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Social media isn't new tech anymore. 2.3 billion people are on social. And, that's why 76% of retailers spent more time on social media in 2016 than they did the year before that. According to the Forrester Research report, social media marketing growth last year was larger than for any other marketing channel. Why should you care about social media? We've got five big reasons. 

1. THERE ARE 5 MILLION MONTHLY USERS ON FACEBOOK WHO ARE TYING THE KNOT 

According to Facebook Business, in any month there are 4.5 to 5 million monthly users who are engaged. Brides and grooms are looking for places to host their wedding and bridal shower registries. Plus, you know these couples are scoping out high-quality pieces to decorate their new homes together.  

2. YOU CAN CONNECT WITH THE PEOPLE INFLUENCING YOUR SHOPPERS ON INSTAGRAM 

Instagram is simply a social media site that allows people to share their moments. But as it turns out for those 600 million monthly users, many of those "moments" are gorgeous. Strikingly so. Those who are sharing the best photos—whether that's in food, interior design, or fashion—have hundreds of thousands of fans. The most popular interior designers on Instagram have over half a million. 

Whether you're creating relationships with these key influencers, or are directly paying for sponsored content, it means more eyes on your products. 

3. YOU CAN TARGET YOUR SHOPPING BRIDES, PERSONALLY

Social media allows you to send surprise exclusive discounts and tailor-made rewards to your most frequent users. You can also create targeted ads for Facebook users who are spending the most time on your retail site. Or, for the more advanced, in-store beacon apps allow you to send push notifications to a shopper's smartphone as they're walking around the store. 

4. PAID SOCIAL MEDIA ADS LEADS TO ACTUAL SALES (ESPECIALLY ON FACEBOOK) 

According to a Forrester Research Inc. report, 85% of retailers spend ad money on social because it provides one of the most cost-effective online marketing methods (second to email campaigns and affiliate programs). In their survey sample, 68% of respondents said Facebook ads increased their sales. 

Even though Facebook leads the pack with ad value, Instagram and Pinterest can also be effective. 40% of Instagram advertisers said it increased their sales, while Pinterest advertisers saw a 29% growth in their website traffic. 

5. SHOPPERS REALLY LIKE TO TALK TO THEIR FAVORITE RETAILERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Whether it's to sing your praises or to discuss a problem, a majority of customers (34%) preferred handling customer care through social media. Compare that with your website, at only 25%, or your store at a tiny 5% of shoppers. 

If it's a complaint, social media offers you an opportunity to talk to your customers before they write a negative review. And, if it's a compliment, you can use that praise in your ongoing ad campaigns. 

Retailers who aren't working to connect on social media are missing out on an untapped source of revenue and customer engagement. Check out upcoming Beatriz Ball posts for targeted advice on how you can get started on social and grow your brand as a home goods retailer. And, if you've got your own social media success stories, share them with us in our Facebook Group.