Peer Perspective: Dean Salakas, The Party People
Co-owner, The Party People
There are many avenues to get exposure for today’s retailer that weren’t available for retailers of previous generations. Dean Salakas is a firm believer in using all of them. The Party People, the largest party retailer in Australia, has been recognized for its social media efforts and was named the Australian Retail Awards’ Independent Retailer of the Year in August.
PPR: Which social media platforms do you use and what do you use them for?
We use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube, however, I would say we focus more on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We post a few times a week. We post different things on different platforms. Instagram is mostly decorating jobs we do. Facebook is a combination of funny things related to parties, cool DIYs for parties and our decorating jobs. Linkedin is more professional business related info like when we win awards or when I speak at events, etc.
PPR: A lot of small retailers struggle with finding time for social media. How do you manage it?
In the beginning, I tried doing it myself but it all became too time consuming. So, I had my buyer do it on the side for a while, but again it became too time-consuming and distracting. Now I have a social media manager work a few hours a week for me who is passionate about parties.
PPR: Did you have a “wow” moment when the commitment to social media resulted in success?
Social media is still very challenging to exactly see the ROI. However, one we started to see sales come from our social media (through Google analytics tracking) we realized that it was working, not just to get sales but as an important part of our branding. Customers are asking us lots of questions on social, which is also resulting in more sales and better connections with them.
PPR: In addition to social media, what do you do to help spread the word about your business?
We do lots of marketing, but the biggest one we do is PR. We do lots of press and constantly look for interesting angles to pitch our business. Feel free to Google “The Party People” or “Dean Salakas” to see many PR appearances from us.