Connected Stores: Think Socially

Connected Stores: Think Socially

In our last post, we took a look at a few retailers who are nailing digital in their physical stores–and some who still need to get up to speed. While incorporating interactive physical technology is cool and innovative, it can also be very expensive, and not all brands and retailers have the budget for it. That’s okay! By cleverly using social media, we can creative interactive experiences online as well. Let’s take a look at how to think socially:

At it’s best, social media connects shoppers with their favorite brands and provides a window into the latest trends & events in close to real time. If retailers can’t afford to implement digital technology into their stores, they had better stay connected via social media. We’re not saying that social media strategy is cheap, but it is a worthy investment with clear payoff.  If executed correctly, it can be a great way for designers, brands and retailers to connect with their customers. Keep in mind, of course, that there’s a method to social media madness and that planning is key.

According to social media consultant Cannon Hodge, setting goals is a great way to stay organized and build a strong presence on different social platforms.

It’s important to map out a social media plan and also set long and short-term goals. Without a concrete plan, social media can negatively affect a brand.

We’ve created a beginners road map to strongly executing social media:

1. Know Your Audience

Who are your supporters? What is the demographic of your customers and followers? These are questions that a brand should know the answers to. Dria Murphy, style and communications director at Keep, says that brick and mortar retailers should “make sure their social media mirrors their stores to make it easier for their customers to understand the brand.”

2. Listen to Your Customers

Customer feedback is a pertinent aspect of any company and can be especially important for brick and mortar retailers that want to increase their digital presence. Don’t just talk: listen.

3. Understand Each Platform

One of the cool things about social media is that no two platforms are exactly the same. Each site is unique in attracting different people for different reasons. Not everyone who is on Tumblr is also on Instagram and vice versa. Understanding each platform and how your store can benefit from it is as important as creating a social media plan. Stores shouldn’t have a unilateral approach to each site or cross share across each platform. Do your homework.

4. Engage with Followers

Having followers means nothing without engagement. Make them feel appreciated by responding to their tweets and comments. Sound simple? It is, but still so many brands are out there in broadcast-only mode.

5. Own a Hashtag

There’s an art to hashtagging and we believe that no more than two should be used at a time. Brands should have their own unique hashtag that they consistently use; it’s a great way to utilize customer content to harness momentum. It can lead to brand awareness and create an identity on social media. Some examples of hashtags that work in this context are Kate Spade’s #livecolorfully, Nasty Gal’s #GIRLBOSS and Mansur Gavriel’s #Happygirlhappybag.

In our next post, we’ll explore some of the popular social media platforms and exactly what they can do for brick and mortar retailers. See you then! Meanwhile, connect socially with me on Twitter.

This is part 3 of 6 in a series about connected stores, written by Murielle Henriquez, who has joined Third Wave Fashion as a contributor. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables. You look nice today!