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How lucky are you!? As a retailer, you get to do social media and connect with your customers.
Steph Bechard runs our Crystal Media Insider group, and a lot of our chat today focuses on the reframing of your mind. Social media is not something you HAVE to do; it’s something you GET to do.
When it comes to creating engaging content, Steph’s tip is to keep it fun, casual, and human. Just be YOU. Small businesses have this incredible opportunity to get personal in a way that big box stores don’t.
Where should you be on social media? You’re already making content; put it EVERYWHERE. Get where your audience is spending their time: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and yes, even TikTok. Try the audio trends, effects, and new features to hook your clients!
If this is scary to you, remember that if you already know one app, chances are the other one is similar enough that you can thrive there too. And while you’re at it: batch your content!
Batching is something that has been mentioned here before, and it’s such a crucial time saver. You can do all your filming, photography, and content creation at a set time—weekly, monthly (whatever works for you!)—and use it as a content bank to keep your consistency and quality on track.
Maybe you’re already churning out content for social media and have gained a following. How are they translating into paying customers? Steph has some good ideas and advice you need to hear to keep your audience engaged and increase their desire to buy!
If you want more time saving advice and insider secrets for your social media success, you have to listen in, and it wouldn’t hurt to take notes. You can put most of these into practice right away!
So let me know, what new social media tip are you going to try?
I’m rooting for your success.
- What is the number 1 tip for retailers on social media?
- How to keep up with changing social media trends.
- What social software should you be using?
- How to master the social media algorithm and extend your reach.
- How to convert followers into paying customers.
- Time saving social media tips.
Mentioned in the Episode
- Wildflower by Aurora James
- Crystal Media Insiders
- EVOLVE 2024
- Crystal Media
- Crystal on Instagram
- Crystal Media on Instagram
- Crystal Media Co – YouTube
Best Business Book
Best Retail Technology
Crystal: In this episode of Rooted in Retail, I am talking to Steph Bechard who’s on the Crystal Media team with a Crystal media-themed social media day on the podcast. And I’m so excited. Steph has been on our team for several years and we met her. She used to work for a retail store doing the social media, and she would come to our workshops and she was an insider member and she was moving and she had to leave the store, and both Pauline and I were like, Do you think Step would come work with us? And she did. And we just love having her on the team. She manages our insider program where we teach social media to retailers. And so she is staying on top of all the social media changes and trends and trying all the new features and creating all the training content for our retailers to help them stay up to date. So I asked her to come on the show. Tell us what’s the number one thing that’s working today. What changes, trends, what things do we need to know that are, you know because social changes all the time. So what’s going on? What do we need to know? Some of the common mistakes, misconceptions retailers are making. She also has some really great time-saving tips, like really great. They’re going to save you so much time. Implement what you learn on this episode today. And then a question that we get asked a lot is, how do I turn my followers into customers? So Steph has some really great tips for you as well, so I am so excited to welcome my team member. Let’s dive in. Welcome to Rooted in Retail, the show that’s dedicated to helping independent retailers thrive in today’s ever, ever-evolving retail landscape. I’m your host, Crystal Vitis, and I’m thrilled to have you join me weekly as we explore topics that are vital to the success of your. Store from marketing to mindset, money to merchandising, sales to leadership will cover it all. Each episode features interviews with industry experts and accomplished retailers who share their real-life insights and actionable advice. Get ready for a great conversation on how to build your dream business with Rooted in Retail. Def welcome to the show. I’m thrilled you’re here.
Steph: Thank you, Crystal. It’s so exciting to be on
Crystal:. Yeah, it’s Crystal Media Day. I’m so happy that you’re here. We’re going to talk all about social media. We are going to be addressing the hot topics and all the questions that our retailers have. And, let’s dive right in with probably the biggest question that we get asked, which is what’s the number one thing working right now? Like, where do retailers need to focus their energy when it comes to social media?
Steph: That is such a good question. We get it so much at the agency as well. And truly what we’ve been recommending to retailers is just come at social media a little bit more fun and casual and be as human as possible. Because when you look at big box first and when you look at their Instagrams, you look at their Facebook, it’s very producty and salesy and red or green and like just like that. Seem no personality types, no colors, no no branding. That’s like truly just outside of the clinical field. But small businesses have such a good opportunity to really show the people behind the business. That’s what makes them special. And we know influencer marketing has risen so much in 10 years. People are using influencers. Humans, customers are trusting influencers cause it’s like a straight-up testament to the product. And small business owners and their teams have such a good opportunity to be. An influencer for their business. They have all the tools available for them. They’re already tastemakers. They’re choosing the products to bring into their store. They’re choosing all the different items that are going to be brought into their communities, homes, put on their skin, where to their happy hours, where their prom, like all these things, they’re already the tastemakers. You might as well take it a step further and explain to your community and be the face, giving a testament to those products, endorsing those products in a way so, I just like think that being as human as possible on social media is just such a good way to build community right now as a retailer.
