In the 4 ½ years I’ve worked for AWG, it’s been surprisingly difficult to get content consistently from the retailers I work with on digital marketing. Whether I’m working with a store owner or director, a department manager, or an up-and-coming associate, I often hear, “I’m not sure what to send you for social media content.”
And you’d think it would be a no-brainer. Take pictures of food, of course! Food pictures are all over social media, right? But that’s part of the problem. Even when I do receive content from stores, sometimes it’s just a little too generic. You may have a beautiful produce display that makes for a great picture, but what differentiates it from any other produce display at a grocery store?
The more popular social media has become, the more “noise” there is on every channel. You have to make your content stand out so that customers can find it through all that noise. Using these different types of evergreen content can change things up and help you stand out on social.
Like I said above, you may have a beautiful produce display and sometimes it’s okay to share that kind of generic content. But try adding something more to it by asking the audience which of these seasonal produce items is their favorite? However, don’t rely on these more generic posts too often. Again, you want to stand out among the noise. In the case of this retailer, they opted to show off their tropical fruit display, as opposed to the same produce everyone sees at every grocery store.
More importantly, focus on what products people are likely to buy at that time. This will be easier around big food holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, or major sporting events like the Super Bowl and March Madness games. But you can always highlight something on a particular food holiday. There is a food holiday for every day of the year — sometimes more than one! You can also share new products or services your customers might not know you offer.
Another option for timely content is any and all community work you’re doing. Post about awards your store has received. Share donations you have made to a local organization. Or even better, share how much money your customers helped raise for a fundraiser your store sponsored. Let your customers know when a local organization is having a drive at your store.
And don’t forget to use the Facebook Event option for the most timely content of all: the store event. Post about events directly to your profile, of course, but be sure to include Facebook events to your content strategy. Customers can RSVP to the event, ask questions about the event on the invite, and they can share the event with their friends!
Customer Requested Content
Do you have deli meals at your store? Do customers regularly ask what’s on today’s menu? Post about this regularly on your social channels.
Are your customers asking you to stock a new product? Do they clamor for seasonal products? Drum up excitement when you have it in stock by posting a picture as soon as it’s on the shelves!
I regularly recommend to my retailers that they try video. Some don’t want to look “unprofessional” and post a video made on a smartphone. But Facebook and Instagram are encouraging this kind of content more with live video and stories. Live videos are available on both platforms and are just what they sound like, videos you record live and are shared with your followers as the recording is happening. Stories are also available on both Facebook and Instagram and they’re similar to Snapchat, in that you can share photos or videos with different filters, text or image overlays and the images/videos disappear after 24 hours. You don’t even have to make a full video with sound, if just a Boomerang (a short, soundless video that repeats on a loop back and forth, like a boomerang) with the right caption and emoji will do just as well.
Products/Services That Differentiate Your Store
Does your store have kombucha on tap? That might be something that differentiates your store from the competition around you. Share that on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You could even make a boomerang or short video of pouring some of it into a jug.
If you offer any product or service that isn’t offered by the other stores in your area, highlight that on social media as much as possible. Who knows if you might attract a new customer with a product or service they can’t get anywhere else!
Collaborating with product vendors is a great way to add a little something extra to your content strategy. You might not be able to create a lot of slick graphics and videos but many vendors have large marketing/advertising budgets at their disposal and plenty of digital content that they want shared with as many customers as possible.
In fact, AWG offers a vendor content program to the retailers who use our digital platforms. We regularly work with manufacturers and even non-profit associations, sharing various types of content to our retailer’s digital platforms at no cost to the retailer!
Shopper-Centric Collaboration With Vendors
Progressive Grocer recently hosted a webinar called “How Better Shopper-Centric Collaboration Can Help You Grow.” The webinar highlighted insights from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of Precima. They found that CPG firms use data and analytics slightly more consistently and at a slightly more advanced level than retailers in order to make business decisions. They found that both retailers and CPG firms mostly share standard sales/supply chain data, but neither wants to proactively share as much as possible.
While most of the research presented in this webinar centered around sales, products, and supply chain, some of it focused on promotions. You can work more closely with vendors on a consistent basis versus an occasional promotion in order to determine what content is going to resonate with your audience on digital platforms.
As I recommend in all of my blog posts about social media content, you have to find what works best for you. These are just ideas and some might work better for your profiles than others. But be sure to keep them in mind the next time your marketing team asks you for social media content.