Last week we created a Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram page.
The three B’s:
Establish yourself as a trusted information source. Customers will check-in daily for new tips, ideas, etc.
However, do research. To be informative you must be credible. To be credible you must have sources. And those sources must be credible. Most furniture store blog articles are generic. Generally, it is unsupported opinions about their "trending" inventory. You can still do the same, but while being informative. Consider customer opinions and questions. Why is this particular style of furniture trending? If it is not trending, why does this particular type of furniture suit a customer’s home? How can it be made to fit into a home’s design/style? Does a particular interior designer recommend it? What materials is it made out of? Is it more durable than something from a chain store? What colors match best? What fabrics should parents or pet owners seek? What type of furniture suits the local weather? Can this furniture be outdoors? Also, ask existing customers what they think about when purchasing furniture. And support all answers with credible sources.
Beyond style, is there something furniture related you can inform customers about? You can deliver other messages that will make you stand out from the competition. It isn’t easy, but it will be worthwhile. Customers will see your efforts and appreciate them. It will drive traffic to your website and store.
Social media doesn’t have to be all “business”. It is an avenue to showcase personality. What sets you apart from other furniture stores? What makes your customer service superior? Over the years, you have built relationships with returning customers. What makes them return?
Studies show most purchases are emotion-based, therefore while online, ensure delivery of the personality that built your business. An example of a business applying this: Wendy’s social media account on Twitter. Wendy’s Twitter account has grown in popularity due to its entertainment value. In the fourth quarter of 2016, they had a net income of 28.9 million dollars vs. their fourth-quarter net income in 2017 (post-Twitter campaign) of 159.3 million dollars. They utilized storytelling, consistency, and communication. The most retweeted tweet of all time was a response to Wendy’s twitter page when a customer asked how many retweets it to get a year of free chicken nuggets. Apple and Microsoft even attempted to "newsjack" by commenting on the trend.
The takeaway is you need to find yourself. Wendy’s fearless humor and sarcasm have become forever associated with their brand. Maybe that isn’t your business personality, but that’s fine. Deliver what has made you successful, or explore a new method if it isn’t working. Just keep adapting.
Your social media pages are where customers and potential customers can directly communicate with the business. It encourages repeat customers and new customers. If you can create a sense of community then your business can build a loyal customer base that primarily grows based on word of mouth. According to Sprout Social's studies poor customer service is the number one reason. Make sure you deliver the same quality service online as you do in-store. Set a clear expectation of when customers will receive replies to their queries. And then ensure a reply within that expected time frame. And respond to every single message you receive. Of course, you can ignore unwanted solicitations or messages from bots. But many customers will perceive your business positively if you respond to their messages regardless of how trivial. Why should you? Wendy's again delivers.
Wendy's replies to all queries, no matter how minor or unrelated. According to statistics, the most annoying action a brand can take on social media is too many promotional posts. For example, when we break down Wendy's tweets only 183 were pro-active brand tweets. The rest of their 35,000 tweets were replies. This is important because as we discussed prior, customers find it annoying when most of a company’s tweets are promotional. Although it may be annoying for the business, the opposite is true for consumers.