Over the past few years, charities have become incredibly social media savvy, using the growing number of platforms to raise awareness of their cause, engage directly with supporters and even run fundraising campaigns.
It’s not just the charities in general benefitting from social media, charity retailers are also quickly realising it’s a great way to promote their shops and drive people in store, with many charities, such as Cancer Research UK, creating dedicated Twitter accounts for their charity shops. With that in mind, here are six of our top tips to making the most out of your social media to increase awareness of your charity shops and ultimately, sales.
1. Show off your hard work
Shop managers and volunteers work so hard labelling and presenting clothes, so make sure to show that off by posting plenty of pictures on social media of your window displays, new in clothes and rare and valuable items.
2. Show supporters how they can help
Show people on social media what funds go towards, especially if you can breakdown what shop funds do. If they have helped a particular person in a hospice, or to build a new animal centre for a sanctuary, shout about it on social media with case studies so supporters get an idea of what exactly their money goes towards. This helps to build an emotional connection and will help supporters old and new feel both valued by, and engaged with, your charity.
3. Make the most of hashtags
When posting about items in-store, try using hashtags for product brands and rare items to try and catch people’s attention who may be looking for something specific. Get involved with local communities by using hashtags. Use general ones such as #Brighton or search for even more specific ones like the weekly #BrightonHour to raise awareness of your shop in the local community.
4. Be proactive
Social media is an instant way of promoting your shop to supporters. Much-like high street stores, many charities hold flash sales to drive visitors. Try promoting these instantly via social media to boost footfall. With a cloud-based EPoS system, you can monitor sales across your shops up to the minute, which means if a store is struggling on any given day, you can instantly promote a flash sale on social media to try and boost sales.
5. Integrated campaigns
Many charities run large scale campaigns online, for example the Ice Bucket Challenge and Movember. One way to integrate stores into such a campaign is driving people in-store to buy specific new goods to support to campaign, or show what a purchase from a charity shop could go towards in respect of the campaign’s goals.
6. Build relationships with influencers
Bloggers and journalists are big influencers in the digital world. Why not try to build relationships with bloggers relevant to your charity? Perhaps fashion bloggers who could put together an outfit from one of your shops, or a money-saving blogger could show their readers how to pick up some real bargains from charity shops. Once you’ve built up a network of bloggers, you can start collaborating with them on campaigns and help to boost your social media reach to their audience as well.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @Charity_Store to keep up with our latest updates and charity retail news.