In this digital age furniture stores can engage savvy customers like never before in dialog at the customers’ convenience without interrupting them while they are in the middle of their multi-tasking bustle whether they are at home or work. The majority of potential customers visit the retailers’ website before ever stepping foot into the physical store. In today’s digital age, it’s part of the shopping experience. Yet, the majority of home furnishings stores don’t invest as much on creating their websites let alone on internet advertising as they do on traditional forms of advertising like television, newspapers, direct mail, and even the outmoded Yellow Pages. Yes, Yellow Pages. Who reads Yellow pages anymore? There seems to be a major disconnect.

In order to gain a more prominent position in cyberspace, furniture retailers need to reinvent their advertising strategies and embrace Web 2.0. Just building a website is not enough anymore. Social media must become a huge part of the website and the content must be fully integrated. Below are some tips about Web 2.0 that every furniture store should utilize.

Facebook

FacebookFacebook is the latest online crazy. There are over 500 million users on Facebook who constantly update and share the events surrounding their lives. Setting up a Facebook page is easy and it’s free to set up. Facebook also offers advertising so that you can create ads to a highly targeted demographic. It’s also a perfect way to invite consumers to store events. However, don’t post messages on Facebook as advertisements but rather engage your fans on a personal level as if you were talking with your neighbor. Stay on topic, share breaking industry news, and offer tools and tips to your fans. If you’re not sure what content your fans prefer, simply ask them. Run a poll or ask in a status update. Be friendly, inviting, and personable. Always keep the fans engaged. Facebook should be an integral part of the overall online marketing plan.

Twitter

TwitterTwitter is another part of the Web 2.0 social media, much like Facebook and it is also free. Create a Twitter account for your store. The only downside is the 140 maximum characters that you have to work with so you need to shorten your URLs with websites like TinyURL or Bit.ly. Just like with Facebook, your Twitter followers need to be engaged. When one of your followers tweets something great, complement him or her but don’t simply say, “Great tweet!” When a following tweets something of value, retweet it. Offer deals and valuable information but always make sure that your followers know that there is a real person with a persona behind your account name.

Blog

BlogCreate a blog on your website. There are free blogging modules like WordPress. Not only will your very own blog provide you with the chance to correspond with your existing or maybe potential customers quickly and easily, it also opens a new channel for audience feedback. Always add fresh content. It’s good for the search engines as well as users. Another advantage of a blog is that it can help you to promote your store through search engines using targeted keywords.

These are just some of the ways social media can be used for a typical . In today’s internet connected world, we have internet access at work, home, and even in smart cell phones like iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. There are Wi-Fi networks everywhere we go. need to embrace all this and operate as nimbly in cyberspace as in the “real” world. The store’s website as well as social media needs to take center stage in the overall marketing efforts.

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