Q: I own a menswear store and haven’t been able to get much traction on Facebook. Is Facebook worth the effort?
Jake Fell: Facebook can be a great component of a menswear store’s multi-channel marketing and branding strategy. However, Facebook isn’t the end-all be-all of marketing and you should not ditch your other marketing efforts. Yet, there is vast opportunity to market your business via Facebook if you understand the nuances. Here are some tips:
Be social, don’t “do” social: Consumers log on to Facebook to catch up with their friends and family, not because they want you to sell them products and services. Therefore, you should approach Facebook as an opportunity to be social and conversational with your customers as opposed to a task you are obligated to do.
Be strategic: A well designed and thoughtful Facebook post should be the viral component of a defined marketing strategy. The goal is to have your customer become your brand ambassadors by giving them a call to action to endorse you to their friends and family.
Sell softly: Think of being on Facebook like being at a cocktail party. Guests at a party will purposefully avoid a shameless self-promoter walking around trying to sell products and services. However, guests may be drawn to a passionate entrepreneur sharing stories and expertise with no hidden agenda.
80/20: Strive to make 80% of your content soft selling and the other 20% of your promotional. This rule is especially important in the specialty menswear industry where men are more drawn to the lifestyle and relationship a specialty store offers than inventory that can be found elsewhere for cheaper. Try to post photos as they make your page look good, brand you well and are more interesting than copy.
Consider paid ads: Facebook makes it easy to target posts with the objective of acquiring new customers. You can target ads based on location (great for brick and mortar), age, gender, interest and even target consumers similar to your existing fan base.
Make Facebook part of your multi-channel strategy: Facebook and e-mail complement each other extremely well. Although people log on to Facebook to network socially, consumers join retailers’ e-mail lists with the deliberate desire to receive promotional content. Additionally, Facebook has algorithms in which your posts may not be displayed to people who like your page. Convince your Facebook fans to join your e-mail list where you have more control over who sees your message. Likewise, be sure to link your e-mails, website and all other marketing materials to your Facebook page.