Social media has become your digital storefront and your bike shop's community face. Find out what you can do in 2020 to ensure you're winning online.
Start with Facebook
Facebook works incredibly well as a starting point for a social media strategy. Why?
This network is the powerhouse to a huge, engaged audience, combined with rich data and powerful advertising tools. It’s easy to use and gives you the ability to post photo albums, host and share events, broadcast live videos, and write in longer form. Add in the power to target posts to specific groups and Facebook will quickly become your go-to social network for small businesses. Simply put, there’s no better starting point for a successful strategy.
Have both organic and paid strategies
Organic social tactics can help with things like establishing an online presence and engaging with existing customers, whereas paid social tactics can help with things like reaching new audiences and promoting products/services.
Keep in mind, the average human attention span is down to 8 seconds. Content should be short and telegraphic. Use photos and videos whenever possible. Showcase those new bikes you just got in for spring. Or share a tutorial on changing a flat.
If you’re not reposting content from your best-selling brands, you’re missing out on some great, free marketing. Chances are the brands you have in your store have a pretty healthy marketing budget to put towards rich video content, elaborate product launches, and pro sponsorship's. Ride the coattails of their investment and share this content as it fits in with your social strategy.
Being responsive is the top thing brands can do on social to prompt consumers to purchase. Posting on a daily basis with visual content helps, too!
Once a month, look at which posts and ads are performing – and fine-tune your strategy. It’s no longer about the number of LIKES or FOLLOWERS you have…be sure to monitor whether people are engaging with your content – commenting or re-sharing.
Engagement is a two-way street so be sure and keep the conversation going with your audience. This creates a lasting impression of your brand in their minds and will keep you top of mind for all their bike needs.
Remember that social takes time
Set aside 15 minutes a day as your “social marketing and communication time.” Use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to pre-schedule content. If budget permits, hire or outsource. But be sure to spent an extra 15 minutes a month reviewing results. Which bicycle is most sought after? What kind of content do your followers engage with the most? Decide where to invest in social advertising and further fine-tune your shops social media plan.
After you have a content calendar in place, it’s important to stick with it as much possible. Otherwise the time you put into it ends up being a waste, and we all know what that does to a small business’s bottom line. However, your plan should have some flexibility built in to accommodate things that are sure to come up throughout the year — such as product launches, reviews, and photo-worthy bike builds.
Especially with the social media algorithms in 2019, your content has to be top quality, as well as informative, engaging, educational, and entertaining. Add creative spend to your ad budget if you want to get big returns from social.
As social media becomes more complex, it’s unlikely that it will take up less of a small business’s time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this effort isn’t being wasted—it’s a channel that’s increasingly central to people’s lives.
Continue to invest
Building successful organic and paid strategies requires consistent time and spend. Only through continual experimentation and optimization will your efforts grow more effective and sophisticated.
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