Hardware Retailing

MAR 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://hardwareretailing.epubxp.com/i/945288

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Page 108 of 114

HARDWARE RETAILING | March 2018 102 Last Word O n page 44, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) dives into data from hardware, home improvement and lumberyard retailers to learn what they're doing to help their operations stand out online. About 85 percent of respondents reported that they have a social media presence for their business. Facebook was by far the most widely used social media platform, with nearly 99 percent of respondents using the platform to promote their business to customers. If you're primarily using Facebook to engage with customers, you may be facing new challenges. In January, Facebook reconfigured the algorithm that determines which posts individual users see first in their news feeds. Now, posts from friends and family are highlighted, but businesses can strategize to ensure their posts don't drop to the bottom of customers' news feeds. Social media management platform Hootsuite has some advice for retailers who want to stand out from the cyber crowd. Finding Your Facebook Footing 1. Stream Your Team Hootsuite says one of the most effective ways of ensuring your Facebook posts are highly visible is by incorporating videos and using Facebook Live, Facebook's video streaming feature. Livestream an in-store event or special promotion to help reach as many potential customers as possible. 2. Go With Graphics Even if you're not quite ready for prime time on Facebook Live, simply adding a custom graphic to your posts can help you stand out online and encourage people to like or comment on your post, which can boost its ranking in news feeds. Download ready-to-go graphics at TheRedT.com/shop-local. 3. Don't Be Shy If you're noticing a sharp downturn on the impressions your Facebook posts are getting, don't be afraid to make a post explaining the algorithm changes directly. Remind your followers that by adjusting their settings, they can see your operation's posts first in their news feeds. Post a screenshot and step-by-step instructions to ensure your customers know how to continue seeing your creative content. Which Social Media Platforms Do You Use? Respondents could select more than one option. Many retailers use multiple social media platforms. % of Respondents *Most respondents who answered "Other" use Pinterest. Source: North American Retail Hardware Association 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0% 98.6% 29.2% 28.7% 16.3% 6.2% 2.4% Snapchat Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn *Other

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