Whether it’s a two-store mom-and-pop or a 1,000-unit, worldwide conglomerate, c-store retailers need to be on social media. But creating pages for a c-store on a social network is one thing. Managing the page and interacting with customers online is another thing entirely. CSP spoke with Mike Templeton, marketing manager of Kum & Go LC, West Des Moines, Iowa, which has more than 400 stores in 11 states, and more than 100,000 likes on Facebook, for a few tips on what to keep in mind when considering a social-media marketing plan.
Vertical video is in
“Years ago, it was all about including visuals, including photos,” says Templeton. “That’s going to help the content that you create bubble up amongst the audience that you’re trying to meet.” Today, the “new kid on the block” is video—in particular, vertical video, or skinny-screen videos recorded from portrait mode on a mobile device.
What works today might not work tomorrow
“What’s hot, what’s trending, what’s working right now is always going to change,” says Templeton. The market can become saturated with a particular social-media tactic, so retailers must change up their approach to break through to customers.
Facebook is still king
“Facebook is the place to get the most bang for your buck, because they’ve got a multitude of different ad formats and different ways to manage conversions,” he says. Facebook.com offers powerful tools to manage everything from ad-spend return on investment to follower demographics.
Think before you post
To determine whether to post an item on social media, imagine that a store employee behind the counter said it to you. “Does that sound like something they would say? That’s kind of the barometer because the stuff that’s happening that we’re all creating content to feed into—it’s the same thing that happens every day, millions of times inside of a store environment,” says Templeton.
Social media builds relationships
The goal of social media is not necessarily about reaching the next thousand people, says Templeton. Rather, it is finding the right people to connect with to build an even stronger relationship, one “that will turn into material financial impact for my business, because you’re finding those right types of customers.”
Check out 'If This, Then That'
Consider this website—ifttt.com—as a workflow automation tool that connects different social platforms and online services. “In a Lego-brick-type of fashion, you can take one particular function of an application and connect it to something else,” says Templeton.
Spend marketing dollars where consumers spend time
“People still watch TV. People still listen to radio,” says Templeton. “But you need to make sure you right-size your mix and your approach.”
Social media by the numbers
Crafting a message and voice for corporate social-media pages is only the first step. It’s also important to know where consumers spend their time online—and then meet them there.
Snapshot of an American Mobile User
37: Average number of apps installed on mobile device
3: Average number of apps accounting for 80% or more of app usage