Building a community of customers on social media

Social media is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your customers, build your brand, and grow your business.

Reading time: 7 minutes

In 2023, there was significant growth in the number of convenience retailers using social media for their businesses[1]. With more products and stores going viral over the last year, (think Prime) there has been a clear shift towards activity on platforms like Facebook, X (Twitter) and Tiktok to engage with customers.[2]

Here we can see the percentage of searches made for convenience stores on each of the social media platforms in 2023. Consumers frequently use social media to find new places or products and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TiKTok have become go-to resources for consumers who are searching for recommendations and reviews of local shops, stores or just looking for the latest limited edition product or flavour. In fact 60% of Instagram users learn about new products through Instagram itself.[3]

But how do you build that online community to help you promote your content and ultimately, your store?

Quality photos and videos

Photos and videos of your store and produce are essential for engaging customers on social media to entice customers and showcase your unique offerings. In fact 57% of 18-34 year olds Strongly/Agree that they often purchase new and exciting drinks that they have seen on social media.[4] Therefore ensure that the photos and videos you are posting are of high-quality and if you have that latest limited edition flavour that everyone is after, ensure it’s looking great on your shelves!

Having the latest point of sale kit to highlight the product further on your shelf not only directs customers once they are in your store but it will also make your shelves extra ‘instagrammable’.


Social media contests and giveaways are a great way to engage customers and reward them for their loyalty. Offer prizes such as gift cards or free products in exchange for social media engagement, such as likes, shares, and comments. Also by sharing existing on-pack consumer competitions or promotions on your online channels, you can encourage people into your store. For example last year Pepsi teamed up with EA Sports to promote free in-game rewards with every bottle of Pepsi purchased and Rockstar were giving away concert tickets when customers scanned a QR code on the pack or on the in-store POS kit to enter the competition. By sharing this online, people know to come to your store to access the competition!

Behind the scenes

Sharing behind-the-scenes content, such as photos and videos of the latest deliveries, restocked shelves, or just a smiling face behind your till, can help customers feel connected to your outlet and build a sense of trust and loyalty as customers get to know the real people behind the business.

If your store is family run and has been around for generations, highlight that history too!

Share local news

Community is key for many convenience retailers, in fact a massive 79% of independent retailers engaged in some form of community activity in 2023[5], so why not share it! Sharing local news and events, such as festivals, concerts and community events, can help show that you are part of the local culture. Joining community social media pages will also allow you to follow what’s going on locally to tailor promotions, for example offering free cold drinks to finishers of a local run.

Be informative and entertaining

Posting informative and entertaining content, such as food and drink tips and trivia, can help engage with customers and keep them coming back for more. Many platforms such as Instagram and Facebook already host features to share polls and ask questions on posts and stories so it’s an easy way to interact with your audience.

Respond to customer feedback

Lastly and most importantly, responding to customer feedback, both positive and negative, shows that you are listening to your customers and care about their experience. Timely and professional responses to customer reviews and comments can help to build trust and loyalty with customers.

Customers increasingly have an expectation of being able to research and engage with a brand or business using social media which is why we have launched our Social Media Asset Hub to allow you to download and use our branded digital assets on your own platforms too.

Just remember to be consistent and creative with your social media presence to help you stand out in a crowded market and ultimately build a loyal online community of customers.

1. The ACS 2023 Local Shop Report

2. ACS/Lumina Intelligence 2023


4. CGA, Instagram

5. The ACS 2023 Local Shop Report