Retailer Wishes of Cudworth from Barnsley give us their 10 great ways to use Facebook posts to promote your shop. Julia Keeling runs Wishes with a little help from her partner Chris Fox, who manages their Facebook business page. Wishes use Facebook posts daily to promote their independent shop. From making their staff the stars or putting their pet rabbits in the spotlight. This article was originally published in Greetings Today Magazine.
Here’s Chris from Wishes… One of the best things about talking to other greeting card and gift shop owners is their enthusiasm for what they do. They truly love their shops and every sale, no matter how small means the world to them. When a new gift or card range arrives at Wishes, Julia our shop owner can’t wait to give me an update on how quickly it starts to sell. Every positive comment is passed on to me, no doubt accompanied by a little, celebratory dance.
When visiting the Spring Fair, Julia excitedly spoke for nearly twenty minutes, without taking a breath, to a supplier about window displays, customer service and the success of her new lines. “Now that’s passion” was the impressed response to me. And they were right, Julia is proud of her shop and her zest for card shop perfection really shines through. We should carry this enthusiasm onto our social media but I’m often told by other shop owners that they don’t know what to post about. Having put on my special thinking hat and delved back into the Wishes achieve here’s a few easy Facebook post ideas (Which can also be used on Twitter and Instagram too).
10Shout Out About Your New Products
If you venture into our shop on a Saturday morning you often find Julia and myself setting up our makeshift photography studio on the shop’s counter. The reality is most of our product photos are taken on my iPhone with some of gift wrap acting as a backdrop. Failing that a off-cut of wallpaper works just as well.
9Have You Seen Our Latest Window Display?
A good window display should stop a passerby in their steps and draw them into your shop. The same goes on Facebook and our shop window display’s always get lovely comments especially around Christmas and Mother’s Day. There’s something reassuring comforting about seeing a beautiful small shop window display and people will respond in kind with some Facebook love.
8Run A Competition
Competitions are a great way to give your page an organic boost. We often time competitions just before a major season like Valentine’s Day to ensure our Facebook posts are put back on our customers feeds. Be careful to follow the rules: Asking people to Like your page and post is ok, telling them they must share your post or tag a friend may break Facebook’s terms and conditions. Finally make sure to add: This competition is NOT endorsed, sponsored or associated in any way with Facebook.
7Engage With Your Local Community
By integrating your shop with your local community, be it a charity, school or group then you’ll be placing yourself at the heart of your area. We had some lovely feedback when we teamed up with the Barnsley Shoebox appeal and try and help where we can to support our local charities. Also look out for popular regional hash tags like #barnsleyisbrill and #betterbarnsley to engage with you local digital community too.
6It’s All About You & Your Staff
Your Facebook posts shouldn’t just be product, buy, product, buy, blah! We always find that our customer’s respond well to picture’s of our shop’s owner and sole member of staff Julia (well apart from myself but I hide in the back when they come in). We’re back to the passion part again. Julia lives and breath’s Wishes, has picked every card and often knows many of our customers by name. Jools sunbathing outside on her stool last summer was one of our most popular posts, because it caught a snapshot of the real Cudworth.
5Screenshot A Review
We’ve noticed that taking a screen grab of a recent good review and posting it to our Facebook page will often prompt additional reviews. People often forget or don’t even know they can leave reviews, so a gentle reminder is helpful.
4Share A Post By One Of Your Suppliers
Time is a enemy of many gift shops. We just don’t simply have enough of it. Lucky at Wishes myself and Julia tag-team our duties and body slam problems into submission (I seem to have suddenly gone all WWE). Julia runs the shop in the real world, I run the social media doing all the computery stuff. Still if your pushed for time why not share one of your supplier’s posts. As I write this at the end of February I’ve seen a great Pancake day post from Mrs Bridges and cute soap giveaway from The Soap Story. Sharing is caring after all.
3Have A Laugh
One weekend in the shop I couldn’t help but notice two sweet old ladies giggling at a card. On presenting the card to buy, I was delighted to see it was one of our more ruder ones. A funny, rude and even crude card will raise a titter on Twitter and Facebook too.
2Give Your Customers The Spotlight
This ones a little tricky as most of our customers our camera shy and quickly hide if we get out our camera phone. Still if you’ve a regular customer who is willing to pose with their latest purchase, it will help promote your shop as both friendly and approachable. We also encourage our customer’s to share photo’s of their purchases on our Facebook page. It’s always great to see our candles in their beautiful new homes.
1Bring Out The Cute Pets
There’s a theory that you should mix up shop related posts with more random or topical posts. That it shouldn’t be all about you. At Wishes we’re greedy and like the limelight but sometimes mix it up especially on a Sunday when we’re closed. Posts can include a pet bunny photo or a what we do on our day off (No it’s not just pictures of us snoozing in bed). Again it helps show more of your personally and helps build bonds online that can be carried through into your shop. That’s Pedro, our cute baby bunny.