Beauty Store Business

SEP 2013

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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Page 37 of 87

idea is to create a set of plans that are as articulated as your marketing strategy. Spontaneity is fine when it comes to social media, but procrastination, ignorance and slap-dash postings that are done simply because you "think it is time" won't work. Sit down with your team and put together a social-media strategy that encompasses what you read here and you'll craft a plan that will be deliberate and goal-oriented. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE? WHAT'S THE COMPETITION DOING? At this point, you probably can relate well to the whack-a-mole analogy. Your postings—pictures, video and text—are spur-of-the-moment with little thought as to what those postings convey. Rather, up until now you have most likely posted something simply because you thought about it late at night when you got home or first thing one morning when you came into the office and read something about social media in Beauty Store Business! So instead of logging into Facebook and typing "Hey, we have a 20% off sale on hair dryers this week only," take that time to truly ponder what you want to do with social media. What questions do you want to answer? • How can we use social media to drive sales? • How can social media increase customer traffic? • Which social-media sites enable us to best engage with our customers? • How can social media be utilized so that customers talk positively about our store? • Which social-media efforts help us introduce new products to our regular customers? • Can social media allow customers to review products? • What kinds of promotions work best on which social-media sites? Now before you say that you'd like to know the answers to all of those questions, realize that taking that very approach— attempting to do everything with social media—would be your first problem. Contrary to what you might think, social media is not the panacea that you sometimes hear about. In fact, one rule about social media you should take to heart is that it does not replace the marketing tactics that 36 September 2013 | have worked for you for years. In addition, it won't mask poor customer service and it can't hide shoddy merchandising or a cluttered store. The fundamentals of retailing should remain your priority. However, for three or six months of the year, you could tackle one or two of the questions above. This is the initial step in strategizing what you do with social media. Random postings that fail to connect to your ultimate goals will achieve little. Fortunately, you are not alone with what you want to do. Others have already traveled down the same road. And that road is littered with failed attempts, postings that unexpectedly went viral in a negative way and a few successes too. Certainly, you should check to see what other beauty retailers are doing, but also check out restaurants, banks, manufacturers, coffee shops, oil companies, charities, trucking firms, and well, just about any other organization you can think of. Look for postings that strive to achieve the same things you want. For example, if you are hoping to find a way to simply connect or engage with your customers, how do others handle this? Count the number of words they use. If they are using videos, determine the average length. Make note of the content, use of images and whether or not background music is present. Pay attention to the pictures. Are they customer-generated or are they from the firm itself? After making these specific observations, try to ascertain what the company is trying to achieve with the posting. Would this same posting—in style and content—work for you? This is free socialmedia consulting for your store. Give a homework assignment for each associate in your store. Instruct each person to bring in examples of all the social-media efforts that five different organizations use. Pass out a copy of the sidebar accompanying this article that shows major social-media sites and have every employee search each site for her five selected companies. Then, have a meeting to discuss what these firms are doing with social media. Take votes on which efforts are better implemented. Finally, assess these best practices and start planning how these will work for your store.

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