In the United Kingdom, retail is one of our most important sectors.

In 2017, retail sales were worth an incredible £366 billion, employing almost three million people.

Latest figures show that there are more than 294,280 retail outlets in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, selling everything from fancy soaps to clothes to specialist equipment.

Today, there are 196,800 VAT-registered retail firms to boot, and many smaller businesses on top of that.

Although retail is one of the most lucrative and diverse industries to be a part of, it’s also one of the most challenging.

We’re heading into new times, and some of our biggest retail giants are announcing plans to close or cut back on their physical retail locations following a fall in footfall and the rise of online shopping, with e-commerce sales worth £137.38bn according to ONS.

Indeed, household names from M&S to Debenhams have been struggling, and if it’s hard for the big guns, then smaller firms are no doubt feeling the pinch and making less, too.

As a small retail business owner, one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, drive sales and boost loyalty is through social media.

Below, we’ve put together some of the best social media post ideas for retail businesses just like yours – read on to find out more.


Promote sales

Whether it’s Black Friday, the middle of the summer or New Year’s Day, the chances are that you run a couple of sales or limited-time offers throughout the year to drive business and get rid of your old stock.

If you’re having a quiet period, then consider running your own offers – you don’t need to follow national trends and discount when everyone else is doing so.

Us Brits love a bargain, so make sure you shout about those special offers as and when they come in, highlighting a couple of ‘star products’ that are bound to sell out. Perhaps you run a bicycle company and want to get rid of some helmets?

Mark them up at a discounted rate, take some images, and create some custom banners for social media to spread the news.

If you want to increase sales and urgency, then play on the fear of missing out, and schedule a limited-time special offer.

You could even provide coupon codes for social media users and let them print off vouchers to use in your store in a bid to increase footfall. Be experimental!

Showcase some of your most popular and photogenic products, and post about them using an emoji and some hashtags. Get friends and other businesses to share to increase reach.


Talk about new products

If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas for social media posts, then take a look at your new products and make sure you’re shouting about them.

Whether you’re stocking a new colour of lipstick or you’ve added a whole new range to your retail collection, take lots of photographs, create graphics and get people excited about what you’re selling.

If you’ve been working on a new range of products, then you could even offer progress updates and show people as it goes through the design, development, testing, and retail stages – you’ll generate hype and will shift more much stock when the product is released.

The most important thing to remember is that your followers probably aren’t browsing your physical or online store every day of the week, so it’s important to keep trickling products and information to them.

Even if they’re not ready to buy from you now, a social media post about a new product might encourage them to follow your page, or add some items to their basket.

This cosmetics company shows off their new makeup products with an attractive image and encourages customers to visit their store to see the product for themselves.


Send people to your site

If you’ve yet to launch an e-commerce store for your business, then you’re probably behind your competitors are could be missing out on thousands of pounds worth of sales.

However the likelihood is that you do have an online store, which is good news when you consider that 16% of all retail sales are now made online, a figure growing around 20% year on year.

As well as posting about your products and retail location, encourage people to visit your website by writing and sharing blog posts, creating resources and tutorials on how to make the best use out of your products, and by selling your products through an e-commerce store.

As we’ve already mentioned, sales are a great way to drum up business, so offer a voucher or a run ‘flash promotions’ where users can save money, and consider experimenting with Facebook Adverts if you’re not getting the necessary reach, as you’ll soon increase sales.

This company offers a coupon code to encourage people to spend money on their website and includes an attractive image that will engage scrolling followers.


Go behind the scenes

As a small business owner, it’s important that you stand out and give people a behind the scenes look at your business.

You could take a snap when your staff are cleaning out the stock room, post about an employee’s birthday, or even take some pictures and videos when you go out for lunch. Showing off your team is a great way to personalise and humanise your business, and encourage people to support small businesses.

If you’re hiding behind a logo and company branding, then people won’t be able to connect with you on a personal level.

A fun behind-the-scenes post like this one can add some humour to your social media channels and show your audience that you’re human, just like them.


Be part of your local community

Finally, consider posting content about your local community, as this is another great way to boost engagement and get more people on your side.

Online businesses cannot compete with bricks and mortar stores who make a real difference locally, so whether you talk about the roadworks on your street, spread the word about a fundraising campaign or even start your own petition to fix street lamps, there are so many ways to get the locals involved.

Every post is an excuse for your followers to comment, share and tag their friends – and who knows?

A post about the circus coming to town might attract hundreds of shares, and some of those people will then check out your business page and buy from you when they’re next in town.

It’s all about increasing your brand awareness and exposure and backing that up with lots of quality, original content that sets your business apart from the rest.

Supporting local fundraising campaigns is an excellent way to increase engagement on social and position your business as one that’s caring, inclusive and proud of its community.


Wrapping up

There you have it – some of the best social media post ideas for retail businesses.

Whatever you’re selling, we wish you the best of luck and encourage you to check out our small business social media packages, which start from as little as £99 per month and help to drive growth and engagement on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

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