Interesting changes in consumer behaviour that have followed the extensive lockdown will benefit local retailers. Australians are reporting more accumulated savings than usual. Where they have been unable to spend on travel, for example, they have saved money that is now available for other purchases. And, having learnt to shop locally by necessity, many are ready to spend up locally too.

For retailers, keeping online shopping avenues open will be just as crucial as in-store promotions. In fact, 58 per cent of the Australians surveyed flagged that they intend to buy more items online this year than they did in 2020. The Realise Business team can help you get your social media up to speed for the Christmas and holiday period rush. Here are some tips:

Top social media tools:

Facebook or Instagram shopFacebook and Instagram Shops allow your customers to browse, explore and purchase products directly from the platforms. You can manage your shop’s inventory as well as grow your business online using the shop function. After meeting the eligibility requirements, the shop set-up systems are easy to follow.

Reels for InstagramInstagram Reels are a fun way to make short, entertaining videos on Instagram so customers can discover more about your business. Through Reels, you can use your phone to record and edit 15-second – one-minute multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and other creative tools. Share you’re your Instagram Reels to reach followers and the wider Instagram community on the Explore page.

TikTok tips for advertisingQualifying businesses can advertise on TikTok by creating a TikTok advertising account. TikTok offers several options for advertisers, including in-feed video, brand takeover, hashtag challenge, branded content (AR), and a custom influencer package. Get creative with branded lenses, stickers and animations. Sponsored content created by TikTok influencers can attract more viewers within your market.

Eye-catching images and videos with CanvaCanva is a free graphic designing program where users can create images and videos to post on all social media platforms. Hundreds of templates and designs are available for you to customise. Choose the right dimensions, background, elements, text and fonts, and even add animations. Canva-created images and videos can be downloaded easily and shared on social media. Canva is very useful for creating holiday-themed content such as Christmas opening hours or end of year sales.

Create a social media sales funnel:

A cost-free way to get attention from customers is to use a social media funnel; steps include:

Awareness This is your customer’s first impression of your brand and your opportunity to stand out. Generate awareness through striking visuals with bright colours and fonts, sharing information about people behind the brand, interactive videos, and highlighting the special causes or projects your business supports.  

Engagement Build a relationship with your customers. Be engaging with a post that invites customers to share, like or comment, or run interactive polls. Give your audience a sneak peek at an upcoming project. Be more relatable by sharing memes and posting regularly at times when your audience members are most active.

Acquisition Encourage your audience to take action. Monitor relevant Facebook groups for opportunities, develop relationships with powerful brand advocates or ‘prosumers’, use Instagram Stories to educate your audience and be informative. Use a Facebook pixel on your website so you can collect data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, reconnecting mid-purchase buyers with their abandoned carts.

Loyalty – Retaining customers and increasing their lifetime value enhances business productivity and sales. Promote loyalty by engaging with customer reviews through replies and direct messages. Be responsive to customer input online, offer rewards and incentives on social media such as discount codes, and create private Facebook groups to build connections. Brand recall underpins loyalty, so maintain consistency in your company’s design and voice across all social media platforms.

Advocacy – This is the ultimate goal, as authentic brand advocates are extremely powerful. Be transparent in your businesses beliefs and provide incentives for customers such as freebies, samples and discounts. Advocacy may also encompass influencer marketing. Social media influencers can sway the purchasing decisions of vast audiences through promotion and recommendations. For some businesses, working with many small authentic ‘micro’ influencers can be as effective as using one expensive socialite ‘mega’ influencer.

Act now

Now is the time to boost your social media to encourage pre-Christmas sales. This period of the retail calendar can be critical for retailers, with many reporting that it is when up to two-thirds of their profits for the year are actually made (ARA). Keep talking to your customers about what they want, and book a session with Realise Business to discuss more social media tips to increase your business impact on customers.