In order to fully reap the benefits of Twitter and Facebook, you need to keep in touch with your fans regularly. But who has time to tweet and post, especially at this busy time of year?  I find myself coming up with a great idea at 11:00 on Saturday night, and all the social media gurus tell you that it is much better to post around 10:00 on a weekday morning.  That’s just when I’m opening up shop, and hopefully waiting on my first customers.

There is a program called HootSuite (a great pun on the French term toute suite, which means “immediately”) that will send out your Tweets and Posts when you want them to go out, rather than when you write them.  You can plan a whole week — or month — of messages at a single sitting. This service is not free, but the cost is quite low and there is a 30 day trial period if you want to give it a try. HootSuite works with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, WordPress and other social networks. It can also track your campaign results for you.

One other way to tweet regularly without added effort is to link your Facebook postings to your Twitter account. That way whenever you post something new on your Facebook page, and Tweet is automatically sent out.  A key advantage of doing this is that you don’t have to worry about staying within Twitter’s limited number of letters (there is a link to Facebook for the full message). But because only the first 140 characters are shown, it is a good idea to lead off the Facebook posting with a snappy first line.

Social media can be great for keeping in touch with your customer base, and making fans feel that they are part of your store’s loyal following.  As with all advertising, frequency of messaging is one of the keys to success — so any tool that can make it easier to create posts is worth considering.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

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