The social media landscape is always changing. MANDY EDWARDS says your marketing strategy must adapt to reflect these changes to avoid failure.
The world of social media marketing can change at a rapid and, sometimes, frightening pace.
A website that once guaranteed a boost in sales for a retailer can become obsolete overnight. Proven methods of reaching the right audience can become unpopular and vanish in what feels like the blink of an eye.
The way your business posts, what your business posts, and who your business targets – it’s all liable to change. If you’re not adapting how your business uses social media to market your products to customers, you’re going to fail.
For example, within a 12-month period around 2018, the following happened – all more or less at once. Algorithm changes were implemented by search engines, advertising metrics were adjusted, Facebook use began to notably decline,
Instagram use by consumer audiences surged, and Twitter doubled the character count.
Those were just the notable changes. It’s likely just the tip of the iceberg! In the early days of social media marketing, the system was relatively straightforward – a business would run an account or page, depending on the website, and post content for its subscribers.
The content would reach the audience unchanged via a feed. It reminds me of the movie Field of Dreams, where the protagonist is told “if you build it, he will come!” The theory was the same. You had access to your subscribers and were free to push them in the direction of your digital store by whatever method you chose.
There was no algorithm dictating who saw what – how times have changed!
Fast forward to today and the landscape is vastly different for businesses. There is a science and psychology behind social media marketing – and it’s changing all the time.
There’s one thing that has changed very little – the audience. The sensibilities of the average customer haven’t changed too much and it’s important we remember those fundamentals.
Customers don’t want to see sales pitches. When it comes to digital content, customers want to be given material that matters to them. Customers aren’t interested in fluff – the stupid gimmicky videos and jokes that make you want to gag.
Customers want relevant content with substance. As a retailer, we must avoid wasting the time of a customer by posting meaningless “share this to win a $25 gift card!” posts. Those posts clutter the feed of not just our subscribers, likely existing customers, but also their friends and family – who may be our customers of tomorrow.
Review your content
Retail businesses tend to spread themselves out over many social media networks, attempting to make the most of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Put yourself in the shoes of your followers and think closely about your content. Are you posting something that would make you stop and read? Or does it look like the most of the content online, worthy of nothing more than scrolling by?
Think about how you compare to your competitors. What does your content have in common with the material of your closest rival? How does it differ? These are the questions you should be asking before posting – and not after!
Digital marketing is going through an evolution right now – in fact, it always is.
When social media was popularised marketers quickly learned to exploit it. Many business owners became an ‘expert’ on using it as a marketing tool without formal training. The tide turned and now on websites such as Facebook, that kind of content is penalised by algorithms.
To avoid getting swept up in the same wave, focus on the basics of marketing. Aim on relationship-building with your audience and remember that it’s not a one-way street.
As a retailer, you have to be active and responsive to everyone. Customers have said for a long time that they want meaningful, accurate, authentic, and informative content.
Adapt your content as such. Get rid of the fluff! Post content that will draw an audience in, and make them act. Contact potential customers directly and build a relationship through social media. Form your own community.
Customers always pursue more personalised experiences, especially in retail. Your business should use social media to tailor the experience they have with you. Consider posting about your interactions with customers – feature your customers with your products! Find a way to connect the two.
Loyalty is key to long-term survival in retail. This applies to the jewellery industry more than most! The strongest will survive and those who adapt will outlive the rest.