How To Be Social

Susan Petersen, founder of Freshly Picked, shares her multi-million dollar company’s social media strategies.

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Social media is a necessity when it comes to marketing your business in today’s digital age. Everyone from your customer to your competition are making accounts, so why get left in the dust? Online social platforms are a great opportunity to cultivate your brand, engage with clients, deliver customer service and learn how to approach an SEO strategy. Susan Petersen, founder of Freshly Picked, cites Instagram as the most up-and-coming platform of late. Beginning as a simple channel for photo sharing, Instagram has now grown to contain more advanced features like comments, tagging, videos, pinning, stories and even live broadcasting. “They are the juggernaut,” Petersen says. “And I think they are just getting started.”

Since its launch in 2009, Freshly Picked has become a multi-million dollar company with around 60 percent of its sales volume coming through it’s own website, in addition to being sold at major national retailers and specialty boutiques. But how did the label climb to become such a success? Connecting with customers through social media was a key component. In admiring the brand’s nearly 788,000 Insta followers, we asked Petersen to share some of her social secrets…

If you were to give a retail partner three tips for having an effective social media presence, what would they be? Post engaging content, connect with your followers and be accessible.

Do you provide your retailers with digital materials to help promote product socially? We supply all of our retailers with the assets needed to post about our products and let them do what they want. My hope is we’ve created a product that is desirable enough to customers that posting about Freshly Picked is in their best interest.

Are there any particular accounts you look at for inspiration? Inspiration is truly all around us every day and in everything. Looking for and finding inspiration is a mindset that you have to be in 24/7, or you’ll miss out. There are dozens of accounts I admire and look up to, but we don’t model ours after anyone specifically. I’ve tried hard to make Freshly Picked different.

How often should you post? It’s important to focus on posting products that will drive traffic to their page. You want people to be thinking about you as much as possible. You should look for every opportunity to share content with followers that will keep your brand or your store top of mind. Posting does vary from channel to channel, and social media is changing every day. Video is kind of the name of the game right now on social media. People previously used Instagram for photos, Facebook for updates, and YouTube for video content. But scrolling Instagram and laughing at videos late at night is what people do now. In addition, it’s important to keep in mind how the algorithms on each channel influence what users see and don’t see. You must try to understand that to maximize your visibility.

What do you think will be the next big thing when it comes to social media, particularly in regard to retail? You’re starting to see a lot of retailers frame their products in unique and engaging ways. The days of posting and seeing the likes roll in are over. You have to find ways to make your followers engage with you frequently, or they’ll stop seeing your posts. I think everyone is going to start figuring that out soon, and you’ll see more engagement-driven content.

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