Social Media for Lingerie Retailers

Does Your Business Need a Blog?

My name is Treacle and I’m the founder of The Lingerie Addict, a haven for lingerie lovers of every nation and persuasion. As a blogger, I interact constantly with the people your business needs most—customers. My column here is all about bringing you, the lingerie store owner, the perspective of us, the lingerie consumers.

You’re a business owner, and that means you have a lot on your plate. From paying the bills to selecting the merchandise to training your staff to keeping customers satisfied, a lingerie retailer’s job is never done. But you also have to do one more thing on top of all this, and that’s keep your store’s name fresh in the mind of customers—both potential and present.

One of the best ways to do that is through social media, specifically the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and blogging.

Today’s article on blogging is the first in a series of 3 “Social Media 101” pieces where we’ll look at the pros and cons of using social media, some best practices, and a few case studies of retailers just like you who are winning the social media game. But first, let’s answer the question

“Why Blogging?”

WHY BLOGGING?
There used to be a time when no one knew what blogging meant. Now, almost everyone has a blog. A blog is, in its simplest form, a type of online journal or diary. The three most popular blogging platforms are WordPress, Blogger, and LiveJournal and each of these gives you innumerable ways to customize the look, feel, and experience of your blog. Much more intimate than a storefront or website, a blog lets your interact directly with your consumers. The very best blogs even create a “tribe” of followers devoted to their brand.

“Blogging is a great way to associate certain keywords with your brand,” – Treacle

PROS AND CONS
As far as pros, blogs have a very low start-up cost (free for all three services mentioned above) and are easy to maintain. Just type a few words, insert a picture, click publish, and go. Blogs are ideal for establishing relationships with your customers and creating a sense of community around your brand.

You can use the blog to bounce ideas off of visitors, get their feedback on what you carry, or even have them do promotions for you in the form of contests, coupon codes, and drawings. Blogging also gives you some control over the conversation happening around your brand or store; when people search for your store online they can see what you have to say…instead of just what other people say about you.

You can use the blog to bounce ideas off of visitors, get their feedback on what you carry, or even have them do promotions for you in the form of contests, coupon codes, and drawings.

On the con side, even though blogs are easy to set up and maintain, it will take some time to do the work of blogging…especially until you set a rhythm. There’s also a delay between when you start blogging and when you start seeing the results of blogging. For awhile, it will look like nothing’s happening, and that can be hard to deal with. Finally, because blogging is more personal, there’s more room for error; it’s almost impossible to take something back once you’ve said it on the internet.

BEST PRACTICES
So you’ve decided to set up a blog. Here are a few things to keep in mind. These 5 guidelines will help ensure you have a positive blogging experience.

1) Avoid “scraping” content from other sites. Even if you find positive feedback about your store on the internet, don’t assume you can copy and paste it directly to your blog. Google doesn’t like duplicate content, and the original writer will almost certainly be peeved.

2) Decide on a blogging schedule and stick to it as much as possible. I know that’s easier said than done, but new content is what keeps people visiting your blog. If you stop updating, people will stop coming. And even if you start up again later, the visitors you lost may never return.

3) Create valuable content. Blog posts should consist of more than “Visit my store!” Of course, you’ll link to your store on the blog, but if visitors never see more than a command to buy something, they won’t keep stopping by…and they probably won’t buy anything either. Help your blog readers, and they’ll help you.

4) Interact and engage. For blogging, that means if someone leaves a comment, you should reply…either on your blog or, better yet, on their blog. Replying to visitors is the first step in establishing a relationship.

5) Use relevant keywords. This is so important, I probably should have made it number one. Blogging is a great way to associate certain keywords with your brand. If you want people to associate your store with a concept like luxury, use the word luxury (and its synonyms) in your blog posts. If you want people to associate you with a particular product (like bras for plus size women) use those exact phrases in your blog posts. Even if your store never makes it onto Google’s front page, your blog just might.

BLOGS DONE RIGHT
We’ll end with two blogs that have done everything right. As a result of their blogging, they have a solid fanbase, an excellent consumer base, and an ever-expanding internet prescence. Best of all, the things they’ve done are possible for anyone.

Frou Frou Fashionista—One of the original lingerie blogs, Frou Frou Fashionista is run by Gail and Alison Rubke, the mother/daughter team behind luxury lingerie boutique Faire Frou Frou. Frou Frou Fashionista is pretty, organized, and delivers content their readers want (in this case, fashion spreads and editorial featuring luxury lingerie). Links to the Faire Frou Frou store exist on either sidebar, but they’re unobtrusive and the ladies almost never explicitly ask their readers to click a link to the store. By providing fresh, regularly updated content, Frou Frou Fashionista keeps people coming back, and really, that’s the whole point.

Too Many Tights—A newer fashion and design blog, James Lillis (the man behind the famous leggings at Black Milk Clothing) also creates bodysuits, catsuits, and swimsuits which puts him squarely in the world of lingerie too.

Too Many Tights is a unique case because it started as a non-business blog that eventually developed into a brand. James uses his blog to not only talk about related products, but also to debut his newest work, get reader feedback, and even show-off pictures of customers in his stuff. He’s created a genuine community around the Black Milk label, and the reward is that his readers do all the work of promotion for him.

I hope this article helps you decide if blogging’s right for you. Come back in the next few weeks for the rest of the series!


For more on Treacle, please visit her site at: www.thelingerieaddict.com

7 Comments on “Social Media for Lingerie Retailers

  1. Superb stuff Treacle, and I am speaking today not as a (fellow) lingerie enthusiast, but as an interactive media pro. You have hit the high points, and pointed out two superb examples of entirely different businesses doing practically all the online things pitch perfect.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    (o, and the journal has a new follower in me. thanks!)

  2. Treacle says:

    Thanks so much for the feedback, Petra! I genuinely appreciate your support. 🙂

  3. Alison says:

    Wow, I am so glad I checked out your article…how amazing that FFF got a mention!!! The funny thing is, I clicked on your Facebook link to read this article because I wanted to see if you offered blog consulting tips! I seriously was wondering if you offer consulting services for blog growth since you have done an impeccable job with yours. If so, you know where to find me!
    Truly, I am so happy and flattered!!
    xox alison

  4. Treacle says:

    I’m glad you liked it, Alison! And if you ever want to do a blog brainstorming session, just let me know.

  5. […] in a 3 part series all about social media for lingerie retailers.  Last month, we talked about the pros and cons of blogging.  Today’s post is all about Twitter—what it’s really about, why you should use it, and a few […]

  6. Miriam says:

    Treacle–
    Because I can’t spend a lot of time online, I’m always looking at ways to blog successfuly without heavy maintenance to oversee the follower aspect of a blog. What’s happened in the past is that certain keywords that we use in lingerie (you know the ones) often trigger followers with links to less-than-desirable websites. How do you suggest handling that?
    Thanks for the great input!

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