Crystal: I completely agree. And to everybody that’s listening, think about yourself as an influencer. Like, what if you did that? What do you feel like you’re an influencer right now? What steps would you need to take to get there? And that really is. Showing up being human, like what Steph is saying. Mmhmm. And here’s the thing that I love about this tip stuff, is it’s not like, oh, use this new sticker or use this new feature because those features, they change so fast. Mm-hmm. By the time we publish this podcast, they would probably be outdated.
Steph: Right. I know. You know what? There’s people out there on Instagram who have millions of followers, and we don’t even know their names, but they have a giant community of. People who follow them because they’ve put themselves out there, their own personality, their own interests, their own niche, and they have this giant community following them and supporting them. So you can be exactly who you are right now in this moment. You don’t have to change a thing, you don’t have to speak in a different way to try to be influencer on social media. Just be yourself and you can better have your customers trust you and build that community in that way.
Crystal: That’s a great tip. Love it. Okay. Now social is changing all the time. Mm-hmm. So what are some of the current changes and or trends that retailers need to know about?
Steph: Oh yes. Oh, this is always changing. Honestly, this is such a big part of my job at Crystal Media is keeping up with these and we just bring what’s working best to retailers. So currently what I would recommend right now is staying in the loop with algorithm updates. That’s something that’s always changing on social media because the main thing is, first of all, it’s going to help make your social media posts more. You know, interested, like interesting, better for the algorithm to actually pick things up. If you’re leaning into what’s working currently, what’s working for you. But also a lot of people don’t realize that there’s so many algorithm updates all the time, and sometimes their content just kind of stops performing as well as it was before. We see this all the time. Their views drop, they stop getting as much reach. They don’t know why no one’s commenting on their Facebook posts anymore, and they kind of like, You lose hope a little bit. So you might take a seat, a back seat, you know, and then you’re not posting as much, but if you’re aware of algorithm updates and you just keep posting consistently no matter what, it’s one of those things that the algorithm notices that they’re like, thank you. We’re having a bad day, we’re having a bad month, and you we’re still there for us. We’re going to be there for you right back. We’re like supporting each other in that way, you know? Totally. I think it’s such a big thing to be aware of.
Crystal: Yeah, you got to have the consistency, so you got to pay attention to the algorithm. Now, is there anything that you’re seeing specific right now that, that the algorithm is favoring?
Steph: Yes. Storytelling. And a lot of our platforms, social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, has come out instead. Storytelling is such a good way to keep people’s eyes on your. Posts. We all know all of the platforms have an interest of keeping people scrolling on their platform, right? Each of them respectively wants to have people on their platform. So if me as a retailer am helping them, the platform, keep an eye on their app, they’re going to be incentivizing my posts further up. So currently each platform right now, It’s kind of idolizing storytelling in a way that they’re promoting it. They have different content types to be able to tell your story, to tell your products, stories, all this stuff through stories, actual stories, and then through short-form video of course, and carousel images, albums on Facebook, you know, multi-image posts. You’re taking a straight-up shelf photo of a product and extending the life that you’re bringing more life to it in that way. So storytelling is a big one. And honestly, I was going to say a second one, which is leaning into trends. As well. So I hate to say like a trend in social media is literal trend, but it’s true. Instagram just released achievements. Have you seen that? It’s like a week new, brand new. So you can be posting on social media platforms and getting these achievements through reels. it almost is like gamifying Instagram a little bit. I think they’re just trying to make a little bit more fun and give you that little serotonin boost when you’re posting. And one of them is being a trendsetter and that’s using a trending audio. And a trending effect and it just like works really well for just making this great content and now having a chance to introduce it to other people who are interested in that sort of content.
Crystal: Yeah, so these achievements, it’s basically you. If one of them, if you’re a trendsetter, and I saw this, I did a Facebook reel because, and Facebook reels, a lot of people aren’t using them right now, so you have great. Ability to get a lot of views on a Facebook reel because Facebook’s pushing that. They really want people to use reels. So they’ll show it to more people for free organically. So if you have a Facebook page for your store, this is a great place to be posting. And I used a Facebook reel and I got one of those achievements. Thanks that I said to Dustin on vacation. I know. I was like, I’m a trendsetter. And, but really they’re like, you’re going to have this for the next week. Post another one to keep it up. Yeah. Like they’re doing things to try to create that consistency. And so, you’ll have a badge. It’s just another way, like, I really think my prediction is we’re going to see more of the gamification, like these platforms want, like you said it, Steph. They want to keep people on, so they’re going to reward that behavior. This is an interesting new way, so pay attention to those trends. Now talk to us a little bit more about those trends, because each of the plat, like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok is really where the power is with retailers. Pinterest can help too. Yeah. If you sell online, But tell us about, you know, kind of how we could find those trends or what we could be doing with those trends. Yeah. And what they are. Yeah. If anybody’s like, what do you mean by trends? Is this just like, the color of the year trends, right? Or Yeah. Break down what it means.
