Behind the Counter: Social Media Decisions

We asked three veteran retailers, “What does your store’s social media presence look like?” Here’s what they had to say.

Behind the Counter: Social Media Decisions

Gary Hintz

Bucks & Bulls Archery

Plover, Wisconsin

We use Facebook. We post about twice weekly. Posting more frequently would be better, but it’s a little hard to stay on top of it, especially when things get busy. On the other hand, if I were to post daily, I wonder if people would get sick of seeing new posts constantly. I think three or four times a week would be ideal.

We post all year round about new products, kid’s archery and leagues. I’d say that new product posts trigger the most engagement. People usually comment on the post with questions or message us directly for more info.

I do a lot of coaching with all types of customers. Some of the kids I’ve coached have won regional, state and national tournaments. I like to post about their accomplishments, and interest among youths continues to grow because of those posts. Kids see the posts and pictures, and then they want to come in and try out archery. Before long, they’re hooked, too.

I think Facebook has helped us generate some new business, especially with folks who live out of town. Some of the other shops in the area don’t have as much merchandise as my store does, and when people are on Facebook and see our product posts, they often come in.

We’ve probably been on Facebook for about 10 years now. I’m more aggressive in my approach than I was starting out. In the beginning, I wondered how much it really helped. But, I soon realized that it’s a cheap and easy way to advertise what we do and what we offer. I’ve also learned more about pictures to accompany posts. When it’s a product announcement, I like to get a nice, closeup photo. It helps the viewer really see what we’re posting about. For example, when the Wag’s Hunting Scents come in for the fall, I take a decent closeup photo to accompany my Facebook post announcing that they’re in stock.

Joel Wilson

Central Coast Archery

San Luis Obispo, California

We use Instagram and Facebook. The way it works is that when we post to Instagram, the post also drops onto Facebook. We probably post once a week or so, and because we’re quite selective with what we post, that frequency has worked well. If it’s a post about classes, leagues or new products, then we’ll typically let that post stand alone for about a week.

Sometimes we’ll even put some money behind the post to promote it. We’ll do this with certain posts about classes or leagues. We do it to try to extend our reach to more people.

Our customers and social media audience seem to engage well with personalities. For example, posts that highlight a shop shooter or tournament archer seem to get a lot of attention and engagement. We focus the post around an accomplishment that the archer achieved.

It’s difficult to say whether or not social media helps us gain new customers. I’m sure it does, but I don’t know to what extent. We don’t have a way to measure that. It’s probably similar to word-of-mouth. When an existing customer suggests us to a friend or relative, they’re accolades often bring in a new customer. Likewise, when people see on social media that a successful archer or bowhunter got their gear from us, I’m sure it has a similar effect.

We’ve been on social media since we opened the store. That was 8 years ago. Our approach today looks pretty similar to how it did in the beginning. However, we’ve learned that the photography aspect is very important and goes a long way in getting noticed.

Recently, we’ve seen some censoring that restricts archery content. Once in a while a photo will get flagged. When it’s a photo of a kid shooting a recurve bow, it makes no sense to have it flagged. But other than that, social media been a very positive tool for us.

Dennis Francis

The Archery Den

Amsterdam, New York

We primarily utilize Facebook to connect with our customers and online audience. We typically post daily, and that has worked for us. We include pictures with our posts as visual aids.

A lot of our content is based around youth groups. We also do instructional posts on how to technically shoot a bow with proper form. We’re trying to help educate the general public. We also find that folks like to see our customers’ success photos, so we post those, too.

Facebook is also a great platform for making new product announcements. Putting new product content in front of our customers is essential for an archery shop to do. People love to see what’s new, and they often come to the store after seeing new product posts online.

Facebook has been invaluable in gaining new customers. We draw folks in from 50-80 miles away. We have a shooting range in our facility, plus we offer instructional classes. Facebook helps us show the general public what we offer, and that translates into new customers on a recurring basis.

Our store has been on social media for at least 10 years now. When we first began, we were learning. We’re still learning, but we have a better understanding today of what folks want to see than we did starting out.


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