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Independents-share the love this Valentine's


Small businesses should be leveraging Valentine’s day for its marketing potential. Social media is the perfect platform for extending the reach of your brand while show casing your products and services, all for free.


Know your audience

Knowing your customer demographic is essential to picking the right social media platform. There are new platforms emerging every day, each appealing to different people for different reasons. The key players are platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as image based sharing communities such as Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. Don’t go overboard, pick one or two platforms to invest your efforts and be sure these are the ones your customers are using.

Catch their eye

The very nature of social media requires short, attention grabbing posts with linked content should the reader want to engage further. This is an opportunity to showcase your products in their best light. Post images of the daily specials on your menu, or create a sense of demand with ‘only one more left’ with limited product lines. Advertise events, such as sales or product launches, new menus or refurbs. The smartphone is the 21st-century shop window, an opportunity to draw your customers in.

Get them talking

User generated content such as reviews, shared posts and pictures act as a credible referral for your business. You can encourage these behaviours through interacting with your customers when they’re in your store. Restaurants and eateries confident in their offerings should socialite reviews from customers. Businesses incentivising customers will often see an uplift in reviews, such as including customer in a prize draw or money off their next visit. Header or footer text on receipts is a good way to remind customers they have a review function available to them. Encouraging customer engagement is a surefire way to improve your customer retention. Social media is a means of strengthening your customer relationship even when they aren’t directly on your premises. By sharing and engaging with your content customers become your brand advocates.

Keep it fresh

Your social media account needs constant upkeep to ensure content is fresh and messages, complaints or enquiries are being dealt with in a prompt and courteous manner. A large part of the appeal of social media is the immediacy at which users can access up to date content. Many businesses choose to diary posts in order to save time. While this is a good way to manage your social footprint when you're offline, being relevant and in the moment will generally garner higher levels of engagement from your audience.

In conclusion

Social media is becoming an increasingly important way for businesses to engage with their audience and those that choose to ignore the growing dominance of this communication platform are likely to be left behind. It’s never been easier or cheaper to connect with your customers. Take advantage of these platforms to help your business grow.



AUTHOR

Erin Heenan

Erin joined Epos Now in 2016 as an in-house content writer for the marketing department, making use of 10 years experience working in busy restaurants. An avid fan of shopping and eating out, she is committed to helping retail and hospitality SMEs get the most out of their businesses.



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