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The social side of schoolwear retail
Warren Knight discusses the importance of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.



1 March 2013

Social media expert Warren Knight speaks to CWB about how independent schoolwear retailers can discover and develop an online voice, creating interaction with consumers through the web.

For retailers, there is nothing better than using social media to maximise sales and build an online voice based on your business. We are now at the start of 2013, and it’s time to evaluate your online success and change what has been hindering you from becoming more successful.

Social media is now a huge part of every business’ online marketing strategy, however using social media as your only marketing outlet will not work. You need to understand your target market and where they are most likely to hang out. Here is a breakdown of where Facebook, Twitter and the new kid on the block, Pinterest, are currently at.

FACEBOOK

As the largest social network in the world, Facebook has over one billion users, 75 per cent of which have “liked” a brand’s Facebook page. If you, as a retailer, don’t have a Facebook business page, you are going to be missing out on potential clients. A “share” inside Facebook is now worth £2.60. This means that every time one of your followers shares your post with their community, you are earning money from it one way or another. As you may know, Facebook has added a lot of new features this year that will be beneficial to retailers, including:

 Facebook Store – you can sell inside Facebook for free if you have less than 2,000 “likes” on your Facebook page. Use Payvment to help you install a store on your Facebook fan page.

 Facebook Timeline – this is another way to promote your business and create milestones where your fans can see when you achieved something in your business.

 Sharing and pinning posts – you can highlight a post to make it a key feature on your page and pin a post to put it at the top of your page for a week.

TWITTER

Twitter is the second largest social network in the world, and has 140 million users. Twitter sees 14 million tweets every three days and the value of a share to a brand is worth £21.04 with peer-to-peer marketing. It is a good network to be involved in and is great for:

 Building an online voice – you must be careful with Twitter, as once something has been posted from your account, it will have been read by at least one person, regardless of that tweet being deleted within minutes.

 Tuning into your target audience – using Twitter will allow you to tune into your target audience by using the search bar and entering in key phrases. Don’t forget to put your phrase in quotation marks to make sure you will pick up the right tweets, eg “social media”.

PINTEREST

Pinterest is the newest network, and has only been around for two years. At 10.4 million users, it is the fastest-growing social media site in history, and has been experiencing a whopping 400 per cent monthover - month growth. There have even been stories of businesses doubling their revenue after joining Pinterest. It is just behind Google in the referral traffic game for e-commerce sites, making it almost impossible to avoid.

Why should your business be on Pinterest?

Pinterest users who shop online follow around 9.3 retailers, whereas Facebook users follow 6.9 retailers and Twitter users follow 8.5 retailers. This is because Pinterest is more visually pleasing, and people are more likely to connect with images and video’s over text. Pinterest referrals spend 70 per cent more money than visitors directed from non-social channels. Shoppers recommended by Pinterest are 10 per cent more likely to make a purchase than visitors who arrive from other social networks including Facebook and Twitter, and will also spend 10 per cent more. You can sell your products on pinterest using Pin2Sell.

THREE STEPS TO SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS

I have been working with start-ups and small businesses for many years, helping them build strong foundations, a clear unique selling proposition (USP) and a defined customer acquisition journey. Yes, there are a lot of successful businesses that spend a lot of time on their social media – this is because they have a complete marketing mix strategy. For your business to be a social success, you should follow these three simple steps:

1. Use social media as customer service By this I mean connect with your customers on Facebook and Twitter, where they feel comfortable to give you their feedback on your products and services. Should you receive negative feedback, deal with it immediately. If your followers can see you are offering great customer service, they will be a frequent buyer.

1. Use social media as customer service

By this I mean connect with your customers on Facebook and Twitter, where they feel comfortable to give you their feedback on your products and services. Should you receive negative feedback, deal with it immediately. If your followers can see you are offering great customer service, they will be a frequent buyer.

2. Be consistent

Something I see quite often is how inconsistent retailers are across their multiple social networks. Keep your online voice the same, along with the images and content you are using.

3. Have a strategy

What works on Facebook will not work on Twitter, or even Google+. I suggest one post per day on Facebook and Google+, so you don’t avoid losing fans. Twitter is slightly different. My suggestion is to post five times between 9am and 5pm during the week and find out your most optimum time using Timely.

 
 
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