Back with part 4 of our Jet’s favorite freesources for pet store marketing tools, and today we’ve got some big paws to fill. We’ll be giving brief overviews of some of the major social media tools that can be applied to your pet store’s marketing strategy, as well as providing some ideas about how to use them that you’ve hopefully never considered before! If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at our past freesources, hit this button and get yourself a treat!
Where to start? Social media as a topic is overwhelmingly huge. We don’t want to bore our readers with data on how it’s grown, but just know that social media platforms are the world’s largest advertisers and as usership continues to increase, despite frequent public issues regarding privacy or another topic, if you aren’t utilizing these tools to speak to your audience, your pet store will probably be left behind. It’s a sad truth. Maybe you’re part of the crowd that understands the importance social media plays in your pet store’s business plans, but can’t figure out how to use it effectively…in that case, we’d recommend you call us sooner rather than later!
Let’s just start here. A quick introduction to a few of the huge social media platforms out there and how you can use them. Keep your eyes on us in the future as we will be dishing out some content that goes more in depth about specific trends, strategies, and ideas that you can use to benefit your pet store’s marketing.
Facebook continues to experience a steady growth in users in spite of the occasional fluctuation. With over 2 billion active users reported in October 2018 and most of it’s users accessing it via mobile, desktop, or other on a daily basis, Facebook is a marketer’s haven.
To state the obvious, Facebook is a benefit because you know your audience is there, consistently. When pet owners take cute photos of their pets, where does it go? Facebook and Instagram. As a pet store owner, posting customer (pet) photos can get you huge amounts of engagement for free.
One of Facebook’s negatives is that getting engagement can be difficult, and even more so for businesses. As Facebook has continued to struggle in recent times through nationally publicized criticism of privacy breaches, they’ve adapted to turn their platform back toward’s what it once was: a place for people to connect with one another (as opposed to a place for businesses to connect to people). It’s free for pet stores to use, but creating powerful reach on it is becoming more difficult and more expensive.
Instagram continues to attract a younger audience in comparison to Facebook. It too has steadily grown and shows no signs of stopping. It can be as powerful as Facebook but for different reasons. It’s a strong platform to sell products on if your imagery stands out, and the newly added IGTV is a brilliant innovation. If your pet store marketing strategy doesn’t include Instagram, we need to talk!
Instagram uses slightly different algorithms than Facebook. While it may not be as people-centric as Facebook these days, it’s important that as a pet store you post appropriate content consistently. Currently, 2 billion Likes occur on Instagram every day…but if your content isn’t getting them, your new content won’t be shown among your followers as frequently. It can be a slippery slope to ineffectiveness.
Pinterest is a platform that should be uppermost on pet retailers’ minds. It is the perfect place to display your product range, engage viewers through high quality images and give them free reign to browse and examine potential purchases. As one of the largest social media networks in the world it is also a great source of referral traffic.
Pinterest attracts a very niche audience, and requires extremely high-quality imagery. It’s a positive because it makes your business look good, but it can be a negative because the Pinterest algorithms will promote higher quality imagery over recently posted imagery. This platform also has a growing base of users and has some neat tools that make it really easy to share “pinned” posts, allowing for strong reach for your pet store’s marketing materials.
It’s also a good place to get some inspiration for your pet store’s product display, layout, space usage, ad copy, marketing ideas, and more.
Twitter is an interesting platform because it has traditionally been more conversational than imagery-based and in general it moves faster. Although the Twitter lords have taken some steps to making popular and engaging “tweets” more visible to the average user, as a platform it generally hasn’t been really strong for paid advertising. In contrast, it’s an extremely powerful platform for customer service.
According to recent data collected by Lithium, 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour. For 45% of consumers, social media is one of the first channels they go to in case they have any questions or issues. Pet stores should consider using Twitter in their marketing strategy to engage with their customers.
In Twitter’s defense, it’s reputation as an advertiser is flipping with a 21% increase in revenue from ads last year. Image- and video-based content continue to grow as well - Twitter may run into an identity crisis in the future.
LinkedIn may not see the same rate of growth as platforms like Instagram, since it has a niche audience type that is different from that of other social media platforms, but it continues to be the largest professional network.
Pros and cons for a pet store? Well you’re unlikely to find a lot of your consumer audience there. It’s a platform for businesses and B2B primarily. But as a pet store owner, you might find it useful to hire new employees (associates, managers, or owners), and you can make meaningful connections with manufacturers, distributors, and other pet industry figures.
Snapchat is a newer player in the scene, but it’s numbers are extremely powerful. On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18-34 year-olds in the United States. That’s crazy. As part of your pet store’s promotion, you can consider spending money on sponsored filters and geotags, but these tend to be pretty expensive.
What we’d recommend is utilizing it for it’s stories feature… it remains to be seen whether Instagrams IGTV push will run it out of the space. Stories get your brand at the top of the app as the first thing users see, so the positioning is great. Creating content that’s “happening now” is growing in effectiveness compared to highly produced content, and we’ll touch more on that in the next couple of weeks.
Geofilters for your pet store can also encourage people to post organically about your store! Worth looking into if you have some extra marketing budget to use.
If you haven’t already, please check out our social media pages and give us a follow if you like our content!
Growing your social media pages are the same as growing your brand. The six platforms listed here are the best place to invest your pet store’s marketing budget right now. When using your voice on these platforms, here are a few pet store social media tactics we’ve gathered from our considerable experience in the field:
Understand your audience and give them what they want to see, hear, read, watch, and interact with.
Stand out. The social media space is highly competitive, and your pet store isn’t just competing with other businesses. but anybody and everybody else.
Take advantage of the physical space that houses your products, your customers, your employees, and your events.
Drive the value of your brand - why you’re different and why you matter!
Please reach out to us if you’re interested in having experts handle your social media outreach for your pet store on a consistent basis! Feel free to leave us some comments and feedback as well. Stay tuned for a plethora of further information on social media over the next few weeks. See you next time!