If there were one marketing channel that has posed more of a love-hate relationship with retailers than any other, it is without a doubt, Facebook.
For retailers who rode the boom and bust wave of organic reach which gave abundant views of your boutique’s content to shoppers, only to then introduce algorithms that slowly tightened free reach to nearly 0, what does the future hold? Sure, reach is limited, but it’s not dead when you plan out your Facebook strategy.
Here are 6 go-to tips to re-energize your Facebook game plan. Try them out and let us know below or in our community, what you think!
1. Quality over Quantity
The days of peppering your page with post after post of quick photos from your cell phone or vendor stock photos will no longer work, it’s time to take a long look at the quality of content your business is sharing on social media.
Clear, professional looking images, videos of events, new arrivals, photoshoots or strategic new arrival releases on social media are important pieces to plan out before you post to make sure you are putting your brand’s best foot forward. This doesn’t mean you need a professional photographer on staff, but you do need to understand your photography’s basic editing, framing, and quality, much of which you can manipulate from your cell phone. No matter what you post, just make sure you’ve thought about how it relates to your brand image! Post quality images, at a time that matters.
2. Video is King
For the past 3 years, we’ve watched the rise of video, and with the introduction of Facebook Live and now Instagram Live in 2017, it’s time to get on board. Curious about what to share with live video? Start with a behind the scenes look at your business, share video of a full store of shoppers during your latest event, introduce your newest holiday arrivals, go live to talk about this week’s events and specials, or use the app – Boomerang to create Gif. videos during your photoshoots. Video is a powerful tool with reach that surpasses any other type of post, so test it out for your business!
3. Treat your VIP’s with Groups
Using Facebook Groups along with your Facebook Page has been the key to sustaining Facebook reach for many businesses over the past two years. If you haven’t created a ‘group’ yet, this little Facebook tool is a powerful and personal one! Groups are posted to using your personal Facebook profile rather than your business’s page, so it creates more of a direct connection between you and your customer.
Authenticity is so important in today’s marketing, so this tool builds trust, relationships and community for your business in a way that other social media channels can’t compete with. If you’re curious about starting a group, let us know at the Hub, we have a step by step guide we’d love to share with you!
4. Social Authenticity
People want to do business with people, and brands are taking note. Does your business seem too stiff, or are you letting customers see an authentic view of what your business is all about? Building trust, personal relationships, and community are key to not only attracting customers but retaining them online after the holiday season.
Today consumers are very aware of knock-off Chinese websites tricking them into ‘boutique clothing’ – this makes sharing the story behind your boutique crucial. Use video, share a personal thank you from the owner, share your charitable causes, and give your community of shoppers a look into the daily life of your business.
5. Advanced Targeting
We couldn’t be more excited about the advanced targeting options available to Facebook Advertisers, and they are growing by the week. Now is the best time (if you haven’t already) to make sure your Facebook Pixel is firing on your website, and you are using it to create Facebook Custom Audiences for both targeting and retargeting.
Audiences can be used for both organic posts to Facebook, along with all paid advertising features. There are a few audiences you should make sure are built and saved for your business:
- A Custom Audience based on website viewers in the past 30 days.
- A Lookalike Audience based on those website viewers.
- A Custom Audience based on your email list (uploaded to Facebook).
- A Lookalike Audience based on that email list.
- Custom Audiences based on the new engagement tracking on Facebook – those who have watched your videos, those who have engaged with your content, and those who have sent you messages to your page.
- Saved Audiences based on your location if you have a storefront, or based on similar pages and businesses with a nationwide geography if you are an online retailer.
The options are as basic or as advanced as you would like to go with Facebook Audiences, and it’s time to dig in and start learning one at a time if you’re new! These powerful tools will allow you to reach your best target market in the most direct and cost-effective way possible.
6. Social Influence on Facebook & Instagram
The rise of social influencers and bloggers seems to have no end in site, however, how we utilize them may shift a bit. Some retailers have found success in the more traditional path of sending products to bloggers with large followings in exchange for them to take photos of the products and post online to large audiences. Social influence may shift from the professional blogger to the more common social influencer who you may already be connected with sharing your content.
Find your best customers, or invite preselected future customers with great images and connections to wear your products and share photos organically! Authenticity is key, so this is not a ‘rep’ program where they push a discount code for you, but instead organically share what they love about your business across social media.
What do you think?
Where do you see the future of Facebook marketing for retailers in 2018? Let us know on our own Facebook page at Facebook.com/boutiquehub or our page just for retail marketing tips at facebook.com/boutiquehub – cheers to a booming during the holiday shopping season!
Want more tips and strategy for your boutique, brand and the industry as a whole? Make sure you are on our email list, or join us for the most in-depth resources, training library, company profiles and collaborations at www.theboutiquehub.com/join.
Photo Credit: Love on a Hanger