More and more of your customers use social media to connect with their favorite brands. Are you giving them enough interesting and relevant content to keep them engaged and coming back (how many likes did your last post get?). Or, are your social media posts from corporate and the co-op speaking to the wrong audience? Your customers love you, the local owner, the local team, the iconic store that just gets your town and gives back!
How about recruiting? Do you run ads to get more applicants in the door? Or, are they knocking on your door because you’ve identified your business as one where people want to work because of the culture exhibited on social media?
At Mountain Mojo Group, we understand that social media can seem overwhelming and an unnecessary part of your marketing strategy. We’ve listed our 8 Essential Tips below on how we’ve used social media to solve the problem of engaged customers and eager team applicants.
Using Social Media To Optimize Customer Engagement
Remember, you should not share something on social media that you wouldn’t discuss with a customer in the store face to face. MAKE IT INTERESTING! The most successful social media brands use social platforms to build relationships and communities with their customers and audience. They have identified who their target audience is, where they are spending their time online, and the best way to reach them. They have a consistent voice, consistent branding and consistent messaging. Their audience is engaged and proudly supports their brands (YOU!) both online and offline. Ready to create that for yourself?
- If your business is a chain or franchise, create separate social media accounts from the corporate brand. This is crucial in your customer’s understanding of who you really are, not what they think of as just another national brand.
- Unschedule any corporate posts that don’t directly speak to your audience. An Ace Hardware store in Bozeman, Montana, will have a different audience from an ACE Hardware store in Miami, Florida and even different than a store in Billings, Montana. Remember that successful social media is all about having a genuine voice.
- Use photos from within your store only. Your audience wants to recognize the aisles and shelves and most importantly those smiles! Just like a successful newspaper article, your images have to be relatable, they have to evoke emotion, and they have to tell an interesting story.
- Highlight events that are unique to your store and your community. People go on social media to learn about what’s going on in their community and more importantly they go on there to FEEL A PART of a community. By sharing what you do and how you give back, you are aligning with your audience on an intimate level. This creates an online presence that they want to join and follow!
Mountain Mojo Group has used these tips with one particular Ace Hardware store in the midwest. In one year, their engagement rate increased on social media by 121.3%. Their audience growth increased by 541% and the number of times their content was displayed (impressions) increased by 51.1%. By using local events, local stories, and local imagery, their audience was finally able to authentically relate and engage with a store they’ve known their whole lives.
Using Social Media To Improve Team Recruitment
As you use social media to reach your target audience, highlight your core values, and increase brand awareness, you’re not only generating new and lasting customers; you’re creating a culture that brings new associates and leadership into your community. Here are a few tips on how to use your social posts to align with people in a way that makes them want to work for you!
- Be consistent with your core values and speak to them frequently in social media posts. Whether you’ve made a big expansion decision based on your community values or given your team a big bbq celebration, speak to the core value that led to that decision and people will relate.
- Do you donate to local charities, have food drives, participate in round-up programs? Shout this out on social media! Employees are interested in working for a place that cares about their community. It means that you will care about them as well.
- Celebrate your team! Post about your team’s store and product knowledge. Also, engage with your team in daily huddles to source stories in order to celebrate their accomplishments, both in store and in your town.
- Events aren’t just for your customers. Try some for your team too! Employee pie-eating contest on 3/14? Pancake throwing contest? Ugly Christmas sweater contest? Pumpkin carving contest? We have a hardware store client that does all of these things and more! Their team loves it, and so does their social media audience.
Social media is an integral part of team recruitment. It’s so much more than posting a Now Hiring ad or creating a job listing. Get creative, be genuine, refer to your values, share your team’s feedback, and most of all, have fun! Follow our tips above and watch the recruits come knocking on your door.
Although we don’t like to refer to Home Depot and Amazon as competitors, we do like to keep them in our line of sight. In doing that, we know that OUR client’s customers become loyal brand advocates because of their specific core values which, more than product selection or price, are their biggest differentiators. Define who you are and what you represent, then share it in an authentic way and watch your followers go way up and your floor get filled with a team that believes in you and your business!
And if you’re curious about how you can adopt tips like these into your marketing efforts or if you have general questions about how to improve your current efforts, click below to grab a quick meeting for us to chat!
Michelle has been with Mountain Mojo Group as the Lead Social Media Manager since 2020. Throughout her time here, she has lead the efforts in social media, content writing, branding strategies, and graphic design for our clients in the Hardware Retail Industry.