Steph: So essentially, I think a lot of people think trends is like a challenge, like, Think, I think of like the cinnamon challenge when you had to keep a, a spin full cinnamon in your mouth and it was this, that is not a trend, that’s a challenge. A trend is actually using a feature from social media platform like an audio. If you’re scrolling on Instagram and you see a real you love and it has a little arrow facing upwards on it, that means it’s currently trending, and that trending audio will not last a year. It’s usually anywhere from a week. To up to like five weeks. If it’s a really good one, people are loving it. So you can click on that and use it and kind of jump on that bandwagon. A little bit of, oh, social media is noticing, Hey, this audio is getting people to watch the full video. We’re going to incentivize posts that are also using this audio because it’s like helping us keep people on our app. Same with effects, which is like, you know, the puppy filter. What kind of dog are you? It might make a sparkle, it might like clear your skin a little bit. Those sorts of effects can become trending on social media as well, on all of the platforms. And when you’re making an Instagram reel, in particular in TikTok as well, there’s a category, a little folder that says trending when you’re choosing an effect. So you can just straight up find effects that way. I kinda want you to think of it like if you’re taking out an ad in a magazine and the magazine was going to be distributed to your local town, it’s likely quite a few people would see that ad, right? But if the magazine randomly decided to print it and send it to the entire state, A ton more people are likely to see that ad because it’s just being distributed to more people. Trends kind kinds of leans into that same thing where it has the opportunity to be shown to more people. Not necessarily going to, but it has the opportunity to be introduced to.
Crystal: That’s a great way to put it. And, and that’s all for free. Like that’s why we love these trends and these effects. Yeah. And the trending audio. Because if you get that algorithm love, then you’ll get in front of more people that resonate with that type of content, and that’s where you can really see some of that going viral and just getting in front of the right kind of people.
Steph: Yeah, and you know why you can lower your audio. You know how you can have like the mixer in, in Facebook and TikTok and in Instagram. So if you’re talking in a video, we often encourage our retailers to just like, talk with their products, use the green screen tool with this, been trending for about two months now, and talk with their products behind them. Or, you can just like talk about how. Who’s working today? I, I follow this one retailer that says, Hey, I’m here till five, but you know, Jessica’s taking over and she’s closing off the store. Come say hello to us. You’re to upload a trending audio and just put the volume down to like three or four. So it’s almost like a commercial. It elevates the quality of your video anyways, and you’re using that trend, which is good for your audience and good for the algorithm. You’re like, it’s like a win-win.
Crystal: It so is, I’m really glad that you brought that up. It, you have so many editing features in these apps now, and so what Steph’s talking about is, you know, you have this, you have your voice, you have the trending audio sound in the background, and you still want to get the love for that trending audio, but you don’t want that music too high because you’re talking. So you can go in when you’re editing, your video and just lower that down so you. Still, get that love for that audio. the best way, if anybody’s listening to this and they are like, What are you talking about? I’ve lost because, babe, you haven’t done that yet. If you just get in and start pressing around. Honestly, the best way to learn these things is to use it. Oh, I agree. So agree. If you can block 10 minutes, get in and do a story, or do a reel and add some trending music and click on the controls, that’s going to really help you. Learn these things,
Steph: exactly how to find it. As you click the little music icon on your reel and then you’re going to see a little mixer icon. There’s two little levels. You just click on that and you can add in all sorts of stuff from there. Very easy.
Crystal: Awesome. Love it. Okay. Is there anything else that we need to know about current trends or changes that is like we need to know right now?
Steph: I honestly would just say like leaning into those trends and also leaning into new features platforms dedicate a lot of money and time team members, developers, to develop these new features. And a lot of retailers, like I think influencers are fast to use them. people like my friends’ age of just using. Social media for personal, fun use are using them, but retailers might be slower to adopt these new trends because it’s hard to keep up with these new features. Right. So the dual camera was a fun one on Instagram that was released, in stories and reels, using different Facebook, like, like you said, Facebook reels is one of those things that like, this wasn’t really being used by retailers, but we’re noticing our retailers going viral on Facebook reels without a. Add dollar behind it because Facebook spent a lot of money and time and resources developing this. So I would say if you’re noticing a lot of changes happening somewhere on social media if you’re noticing changes happening in Facebook groups, there’s new features added to statuses, to stories, engagement stickers, anything that means that platform is dedicating resources to it and they want you to use it, they’re going to incentivize your post and push it a little bit further to the top of the algorithm because they want other people to use that feature as well. Awesome.
