Lachlan Brook
Lachlan Brook 2 August 2016

Getting Social Media for Retail Right

It would seem that the ability to maximise the power of Social Media remains lost in translation as far as most retailers are concerned. Some are doing it well, but the majority are failing miserably. Many do not even have a simple Social Media Policy for their own staff let alone for the companies professional use.

The saying "not having a plan, is planning to fail" is just as relevant when using social media as for any other part of your business. If you do not have a Social Media Calendar that leverage's off your Marketing Calendar, start again.

A recent study has found that there are over 11 Social Media Platforms that have over 100 million active monthly users.


Pick only the platforms where your users are. Ideally not more than 6 platforms and at least 4 Social Media Platforms should give you more than enough Social Media presence.

If you can't answer the following points you need to go back to the drawing board and work on your objectives and strategy from scratch.

  • What is it?
  • What do we do with it?
  • What do we want others to do with it?
  • Take action on it

Building Business through Social Media (choosing the channels)

Define the channels - Do they fit your brand or product, and is this where your customers are?

How can I use them? - You need to build a strategy that is going to be driven by data generated from previous efforts

From a business perspective, you have to able to;

  • Control the media
  • Build desire
  • Target driven
  • Goal orientated
  • Strategic
  • Analytic
  • Managed your reputation
  • Watch for trends

When using Social Media:

  • Name - has to be for relevance and discovery
  • Description - should always be unique, relevant and interesting for users to drive engagement
  • Categorise - choose carefully to drive relevant traffic
  • Localisation –include a map
  • Access – considered from both a joining and participation level
  • Image – consider quality and composition
  • Specific – Topic driven
  • Links – back to users web site
  • Integrate - other forms of social media
  • Source – location, price
  • Reward – provide a reason why a customer should follow you in your chosen medium

Managing your social Media presence does not have to be a drain on your resources. There are several Multi Platform Management tools as well as content creation / management tools available - use them.

A few examples

  • Hootsuite
  • Socialmention
  • Bitly
  • Crowdfire
  • Tweetdeck – manage up to 5 twitter accounts, handy for multi language etc

Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Reputation Management is the practice of attempting to shape public perception of a person or organisation through influencing online communications, and responding to comments left by followers


  • To inspire engagement amongst users of a positive experience
  • Reputation can govern success or failure of a campaign or even company
  • Everyone is affected by ORM
  • Negative feedback grows exponentially
  • Shift in power in control of visible communications, customers have multiple channels to provide feedback
  • Social Media is a two way conversation
  • Damage control

What happens if I do nothing?

  • Can have a negative impact on your brand
  • Gives impression of being unable to respond to criticism
  • Give impression of being unable to resolve complaints
  • Decreases competency & legitimacy
  • Vulnerability to negative feedback/criticism is increased

About the Author

Lachlan has over 25 years experience as a professional and enthusiastic marketing guru with experience in social media, strategy and management, brand, direct and digital marketing. He has worked in and advised many businesses including some of Australia’s leading agencies, retailers and franchise networks, and a growing international portfolio.

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