Hi guys! Yesterday in my Urbanic post on 10 tips for opening up a retail shop I mentioned that it’s important to build your online presence. I wanted to talk a little bit more about that today and highlight some of what I’ve learned about this over the years. For any of you who have a line of products or a shop, I’m sure you already know that the work involved is never-ending. With the many channels of social media, it may seem impossible to be on top of all of it, so this post is some encouragement for you to not let all of these outlets overwhelm but instead to find the media outlets that you are really comfortable with and let them capture your strengths in their best spotlight. This is where you start building!
What is your strength? Are you a great writer? Your twitter feed or blog could be a great place to start building. Are you driven by inspiration daily? Pinterest and Facebook could be a good resource for you to quickly broadcast your findings and status updates. Whatever it is that you are good at, start your emphasis in this place. Feeling confident in your voice will enable you to cross over into the other channels more naturally. Since I am more of a visual person, my efforts are best put towards our blog and the use of Instagram. Here I post photos that allow our followers to see into the daily workings of Urbanic, whether it’s a journey with me at trade shows on our buying trips, new merchandise coming into the shop, desk inspiration, the wrap jobs we do, and even a little bit of social and family life at home surrounding the business. It’s important to let people see into your brand and some of who you are behind it – which ultimately makes your feed more personal and interesting.
At Urbanic we let our Instagram feed fuel our other social media channel resources. We often do a round-up of things that happened lately with a collage of pictures. We keep it interactive and re-gram photos that some of our customers have posted of product that they’ve purchased at the shop and even host giveaways! We also send pics over to Twitter and Facebook, and sometimes write the captions a little bit differently to make more sense to those digital environments.
A few important tips to remember!
1. Curate what you post. If you are posting as a brand or a business then the images or text that you post should match the identity of your brand. For example, it would be weird if I posted a photo of my car being worked on. Although this might be happening in my life, it would make more sense to post that type of content on my personal Facebook page, since our Urbanic followers most likely wouldn’t be interested in this.
2. Touch up your pics! It only takes a second to brighten or sharpen something before you post it. The apps and tools are all so easy these days, you don’t need to be a photoshop whiz to make a photo look their best.
3. Be careful of your time! Any channel of social media can be a huge time suck. If you are starting up or running a business it’s best to be consistent but also disciplined about the time you are spending on this. If I’m stuck on a picture or caption with something, I either save it for the end of my work day or just delete the idea if it’s not coming easily enough. If you have a blog and keeping up with the daily posts is weighing you down, bringing in contributors and guest bloggers could be a great way to keep your content fresh and allow you more time to plan future posts. For all of you business owners out there, you might consider enlisting someone on your team to participate in your social media channels and blog posts under your creative direction. If you don’t have anyone on your team just yet, there are interns out there who could be great at this. With apps like Hootsuite you can upload posts to Facebook and Twitter and schedule posts for a later time. This is a great tool to help prevent social media from highjacking your work day. In a nutshell, my advice is to make sure you preserve the time you need to focus your attention on building your brand conceptually and tangibly, and let social media become an accent and tool to showcase it.