Crystal: Well said. Now I know one thing that retailers really struggle with is time management. Mm-hmm. When it comes to social media and really just getting it done. Getting it done well. So what tips do you have for saving time when it comes to social media?
Steph: Yeah, this is a good question. I know it can be time-consuming and it feels just like hard to actually just like get started and just do it. Or you’re editing a video and you start over filming. I’m guilty of this too, like I’ll film something like 10 times when it’s live. You just got to do it. That’s why I love live videos for retailers. First of all, you just. Say it in the moment and it’s done posted. You have an amazing piece of content you can pull from. You can cross-post later, you know, but also I think what retailers need to keep in mind is to update their strategy and that’s going to save them a lot of time. We often see at Crystal Media retailers using the same strategy for years when we’re auditing accounts. They’re doing the same, you know, product layouts or they’re taking the same storefront photo, or they’re taking the same photos of like the same team member always. But if you’re not testing out your content with different content types, a real a story, a live, guide, an album you know, or you’re not just using different features, just trying different things in your, in your social media posts. You don’t really know what’s actually working for you. So you could be wasting time. You know, time is really valuable. As a retailer, you’re doing the same thing over and over again, and it’s not producing that much great results. You don’t really know what else is out there engagement-wise or audience-reach-wise if you’re not testing it out. So one of the best time-saving tips, I would say, is to test your content. See what works and then lean into that before it’s time to test again. So, you know, pick three content types, a story every single day, a couple stories, a short-form video, and a multi-image post. And be leaning into that until you need to switch things up. Because if you’re doing the same thing over and over again, you could be wasting your time. Like an unsuccessful print magazine ad. You know, you probably test those. This is the same thing. Products. You never have the same product for eight years straight. You switch it up. Same with social media posts. You’ve got to switch it up. It’s fast moving. We should be fast moving as well.
Crystal: It’s a great tip. We don’t want stale. If you keep doing the same thing, that reach is going to just decline and you really could be getting more out of your time. Mm-hmm. And I love it, Steph. Okay. What else could they do?
Steph: This one is something I use all the time. I’m such like a switch around to like a squirrel worker. Like I’ll switch around to a new thing, I’ll get an email, do it right in the moment. But it is not very time efficient. If you can batch your content, I batch all my work. But if you can batch your content, that is such a good time saver. For instance, today I did my hair, I did my makeup. I’m going to film like 20 videos for Crystal media after this call is done and I’m going to change my shirt, I’ll put on my glasses in one call. I’ll just. Or in one video, I’ll just change it up and I’ll batch my content. So it’s all done at once. If you’re filming things as it comes along, you’re kind of being reactive versus proactive, right? So you know, you have an event coming up, you know you have new products coming up, so you go live, film a video, but the new product. Film a little video about the event details. Invite them to come the date, the time, how to get into the event, buy tickets, whatever it is. Film like six videos in a row and then you’re ready to go. Because it is hard sometimes to feel like camera ready. It is hard to just like start that video. But once you’re kind of in a loop, lock yourself on your office for an hour and it’s, film a bunch of content and get it out there.
Crystal: I can’t stress this enough. I feel like that is one of the number one ways that you’ll be consistent with your social media. Mm-hmm. Because you are creating it ahead of time and boom, now we have it. Mm-hmm. Now, ideally somebody on your team is taking that and scheduling it and posting it for you. But it’s done in episode 19 with Jennifer Johnson, the owner of True Fashionistas. This is exactly what she said, how she gets it done. I asked her, you are killing it with your social, and I know she’s driving sales from it. How do you do it? And that was one of her tips was batching. So that’s such a good tip Steph.
Steph: it was recommended to me, honestly, I think it might have been through Crystal Media years and years ago because I did always work that way and I was always like, The last minute. got to get a social media post out here, which affects the quality. It compromises the quality of your post. But if you’re dedicating time to just get it all done at once, and I know sometimes also if I have it in my camera roll, I want to post it like all at once kind of thing. But if you actually just use it as this fault to just pull from once in a while place on social media, you’re going to have good quality content consistently.
Crystal: I love it. And just a little background, Steph used to do the social media for a retail store, Anna’s flowers. And so that’s where she was a retailer in a past life. Yeah. Doing all this stuff and can really speak to, you know, how it saved her time. And Steph, we talk about this internally, and I know you talk about it in your presentations as well. Can you also just share quickly about albums on the phone, just helping organize mm-hmm. Some of that content when you’re batching.
