Coming off the back of our latest Freesources post on social media platforms, we’re dishing out some great content related to social media over the next couple of weeks. For this post, we’ve outlined all the major updates and new features for each of the major platforms so you can incorporate them into your pet store’s social media marketing strategy for 2019.
Messaging app usage continues to grow — and social networks like Facebook are quickly adapting. Facebook recently introduced Messenger ads, which allow brands to create and send targeted ads through private chat.
If your audience uses Messenger, it’s worth a try. With features like automatic placement, Facebook will deliver ads automatically to your followers. You can also edit your ad placements, which means your Messenger ads will need to run in coordination with your news feed ads.
Most retailers such as pet stores have seen their number of customer contacts increase through use of Facebook Messenger. Allowing it on your Facebook business page allows customers to interact with your business by asking questions, requesting information, placing orders, and more.
Facebook Marketplace is an online shopping channel that allows users to buy and sell from their local community. In 2018, Facebook announced that businesses could place ads in Marketplace—which is great news for brands. This Marketplace ads functionality means that you can extend your reach even further across Facebook properties. Your ads will appear across the Facebook news feed, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. If your pet store re-sells lightly used items such as crates, bedding, toys, or other, these could be great loss-leaders to get new customers into your store or on your website.
Facebook recently rolled out a handful of features to make amateur video creation quick and easy. Their video creation kit allows you to create mobile-optimized social videos based on pre-selected images, logos, and text overlays.
This feature is super handy if you need to create a lot of visual content, but don’t have a big budget or in-house team that can do it. You can customize different templates depending on your campaign goals, whether you’re looking to run a brand awareness campaign or drive sales for a new product.
Pet stores can utilize something like this to create engaging, eye-catching content that feature customer reviews, items on sale, item features, and more.
We gave Instagram TV a brief introduction in the Freesources post, but in 2018 Instagram launched IGTV, an app for watching long-form video. It’s been designed with the Instagram audience in mind: it’s a fullscreen vertical experience.
IGTV now gives brands the opportunity to create videos that are up to an hour long. Compared to the usual 60 seconds that Instagram typically allows, this is a big change.
If you’re looking to get into creating TV-style narrative content, then IGTV is a great place to start. Some neat ideas for pet store owners to cleverly utilize IGTV would be product features (bonus points with manufacturers), customer stories, community events and news, and so on. Instagram TV is like giving your pet store it’s own channel on TV, if you use it well within your marketing plan.
Story Polls are the ultimate engagement play, aimed at making your Instagram Stories more fun and interactive. The template is fairly straightforward. You ask your audience a question; they’ll have a choice between two responses.
Don’t let the simplicity of Story Polls deceive you—it’s a powerful marketing tool for your pet store. You can use the polls in a variety of ways depending on your content strategy, like run quizzes, show off your product, or do customer research.
Snap Camera for desktop lets users to access their lenses on their computer while doing live streams and video chats. While using the Snap Camera, you can choose from thousands of lenses, including templates by Snapchat and those created by the Lens Studio community.
If you’re interested in live streaming with a younger customer demographic, this is an exciting place to start. Try experimenting with live contests, or Q&As with experts, or answer customer queries, and see how they perform.
Live video represents an emerging trend within video marketing and pet retailers can capitalize on it. On Facebook, users spend 3X more time watching live videos compared to traditional videos. By broadcasting live, brands can create an intimate two-way channel of communication with their audiences. Your audience wants to know what’s happening.
In the next year, Twitter could look more like a messaging platform. They’re currently testing some new features—including the new speech bubble—that will allow for a simpler conversation view between users (already in messaging apps like iMessage and WhatsApp).
This feature will be useful for brands that already use Twitter as a conversation platform with customers, since threaded chats will be much easier to track and manage. Stay tuned because we’ll be providing a lot more ideas on ways to maximize your pet store’s online customer service.
Twitter is also working on a status update feature that will encourage users to comment on how they’re feeling about the latest news and events.
This is a great opportunity for pet stores to promote events to their customers and participate in what’s trending with your community on Twitter.
LinkedIn’s intelligent hiring experience is a dashboard that brings together LinkedIn’s previous hiring suite—LinkedIn Recruiter, LinkedIn Jobs, and Pipeline Builder—into one platform. For anybody that’s used LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, this is a huge time saver and organizational upgrade. The new platform will include a recommended candidates feature, which will suggest candidates on LinkedIn based on your hiring criteria. This will help cut down on manual searching and help you identify top talent faster.
As a pet store owner, this can help you minimize time spent on recruiting, decrease your employee turnover, and help you build your business through the right partners.
Pinterest has completely rebuilt its product pins to make them more shoppable, adding new dynamic pricing and stock information. The product pins will also include a shopping bag icon that will link directly to a retailer’s checkout page. This will make it easier for users to move seamlessly between browsing and buying on Pinterest.
If your pet store is selling items on Pinterest, the new checkout will be an important part of your strategy. Pinterest reports that clicks to retail sites have increased 40 percent since the latest product pins were introduced.
By revamping your social strategy and trying out new things on social networks, you have a better chance of increasing your engagement, delighting your audience, and reaching new customers. Use this list to guide what new features and tactics you try out in 2019 when marketing your pet store.
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