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Success with Social Media

By Lorrie Baumann

Troy Davis, the new Vice President of Marketing for Smith’s Consumer Products, Inc., may not have had much time yet to unpack his mementos into his office, but already he has plans to expand Smith’s social media presence, and he has ideas that are just as important for retailers as for his company’s brand. Smith’s makes the KitchenIQ™ line of knife sharpeners and kitchen tools as well as a range of grilling tools, including FireWire® grilling skewers.

For a retailer who wants to know that single most important thing about how to establish an effective social media presence, he says it’s all about content. “For a retailer or a brand, consumers want compelling content. That’s what’s going to persuade them to engage and feel an emotional connection to your brand. “Let them know when something new comes in. Maybe offer them a discount on the first day it comes into the store.”

And make sure that you include photography rather than just counting on words to tell your story, adds Melissa Moore, Smith’s Consumer Products Marketing Manager for Housewares. “As a brand, we follow many independent stores. They get great response from the pictures they have posted for the events held in the store,” she says. “Facebook is really driven by pictures. If you just have a lot of copy and not the pictures, you don’t get as good results.”

zester 2 for socialmediamarketingstoryFor best results from your pictures, make sure that you include people and not just products. Focus on someone using the product or enjoying the activity at your event. “People are always happy to see themselves in the pictures,” Moore says. “If they tag themselves in the picture, it shows up on their friends’ walls.”

If you’re photographing a cooking demonstration for your Facebook page, make sure that you include a photograph of the food, Davis adds. “Showing the food, or the end result, also gets consumers engaged.” And don’t forget to share the recipe!

Giveaways and promotions give your customers a great reason to follow your social media posts, and they really drive the Likes and the Retweets. “Promotions on Facebook and Twitter really drive engagement,” Davis says. “And again, you’re building the emotional connection with that consumer. They’re going to want to share that with their friends.” The consumer who wins something, no matter how small, isn’t going to keep that news to themselves; they’ll certainly share it with their social networks, both Davis and Moore say.

Moore adds that Smith’s Consumer Products is delighted to support retailers with products to use for giveaways at their events. “We’re always looking to work with retailers to support them,” she says.

All of this takes time and effort, but social media is an important marketing tool, and the real key to success at it is to engage back with consumers as they interact with your site, Davis says. “You can’t just post something and leave. You must reply back to posts and have conversations,” he says. “You have to be truly committed to responding in a two-way conversation.”

To help manage your time, set up HootSuite, which allows you to set timers to post for you when you’re doing something else. But then, make sure that you come back to your page and respond to comments left by your customers, so that you keep those conversations going. “You have to have a dedicated individual to come back and respond,” Moore says. “It is a time investment for the retailer, but it should benefit them in the end.”

The folks at Smith’s Consumer Products practice what they preach with their presence on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Check out www.kitcheniq.com to see what they’re up to there.

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