What follows is the day in the life of a boutique toy store owner as she uses social media to grow her business each and every day.
It covers what she does from opening until close, what tools she uses, and what effect it has.
The intent of this post is to show you how you could use social media marketing in a practical way to grow your sales and business as a whole.
A final note: while this example is using a toy store, it could easily be adapted for any retail store.
Day in the Life of a Shop Owner Using Social Media
8:00am – Images and Social Media
After counting out the money into the til and making sure everything is on and working, you open the doors to your first customer of the day: a lady waiting to pick up a pre-order.
As you serve her, you find out she is off to New Zealand for her nephew’s birthday (hence the toy for a gift), and you ask if she is planning on doing any sight seeing.
She certainly is, and spotting an opportunity, you ask her if she would be happy to email you some photos of the places she visits for your Facebook page, knowing that this is a great way to build a community of loyal fans (plus gives you some great, albeit off-topic, content for your page).
Today is also the first day of your Customer Purchase promotion, where you will ask each customer who buys something to pose for a photo with something they bought for a chance to win a $200 gift voucher.
The photo will go up on your Facebook page and you will encourage them to tag themselves once the photo is up – which is pretty much immediately as you are using your smartphone to take the photos and uploading them directly to your Facebook page.
It’s always quiet in the mornings, at least until around 10:30-11:00am. So you grab a coffee and start unpacking some new stock that was delivered late yesterday.
As you unpack, scan, and place the products on the shelves, you snap some photos for your Pinterest page, trying to make the photos as interesting as you can.
Instagram is great for making ordinary photos a little more interesting by adding filters, so you fire up the Instagram app on your smartphone and take some pics.
They appear instantly on your Instagram account, and by using IFTTT to push them from Instagram to your Facebook and Pinterest pages you have a steady stream of content on those networks as well.
You also send out a few quick tweets, telling your toy-loving followers about the new stock, mentioning a couple of regulars by name as you know they will be interested in them.
This takes you about 20 minutes extra on top of the time it takes to unpack everything.
11:00am – Customer Service
The lunch crowd wonders in and you focus on your customers as the next few hours fly by.
2:00pm – Using Twitter for great Social Media Marketing
It’s starting to slow down again and you have enough time to check your computer for any responses using Hootsuite – your third party program of choice to keep track of most of your social networks.
You have received a couple of re-tweets from people, so you send them a quick thank-you tweet.
You also received a tweet from one of your regulars, who will be in tomorrow to pick up one of those new toys you tweeted about this morning.
You put one aside for him and then have a quick look at your saved searches of anyone in your area mentioning any of your products.
A guy, who lives close by, mentions how he loved the old 80s space Lego he used to be able to buy when he was a kid. This is a specialty item you stock so you reply back to him on Twitter that you have some for sale and it would be a perfect gift for his child, nephew, or even himself.
You do this kind of “cold tweeting” a few times a week, and you don’t always get a sale, but it only takes you about 30 seconds and you never know. At least he knows you exist now, and so may stop by.
3:00pm – Social Media and Growing your eNewsletter
The afternoon is slow, so there is enough time to have that second cup of coffee and sort out some paper work and place some new orders – all the while taking some phone calls.
You also check your email and discover that you have 3 new subscribers for your eNewsletter that you send out fortnightly, featuring some of your new products and any related stories your readers might be interested in.
Your scheduled tweets telling people about your newsletter must be working. Either that, or they spotted the sign up form on your blog.
You fire up Buffer on your laptop and schedule some more tweets about the newsletter, making sure the bit.ly url shortener is being used to track your links so you can tell how many people are clicking your links.
You also schedule some more tweets about the new stock you just got in that morning and about the toy fair you will be attending next month.
3:45pm – Blogging
That reminds you to mention the toy fair in the eNewsletter you will be sending out next week, so you grab your smartphone and make a note about adding this to your newsletter on your Evernote app, which allows you to keep all your ideas in one easily accessible place.
While you are at your computer you also send a quick reminder email to your weekend casual, who doubles as your blog writer, reminding her that next week’s blog posts are due tomorrow.
She is a senior at high school and loves to write, so you thought you would put her skills to use by getting her to write 2 blog posts per week about toys. You pay her a little more, but it’s worth it as you don’t generally have the time yourself.
All you have to do is to proof-read them after she uploads them to your WordPress blog, check the formatting, and click publish!
You also check Facebook quickly and see that a girl you served at lunchtime – who bought a large plush teddy – has tagged herself in the pic you uploaded of her for the promotion. Excellent! Now all her Facebook friends will see that photo and know she was in-store. Free word-of-mouth advertising.
4:00pm – Customer Service
The late afternoon rush is on now and again you focus on your customers.
5:15pm – Exceptional Customer Service
Five-thirty is fast approaching and you begin to cash up and process the receipts for the day, thinking that getting 5 customers to pose for photos for your promotion was a pretty good effort for the first day, and a fantastic start!
You get a last minute phone call from a customer who needs a specific toy for a party tomorrow, but he will be flying in late and won’t have time to get to the shop.
You find out he lives local and so you tell him that if he pays for it over the phone, you can drop it off at his place on the way home tonight.
You also subtly mention that you are on Facebook and Twitter (just in case he is as well and he mentions what great service he received from you). Another happy customer!
5:30pm – Home Time
You turn everything off and close up, heading home after a quick detour to deliver a toy.
What do you think? Is this a manageable use of social media for a small business owner? Sure, she had to spend some time setting up the tools and apps she uses, but that’s why she spent a little time and money at the beginning to make sure she had a plan in place.
Make sure you plan your social media marketing from day one, and you too could have this sort of success.