Connecting the clicks
It is critical to remember, though, that social media doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To be effective, it has to be integrated into all your sales and marketing efforts. Customers want to see consistent messages across all other touch points, such as PR, website, and traditional advertising, and those messages must come alive with the in-store experience. The challenge is to produce social messaging that is relevant and consistent with all your other marketing efforts.
Shane O’Neill, vice-president and digital media expert at Fruchtman Marketing in Ohio, concurs. “It is imperative to develop consistent, accessible messaging that can effectively position the retailer to track with the consumer in the buying cycle,” he adds.
For jewellery retailers, social media adds an essential, conversational dialogue to business-to-consumer communications. While the top-of-mind objective is the same, content for social channels is a radical departure from the tightly held, high-quality push advertising we define in terms of reach, frequency, and duration. Social media content has a life of its own and can’t be controlled once posted.”¨ “It can be seen by dozens and fade away or viewed by millions and become iconic,” Harris says.
Social media content exists for customers. As such, the goal is to create awareness and engagement through authenticity and participation. Your organization must view messaging as a high-value activity reflecting your brand identity and enhancing long-term relationship with your customers. For that reason, your entire staff should know what’s being posted and why. It is essential employees be aware of your social media content, as they are the customer’s first and most important point of human contact with your business.
There are five elements for effective use of social media for retail marketing. Let’s look at each separately.