• Jonathan Harmon

Introduction to Social Media for Retailers

Updated: Jan 21, 2021


3.96 billion people - over half the world's population - use social media, spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes a day according to data compiled by

Are you using this powerful channel to help promote your business in today's challenging marketplace?

Read on to learn more about social media and how you can use it to help meet your business goals.

What is social media?


According to Wikipedia, "social media are interactive digitally-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks."

Major Channels

The major social media channels are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Other popular social media channels include Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

Emerging Channels

Smaller social media channels that are on the rise include: Twitch, Houseparty, Goodreads, Vero, Nextdoor, and Medium.

Why should I use social media for my business?

You may be asking yourself, why do I need to use social media, I own a store, I don't sell online.

Regardless of how you sell, with its high visibility, low cost, content options, extensive reach, and marketing effectiveness, social media is a useful tool to promote your business.


For more and more people, if it isn't on the Internet, it doesn't exist. Even when they are shopping locally because they use the Internet to find local businesses.

In fact, according to BrightLocal's 2020 local consumer survey, "In 2020, 93% of US consumers searched online for a local business. From these, 34% searched every day, while 73% searched weekly (up from 70%)."

The bigger your Internet presence, the more visible you are to local prospects and customers. One way to increase your presence online is to use social media to promote your business.


Organic posts to social media platforms have no cost beyond the production of the shared content and with high-quality images, video, and audio as close as your smartphone production costs can be extremely low.

Content Options

Social media posts can include images, video, audio, and text, practically anything you can include in television, radio, and/or print ads can be used in your social media posts.


Out of the 328.2 million people in the US, 244 million people used social media as of 2018. Social media reaches 74% of the population of the US.


According to a survey conducted by social media marketing software platform Buffer, 73% of marketers surveyed found social media marketing to be somewhat effective (43.4%) or very effective (29.6%) in marketing their respective businesses.