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The social media checklist for retail and small businesses

With the ability to reach thousands (if not millions) of people, social media levels the playing field for small and retail businesses with smaller budgets. 

Not only does social media bring you more exposure, but it could drive valuable customers to your business. In fact, the latest social media stats suggest that social media has increased business traffic for 90% of marketers. Moreover, positive social media interaction inspires 51% of consumers to visit a business.

Considering this, the importance of ramping up your social media efforts is apparent. If you’re new to the field and don’t know where to start, here’s a social media checklist to guide your efforts.

1. Have an optimized profile

First things first, make sure your profile is optimised to reflect your branding. Your social media profile should not only represent your business, but should also come across as professional and trustworthy. 

So make sure to optimize it with all the relevant details including:

  • A bio that explains what your business does and contains other essential information. Ideally, it should be optimized with relevant keywords that can boost discoverability. You can even include additional details like your hours of operation if the platform doesn’t have a separate field to include them.
  • A profile picture and, if applicable, a cover photo that visually represents your brand. You can use your business logo as the profile picture while your cover photo can be a photo of your establishment or an original graphic with your slogan, for example.
  • Other important details such as your location, website URL, reviews, contact information, and anything else that might help customers learn more about your business.
  • Relevant contact buttons that will allow mobile users to easily get in touch with your business.

The following Instagram profile for The Blonde Beet is well-optimised according to the guidelines shared above. It explains what the business is about and when they’re open. In the Story Highlights, customers can also access additional details such as reviews, food, and events.

Audiense blog - the_blonde_beet Instagram profile

2. Post consistently (and with substance)

Consistency is the key to maintaining visibility even with evolving social media algorithms. You need to have an active presence on whichever platform you decide to use. While this means you need to post consistently, it’s also important to post with substance.

This means sharing content that your audience finds relevant and valuable. This may include bite-sized tips and tricks, fun facts, memes, promotions, sales, business updates, and events. You could even leverage giveaways, polls, and votes to drive more interactions.

Cheekbone Beauty regularly engages their social media audience with practical makeup tips, fun games, useful how-to guides, and creative promo videos. The beauty company posts consistently to maintain visibility across their various social media channels.

Audiense blog - Cheekbone Beauty Facebook page

Have a publishing schedule in place and plan out your content for the whole week or month. This will help you plan ahead so you don’t have to scramble for ideas at the last minute. You can then use a social media scheduling tool to automatically push out your posts when your audience is most likely engaged.

3. Understand your audience

Having a solid understanding of your audience is essential to guide your social media strategy. When you know what your audience wants, you have a better idea of what appeals to them and how to connect with them. 

You can use a platform like Audiense Insights to dive deep into social media consumer segments and extract valuable insights about your target audience. The platform helps you identify the unique traits and behaviours connecting a particular segment, the influencers they look up to, and the media they consume. This will help you create social campaigns that are tailored to appeal to a specific audience type. 

Audiense blog - Audiense Insights dashboard

4. Be responsive

Social media is a two-way communication channel. It’s for this exact reason that consumers turn to social media not just to research and follow brands but to also get support. Whether they need help or have some questions, it’s important to closely monitor what your customers are saying so you can promptly respond.

According to Sprout Social, 76% of consumers value the speed at which brands respond to their needs. In fact, almost 70% expect brands to respond within 24 hours on social media. 

Being unresponsive means you could be losing out on the opportunity to delight your customers. In some cases, it could even result in lost sales opportunities. 

So make sure you’re keeping track of your social inbox and comments as well as brand mentions. You could even have a dedicated team following up with timely and appropriate responses. 

Partake Foods takes the time to respond to customer questions and engage with fan comments, which has contributed to the business building an engaged social media community.

5. Experiment with the latest tools and features

Social media platforms are constantly evolving with new tools and features. From Instagram Reels to social shopping features–you never know which of these additions will make a difference for your business. As such, it’s important to stay on top of the latest feature updates and experiment with them to see how they can benefit your business. 

Being the first to use the latest social media features will also help you stay ahead of the competition. By the time your competitors start adopting a certain feature, you will have already mastered it.

6. Integrate social media into your wider marketing strategy

To get the most out of your social media efforts, it’s important to make it an extension of your wider marketing strategy instead of a standalone approach. How can you use it to achieve your wider business goals?

For example, retail businesses may mainly use social media to drive sales. As such, you could make use of social shopping features to showcase your products and drive direct purchases.

POPFLEX Active creates shoppable Instagram posts that let customers find out more about the product right within the app. This shortens the buying journey and allows the brand to drive more purchases through social media.

Audiense blog - POPFLEX Active instagram account

Key takeaways

With the right approach, social media is the perfect growth tool for retail and small businesses. The above checklist gives you a head start so you can seamlessly navigate the competitive social media landscape. 

  • Start building your presence with a well-optimized profile.
  • Post consistently to beat the algorithm and maintain visibility. 
  • Understand your audience so you know how to appeal to them.
  • Respond to their questions and comments to boost interactions and engagements.
  • Gain a competitive edge by experimenting with the latest tools and features.
  • Make sure your social strategy aligns with your wider marketing goals.

Audiense blog - Start a trial - Audiense Insights