In today’s world, you have more than one front door – your opportunity to show who you are to potential customers. One is the actual front door to your store or business, the other is your website and presence on social media. Every day, when you walk into your store, you look to make sure that the door is clean, the window displays are up-to-date seasonally and attractive to your visitors.
Did you know that your website and your social media accounts are just as important? They will attract new potential customers, and help keep top-of-mind with current and previous customers.
When is the last time you looked at the homepage of your website? Take a really good look? Remember, customers start their search at Google to find a shop near them, or shops to visit on a trip. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your website encourage people to visit your shop? Come browse through your inventory?
- Is the content on the homepage up-to-date? Or is it highlighting classes from last month (or even earlier)?
- Do you easily share with visitors to your website how to reach or find you? Is your physical address front and center, and your phone number?
- If you sell online, do you suggest some of your popular items to the visitor right on the homepage?
- Take a good long look at the format – does it represent your brand?
Now, take a look at your social media presence. And, no, you don’t need to be everywhere, and you don’t need to post daily. Each social media platform communicates a little differently to your customers.
- Facebook is about events and community.
- Make sure that you have a main image that best represents your shop. Maybe it is a photo of the inside of your store, highlighting the types of products that you feel are your niche or differentiator.
- Your posts should share what makes you different, why someone might want to visit your brick-and-mortar shop. Is it variety of classes? It is specific inventory? Is it open studio time?
- Make sure to post events on your timeline so that it is easy for your followers to show they are interested, which means your event will show up on their timeline for all of their friends to see (and hopefully show some interest, too).
- Instagram is about brand awareness.
- Posts should be pretty images that reflect your niche.
- Key to Instagram are hashtags, to be able to reach more than just your loyal followers. By using hashtags that are relevant to your post, you’ll show up in potential customers Instagram feeds, growing awareness about your business.
- Take a look at your Instagram feed. Are the images cohesive and share your brand? Or is there a random post about the traffic outside your shop one day? Or an amazing dinner you made? Those don’t belong. Think about your Instagram feed as your front window of your shop — this is where people see what you offer.
- Pinterest is the only social media outlet with staying power.
- Pinterest is not about today’s event, it is about posting images and content that will be reposted and shared. Pinterest can be a great source of traffic to your website.
- Example: You have ongoing classes in a basic technique. Post pictures of that technique, shop samples and works in progress. Link these to your ongoing scheduled class, and make sure the copy for the post reads something like “Always wanted to learn xyz? We’ve got the basic (and advanced) classes on our calendar. Sign up now.” That pretty image that shows the technique will be reposted and shared, and will attract new potential customers.
Just as you make sure your window displays are refreshed, take the time to make sure the homepage on your website is up-to-date, and that your primary social channels visually communicate your brand. You have more than one front door to your shop.
Lynn Woll is a traditional brand marketer, and lifelong maker. She combined her passion and skills to launch Create Whimsy, a website that shares the stories of makers to inspire everyday creativity. For the past 15 years she’s been a digital marketer and leader, and is currently CEO of Key Ingredient, a recipe website that launched Seasoned Influence, an influencer marketing agency.