Steph: Oh totally. I have a Crystal Media brand album, a Crystal Media Throwback album, and a Crystal Media just things to post upcoming album. And whenever I take a photo, if I’m on a walk with my dog, Coda, if I’m filming a video, if anything, that has to, I know it’s good enough content to go to Crystal Media, but I just don’t want to post like Tendings in one day. All I do is. Click the little export button on the bottom left of my photo and add to that specific album. So when I’m ready to post it, just right there in the album I’m not scrolling through my 22,000 photos to find the right thing. Same with screenshots. I take probably a hundred screenshots a day and you think I’m going to find that they all look practically the same. You know, I have to make an album to find. It is just like having a spice cabinet and not labeling them and you not knowing what spice you’re putting on your breakfast. Like you have to just label your things to be able to find them much easier.
Crystal: That alone, saving time, that way alone can save so much time and the frustration, and where is the picture? So get your team doing this. If they’re creating that content, you doing this, create those albums, batch create, and really make sure you’re trying some of those new things. So your time is being well spent. Awesome tips, Steph.
Steph: Oh yeah, I agree.
Crystal: Okay. So what are some of the common misconceptions or mistakes you’ve seen retailers, retailers make when it comes to social media marketing and what should they do instead?
Steph: Okay. Honestly, I hate to say this one because I, but I hear this just so often is that social media is just this like annoying thing that retailers have to Do to advertise their business, but truly, like I know you say like you get to do it. I loved when you said you get to do social media, you get to talk to your customer customers in this way. And I think it’s just this opportunity of like, you open up a store in a town and you know how many people are available to shop with you in that town, right? You probably do some research. You see how many people are available to. Walk by foot traffic to advertise to. That’s that small area that you’re heavy brick and mortar, and that you’re selling to. Social media is like this giant main street of people walking down Main Street all the time. They’re scrolling on their phones, right? Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, and they can find you in this way. So all the people that aren’t choosing to get out of there. Apartments, get outta their homes, and go walk around and find stores. They’re on their couch looking for stores too, so you have to look at it in this way. It’s like this is free, amazing tool that you can introduce your brand to and get people to come in or just actually sell to them straight up through social media. There’s so many avenues to do that as well, which I know we’ll talk about in a minute, but I, you know, okay. You know when you meet someone and you can tell they like you and you kinda just like, like them back. Or you meet someone and they like kind of don’t like you and you’re like, I don’t, I don’t know that person like was off-putting To me, if you hate social media, it’s going to hate you right back. Like you got to put the time and effort into it for it to be putting the time and effort into your posts and putting you up higher as well.
Crystal: So good. Love it. Okay. Is there, what, is there another mistake that retailers are making or misconception?
Steph: I think a mistake retailers are making is, well, a misconception I should say, is that they’re not adopting new platforms like TikTok in particular. We had, we had to pull teeth to get some our retailers on TikTok, and they’re making the content, the short form videos anyways for Facebook reels. For Instagram stories, they’re making this short-form, full-screen video anyways. But when our audiences are telling us we’re spending time here, this app is growing exponentially more eyes are on this platform, we should be there. We’re not. They’re not there to serve us. We’re there to serve them. We should be showing up or they want to be served. And it’s just like a free tool that you can use and lean into in that way. Like you should be jumping on platforms that are working for selling. So, It’s scary new lots to learn. That’s how it’s
Crystal: Exactly, you bring up such a good point that you’re already creating the content. So if you already have that Instagram reel, put it on Facebook, put it on TikTok, like, and let the algorithms do their work. You have it already. And there’s somebody who’s probably listening to this saying, but isn’t, I think TikTok is going to get banned. So let me just address that really fast. We don’t know what’s going to happen with TikTok or the US government or China. But here’s what, what I do know is that if the app got banned, the attention’s going to go somewhere else. So it’s just a matter of we’re still going to be creating the content. We’re still going to be showing up because we get to, like Steph said, we want to embrace it. We have this o beautiful opportunity to connect with our, our customers every day. So we get to, and we’re going to do that where they show up. So it doesn’t take you that much extra work to put it in those other platforms and really leverage them because you guys, people are on TikTok. It is a fast-growing platform. It’s, I think they’re now the top. Consumed, or at least in the top three of the length of time, people are spending on the app. Yeah. So I mean, the attention is there right now and that attention might move, but let’s show up where our customers are. So these are so good stuff. anything else to add to that or should we talk about turning followers into customers?
