For some retail brands, social media is a hard nut to crack. Questions like, What do I post? How do I find my followers?, and How often do I need to be on there?, befuddle many a business owner. The confusion leads to Twitter feeds full of automatic posts, Instagrams with nothing but images of mannequinnes and store event invites, and Facebook accounts with last status update being June 2013.
But, a select few take to social media like fish to water. Their posts invite followers into their company's world, engage with their customers, and build a lifestyle online, not just sales. Some brands shine on multiple social platforms, but most have one particular site where they are at their best.
TempleStreet jewelry founder and designer Ana Mae Holmes has one of the best Instagram accounts for a peek behind the curtain. "Followers of a brand also want to know what goes on behind the scenes- What else does this girl do besides design? I think it's great when designers and retailers show another side of themselves besides their merchandise," she explained about her view of social media.
Here are a few other retail brands getting it right on social media.
Facebook Aside from the actual website, the company Facebook is where information can easily be disseminated to the masses. A brands Facebook page can be a mixture of all types of media and information, including Images, video, articles, and events.
Myth + Symbol uses their Facebook page to educate customers on the people behind the brands they carry and Houston retail in general. Check out this video post from Design Sponge featuring one of its jewelry lines.
Blogging Whether done on Wordpress or Tumblr, blogging is just as important to a social media strategy as your Twitter bio. Of all the places a company can build a lifestyle around their brand, a blog is the best suited. On Tumblr, Labrotatoria's Musing On... and The Classroom's Stay Classy Houston are great examples. They both share inspirational style images, product info and behind the scenes posts.
CakewalkStyle Shop has three blogs, yes three. Lifes a Cakewalk is its main blog, Influencers focuses on bloggers and taste makers, and Style Guide shares its latest store items and trends.
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Twitter The best part about being on Twitter is the ability to interact real time with your customers. Resolve customer service issues, get a pat on the back, or valuable feedback all from the comfort of home or the store backroom.
Lilly Rain is really great about interacting with its customers online. They retweet and reply to the messages and even re-post blogger websites that show them love. They also have an active Google+ page, which is great for Google searches.
— lily rain (@thelilyrain) March 6, 2014
Pinterest The newest of all the social platforms, but the most useful for retailers wanting to get their inventory buzzed about in the least intrusive way.
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The veteran men's retailer Norton Ditto has one of the most impressive Pinterest accounts around. They have done a great job not only posting images of their own items, but other inspirational images for the man (or woman) that loves the store. My favorite would have to be the "Note to Self" board with its how to images and life hacks.
Instagram The media sharing site is probably the easiest to adopt because it can be as simple as taking a picture. The best retail Instagram accounts share images of store items, but also share images and video of day-to-day store life.
The team at Reserve Supply Company share plenty of product images, but followers get to see the lives they lead outside the store too, like the video below.