Social media is a very simple, cost-effective way to engage students with the bookstore. In a perfect world, you would post on your store’s social media account and all of your followers would see and remember the content you post. Better yet, they would heart the post and leave a comment, and maybe even share the information with their friends who don’t follow you. However, as we all know, that is not the reality. So, how can stores get customers to follow and interact with them on social media?
Unfortunately, there is not one easy, surefire way to engage with your followers on social media. In fact, it is often a continuous exercise in trial and error. Social media companies are always updating and tweaking their algorithms, seemingly changing the rules so what worked before for your store, might not work as well now.
That said, there some methods you can use to consistently improve your store’s social media engagement.
Reply to comments
This is one of the easiest ways to ensure more people see and interact with your posts. Let’s say you post a video highlighting the new merchandise in your store. Someone comments about the cute shirt the person in the video is wearing (Pro Tip: if your store makes video marketing for social media, always have the person on camera wear something that can be purchased in the store). Your store would then reply, “Thank you! It is on sale this week in the bookstore” and share a link to the item in your online store. Now, you have provided great customer service to a person who follows you on social media, you might have encouraged a sale, and depending on the platform, the friends of the commenter will also see the post.
Give a shout out to brand partners
Tag your brand partners in fun posts displaying their merchandise. This helps draw the attention of a company with a potentially larger audience, which can increase your reach. It also alerts students that the store carries brands they like and what quality of materials they can expect from the bookstore.
Ask questions and create informal polls
People love to give their opinions. Asking a question or setting up a poll can spark engagement on your social media page. As more people answer (and you reply to those answers), more of your followers will see the post because of its high engagement and interaction levels.
If a social media account only ever sells to you, chances are interacting with that page won’t be your first instinct. Add a more human element and highlight your employees, customers, brand partners, etc. Get permission from them to post their picture with a fun question and answer or interesting tidbit about them. For example, let’s say you have a customer who comes into your store this Halloween wearing a costume. You might talk to that person and ask them why they chose that costume and if you can take their picture and share it on your social media. Focus on the storytelling aspects and engage your customers.
Offer customers a great incentive
Sometimes what has always worked is still the best method. Universally, shoppers like to feel like they are getting a great deal. Giving followers or people who comment on your page a promo code can help drive a lot of traffic to your store and increase social media engagement. Think about all the ways you can use social media to share sales and discounts, promote your loyalty program, and/or offer a special deal to those who follow your page.
Naturally there are many more ways you can work to increase engagement on social media (i.e. video content). However, everything doesn’t have to be implemented at once. Choose one method that appeals most to you and work on being very consistent with it on your social media pages. Once that is something that is fairly easy to accomplish, try to add in another method. Before you know it, your engagement will double or even triple.