February 24, 2016 – Is your retail store active on Twitter? No? Well then, get on it.
Seriously. Just bookmark this article and come back later. I won't be offended.
The success of any retailer is predicated on consistency day-in and day-out. This consistency is often portrayed by workers that follow a system without deviation, so much so that it can feel robotic and impersonal especially at the point of customer engagement. The larger the operation, the more evident it becomes.
While consistency is key and valued by your customer, being impersonal often leads to customer churn. Loyalty is cultivated by being personal, knowing and valuing your customer. In today’s social economy, there are many ways to differentiate your company by engaging in a professional and personal level with your customer.
Enter Twitter: the social economy's not-so-secret-weapon. Your retail store needs to be on Twitter because it needs its own identity. You and your team need to be able to set yourself apart in the real and virtual space if you plan on outperforming the field. Here's a list of six great things you can do in retail with Twitter:
Carry on a constant conversation. Twitter can make your retail business accessible 24/7/365. Regardless of the valence of communication (be it positive or negative), there is value in it. Positive tweets can be leveraged into testimonials that build customer loyalty and retention. Negative tweets or complaints can be leveraged as an opportunity for your retail store to demonstrate accountability to your customers. Tweeting about mistakes and fixing the situation will give your store credibility and build customer loyalty and retention.
Relate to the consumer. Twitter is a great way to humanize your store. It can give your store and your employees a collective voice & personality with whom your customers can interact on a daily basis. Tweet to your customers about their purchases and experiences in your store. Be relate-able. Be funny. Be real. Be human. And keep in mind: if those customers are interacting with you, they're not doing so with your competition!
Be active in your community. The hard-working individuals on your team play a vital role in serving your community. Twitter is a fantastic way to showcase how your organization is greater than the sum of its parts. Tweet about the employment opportunities and special values you offer, special events you are hosting/sponsoring, who is advancing through your organization, and how you are giving back to the community through volunteer work and philanthropy.
Differentiate yourself. Anything and everything that goes on within the walls of your retail store can and should be shared. Customer experience is quickly becoming the only real differentiator. That customer experience is a huge part of your retail store's story, and standing out from the competition means articulating it in a compelling way. You can use Twitter to share that story in a way that distinguishes you as truly special in the business community. Think of your store's Twitter feed as the plot.
Showcase your store culture and expertise. Consumers value transparency. They want to know everything they can about their investment (and who they're purchasing from) before they buy. Who are the people that make up your team? Who are your experts? What are the norms & values in your store? What does a typical day-in-the-life look like? Twitter gives you the opportunity to showcase all of these things to your community.
Research best practices to improve your business. Twitter gives you the chance to follow and interact with industry experts and thought leaders like Corporate Dynamics Inc. (@CorpDyn -or- @WirelessCDI) with great perspectives on how to improve your business. Through following these professionals and conducting searches on industry trends/hashtags (#BeatYourBest, #retail, #wireless, #healthcare, #financials, etc.), you can identify and learn best practices for your retail business.