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What do retailers need to know about social media?

What do you need to know about social media to successfully drive customers into your retail business? Find out in this article.

You will learn

  • What social media marketing is best for retailers
  • The importance of your target market
  • Statistics about each social media platform

For retailers, when it comes to choosing what social media platform is right for them, it isn't really any different to how other businesses would choose. The key to marketing through social media is knowing who your target audience is and where they are most likely to hang out. After establishing this, you need to consider how you're going to use the platform to connect and speak with your audience in a language that they understand.

Retailers with lots of different products could possibly take advantage of the platforms that have social media marketing services such as visual images and videos like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and maybe even Pinterest. All you need to do then is establish who uses each platform and tailor your products and posts to suit that audience.

For example, if you're a retailer who sells mobility products then you're most likely selling to an older audience and Facebook would be your first platform of choice. Whereas, if you were selling fashion jewellery that appeals to teenagers your first port of call may be Instagram. If you are retailing interior design products like wallpaper or soft furnishings to females you'd probably look at Pinterest as your first option for marketing through social media.

Another example could be a carpet shop with customer profiles along the lines of:

Profile 1: A professional female in her late 30's living locally, who is looking for something modern, trendy and the cost isn't an issue, it's more about how it looks rather than the price when you're marketing through social media.

Profile 2: Whereas a mother with 2 kids and 2 dogs might be looking for something that looks good, is cost effective but durability is her main focus.

Profile 3: You may also have commercial businesses run by men that are looking for neither of the above - they just want carpet that is of commercial quality, robust, will do a job and they aren't really bothered about the look.

The professional female and the mother may well browse Pinterest for ideas and inspiration on how they envisage their new flooring will look. Whereas the male may use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn from a business point of view and would never dream of visiting Pinterest.

The point here is that if you are posting commercial carpets on Pinterest, they will not get seen by the man in profile 3 because he doesn't use that platform, and the mum of 2 is not likely to be connecting with business owners on LinkedIn if she herself doesn't have a business. However, the professional lady may well be using Pinterest for pleasure and inspiration as well as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for business.

Knowing your customers’ profiles are absolutely crucial when deciding which platform/s you are going to include for your social media marketing. Below are a few statistics to help you establish which platform you may want to investigate further.


82% of online adults aged 18 to 29 use Facebook

79% of those are aged 30 to 49

64% of those are aged 50 to 64

48% of those 65 and older

Facebook is often a favourite for marketing through social media, as it is the best platform for laser targeting a specific customer profile with its unrivalled and inexpensive advertising platform. You can reach billions of users worldwide with demographics covering the likes of age, location, gender, industry, net worth, income, postal codes and background. It is still the most popular platform by far, especially for businesses wanting to sell to consumers.

Check out our tips for promoting your Facebook page here.


39% of online UK users are aged 16-24

64% are female

Instagram is increasing in popularity quickly, especially from a business point of view. It's easy to use and is all about images, hashtags and 15 second videos. It's mobile phone or devices friendly. It's far less competitive right now than Facebook and Twitter and although it's still more popular with the under 30's, this demographic is definitely changing and the largest increase appears to be with the over 35's. Take a look at our tips for a business Instagram page here.


Popular among younger adults and celebrities.

30% of online adults under 50 use Twitter -v- 11% of online adults aged 50 and older.

Twitter is great for either B2B or B2C. It's especially good for monitoring conversations, company’s reputations and things that are trending. Many people use Twitter to keep themselves up-to-date on news matters rather than reading a newspaper.


It's fast moving so you'll needs to post more regularly than on other platforms and the use of '#Hashtags' will help your conversation reach a much wider audience. Although you can only use 140 characters per tweet, Twitter is a great platform to let your company personality shine as it has a more informal, relaxed and humorous feel to it. Check out our tips for using hashtags on Twitter.


44% of online women use Pinterest -v- 16% of online men

Those under 50 are more likely to be Pinterest users

37% -v- 22% of those aged 50 plus

This social media marketing is ideal for visual businesses and is especially popular with decor, cooking, fashion, health and crafts. Users visit Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy more so than visiting Facebook. We've got some great tips for using Pinterest here.

Establishing your ideal customer profiles is absolutely the key to identifying which is the best platform or platforms to promote your business on. Choose one, learn it well and then move onto the next. This will help you focus and avoid being overwhelmed.

Statistics taken from:

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Written by:

Rachel Moore

Social media expert

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