Social Media: How One Person Can Do It All

Music retailers don’t have to be left behind in the connected world of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media lets you reach potential customers at a lower cost and in unique ways. At the 2016 NAMM Show, Ben Ash, director of social media at Sam Ash Music, showed how to get social with your retail business and savvy with managing your social media presence.

Here are highlights from the session video.

Four Rules for Social Media Use
Ash offered four essential points to consider as you use social networking sites:

1. Be consistent. Post every day of the week, including weekends and days off. That doesn’t mean posting incessantly. Leave an hour or two in between posts to allow breathing room for your followers. Scheduling can be your best friend, so experiment and get comfortable with scheduling posts for times when you don’t have Internet access or the ability to post. Ash shared that one of his company’s regular features, Guitars of Distinction, is posted at the same time every day, so followers know when to expect it. Being consistent helps create a sense of community with customers.

2. Be unique. Show your vibe. “Make your social profile stand out from all the rest,” Ash said. Always keep it professional and appropriate. Don’t post content that’s political, inappropriate for the workplace or potentially controversial. Show variety, such as new or upcoming products, contests, events, artists, sales, deals, closeouts and rebates.

Another benefit of social media is getting customer feedback, engaging your crowd and generating more reach through opinion-based questions. Sometimes, you’ll just want to show what celebrities are coming into the store, for instance. Also, feature standout employee and customer photos. Tip: Take and post interesting photos of products in your store, in addition to using stock product shots (which may create the illusion that the product’s still in the warehouse and in-store).

3. Be omnipresent. Don’t confine yourself to one social media channel. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a must, according to Ash. YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest are also important. Sign up with other platforms and apps, such as Tumblr, Vine and Snapchat, even if you don’t use them regularly. Save the space, and create a signature hashtag (#SamAsh, for example) to use on your pages. When people search for you, your website should come up, plus your other social media sites. “You must at least dabble with some of the new sites and see if you get any reaction,” Ash said. He recommended putting more energy into the trending sites.

4. Be conscious. Be conscious of how you use the sites. Every site has limitations, which forces you to be creative. For example, Twitter only lets you use 140 characters, and Instagram limits you to 15-second videos. Be aware of what happens when sharing posts between sites since tags, URLs, photos, videos and clickable links are all affected. It may be worth looking into social media management systems, such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social. (Note: Watch the video to see how one post appeared on three different sites.)

Additional Pointers
Ash came back to his fundamental advice: “Do what you can to make yourself unique. Use these tips, and develop them as your own.”

• Tag people and businesses, when applicable.

• Always post a link that tells customers where they can buy the product.

• Share posts about the music industry, when applicable.

• Use any relevant hashtags in all posts.

• Tell your friends, family and customers. Word-of-mouth is the best way to get more followers.

• Have your posts redirect to another page: for events (include details) and for products (include where to buy).

• Post on what’s trending. For example, use such tags as #TaylorSwift to capture Taylor Swift’s audience.

​• Post for holidays or condolences with discretion. It shows you’re part of the collective music industry and also shows humanity and empathy.