Steph: I just want to say one more thing that I love this next question too, but this, this one about using TikTok or using new platforms. So many of the social media platforms have been adopting the same posting types. They keep borrowing these features from each other, and we think it’s like all this like drama, like, oh my gosh, we can now post like a photo on TikTok, or Carousel on TikTok and, oh, Instagram implemented stories, which was for Snapchat or Facebook implemented reels, which is originally, you know, they’re all boring things from each other, so retailers have to. Learn one app. Well, and you know the baseline of posting on all the apps. So you might as well you know how to post on TikTok. I know it might seem like colors might be different things might be in slightly different places, but you know how if you’re posting on Instagram, Facebook reels, you’re posting stories, you know how to post on TikTok.
Crystal: Excellent point. You probably just got a great confidence boost there. Yeah. And some of you’re like, haha. No, I didn’t. I don’t. No. Trust us. Just get in there, do it. And the more that you do it, you do it a couple times, you’re like, oh yeah, that’s not that bad. Yeah. And you gain that confidence. Yeah. So true. Okay, so let’s talk about, you know, a common question that I’ve got over the years, I know you get this too, is how I have followers, but I’m not really seeing that turn into dollars. So how do, give us just a tip or two on how people can turn followers into customers.
Steph: Yes, I know we love to talk about the 80-20 rule at Crystal Media with using that nurturing 80% content of like that building relationship, building quality content on your platforms. Only 20% is selling. Only 20% of your content is talk about selling, but really we are a business. If you’re a small business on social media, you’ve got to be selling as well, right? Of course. It’s just built into it. And we see retailers all the time posting mannequin photos, posting a box of a new arrival. Posting things that aren’t really enticing me to buy it. You got to talk about your products, kinda like the storytelling tip. Like you really got to build it out so they seem desirable. Like, why do I want to buy that? Why did you buy it for your store? I bet the salesperson at the markets were doing a really good job convincing you that you need this instead of another product. You know why this soap bar is better than that one can be. The ingredients, the size, the quality, the whatever it is. You know why? But the person looking at that picture of it on the shelf does not know why at all. Like when I’m at a restaurant and the waiter’s talking to me about the special, they always go into more detail about the special than I see, like the menu, right? They make it so desirable. They say it’s mouthwatering. They use adjectives. They talk about why it’s special. They scrunch their nose and use their hands. You know, it just seems good. I want it. That you have to, you look at products that same way. You have to sell them as if they’re desirable. Someone sitting at home can’t see that product in a photo. They can’t see all the special things about it like someone walking into the store. So you got to just bring that same presence of it from in-person to online. And I,
Crystal: I think that, think about when you’re in store, how do you talk about the products? Yeah. I think what happens sometimes is we feel like, oh, but now I’m on my phone. Now I’m on social and I’m not going to be the storyteller. I’m not going to give the background. I just got to get content out, right? Mm-hmm. I, this thing I have to do, when we change the mindset and we tell the story, It’s going to really help sell the product. It’s such a great tip, Steph.
Steph: It’s like such a one that’s like such an easy one to miss. Like you can just like quickly throw something up on social media, but why even do it if I’m not going to want to buy it? You really got to make it desirable. Yep, yep. Also, a second point of that is using the features that are built into all these apps to help you sell. Yeah. There’s built-in features. You can set up your shop on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Sync your products catalog to these platforms to actually be able to make a purchase straight from social media or easier. Link them to your own website, right? Using links in your stories, direct links, using Pinterest to post your products, post images of your products with the link last like three months on Pinterest to post. It’s like a long shelf life. Yeah. You might as well be using these features that are baked into social media to help you make sales.
Crystal: Yep. Omnichannel is, the word I’ve been hearing a lot. We’ve all been hearing that a lot. Right. But it’s true how they get makes it easy for people to buy your products. Don’t just have them come into the store. There’s so many different ways that people can buy now, so you got to make it easy. Mm-hmm. I totally agree. So you engage with our insider members on a daily basis? We have a membership. It’s how I started Crystal Media over 10 years ago with this membership. And we have a Facebook group with it and retailers will go in the group and they’ll ask their questions, they’ll share their successes. So can you share a couple of things that you’ve seen insiders doing lately that’s been working well?
Steph: Oh, the insider members are my people. They’re killing it. I love watching them implement the tips. We have these strategy calls and I see people right after the call hang up, hang up there going and trying new things. So I’ll have so much to share here, but I will keep it nice and short. the number one thing that retailers are doing, our insiders are doing well is consistency. I think that’s kind of built-in with insider is like us always encouraging you to do new things, post ideas, and all that sort of thing, and just actually showing up daily. On these social media platforms, it’s really good for your audiences to know, okay, I’m logging on. I know I’m going to see a post from this person. But it’s especially good for each of the algorithms knowing, oh yeah, I’m going to be putting a little bit more effort into putting this person’s posts a little bit higher in the feed because I can rely on them to keep people on my platform, to keep people on the app. So consistency, you have to post every single day on the channels that you’re choosing to nurture A big one.
