SpartinaDuckDuckGoose-350x229.jpg

Summer 2013
One Message: Three Messengers By Crystal Vilkaitis

Facebook and Pinterest and Blogging, Oh My! Here’s how to integrate all three platforms to promote your gift shop goals.

A few issues ago, we discussed how in-store events can be a strong marketing and sales tool for your store. Events are a fantastic way to bring in foot traffic and get some community attention. If you don’t host in-store events, and only sell online, you can use these tips for virtual events like sales.

You can use social media platforms to achieve a number of objectives – including spreading the word about your upcoming event and driving increased traffic to your store.

Say you have a Facebook account, actively use Pinterest and maintain a store blog. What steps would you take to make sure each of these platforms serves your end goals well?

What to do on Facebook

SpartinaDuckDuckGooseTwo weeks before the event, create a Facebook Event page listing the time, location and specifics like giveaways, tickets, specials, live music, food, special guest appearances, etc. After you create the Facebook event page it will automatically post to your Timeline and be sent out to your fans’ newsfeeds. However, it’s important to keep talking about it, leading up to the event.

One week before, share a photo of a past event or a picture of someone who will be at the upcoming event, reminding people it’s next week. Copy and paste the link to the Facebook Event page onto the photo you’re posting so they can RSVP/Join the Event. Do the same thing two days before the event and on the day of, post about it again.

During the event be sure to take pictures. Post a few directly to your Facebook Timeline during the event, telling people it’s happening and that there’s still plenty of food/time to win/tickets/etc.

What to do on Pinterest

If you’re a local brick-and-mortar store, it’s important to find locals who actually live in your area and can attend the event. Finding them can take some time. Search for your city or town name in the search bar found in the top left corner. Next, go through “Boards” “Pins” and “Pinners” to see what and who is listed for your location. Click on people’s profiles to see where they are located and if they are near you, follow them.

For your in-store event, you’ll want to upload a picture (of a past event, your store, other) and in the description of the pin give event details and copy and paste the link of the Facebook Event page, telling people they can “RSVP Here.”

If you’ve built relationships with locals on Pinterest, mention them in this pin by typing the ‘@’ symbol and directly after type their name. This will give them a notification they’ve been mentioned in your pin, and they can click to see your special invitation to them, through Pinterest.

What to do on your blog

Bliss

There are many advantages to having a blog for your business and especially when it comes to in-person events, it can help connect your store with the community to increase exposure.

Blog about the event a few weeks before. If you’re partnering with a non-profit organization to raise money at the event, create a press release and then turn it into a blog post. Promote that post on all your social media networks and send an email to your mailing list. If the non-profit you’ve partnered with has an email list and/or social media profiles, ask them to promote the blog post too.

If you’re doing more of a girls’ night out, open house, crafting event, fashion show, demonstration, etc., then you can use your blog to leverage what will be featured that night. You can give tips and examples of the things attendees will be making, or fashion trends that every woman needs to know about and show pictures of products that you carry that are “hot,” or write a feature on an artist you carry explaining her inspiration for making different pieces. A blog lets you go deeper into the product details to showcase all its features or stories.

Throughout your blog post and at the end, your call to action should be for the reader to attend your event. You can list a link to your Facebook event page, ask them to opt-in to your email list to get a reminder the day of the event, or just to mark their calendars.

Afterwards, write a blog post recapping the event and include photos like Bliss 101 did on their blog. This is a great example of mentioning the entertainment and other local businesses that participated.

Follow these tips to give it your best for your next in-store event through the popular social media marketing tools available.

Crystal Vilkaitis

Crystal Vilkaitis has been using social media to market businesses since 2007 producing results such as: tripled web sales, increased blog traffic by over 2700% and coverage in Entrepreneur magazine and USA Today. She is the owner of Crystal Media, a company dedicated to helping retailers market online to increase exposure, traffic and sales. To receive free weekly social media tips visit crystalmedia.co




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