Three More Ways You Should Use Social Media

Three More Ways You Should Use Social Media

September 24, 2014

If you are currently using social media but want to do more, or get a bigger ROI here are three tips from Garden Media’s Emma Fitzpatrick. She believes that social media should be more than just an outlet for your business's marketing messages. Read on for her tips.

Social Listening
We’re often blasting out a lot of messages about what’s going on, on our end but think about it, every conversation needs to be a balance of listening and talking.  Use social media to listen to what people are saying about your store. Truly listening to this social buzz will allow you to see what your business is doing right and what you can be doing better. The next step is then to take what you've heard, and improve.  And, of course, interact with social commenters directly to let them know, too. As the retail dietitian you may have lofty ideas of how to improve your efforts, but your customers might want something totally different.  Listening will help you tailor your efforts.

Social Advertising
While advertising often brings to mind images of billboards and glossy magazines, your business can advertise on social for far less. As it turns out, this smaller investment may get you more bang for your buck.  Social ads on Facebook and Twitter have been around for a while, but their effectiveness has always been up in the air. But new research states the contrary. For the small price tag, running social media ads has low risk — and it could be a real change-maker when it comes to attracting new customers. Find out from your manager if you have a budget for this, as you can target ads to customers in your area to let them know what’s going on in your store.

Social Market Research
Market research on social media takes social listening to the next level. Brands know they have a captive, engaged audience, so now they're floating new ideas on social media. From new product names to taglines and magazine covers, customers love having their voice heard in either the comment section or a more formal poll. Plus, when you ask your customers for direct feedback on a specific solution or event, they become invested. Then, when your product (even, dish) hits the shelves, you better believe they're going to be one of the first to see if their vote won. A true win-win situation.  For example conducting a monthly poll for a healthy dish for the prepared foods section is a great way to get customers involved and feel like their voice is being heard.

Keep in mind that social media is a two-way street. While it's important to continually share your brand's material, it's just as important to foster engagement by listening and responding, too.

Emma Fitzpatrick is an account executive at Garden Media (LINK a public relations firm that specializes in the lawn and garden industry. Emma received a degree in English from West Chester University, and her specialties include content marketing, social marketing and short, snappy writing.