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Christine Hope, one of our seven expert retailer columnists, explains how you can use social media to market your store to shoppers

When I had the third customer in a row shocked that we stocked a product they were asking for, I realised that we had been so busy stocking our shelves with great products that we had forgotten to tell our customers about them.

It’s not that we didn’t do any marketing, but with so many lines in stock, the challenge was to get our customers to realise we source from more than 200 different suppliers, 50 of which are within 30 miles of the store.

Our monthly marketing cycle starts off with a piece in the church newsletter and weekly posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Every month we have a loyalty offer in store or a seasonal offering to promote.

The best response we get are of pictures with children or animals. Luckily my father and business partner are shepherds so most popular posts generally involve lambs.

November has become a quieter month for us so we decided we would do something about it and entice people in for Christmas.

Every Thursday evening we help customers make personalised hampers for Christmas, but this year we decided to film us live on Facebook.

Making a video clip on Facebook is really easy, you just press the live button and you’re away. The tricky bit is preparing what you are going to say and then say it, but if you are shy you may have a member of staff who could do it.

Our customers started sharing it and it reached more than 4,000 people, who got to see the variety of products we stock. Be creative and engaging and it will be pay off for your business.