What is Social Retail?
Social retail is the practice of using social media to engage with customers and sell across both physical and digital channels simultaneously.
Social retail is based on a simple concept: individuals are rewarded for sharing products that they already admire. People share brand content on social media like Instagram and Facebook when the brand and its products align with their desired self-image, and bringing that experience from the digital realm into the physical enhances it even more.
By highlighting social media in the retail environment, you give customers an opportunity to see real customers with your products, not just models in pictures on the wall. Shopping has become a social experience, and it’s important for companies to use social media to offer “social proof” that the business is credible and desirable in addition to officially-produced advertising content. Bringing social media into the physical retail environment with a social wall is a great way to show that social proof in person AND online.
Develop a Retail Social Media Campaign Strategy
Before you ask yourself, “what is social retail?,” you should consider how social media influences your business.
Customers seek social evidence whether you offer items or services, digitally or in a physical retail environment. In fact, 74% of customers use social media networks to help them make purchasing decisions.
So, how can you make the most of social retail to increase conversions and revenue for your company?
Start with these basic steps:
1.) Create an official hashtag (or hashtags) for your brand
2.) Run hashtag campaigns
3.) Make product improvements based on customer feedback — make them feel like you’re listening to them
4.) Create share-worthy and photographable backdrops in your retail environment to encourage in-store posting
5.) Showcase your customer’s content on a social wall, both online and in-store
Retailers must rethink social media in order to build a robust strategy that includes many channels and a balanced approach to social proof. Brand recognition, authenticity, and loyalty may all be achieved with a well-balanced influencer and consumer-generated content marketing plan. When strategizing your next social media campaign, don’t overlook the aspect of social retail and take advantage of the retail space you have at your fingertips.
Finding methods to integrate your social presence with current sponsored efforts is a big part of social media for retail. Whatever campaign or product launch you’re promoting, you can’t afford to leave your followers in the dark or think they’ll find out about it elsewhere. Brands have more possibilities to nurture consumers and keep them up to date on their latest deals if they have an engaged email list and social following. In order to define an effective social retail strategy, It’s also critical that your social media campaigns be optimized for the retail environment.
Social Media Aggregators
Social media posts provide the “social proof” that many people seek before completely committing to a product or service. Your potential consumers can see what others are saying about your products and services if you have a dynamic, interactive social media feed on your website as well as across your social channels. A well-curated social media stream may also be used to demonstrate your products and services in a real-world setting.
User-generated content (UGC) should be a part of your social media strategy. When your fans and customers boast about your brand, it can be used to influence new customers in the most effective way. A social media aggregator offers an accessible way to collect and share curated content while potential customers are encouraged to explore your product pages and you end up boosting conversions.
Not all customer interaction is done on the Internet, of course. More and more, the hybrid of physical and digital is enabling marketers to reach customers both online and out in the world. In addition to its uses online, a social media aggregator can be used in the physical retail environment.
How to Bring Social Media into the Physical Retail Environment
A social wall is a compilation of social media posts from a variety of platforms. These feeds frequently include your own content, but they may also be content from customers and fans — user-generated content.
On social walls, all of your social media information is aggregated and presented in one place, and you may personalize your social wall to highlight specific hashtags and themes. This is especially useful if you’re undergoing a social media campaign that highlights retail products, such as new products or sales.
Social walls can be shown at a store, during an event, or at a business. A social wall is extremely beneficial for physical retail stores since you can combine the influence of customers on social media with your storefront environment. Share the experience of shopping in your physical store by posting in-person customers and staff to your social platforms, and vice versa.
Pro tip: Encourage your customers to post in-store by creating “Instagrammable” backdrops that feature your brand/products in a visually interesting way. Selfie wall, anyone?
Related Reading: How to Apply User-Generated Content to B2B Marketing
Social media doesn’t have to be used just to engage with online customers. Customers who visit your physical retail store can view customer-curated social media content displayed on social walls. Those customers can also easily share experiences from your storefront with user-generated content that’s automatically shared on your website with a social media aggregator.
It’s easy to embrace social retail and expand your brand with the help of social media tools like Juicer! Juicer’s business social media tools are jam-packed with amazing capabilities that help create improved marketing strategies and effective social media campaigns. The best part is that you can personalize and control the content of your feed so that it fits with your brand, and it can also highlight sales and events.