We are Wired to be Social. Questions we asked and answers that worked.
At the Lizard Lounge we are wired to be social, so when we developed our marketing strategy we knew that social media would play a key role in building and bringing our community together. Our goal in launching and growing the Lizard Lounge’s consumer base was to create a community of people who loved the same things we did. With a very small budget for traditional advertising, we focus our outreach efforts on Facebook and Twitter.
The questions we ask ourselves …
I. How can we align our innovative retail environment with consumers who will be excited about what we are doing?
II. How do we get different consumer segments to spread the word and share their experiences with other like-minded consumers?
III. How can we get our community to come into the Lizard Lounge on a regular basis?
We started our social media efforts by cultivating a solid Facebook fan base. Generally, we built the base by inviting our friends, vendors, community partners and organizations to “like” us. And, in turn, they invited their friends and followers and so on and so forth.
Here are some ways in which we digitally engage our consumers and the types of social media posts that keep our consumer excited about being a part of the Lizard Lounge community. Our social media conversations are about keeping the information fresh and relevant. Our job is not to push sales, but rather to build community and create the opportunity to sell.
• Compose a ‘Staff Picks’ post and email. Send this out to your consumers every month. Consumers are very influenced by what your staff gets excited about. It’s an authentic endorsement for the product you carry.
• Give hints about the new products we’re excited about. For example, we post sneak peak photos of products that we just received. Sometimes we offer in-depth brand information. Our consumers come in shortly after asking for the new product!
• Create a consistent monthly event in which consumers can re-connect with the store. Post FB invites and event information before, during and after the event. Example: We created LL’s First Thursday event. It’s a rotation of art, music and food trucks. First Thursdays brings a diverse crowd of consumers into the store.
• Post about community events that you think your consumers will find of interesting, such as a local music or outdoor event.
• Filter new products and ask your consumers what they think.
• Post about brands you carry and the relevant events or initiatives they are involved in. We try to leverage brands and our not-for profit partners to help reach different customer segments. This is a good way to start connecting your consumers to the brands you sell.
• Post press that your store or key brands have received.
• Start a Style Profile– highlight local people who fit your customer demographics with some Q & A and photos.
• Post relevant content if it endorses your brand position, the lifestyle you are advocating or the brands you carry.
• Facebook Contests. The opportunities are endless. Try to pair promotions with content because while a contest or sweepstakes may get you some e-mail addresses, simply posting these on your page provides limited incentive to share with friends or even to participate. The way to boost participation is by tying the offer to content. The most important
thing to keep in mind is to keep it simple. Here are a few simple ideas to get you thinking:
- Ride your bike to our store and we’ll post picks of our favorite bikes.
- Take a pic of yourself outside our store – best outfit wins.
- Tell us what brands you want us to carry and we’ll send you a gift card.
The social posting take-away.
The goal here is to give you, our fellow retailers, ideas about what to post and how to balance the content. Some key rules we follow:
• Be authentic in what you post.
• Plan some of your content ahead of time. (This will automatically happen if you have an event and sales planning calendar in place.)
• Make sure the information you post is relevant to your consumer’s interests.
• You don’t need to sell but you should create a community and the opportunity to sell.
• Don’t forget to have fun and inspire your consumers to do the same. It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason.
— Sean Mcguirk, Marketing Manager, The Lizard Lounge