Social Media for Retailers

Social media could’ve been a conspiracy cooked up by garden centers and home goods brands around the world. We traffic in the beautiful and the fun, in people’s hobbies, passions and aspirations. Your customers will look to your accounts for inspiration, for ideas on that new DIY project in the backyard, for reminders that spring is coming and they want to plant primrose for the first time because you’ve posted a beautiful picture along with some tips on its care.

But a great social media presence takes some planning and strategizing. I’ve broken down the basics by order of importance and potential difficulty (if your not familiar with the technology).

Level 1:

  • Define your brand as a lifestyle not just a product. Chic and contemporary? Antique and eclectic? Organic and eco friendly? Some mix of all this? Understand what you offer and what your customer’s aspirations are. You’ll focus your content and generate ideas for creative posts.
  • Plan for consistency. From the filter you use on Instagram, to the color palate of your Pinterest page, or the voice (fun and flirty or wise and studied) of Facebook posts, a consistent approach promotes recognition and trust.
  • Strategize. The visual element of home and garden is a no brainer for Instagram and Pinterest. But don’t discount Facebook (more adults than any other platform are users) or Twitter (more people follow brands on it). Decide on which platform you want to start, where you want to expand, who will be crafting and posting your content, and stick to a schedule so that your account appears lively and active.

Level 2:

  • Provide valuable content. This is as easy as sharing other people’s content if it’s helpful for your customers. If you have a new shipment of plants and you want to share a blogger’s high quality video on planting, you’ll be promoting your product and supporting your followers. As you become more invested in your social media, you can put more effort into creating tailor made content. We use programs like Canva, Lightroom, Adobe Spark Post and Unfold to create content.
  • Listen and engage. Use the popular features like Stories on Instagram and Facebook. Branch out into videos, narration, interactive polls, contests, and reposting of your followers content. Strive to keep your content dynamic, diverse and responsive. Don’t be afraid to recycle content on different platforms - everything can be recycled!
  • Find a face for your brand. You don’t have to hire an actor. You just need a friendly face to humanize your accounts. This will bring your brand to life for followers. This can be challenge if you’re camera shy. If you have employees who are up for being your online persona - recruit them. But take it from me, after a couple months of putting yourself out there, you start to enjoy the process and all the positive feedback!