Making Social Media Work for Your Corner Shop

Making Social Media Work for Your Corner Shop

The local shop has been central to communities across the UK for decades. Whether people want to grab a loaf of bread, catch up on all the local going’s-on or simply have a convenient spot to meet, the local shop is always there.

As the owner of a corner shop, you’re part of the fabric of the community, and social media provides more opportunities than ever before for you to integrate yourself with the community. As well as showcasing your products, you can share local news, chat to residents and create an online social hub for the community.

We understand it can be intimidating, however. Particularly if you’re not much of a social media user yourself. If you’re struggling to make the most of it, our guide to using social media to promote your corner shop will give you loads of tips and tricks, meaning you’ll have all the confidence you need to get started!


1 – Choose the right platform

There are so many social media platforms in use currently it can be overwhelming when deciding which one you should use, and the last thing you want is to spread yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere at once. At present, the main social media platforms you should be looking at for your local shop are:

Facebook: the biggest social media website in the world. Facebook has over 2.6 billion active users each month and is well set up to build a community portal. You can list products, communicate with customers publicly on your wall or privately via messages, post a regular stream of updates which can be either image or text-led, ask for reviews and more. These features, plus the fact that its user base tends to skew older, makes Facebook a common first choice for shops with a major 40-plus demographic.

Twitter: a more news-focused website, Twitter focuses on short updates of 280 characters or less which can contain images or videos, making it most suitable for sharing community news and promotional offers. With 13.7 million users in the UK and 80% of them being affluent millennials, Twitter provides you with the opportunity to reach a young, affluent local audience.

Snapchat: with a userbase massively focused on 18-24-year-olds, Snapchat may be your platform of choice if you’re looking to connect with a younger audience. The platform focuses on image and video-led posts which disappear after a short amount of time, meaning updating regularly is vital and you need to be good with your camera.

Instagram: with a user base predominately made up of 18-34-year olds and 73% of teens saying Instagram is the best way for businesses to reach them regarding new products, Instagram provides you with the opportunity to reach a younger audience in your local area. As an image-led platform, it’s also perfect if you’re a bit of a fan of photography or graphic design.

TikTok: the newest, fastest-growing platform on the block, TikTok is focused on sharing short video clips and is dominated by teenagers. If you’re a creative type who doesn’t mind getting in front of a camera and you want to attract a new generation to your shop, TikTok provides you with an incredible opportunity.

Typically, Facebook is the most popular choice. It’s the largest platform and provides a huge amount of functionality for businesses which enable you to create a local hub online. However, depending on your skills and target market, you may find something like Instagram works best.

The most important thing to do is choose the platform your customers use and focus on it. Your time is already limited, so don’t try and spread yourself too thin by being everywhere all the time.


2 – Decide what you want to post

Naturally, the main, overarching objective of being active on social media is to drive more people into your shop and increase your sales. This often leads to people falling into the trap of focusing every post on selling – something which typically doesn’t motivate people to follow your page or engage with your posts.

Of course, you can make posts focused on sales, but they need to be surrounded by different content which engages your audience and makes them want to follow you. Common themes for corner shop social media are:

  • Local news: generate discussion amongst local residents and position your shop as a hub of the local community by regularly posting news stories in the local area. Don’t worry! You don’t need to start taking a public stance on controversial issues, just post the occasional update on big events in your area with a comment and ask for people’s thoughts to generate some discussion
  • Community heroes: every community is full of people going out of their way to help others, you can promote these good deeds on your shop’s Facebook page. Whether it’s helping someone looking to raise money for charity or highlighting someone who helps vulnerable people with their shopping without recognition, you can drive incredible awareness and loyalty by highlighting your community heroes
  • Product reviews: this type of post both gives people a reason to follow your page and gives you an additional opportunity to promote your products. Whenever you get a new or limited line in, take the time to try it for yourself and post a little review – this gives your audience more information on a product they’re not familiar with and can inspire them to want to come in and try it out.


3 – Be consistent

You don’t necessarily need to post multiple times a day, seven days a week to achieve social media success with your local shop, but it is important you maintain a consistent posting schedule. By doing this, people will come to know when to expect content from you and won’t be overwhelmed with a sudden flurry of posts after you haven’t posted anything for weeks.

Alongside this, social media platforms reward businesses which engage with their platform regularly, meaning the reach of your posts should be improved by doing this.

And don’t worry about making the time to craft a post each day. There are a variety of free social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer which will allow you to schedule your posts well in advance, meaning you can set aside a couple of hours when things are quiet to get most of your posts planned out for the coming weeks.


4 – Engage

One of the most powerful aspects of social media for businesses is the ability it provides you to directly interact with your customers, something which is particularly pertinent for local businesses.

While other businesses are busy pushing the next big thing onto customers, you taking the time to respond and engage in conversation will set you apart from the crowd and play a key role in helping you build a community of engaged followers.

Of course, we understand that time is short and you can’t respond to every single post, but it is important to read what’s posted and take the time to reply when appropriate – a simple conversation can transform someone from a one-time visitor to a regular customer.



By combining these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving space on social media for your shop, driving more customers and increasing the loyalty of your current customers.

Do you have any other tips which have worked well for you? Get in touch today and let us know.

And don’t forget to browse our range of bulk sweets today.