Building an online presence.
I have seen this in practice by some of our local stores. I actually discovered two game shops via their Instagram. I was impressed by their ads, the look of their shop in pictures, and the way they present themselves. Their websites are also amazeballs. Old and new stores alike can gain a lot by building a following on social media.
A lot of people probably clear their email of spam/junk mail. I receive weekly updates from one of my favorite shops. If nothing else I glance through the events to see what’s new if anything. I think shops that at least offer a mailing list probably have a bit higher engagement than those who don’t.
Solid engagement and clean photos help.
Is it necessary to put something out every single day of the week? I don’t know about daily, especially if you are paying to promote posts on Instagram/Facebook (aka Meta.) I personally do things on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MeWe, and Twitter. I would cross post as much as I can. Having a blog might be useful, too. (Wink-wink, Nudge nudge.)
Major, huge, important Magic: the Gathering Tournament coming up? Yeah, promote that as much as possible. If the last Warhammer gathering had tables with fabulously painted minis? Post a different picture or two every week. Spotlight the artists. Recent remodel of the shop all done? Show that off. Explain why and maybe some of the before pics. But, please spend the money on posts that are (probably) going to earn some money later.
Photos of a clean shop and undamaged product go a long way, too. I have made a point to visit shops that have clean photos. Turns out the staff is awesome and the store is pretty freakin cool. (*I don’t want to name them because I visit more than one shop and I’d hate to have anyone think I’m playing favorites.)
A good, well maintained website goes a long way.
One word of caution: If you put product on the website, please make sure it’s in stock. There’s nothing more frustrating than showing up to your FLGS drooling over a new book and find out it’s not really there. Oops. “We can order it for you.” sounds a lot like I can get in from Amazon. Why did I come here?
The YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc funnel usually points people in the direction of the physical store and/or the website. Even if your website is just a few simple pages that talks about who you are; what you sell; and where you are located/how to contact- it will probably pay for itself in the long run. Some game shops do it the other way around and have a web store with a physical location that’s secondary. Back in 2020 this was a great plan.
I believe in the power of the Internet as a promotional tool, a way to engage more potential customers, and a way to collect feedback. While one can’t please all of the people all of the time, one can learn from a bad review on Facebook and do better going forward. Sometimes people won’t come back to a shop and talk about a negative experience, but they will happily lambast online given the opportunity. Everything is an opportunity to learn.
My shop has taken shape in my mind. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. More to come.