Crystal: It’s such a good one. Okay. Love it. What else are they doing?
Steph: They’re using new features. One of my favorite things, mm-hmm to do is to make all these training videos and all the new things that are released on platforms and we really do try to share what we think is going to be sticking around and what’s going to work for retailers. Because if we’re to make one for everything, you know, they come and go. I used to look forward to the one update on social media. Every single month when I worked in a retail store, it’d be maybe a new content type, a new feature, an engagement sticker, a new platform. Maybe now it’s like three or four a week. Yeah. I used to read, a monthly blog about it. Now it’s like I got to read something every day, you know? Right. There’s just so much going on. So using new features, using, if you see a new engagement sticker and you’ve never seen it before, try it out. Just click on it. It’s going to probably explain it to you anyways. if you see something that looks different or is moved around, try it out because the algorithm is going to be, Wanting you to use that, your followers likely haven’t seen it yet. Like, we like to talk about stories on TikTok. I had a hard time finding a story from a retailer on TikTok to screenshot for an example I was using. No one’s using it. It’s a new thing. You have way less competition when it’s newer. Right? So you might as well be leaning to those new features.
Crystal: Awesome. Love it. who, what else are they doing?
Steph: I, I’m really loving the behind-the-scenes sorts of content from our retailers. I think initially when you start off as an insider, a lot of people post a little bit more of the pretty curated type of feed, but what people love is the goods, the meat, potatoes. I know you like to say like the, the goods of the business, like you might know. The day, day to day in your life as a small business owner, but a customer. Me, I don’t know that. You have to show me that, and it makes it so much more interesting. The whole business makes it so much more interesting. I have a more con, a bigger connection to your products. When you’re showing me that side of the business and a lot of the content types lean into this behind-the-scenes kind of feel. It started off with stories, right? They’re a little bit more casual. A little bit more, a little bit less curated than the feed. And then TikTok started getting so popular with posting all these kind of like in the moment, real-time, they were like stories, but post over on TikTok, they’re just more casual, right? Mm-hmm. People love to see that there is a reason it grew so fast.
Crystal: So true. And I want to add in one too is using ads our, you know, we have scale clients that are insider members, so, Ad clients and get listed, they basically have all of our products, right? We bundled all of our products into one that’s called scale, and, I did a whole evolve presentation, like showing all these ad results. I’m going to do it at an upcoming social media day. Peeking behind the corner to see what these retailers are doing. I mean, they’ll, they’ll spend sometimes $10 and see incredible results. one Jennifer Johnson from True Fashionist does, she is spending 75% less than what she was spending and is making 75%. More now because of the ads that are running and getting thousands of new email addresses, and so using ads to get people to join your email list. And then you’re sending emails because we’re still seeing that’s a great channel to sell, right? So, I just, and, and actually I think that we’ll plug a little, I’ll share Jennifer’s video in this video so you can hear directly from her and the results she’s seeing. But, yes, you do have to pay money there. You have to have a budget. But like I said, it does not, you don’t need a big box budget here. Our ad clients have anywhere from like, 500 to $800 a month they’re spending. So that’s definitely something I would, I would say, oh yeah, we’re seeing success with too.
Steph: Yeah. Our top retailers are using Facebook advertising. Yeah. And have you ever been to a theme park and you just got like a day pass, a regular day pass, and then you got like the advanced pass and you’re able to skip all those people in online? It’s kinda like, it’s kinda like that almost where you’re posting in the feed, but then you kind of are able to put a little bit extra money behind it and you’re able to skip all the. Saturation of other retailers a little bit in that way. So
Crystal: that’s such a good way to put it. You know, me and Disney. So I love my, well it used to be the Fast Pass now I think it’s the Max Pass, but yeah, we just want you pay to get more results, right? To get more eyeballs and. Some people get frustrated about that. But the thing is, there’s only so much you can do organically, and there are those times when you can go viral. You can, with consistency, you will build a great following, but if you want to get there faster, you want to reach more. That’s a good way to do it.
Steph: Yeah, it is
Crystal: Steph, are you ready for the resilience round? Oh, totally. I’m so excited. All right, let’s do it. Best business book.
Steph: I’m not a huge business book person because I’m not a business owner, but I’m currently reading Wildflower by Aurora James. She’s an entrepreneur. She owns a luxury shoe company called Brother Valley’s, and she is the founder of a nonprofit called The 15% Pledge, and her story is amazing, and it just came out a couple weeks ago. Oh
Crystal: my God. I’ll check that out. That sounds awesome. It’s so good. Love it. Okay. Best social media technology, like an app or software. Ooh.
