Promotion of a gun shop on social media is a great way to get new customers and visitors to your site, but it’s one of those efforts where you get out what you put in.
While you won’t be able to promote your gun shop brand and products on paid social media ads or Google Ads (including Google Shopping) because of strict ad rules regarding firearms, you can use the free resources available to everyone including brand social media pages and group pages to impact growth.
Unfortunately, if you just set up the pages or profiles and don’t consistently post and update content, you’re not going to see your channels growing traffic to your site or awareness of your brand. With any social platforms, you should be posting anywhere between 2-4 times a week to start. As you develop a stronger audience and community within your channels, you can increase the number of posts per week.
It is a delicate balance, you don’t want to overwhelm social media followers because eventually, they may unfollow your gun shop brand. If you decide to increase the number of posts each week, start increasing the number gradually until you get to the number of posts you feel comfortable with and that you notice there isn’t a dropoff of followers to your online gun shop brand.
Social media strategies for gun shops are very similar as they are for all other brands: 1) Be present, 2) Comment and engage with your followers and the people you follow, and 3) Post meaningful content and be intentional about each post. We’ve detailed some of the specific strategies we use for gun stores for each social platform.
Facebook is a great platform for gun shops because people of all ages are on Facebook. While younger people aren’t as active anymore, many still have Facebook pages and use it to look at the things that are important to them or stay up to date with their friends, family, and favorite brands.
The strategy for your Facebook page depends on the voice and image your brand represents. Stay true to that throughout all your social media platforms and make sure each platform looks and sounds similar. Facebook is good for longer formatted text, multiple photos, and videos typically perform really well too. A good strategy to start off with is posting to Facebook 3-4 times a week and always monitoring and responding to people in your comments and messages.
Instagram is the place where many people go to first to research a brand or person. Make sure your Instagram account is updated and that you’re posting to it at least twice a week. Instagram stories are a great opportunity to get your brand and products on your customers’ minds without committing to a post that will be on your feed. Just adding to your story can refresh your followers’ minds to think of your brand next time they’re searching for something in particular.
An important thing to remember for Instagram is that the algorithm will work against you if you’re just posting and not engaging with other people on the platform. Always try to respond to comments that are left on your posts, comment on other people’s posts, and share other people’s posts to your stories.
The Instagram strategy to start off with could be sharing to your feed 3-5 times a week and posting to your stories 4-5 times a week too. Try to post to the stories on days that you don’t have any posts going live on your feed too to keep your brand top of mind.
Instagram stories are a good way to get to know your followers too. You can add polls, a question box, and add fun filters to your stories to make them more exciting as well. For your feed posts, try to include posts that give your followers a chance to engage with you.
Ask them a question in the caption of your post and be sure to respond to the comments that you receive.
Finally, it's important to remember to include relevant hashtags for your posts. For example, #gunsofinstagram is a popular firearm-related hashtag that speaks directly to your potential audience. In addition, with the use of a free hashtag analytics tool, you can be certain to find other relevant hashtags to consider including, see the cloud of related hashtags to #gunsofinstagram below:
Twitter is great for having conversations and asking and answering questions. This platform doesn’t require photos in the tweets, which could be a great way to connect with followers and customers in a different way than on Facebook and Instagram. Many people use Twitter to communicate with brands, so it’s important to respond to any messages or tweets that you receive.
Your strategy for marketing your brand on Twitter should involve posting 4-6 times a week, in addition to engaging with your followers every day. It’s easy to engage with others on Twitter and should be a priority in your Twitter strategy. The content that you share on Twitter should be short and sweet but not too sales heavy.
Think of it more as a conversation and a place to get to know your customers/followers and for them to get to know you, your brand, and your products. Again, similar to IG, it’s important to include relevant hashtags that can further impact your potential reach to customers. Try adding in a relevant few hashtags to each post and see what works without overloading each of your posts with hashtags. Posts that contain more than a handful of hashtags that aren’t relevant to your caption or photo can look too sales-focused, or can seem like clickbait, and not organic enough that people will want to engage.
Here is a list of the top firearms related hashtags used on IG/Twitter for Gun Shop Social Media Posting via Best-Hashtags.com
#firearm #gun #guns #firearms #gunsdaily #glock #pewpew #pistol #rifle #ar #shooting #tactical #weapon #gunporn #handgun #pewpewlife #weapons #freedom #gunfanatics #pewpewpew #shotgun #2ndamendment #edc #military #igmilitia #mm #sickguns #bhfyp
If you are looking for more hashtag ideas, here is a resource for Free Hashtag Analytics Tools for your brand.
Reddit is a gold mine for gun-related threads. Find a relevant and high-quality thread with a lot of members, make sure you know and follow the rules to avoid any backlash, and share your sales, deals, new products, and more by simply sharing a headline and the link. Posting to Reddit takes little prep time and not many resources since each post typically only need a few items.
Reddit is also a platform that involves a lot of monitoring and engagement if/when members comment on your post. If you aren’t active and responsive, it can quickly become negative and hard to gain control back.
YouTube is a great platform for gun shops to show how to use their firearms, the difference between the products for people who aren’t as experienced, the firearms in action at a shooting range, and so much more. Make sure your channel is your brand name, with a branded cover photo and thumbnail image, with information about your company and the website is in the about section on YouTube.
Take advantage of this free resource today and share your YouTube videos and channel on your other social media channels to drive more traffic. You may also consider reaching out for potential product reviews or posts from the YouTube influencer community for firearms. Here is a list of the top 10 Gun Channels on YouTube for potential outreach or review.
As a gun shop, it’s hard to find platforms where you can promote your brand or products with paid ads. Most of your traffic comes from word of mouth and organic efforts. Podcasts, however, can be a great opportunity to create a paid advertising campaign with a podcast host that matches what your brand represents. This involves some research and may take time to get the right podcast deal, but could definitely pay off in the long run.
It’s a good idea to schedule social posts out ahead of time if possible because the content and photos will seem more genuine than if you were to just throw posts together last minute because you need to post something.
Typically, the best types of posts come out of those brainstorming sessions when you’re thinking of all of your social channels as a whole rather than just posting to post. When you have a chunk of time and are in the creative zone, schedule out a week or two of posts. You can always move posts around or add more posts that are relevant to day-to-day operations or what’s going on that day.
Social media strategies, while similar for gun shops or any other business or public figure, can be a game-changer for your business. Always make sure you’re being authentic and posting relevant photos, thoughts, articles, etc.
If your brand doesn’t seem genuine and you’re not engaging with anyone else, people will be able to see through that and may not trust your brand as much. Try out some of these strategies detailed above and let us know how it works for your brand. If you would like to schedule a demo, contact us for your next gun store eCommerce project today!
— Erik Qualman