Kristy Ransdell, co-owner of Burney Hardware in Aberdeen, North Carolina, knows the importance of Facebook as a way to promote her business. But she’ll quickly admit it’s difficult to manage a social media site with the many other responsibilities of running a store.
That’s why she has a secret weapon. Ransdell hired an outside company to act as a consultant to help her strategize what would make the most effective posts. They also offer design services.
“Our local newspaper created a company that helps small businesses like ours improve their social media presence,” she says. “I work closely with one of the women there. I tell her what we have going on in the store and then she comes to me with suggestions of what to post.”
For example, last fall Ransdell wanted to promote the store’s propane tank filling service. She had an idea of how she could use an infographic to get the message across on Facebook; she just needed a little design help. Her consultant created a graphic that told the story, and it got a lot of attention on the store’s Facebook page.
Having a social media expert’s help has also given Ransdell insights into how to market to the store’s diverse customer base. “She’s opened my eyes to some of the ways we can connect with millennials in particular,” she says. “Those are things that never would have occurred to me, but have been very helpful in attracting that younger demographic.”
For Ransdell, using the service has helped her boost the number of Likes on the store’s Facebook page. Last year they had a little more than 2,000 Likes, and this year they’ve increased that to nearly 3,000. It’s also helped her boost the professionalism of the media she posts with creative, eye-catching graphics.
Retailers who want to improve their social media presence can benefit from an outside service that can help create quality, customized media for the store while helping it maintain a local feel. A great place to start might be a local newspaper or other organization with a design or social media staff that might be willing to do a little work on the side.
While Burney Hardware is currently active on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, Ransdell hopes to tackle two more platforms in 2017: Twitter and a blog.