I’m about to let you in on a little secret. So listen closely. There are other social media networks beyond Facebook and Twitter.
[Insert dramatic gasp here]
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to utilize the power of Facebook and Twitter when marketing your store. I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity they have to offer. But, much like the classic saying “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket,” I recommend expanding your social media mind to include a few additional niche networks to the mix.
Below are 5 niche social networks to consider in the future:
Yelp: Retailers should consider becoming actively engaged with sites like Yelp. This popular site provides customers the opportunity to search local businesses and read reviews written by others. It’s an easy way to hear what the community is saying about your neighboring businesses, competitors and even your own store.
Don’t be alarmed if you find negative reviews posted about your store. Simply use the critiques as an opportunity to improve your business.
Goodreads: Think of this site as a virtual book club. Whether you own a bookstore or are a passionate reader, consider adding this online network to your social media mix. It’s a great opportunity for retailers to discover popular titles and reading trends. You can also share reviews and rate books you have read. For all the bookstore owners out there, this is a great niche site for you to shine as a credible resource and talk directly to potential customers.
Flickr: Consider using this photo sharing portal as a way to interact with your customers through pictures. This tool could be particularly beneficial for stores located in resort or vacation hot spots. By uploading photos of area festivals and store activities, vacationers searching the area will begin to associate your store with the surrounding excitement. Ultimately, the chances of your store being added to their itineraries can increase greatly.
Linkedin: Retailers are required to wear many hats when it comes to running a successful retail store. This professional networking site is a great way to connect with people throughout the retail industry. Also, LinkedIn offers an extensive selection of groups across a wide-range of topics where you can get advice from experts in the field.
Meetup: Every opportunity to tell someone new about your store could be another step toward gaining a loyal customer. Simply search your area by zip code to find a group of like minded people to meet. Some groups get together as frequently as once per week while most tend to meet monthly.