One of the primary reasons that social media exists in the first place is to engage. Social media gives people a platform to reach out to each other, whether that purpose is fundamentally business or pleasure. People wish to engage with each other constantly, and social media gives people the ability to do so in real time, around the world.

This is why social media is such a popular way for people to touch base, since it can be done anywhere, at any time. While a physical storefront will have hours of operation, the social networking sites never close.

Essentially, the final step in the three part process regarding the offline business’ approach to social media should be getting people to engage with you and your business. You want people to subscribe to you Twitter feeds and Facebook profiles in order so you can communicate with them in a regular manner, and keep them interested in your content and wares.

There are several ways you can use social media to engage your potential customers other than simply leaving messages on a Twitter feed. Many people these days are turning to video blogging, or “videologging,” which is an excellent way to reach out to customers in a way that best simulates the face-to-face interaction that you have with them at your store. If you can post videos of yourself talking about your product, it goes a long way toward creating that kind of proof of expertise that you have when you speak about your product in the store.

A great way to augment the engagement factor you’ll get through working with social media is to have a blog or website to center everything on. This means that you’ll have a place to reference your potential customers to visit. It’s even better if you can offer an online shopping center as well with your website, as this allows you to take even better advantage of the engagement of social networking. It’s important to be able to engage customers local to you so that they’ll visit the store, of course, but don’t forget about the rest of the world, as well! Offering an online store allows you to make the entire world your selling market, not limited to the locality of your physical store.

Essentially, as a business owner who owns a physical store, you are in a unique position to use social media as a weapon both online and offline. You can use it to think both globally and locally at the same time, and end up with incredible increases to your revenue. Don’t let the social media revolution pass you by – even though it might sound like a daunting arena to enter, it’s an entirely free way to up your engagement level with customers both locally and around the world.

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