Social Media for Retail Businesses: Surf Shops in San Diego


By Alessandra Ceresa

Shop, shop, shop ‘til you drop? Well, now you don’t have to since online shopping has become easier then ever. With so many options for places to shop, how can a retailer differentiate their business from another, and how can brick and mortar retailers keep their shops alive? Social media for retailers can be the answer for some.

There are many ways that retailers can organize and implement a social media strategy that will not only increase brand awareness, but establish a loyal customer base as well.

When developing a social media strategy for a retail business, the following tactics used by some of San Diego’s local surf shops have set them apart from the rest.

TIP: Establish the Facebook page as a customer forum, where consumers leave feedback, comments, or express customer service issues, etc. It is easier for them to post their comment or concern on a page rather then searching for an email or a customer service phone number on a website. Sun Diego Board Shops, for example, does a great job addressing a customer’s questions on their Facebook wall. After a consumer posts a question or a concern, Sun Diego immediately responds to the post, whether it is a return issue, or a question about a contest rule. It provides a real-time response that instantly satisfies the consumer. The customer now feels like the brand “cares” about them, increasing the likelihood they will shop there in the future.

TIP: Keep customers updated daily on events, new stock, sales, and promotions. Hansen Surfboards in Encinitas constantly posts about sales, pictures from events, the surf, the weather, and anything else that is interesting for their clientele. They not only interact with their customers, but their brand affiliates as well. For example, they carry TOMs shoes and tagged them in a wall post that updated fans on the new stock of TOMs at the store. This is a perfect way to not only reach your customers, but the other company’s fan base as well.

TIP: Reward customers for their loyalty. I am going to use Hansen Surfboards as an example again because they are so darn good at what they do in the social media realm. Their customers are constantly sending thank you notes, and pictures of Hansen gear in use. The fans are passionate and loyal. Hansen posts the thank you notes and gives shout outs to the most loyal fans. Recognizing a customer builds a more personal relationship that is sure to not only keep them as a customer, but to passionately spread the word as well.

Some companies also offer special promotions to people who check in or leave a review of the store. These types of ideas create long-lasting and beneficial business relationships.

Brick and mortar retailers have many options when developing their social media strategy. Making use of it the right way can be a game changer, and should be a key component to any marketing strategy.


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