’s job in retail, your managers and employees need concrete actions to get them going. By implementing an 18-minutes plan to help them build the skills they need. Ideally, if you work at a large brand with local stores you’d created dashboards (with your social relationship platform) for each location, Of course, you would also want to offer training for managers as well as educate about your social media policy, security and industry best practices. This process includes downloading social media platforms such as Hootsuite and Hootlet in addition to creating accounts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogger, Instagram and any other social media you are comfortable in using. (4 Minutes): Local Listening Find local conversations near your store’s locations. A good approach is to download Hootsuite.com and create a new search stream using keywords you want to monitor. The goal is to find people searching for things on social media. That way, your store can reach out, assist, and bring them into shop. (6 Minutes): Search and Share This is where you surprise, delight and provide reminders. Simple solution to this is to download Hootsuite.com and download the extension Hootlet.com. By searching a specific location on Google maps, a button called “tweets near here” appears. By clicking on the button brings up local tweets which can be adjustable in range miles. Look for happy customers and surprise them with special deals. (6 Minutes): Be Likable and Friendly Provide pre-approved social media content, images and national campaigns. That way, thousands of frontline employees can extend the reach of your branded content. It also helps your store share interesting and valued information and engage with your customers. Promote social contests and launch Instagram, Facebook or Twitter campaigns for new products or services. You can even amplify your promotions by reaching out personally through your social media on local levels. (2 Minutes): Wrap -Up Within Hootsuite you have the ability to also monitor your competitor. By creating a new stream in Hootsuite tracking you can monitor your competitors @username. This will show you what others are saying to your competitor and keywords they are using to attract. But also imagine this, in analyzing your competitor, you will find that they are not answering their customer’s questions but maybe you can! Look for perceptions and specific issues such as positioning that isn’t resonating with customers. This can help you in avoiding making the same mistakes. In the same manner also look for unusual activity or spikes in volume. Use real time data to conduct competitor benchmarking. By taking the short time to use your social media tools you can help engage your customers to participate and drive your sales further. Here are the top 5 reasons cited by shoppers for connecting with a c-store:
- Receiving coupons: 67%
- Finding out about sales or special deals: 62%
- Updates on new products or offerings: 55%
- Seeing what products are offered: 48%
- Locating the nearest store: 47%