Make Social Media Work for Your Business

In today's high-tech world, using social media to promote a pet retail business is not only a good idea, it is imperative to the success.


Many smart business owners are now using free social networking services like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as powerful marketing tools to promote their products and services. And you should too—it is a budget-friendly way to connect with your customers and bring new ones to your store. In addition, the shopping habits of younger consumers and the way those habits are shaped by their online experiences, have made it critical for retailers to engage this up-and-coming demographic through social-media platforms. Here are some simple tactics to help you grow your social media presence—and ultimately, your business:

Launch a social media ad campaign.
Drive potential customers to your site by utilizing Facebook Ads. Since users willingly share their information—geographic location, interests, demographics, etc.—through their Facebook profiles, you can target your audience very specifically to make sure you are reaching the right people.

Hold competitions.
Competitions on Facebook and Twitter can build the engagement of your audience by giving followers an incentive to participate. Offerpop is a resourceful platform that helps you launch and manage customized social media competitions, from photo and video contests to quizzes and polls.

Get visual.
Social media platforms like Vine and Instagram are great ways to integrate more visual content into your pages—which will help attract more attention. Even Snapchat is being used by businesses to help build their brand and engage younger audiences. Try “snapping” some of your newest products with a “This just in” message to let followers feel like they’re getting insider tips from your store.

Use content-management programs.
Content-management programs like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow you to schedule your posts, manage your social media pages in one place and view analytics to tell you how effectively your messages are reaching your audience.

Learning how to use social media effectively is well worth the effort, especially if you have a limited budget for marketing. Start planning your social media strategy today. For more timely ideas and effective strategies to grow your business, make sure you take advantage of SuperZoo, which will be held July 22-24 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Doug Poindexter is president of the World Pet Association, organizer of the SuperZoo tradeshow and educational conference.

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