posted by Copperfrog:
I would like to know the best strategies to get traffic to our store. Strategies that will not only bring in traffic but also return customers.
Getting traffic is one task; converting it to customers is another, and retaining those customers for repeat business yet another.
There really isn't a panacea for traffic generation -- different products and services lend themselves to different kinds of promotion. I'm a big fan of social media traffic, but I tend to stick to markets where social media is effective -- stuff people like to talk about. If you're selling plumbing fittings, then setting up the most popular plumbing-related Twitter feed in the world probably isn't going to do much for your bottom line.
Having looked at Bella's Glitter Box, I'd suggest adding a blurb to all of your packing slips offering customers x% off their next order of $y or more in exchange for mentioning their purchase on their favourite social network, and sending you a link to the post so you can verify it. ie. "10% off of $25 if you Tweet about your new bracelet; 15% if you add a picture to the Tweet."
If customers seem to be going for it, any network where you're getting the bulk of mentions, set up an account and make your presence known via the website, customer newsletter, packing slips, etc.
This would, in my opinion, be a very effective way to capture and utilise social traffic. The problem with trying to "promote socially" is that it is a ton of work, and there are of course a bazillion people promoting affordable jewelry, largely to blind eyes and deaf ears due to the volume, on Twitter, Facebook, et al. By giving customers an incentive to promote to their own friends on your behalf, you're saving the work of endlessly building and testing your social presence, and only investing real effort into those channels which are already showing you some level of potential (ie. if 20 customers take you up on your offer, and 15 of those use Twitter to mention you, 4 use Facebook and 1 uses MySpace, why bother working on anything but Twitter for the time being?)