Some of my favorite stores also play host to some of my favorite social media sites, like Instagram and Pinterest.
When I can’t get to NYC to gawk at the latest brilliant window design at Fishs Eddy, (Instagram page @fishseddynyc) a shop filled to the brim with colorful, creative dishes, mugs, and everything in between for the well-stocked kitchen, rest assured I can get my fill from their Instagram feed. And through their Instagram page I found the gal who does the displays and I follow her as well. This is one place where I find display ideas to fuel my creative side. And for me, following unique retailers helps connect the dots when it comes to their brand identity. A consistent visual message becomes the thread that is what I refer to as an omni channel inspiration – that is a thread that connects storefront to social media to the products they sell.
Yet when I visit some of my favorite specialty retailer’s websites for information on what brands they carry or what their store hours are, I am surprised after searching their site that they don’t have a catalog of shop photographs. Rarely are there any photos of the store, much less their window displays. And I see this as a missed opportunity to support this omni channel experience. Where I work, we have a Facebook page of course and an Instagram page. It’s up to me to get good photos of the windows and store and upload them. It’s worth this small bit of effort on my part because I am contributing to the overall brand message of the shop. Sure, my posts don’t get a ton of likes, but when I do get a really great comment from someone, it makes those few likes really worth it.
My Mountain Force display – play on haute hunting season – shared on Instagram #nordicbarnvt and @mansfield_cycles
Some folks in specialty retail can’t be bothered with social media – or miss additional exposure for their shop by not including window displays as part of their feed. Events and promotions are as important as a kick ass window display or newly renovated area in your store. #newpaintjob, #siamerch, etc.
Another way to social media to help tell your shop’s brand story is with Pinterest’s secret boards. These are boards you can pin to and keep private or share only with specific people. I find this a great tool for helping to map out important elements to your shop from window displays, color stories, product stories, to pre-season assortment inspiration. You can map out ideas and can get an idea of how everything will look together. It’s a fantastic way to tuck away thoughts that suddenly spring into your head that you can revisit again and again. Then if you want you can share those secret boards to give viewers a taste of what your store or website is all about it.
Instagram and Pinterest also provide links to interesting blogs as well. While browsing an Instagram page, I will follow the link to a blog post that will lead to me another amazing blog post and before I know it an hour has passed by. And I have a handful of new display ideas as a result. Jump down the social media rabbit hole from time to time. It’s a fun place to get lost for a while.