Social media tips and tricks for independent and small retailers

Social media tips and tricks for retailers

We recently ran a workshop on social media for retailers, with tips and tricks to make the most of the various platforms, to drive engagement and turnover.

Below are some of the useful resources from the event.

Social Media Resources:

New to social media?  What is Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter & Google+ – how do I post.  

Facebook: A new users video guide.

Twitter: A new users video guide.

Google+: A new users video guide.

Pinterest: A new users guide

Youtube: A new users video guide.

linkedin: A new users video guide.  Linkedin ebook. Useful guide on building a great business profile page on Linkedin.

Great sources of content: Video creation, graphic design, proof reading and more – everything priced at $5.  Note, avoid link building or Facebook likes ‘gigs’ they are generally too good to be true. 

Create free quotes

Quote pic maker: Create gorgeous looking quotes quick, easy and freely.  

Recite this: Simple templates to create great looking quotes, easy and freely.

Pinstamatic: Create gorgeous pins for pinterest.  Quotes, web pages and post-it notes.  All free

Image Stock Exchange: Free images – NB: Always do an advanced search and select “Restricted OK” “No” – as the image may have restriction of use.  NB:iStockphoto also advertise on so be careful not to click onto a paid image.

Canva: An online design tool for all your designing needs.  Nice templates, free and premium templates available.

Automating your status updates: Simple formulas to automate aspects of your social media offer.  For instance – if I post to twitter, create the same post on Linkedin.  Or if the weather is raining, send a post saying “free coffee refills today!” 

Hootsuite: Simple dashboard to manage and schedule your social media platforms.  For instance, create all your posts on Sunday and stack to be delivered across the week. 

Buffer: Stack and schedule social media updates, throughout the day/week.

UK National awareness days: List of days macerating messages can be linked to, ensuring relevance and seasonality.

Other sources of advice and tips:

Hubspot – has one of the largest collections of free resources.  they usually require an email address to download – but the quality of content they generate is usually of a very high standard.

Hubspots 151 sites and resources.  The must have list of internet resources.  

Key thoughts:

  1. Set the tone for your business.  Why are you in business – what is your passion?  How do you intend to share this passion?  What are the products and services that achieve this.  See ours for an example
  2. What are you trying to achieve?  Likes, comments, click through to your website.  Have a clear plan of what you plan to achieve before starting.
  3. Keep a nice balance of public interest posts and promotional posts.  Think of fisherman – ground baiting their water before dropping in a hook, or a boxer ‘jab-jab hook’.
  4. Make content ‘Shareable’ or it will not travel far.  See tips below for shareable content.

10 Types of post that improve engagement:

  1. Photo posts – find great images at
  2. Fill in the blanks – “Today is a great day to _______”
  3. Photo caption -Find a hilarious image and request captions. 
  4. Ask a question “Who of these three celebs wear black the best”. (include 3 celebs in black skimpy dresses)
  5. Share tips – 5 best ways to wow guests at a dinner party.
  6. Offers and promotions – You can use tools business tools within Twitter and Facebook or simply post an offer. “Mention FBook Tuesday Deal at the shop and Get a free muffin with your coffee”
  7. Solve a problem – “Kids driving you crazy this half-term? Free kids activities in store today”
  8. Share quotes – Text only quotes are OK, quotes with images are very shareable.  Use Quote pic maker  or Recite this. to create very attractive posts.
  9. Use #hashtags – both Facebook and Twitter allow for search by hashtag, and get topical posts to more people. #socialmediatip
  10. Reward followers/likers/fans – Entice users to like or follow you with the promise of extra unique content, offers or information.

Stuck for post ideas:  Here is some inspiration:

  1. Great customer experience example – we love real life stories
  2. Also share examples of customers using your products in unusual ways
  3. Your opinion on a product – If you are the expert, share your experience as an expert
  4. Share something a customer has done. Congratulations to our oldest customer Margaret on her 100th Birthday!
  5. Photo of store – outside, inside, display, back-room
  6. Respond to other’s people’s posts, or articles online
  7. Breaking news – specially from your industry or sector
  8. Inspiring quote (relevant) – Use Quotescover to make it look great
  9. Share some positive customer feedback
  10. National Awareness day – and your tenuous link!
  11. Ask a question?  Engage and get feedback from your customers, followers, fans
  12. Fun photos from the past – If you are a town centre business, show the town from yesteryear
  13. About funny scenario in-store – crazy things customers say, mistakes you have made – make the business human
  14. Ask for feedback – “What do you think of these new lines.  Shall I get them in?”
  15. Ask if anyone needs help with anything
  16. Thank someone for sharing post – We live for reward, you thank me, that’s a reward – I am more likely to do it again (Pavlov’s dogs anyone!)
  17. Company milestone – Great news, we’ve just served out 100,000th customer
  18. Post an in-store selfie – Phew busy today, just finished my special offer display!
  19. Post an event you’re attending – Excited to be at the Spring Fair, finding loads of new things
  20. Share a how to video – If you post this on Youtube first, rather than directly into Facebook – you may well get found on Google as well

Always remember, if you want people to share it…make it shareable!

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Written by

Corin Birchall is a Retail Sales & Marketing Consultant and founder of “Kerching Retail - helping to make your till ring”. His consultancy works throughout the UK and Europe. Corin is an active writer, coach and public speaker, helping to develop and grow a wide range of businesses & business leaders from Leisure and Retail sectors

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