There’s no playing around when it comes to the capricious and competitive world of marketing toys.

Trends hit peaks and troughs so quickly that you’re really asking for trouble if you don’t stay ahead, or at the very least keep up. And this is why social media marketing is such a powerful (yet affordable) tool for aspiring toy retail moguls.

There are no steadfast rules for what you share so get creative! Everybody loves an online giveaway for instance. Or, if you need some photo or video content, why not host a costume contest in-store? Obviously, make sure you have parental permission before you share any pictures of Joy, Ant-Man or any other Minions who enter the contest.

An Instant, Cost-Effective Classic

Social media is instant, which means you can garner attitudes towards toys and products in real time. On the other side of the coin, it allows you to market your toys — and your small business — directly to potential customers. It’s cost-effective too — often free — and provides a remarkable return on any investment made.

It’s fair to say, when someone hears the word ‘toy,’ the majority would think of something fun, colorful, and creative… Maybe even a little bit magical. So, aim to achieve a feeling similar to this on your social media.

child playing with toys in a toy store

Which platforms are for me?

Although Facebook is a no-brainer due to its universal popularity, the more visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest play to the strengths of toy stores. They allow you to post engaging photos of your toys, your store, or anything else you want the world to see.

Instagram’s simple platform and impressive photo editing capabilities make your pictures even more shareable online, and toy marketers can add multiple hashtags to increase visibility. Pinterest’s users have a higher purchasing power and will often engage directly with brands they find and follow, resulting in more traffic and online sale referrals. A YouTube channel can be a smart way share video content too — from toy demos to in-store events, and beyond.

Keep in mind, the more compelling your content, the greater the likelihood it will be shared, so keep that smartphone handy for any magical candid moments.

SEE ALSO: Survey Says: Facebook Is King for Small Business

But, who has the time?

The timing of your posts also influences their reach. For instance, weekend mornings and late Friday afternoons are great times for toy stores and children’s businesses to pin images. Early mornings and lunchtime tend to be best with Instagram. Taking these timing guidelines as a starter, you can pivot and finetune your posting times based on your business’ engagement.

Marketing toys can be done successfully in a plethora of different ways, you just need to decide which approach best suits your small business. Once you have decided on your plan, consistency is the most direct route to success.

person drinking coffee and using social media on phone

With so many seemingly more pressing issues to take care of, it’s easy to put social media marketing on the back burner, or forget about it entirely. However, if you can set aside some time each week, you can schedule posts days, or weeks in advance.

To do this, try to collect a silo of photos and other compelling content. Then use one of the many social media scheduling tools, like Hootsuite, SproutSocial, or Buffer, to post this content for you while you’re busy being awesome. Hashtagify.me or Iconosquare can give you some guidance when selecting your hashtags.

Child’s Play

So there you have it: if you’ve been toying with the idea of drawing more online attention to your store through social media marketing, simply follow the quick and easy tips above to create a lasting online buzz that will translate to real dollars in your toy store’s till.

Keith Bohan

About the Author

Keith Bohan is ShopKeep's copywriter. He has years of experience in the startup and small business environments, spanning the United States, Ireland, and London.