Articles for Retailers 

Social Media 101

- by Kizer & Bender

Social media marketing builds word of mouth, the number one thing that brings new customers to your store. Social media marketing is definitely social – it’s all about the interaction you have with fans and followers. Here are some important things to remember: 
Connect Your Accounts.
A recent Facebook poll found that 80% of people want to interact with the brands they like via Facebook, so a Facebook business page is a must. This is also important because your Facebook fans are two times more likely to buy from you. 
Make it easy on yourself by connecting your Facebook page to your other social media accounts so you can update your followers all at the same time. Don’t worry about sharing the same content on your various social media sites because different people check different social medias on different days at different times. 
Listen. Interact. React. Sell.
Customers need a reason to read your social media posts; if all you do is sell, sell, sell they’ll quickly tune you out. Follow this formula for best results: 
LISTEN:  Keep up in real time! Studies show that most people visit their social medias in the morning and early evening, so these are good times to check in. We recommend you check in mid-afternoon, too.  Listening means reading what people are talking about and responding quickly, frequently, and accordingly. 
INTERACT:   If someone posts on your page, or asks a question, answer it. When you read something interesting, get in on the conversation. Commenting and/or sharing a post are the best ways to get noticed. The goal here is exposure. 
REACT:  Answer fan posts and comments in a timely manner – the sooner the better. Smart phones allow you to post from anywhere, so get every social media app and use it. Anything longer than 24 hours to respond is too long. Facebook actually rates your response rate; it wants you to respond within 15 minutes. Turn “Notifications On” on your app so you never miss a customer question or comment. 
SELL:  You can only plug your products and services about every fifth or sixth post; any more than that and your social medias become an infomercial. 
What to say.
In social media marketing less is more, so on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest try to use 250 characters or less, and three lines or less in your posts. Longer is okay sometimes, but remember that we live in a sound bite world. Twitter limits posts to 140 characters of copy; try to use around 100 so people have room to comment. 
Studies show that on Facebook videos get 100% more interaction than posts with just words. We’ve had great success using Facebook Live: real-time videos you broadcast live on your Facebook page. We use our smart phones to broadcast – it’s easy! People love to see what we are up to and they love to comment on what we are doing. Check it out! 
Posts with photos get 120% more interaction than words. When posting photos NEVER use photos that you do not have permission to use. Take your own photos, ask your vendors for photos, or use sites like Adobe Stock ( Never use a photo from Google images. It’s copyright infringement; you could be fined and the fines can be steep. 
Give incentives to people who visit your social medias.
Give fans access to exclusive content. Train them to look for offers they can only find on your social medias. Think “Tuesday’s Deal of the Day” or something similar. Promote them via your website, email blasts, newsletters, and throughout your store where appropriate. 
Use the Facebook Events tab.
The Events tab allows you to organize and promote all of your in-store happenings. You can easily invite fans and encourage them to invite their friends as well. You can see who RSVPs, comments, and more. 
Facebook ads.
Facebook is almost all “pay to play” these days for business pages. You may have already seen your organic reach drop – that’s by design. Facebook offers several ad options to increase the number of people who see your posts, these include Boosted Posts, Newsfeed ads, Video ads, Carousel ads, and Facebook Offers. You can also place ads on Instagram via Facebook – learn more here: 
Facebook has become traditional advertising and you need to get in the game.  According to Moz, an SEO consulting company, just spending $1 per day on Facebook ads gives you the chance to get in front of about 4,000 people who probably would not have seen you otherwise. You can fine tune who you want to target and up your budget accordingly. 
Use hashtags to expand your audience.
A hashtag – # – is a word or phrase that’s preceded by a hash or pound sign. It’s used to identify messages on a specific topic. For example, if you search #art or #artist or #fineart you will get a list of posts that are related to art, but you won’t get posts that simply include the word “art” because the word is not preceded by a hashtag. 
Placing an art related hashtag at the end of your posts will help you connect with an audience that reaches far beyond your current followers. Create a hashtag for your store as well, as in #yourstorename, so people can easily search for you. 
Add your social media icons/links to everything.
Think website, front door, business cards, brochures, email blasts, and in-store signing – everything that has to do with your store. 
Use a social media management app.
Dashboards like Hootsuite allow you to easily manage, monitor, and schedule posts for each of your social media sites. Hootsuite allows you to manage a few social media profiles for free. 
It’s important to plan how many times a day will you post, and it’s important to determine your social media “voice”, along with who will manage your social media accounts. Social networking requires the same as planning as any ad campaign. That’s why we recommend you use a post calendar where you can document when to post, how often to post, and where to post. You don’t want to leave anything to chance!


Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place. KIZER & BENDER’s observations are widely featured in national newspapers, national and international industry and consumer publications, and on radio and television programs across the U.S. You can learn more at