Every business needs strong and consistent branding, and the impression you create of your store on social media should be a natural extension of what you do in-store, from the colours, logos and pictures you choose for your page designs to the tone you use to communicate with customers.

1) Create goals for your sites

Create goals for your sites – will they communicate in-store news, promotions or events to customers? Will they help you to network with suppliers and the wider industry? Aim your design and content at your target audience.

2) Be consistent

Use a template of colours and store logos that will ensure your brand is clearly recognisable. Matt Rhodes, director of social media consultancy FreshNetworks, says it is essential that customers trust that your sites are run by you.

3) Talk to people online like you do in-store

in-store, you are probably chatty, friendly and professional, so continue to let your personality out by doing the same on social media.

4) Make good use of your visual assets

use good quality pictures of your store and staff for your profile pictures, cover photos and posts. These will market your business and help customers identify with it online. Don’t worry if you’re not a photographic expert – sites like Instagram will help you edit images.

 Action for experts

If you are already social media-savvy, take things one step further by creating a monthly or weekly plan to decide some messages and content in advance. What promotions or events are coming up, for example?

Use a free service such as hootsuite to schedule and manage multiple social media accounts.