Don’t ignore social media, digital expert warns retailers

Retailers who dismiss social media are making a mistake, a digital marketing expert has warned.

Andrew Davis, a digital marketing consultant and workshop trainer, claimed that dealers can’t afford to miss out on the opportunities that social media presents.

“Social media is word of mouth on steroids,” he said. “I can send something to you and then you can send it to 1,000 of your friends, and they could send it to another 1,000, and that’s how things become viral so quickly. You can literally reach hundreds of thousands or millions of people within hours.”

He also argued that retailers who don’t see the value in social media only believe that because they are not being strategic about their digital offering.

“Most people have a ‘post and pray’ approach,” he explained. “When it doesn’t get much reaction, they put more content up. That was good in 2011, but in 2017 you need to be a bit more strategic. You need to have a checklist of what happens when you publish.”

Davis went on to argue that traditional industries have always been slow when it comes to digital adoption and that this can cost businesses in the long-run.

“When it really starts to affect the industry, they end up playing catch-up,” he added. “And catch-up can be a very time-consuming and expensive game.

Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis

“The internet is undefeated – the internet has never lost. The kitchen industry can fight it off as much as they like, but the internet and digital will eventually win. People want stuff digitally because everything else in their life has gone that way. What will happen eventually is there will be this one company that is purely digital and it will disrupt the whole industry. We’re already seeing that in other markets.”

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Whether or not retailers find social media daunting, Davis argued that they need to remember three key points – create, distribute and convert. He also added that they need to figure out the ‘so what’ behind their social media approach.

“Once you realise that, and you see how strategic it can be, you’ll see people’s attitudes towards social media change,” he said. “You’ve never had an opportunity like we have at the moment to get traffic, to build your community, to get leads and to grow your business. But this window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller as more regulations are brought in online.”

For those just starting out in the social media game, Davis suggested “starting small”, meaning that retailers should focus on around two platforms and on getting those right rather than try to spread themselves too thinly over them all.

“The reality for every industry is that digital has changed certain things,” he concluded. “We consume content differently and people who say ‘I don’t understand how sending a tweet is going to get somebody to buy my kitchen. Let’s not do it’ don’t see that, when it comes to building a digital ecosystem or a digital asset, the value of company will go up.

“We’ve now got a database of people who are going to do our marketing for us. And we can collect data that we never could have done before.”

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