Steph: You know, I love posting natively and creating in each of the platforms their own platforms, right in the app. I went to school for graphic design and had to learn the Adobe Suite, and it was so complicated. These apps are looking more and more like that every day. I’m so impressed with them. So posting and creating in each of the apps, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, I think is going to be the best way I’d recommend to use software, their own platforms.
Crystal: Awesome. Which isn’t that good news retailers. It doesn’t mean you have to go get a bunch of software and spend more money, like just edit right in the app. You’ll get more out of it. They’ve got great tools. How do you keep up with the ever-changing social media landscape?
Steph: I. Oh, there’s, you could read endless blogs. You can just truly dive into podcasts forever. And you know, I definitely do that as well. I, I’m always keeping like an ear to the streets, I think they say. But one of the best things I do is to actually just like jump on, use the platforms. I also like to hear straight from the horse’s mouth and listen to Adam Moery. He’s the CEO of Instagram. I like to hear his updates. But yeah, a lot of reading, a lot of social media. Testing and trying out a lot of podcasts.
Crystal: Yeah. because social media is ever-changing, how do you recharge your batteries?
Steph: Hmm, you know what? Because I work in social media and I work at this agency, I like to dedicate a lot of time to face-to-face. You know, quality time with my friends and family. I think I have to build that into my schedule to actually have a real connection in person versus keeping most of it just digital. So I just got to say like, time with friends in real life.
Crystal: Mm. That’s so good. I, I agree with that too. To help retailers be stronger, rooted in success. What is a social media foundational best practice?
Steph: Oh, make it as fun as possible. The more fun you’re having on social media, the easier it’ll be to post, consistently, to show up, for your people, so it doesn’t have to feel like work. It could be this awesome free tool. I think you should just try to make it as fun as possible and just be, come at it as a curiosity feature versus like, just like the, something you have to do. Yes,
Crystal: that curious mind. What do you think the future of independent retail looks like?
Steph: I honestly think it has to do with community relationship building, nurturing your niche. if you’re able to lean onto your community, you’re people who are from.
Crystal: Well said community. I so agree. And these retailers, man, they have such an amazing opportunity to do that. Yeah. Because a lot of them are physical, right? They’re in the community. Steph, this was so fun. So fun to have somebody on the Crystal Media team join me. Thank you for taking such great care of our in. Insiders, our insiders course. Love Steph. I mean she, I love her too. Yeah, I know you. She gives them challenges every week, so they’re using these tools because sometimes you’re like, I don’t even know where to start. Well, Steph will tell you where to start answering those questions for that support. I mean, it’s really like a part of your team. So, you do such a great job with our insiders and I know a lot of them listen to this show. So if you give, give. Steph, some love on this episode and, thank you, Steph, for your time today. I really appreciate it.
Steph: Thank you, Crystal. Thank you.
Crystal: Remember, I am rooting for your success. Have a great week ahead.
Steph: Bye-bye retailers.
Jennifer: Hi, my name is Jennifer Johnson and I’m the owner of True Fashionistas, which is the largest lifestyle resale store in the state of Florida. We also have a website, which is true fashionistas.com. I want to give a huge shout-out to Crystal and her team. I’ve been working with Grecia for the last year, and I cannot tell you what they have done for my business. Before I came to Crystal Media, I was working with other many companies, mind you, that have done the very same thing. They’ve done a lot in the space of Facebook marketing. I was never happy, I was never seeing results from them yet. I was spending a lot of money coming over to Crystal Media and you guys are going to be absolutely astounded when I tell you this, that I am now spending 75% less on my Facebook marketing. Yet, I’m making 75% more in sales from the marketing that we’re doing. They have done amazing things for all of our Facebook marketing, and I cannot thank them enough. And that is not the only thing. Okay? So yes, 75% decrease in what we’re spending, but a 75% increase in our sales. And on top of that, we have also increased our email list. So our emails that we’re generating. From our Facebook advertising, which is gold for us, right? We can then market to these people. They’re no longer just Facebook people. They’re our people because we have their emails and we can actively market to them. We have increased our list. In the thousands because of what Crystal Media has done for us. So thank you, Crystal Grecia. Thank you to the whole team at Crystal Media for doing what you do each and every day for all of us.
Crystal: Thank you so much for being here. It means the world to me. Don’t forget to join the Rise and Shine newsletter, which is. Social media news you need to know sent via email every Monday morning. Go to Crystal media co.com/rise to join and don’t miss the newest episode of Rooted in Retail, which drops every Sunday morning