How Long Has It Been Since Your Last Social Media Post?

It’s not a good look when customers reach out to your Facebook page and see you haven’t promoted your company’s products or services in months or years.

How Long Has It Been Since Your Last Social Media Post?

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Retailers join the social media revolution with all the best intentions. But if my surfing around looking at Facebook pages and Twitter accounts is any indication, good intentions don’t always translate to fresh content.

Many times I will hit the blue F icon to migrate from the Joe’s Gun Shop webpage to the company’s Facebook page … only to find that Joe posted two or three times back in 2015 and hasn’t been back since. The page might have an introductory post, a few gun emojis and a photo of the newest rifle to hit the shelves. That’s it. Clearly Joe isn’t taking advantage of the magic of social media.

Maybe you’re a lot like Joe. Perhaps you feel you’re too busy to step away from the gun counter and throw up a Facebook post every so often. Maybe you stare blankly at your Twitter account and can’t think of much to say. Or you might take interesting photos of your associates at work, but they somehow never make it from your smartphone to your Instagram.


No Excuses

Many years ago, the big technology hurdle was establishing a website for your tactical business. And back then, it was a daunting task to build a website — or hire someone to create it. It was pretty complicated way back when. There were no simple DIY templates to build a website. Graphics required some amount of computer coding, and that meant most of us ran to an expert and paid a lot of cash to launch a website. Because updating meant spending more money, many went along unchanged for years.

But today, any grandma sipping iced tea on her front porch can pull out her smartphone and quickly post photos of her family on Facebook and enjoy the benefits of communicating with her virtual group of friends. Keeping up with social media is so easy and intuitive these days that retailers no longer have an excuse to avoid adding it to their marketing efforts.

Also, there was a day when shop owners I talked to were skeptical of the value of this type of marketing — but I’ve heard enough success stories now that today you are ignoring social media at your own peril. If you don’t fill that space, one of your competitors will, and they’ll start to take the business away from you.

I listened to a podcast about social media marketing a few days ago, and it got me to thinking about why so many retailers are still not tuned in to Facebook, for example, and how to get them in the habit of building a stronger online presence. The podcast, “Digital Marketing Made Simple,” from expert Jennie Lyon, describes a step-by-step process for small businesses to create and organize all of their social media posts for a month in one day.


Content Is King

Lyon says there are many considerations when determining which social media platforms a small-business owner should use and how often they should post on those platforms. She talks a little bit about graphics, color choices for post designs, analyzing the reach of your posts and the effective use of hashtags to capture the most attention from social media posts.

But when she started talking about impactful content — that’s when my mind began working on behalf of the retail community. Specifically, I started churning through ideas for you to best use your Facebook page to generate a demand for your goods and services.

“What topics do I want to write social media posts about? Your subject matter is really crucial,” Lyon explains. “Think about the content you want to talk about. What are you communicating to your audience?” Lyon talks about capturing attention and promoting a unique brand experience.

“Audience engagement is the most crucial part of social media. I mean, it’s kind of the point. I like to think of social media as a virtual cocktail party; you want to mingle with your target audience. You want to check things out. You want to listen in on conversations and then pop in with your amazing comments, suggestions and feedback,” she continues. “You really have to have an active management component to make social media work for your business.”

I will suggest several topics for social media posts to get the ball rolling. Refine this list based on your own company’s needs, and start to populate your page with content that will get more customers calling you for advice and service.

Call to action: How many times have you heard customers joke that their shotgun never needs to be cleaned unless it breaks? Share before and after photos of some neglected guns, along with the recommendations of your local gunsmith on maintenance. Constantly hammer home that proper cleaning and preventive maintenance goes a long way.

Smart upselling your products: Post about the added products that can improve and update your customers’ current rigs. Whether it’s trigger upgrades, slings and bipods, red-dot optics for pistols, tactical riflescopes or something else, there’s always “one more thing” a customer can add to their handgun or rifle of choice.

Preparing for the season: Whether it’s competition season or hunting season, most shooters have a time of year when they’re more active than others. This comes with increased cleaning and maintenance as well as increased ammo sales, and there are all the ancillary items shoppers will need before their range time really gets ramped up — eye protection, ear protection, targets, range bags and more.

Focus on holiday messages: While you’re thinking of the holidays, create posts that send out best wishes to customers at important times of the year. Remembering those who served on Memorial Day, showing patriotism on the Fourth of July, saluting mothers on Mother’s Day and fathers on Father’s Day, and marking any other important date on the calendar will go a long way to boosting your social media presence in an uplifting way.

Ask for testimonials: Invite your customers to provide a testimonial about your quality service, and then post those testimonials along with a photo and a few kind words about the customer. One way to jump-start the testimonials would be to offer a bonus to sales associates who collect them and take photos of the customers after a sale or successful gunsmithing job.

Offer specials: Look for strategic ways to offer a discount for service and promote those offers with coupons on Facebook. One example could be to give a discount for customers who help you fill up your gunsmith’s job board during traditionally slow periods. Or offer a special for military veterans around Veteran’s Day or a periodic discount for senior citizens.

Photos of your crew at work: Encourage your Facebook visitors to get to know your sales staff so they will be familiar when they enter your store. Don’t forget to smile! Post photos of your gun counter experts sharing their expertise with customers after a sale.  

Get up close and personal: People naturally want to support local family businesses. Reinforce that connection you have with the community by posting team photos, honoring employees on birthdays and important work anniversaries. If you have an shop cat or dog, show them off to capture the attention of pet lovers visiting your page. Show how the money your customers spend stays in the community and who benefits.

I’ve only shared a few simple ideas to build on your social media efforts. The content is only limited by your imagination and enthusiasm to connect with your community.



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