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Social media mistakes retailers must avoid

Social media mistakes retailers must avoid

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are all great resources for retailers trying to get the word out about their goods. You can use these social media platforms to reach out to fans of your store, spread the word about sales or show pictures of the hottest items lining your gondola shelves and display cases. However, there are some errors you can make when using these programs that could end up hurting your business in the long run. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:

You want your posts to show up frequently in your followers' feeds, but not so frequently that people grow frustrated and start blocking you. Aim to post one or two items a day, and leave it at that. Any more and you'll start to seem desperate, but you do want daily posts to maintain a presence on these sites.

Bad grammar
Think before you tweet! A post on social media that is riddled with grammatical errors will come off as unprofessional or amateurish. You put a lot of time and effort into making sure your clothing racks and wall displays are neat and tidy, so do the same when it comes to social media usage.

Regurgitating posts
There are programs out there that allow you to post identical messages across all of your social media streams. These may be a time-saver, but they should be avoided. Even if you are posting the same links and photos, you want the accompanying text to vary. After all, it's highly likely that your Facebook followers also subscribe to your Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Ignoring complaints
Social media can be a blessing and a curse. In one way, it allows you to reach out to customers and offer them deals. However, it's probable that some of your customers will use your Facebook wall as a place to rant about their displeasure with your service. The best thing you can do in such a situation is to respond immediately and publicly. If it's a legitimate complaint, reach out and apologize, then offer to make amends with a discount. This will show others that you care about your customers.

Slamming your competition
You can read about celebrity Twitter battles in the tabloids every day, but you should keep your badmouthing to a minimum. Even if you know your main competitor is on Facebook, avoid mentioning them unless it is in a respectful way. Insulting others online will make you seem as though you're cruel or that your business is floundering.

All promotions, no savings
It's fine to use your social media accounts to showcase your newest items, but the vast majority of your fans probably subscribe in the hopes of finding new deals. It's smart to offer exclusive promotions to those who follow you online. For example, you can tweet a "secret code" that your customers can use online or at the register to get a percentage off certain items. This will not only make your current follower happy, but will encourage new people to subscribe to your feeds.

Follow back
If you want to stay up-to-date in your industry, then you should be sure to follow others in the field. This means subscribing to the feeds of similar retailers, your biggest fans and anyone else who might provide insight into what you sell. You can also re-post the interesting content you see on others' feeds, thus strengthening your relationship with your colleagues.