Guess what?! My friend Lilly is about to launch her very first online retail store that will distribute and market sporting gear & equipment. However, before Lilly launches her online store, I firstly wanted to share my thoughts and advice on a few useful social media marketing tactics that can be suitable and help the success of her launch. Apart from being innovative in terms of products, product quality and design, it is important to be innovative in terms of marketing. Ensuring Lilly is utilizing all social media platforms to increase its brand and expand its customer base.
Here are my important social media marketing tactics for the 2019 launch of Lilly’s online store:
Help Fans Find You With Social Buttons
Customers will not interact with you if they cannot find you! It is important when online store is launched that you help fans find you with your social buttons. Display your social media buttons in clear view that’s predominantly in headers or footers. Your website, blogs, email messages and all other marketing communication platforms must include touch points! This will ultimately persuade and encourage customers to share the content.
- Optimize your checkout process: Building trust with potential customers is one important point but continuing to build that trust throughout checkout process is also important. Make the process easy by arranging everything on one page, include a progress bar at the bottom, and ensure the buttons are easy to find. This will ensure it is smooth & trustworthy and will decrease cart abandonment.
- Give customers helpful descriptions of products: All sporting retail and equipment must have accurate descriptions about the product, include size guide, reviews, and images or videos.
- Shipping costs: Include shipping costs and a list of states/countries the store delivers too. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer then having a cart full of items, all details entered and at the end is a huge shipping cost or unavailable to deliver to the desired location.
- Give customers the option to keep shopping: This feature will allow customers to come and go with their shopping cart. They might choose to keep shopping before checking out to consider other items.
- Different payments accepted: Add logos of what type of payment you accept and popular security seals. Will help build trust with customers and make them feel safe and secure when entering card details.
Use Social Reviews
Product reviews by customers is a great tool to build social proof of your store and products. It will inform new customers of what to expect when making a purchase. After customers have made a purchase, ask for feedback. Feedback can include a rating, comment or a quick survey. This will help the business to grow and improve, and ultimately build trust for new customers.
Include chatbots, contact support and live chats! Chatbots is Artificial Intelligence that can stimulate a conversation with your customers. Providing strong customer support system online is useful tool to help customers feel supported and solve any questions or issues they may have. Providing good customer support will help the overall online experience.
Images & Videos
Include photos! You Lilly, will gain more attention including photos in your posts on different social media platforms. Limit your text to creative headlines and a link. Posts will stand out and be more effective in achieving sales. Important to also incorporate videos. ‘80% of consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it’ (O’Neill, 2015) Produce short videos of the sporting retail and equipment, and even live stream your message using Facebook or Instagram.
Run an Influencer Campaign
Products endorse by either a celebrity or influencer has become a common marketing strategy used in today’s society. Influencers can share a sponsored post that features your brand and sporting products! Influencers can engage audiences that represent the target market for the online store. Influencer marketing can put Lilly and her store at a competitive advantage! But remember: Choose an influencer who has similar values to your brand.
Be Social Every Day
If you want this sporting retail and equipment store to grow and expand it is important to grow your social following by posting content consistently.
You can also compare your posting frequency and engagement rates to competitors like Nike, Rebel Sport and Eastbay. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter use algorithms too curate user’s feeds (Agrawal, 2016) Posting needs to be done regularly if you want your customers to see your content. I recommend starting off small by choosing one or two platforms you can commit too, rather than spreading too thin and not posting regularly. I also recommend using social media management tools like Buffer to analyse the frequency and scheduling of posts until satisfied with engagement online.
Customers need to subscribe to continue receiving email marketing from Lilly’s store. Customers will not visit the store online every day of the week, so it is vital that Lilly incorporates email marketing. Don’t hold back sharing news, keep your customers up to date by emailing subscribers with the latest offers, special discounts and promos. Use tools like Mailchimp to deliver the right messages to the right people (Mailchimp, 2019). Take the information to your customers!
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