When we think about social media, we think about electronic communication and a world that exists on our computers and phones. It’s a digital space without a physical location.
But just because social media exists in an online setting, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring pieces of it into your brick-and-mortar store.
You can integrate social media into the in-store experience and use it to engage customers, increase sales, spread awareness, and build brand loyalty.
Here’s how you get started.
Consider Your Platform Options
First, consider your options of social platforms and choose one or two that will best serve you and your customers.
Look for platforms that have:
Features That Match Your Goals — Look at the unique benefits and application of each social site and identify which platform best matches your campaign or promotion ideas. For example, if you want to run a campaign that based on taking and posting photos, use a social platform like Instagram or Pinterest.
An Audience that Matches Your Target Demographic — Research the user demographics of social platforms to find the one that closely matches the customers you have or are trying to attract.
As you brainstorm different ways to use social media in your store, consider the unique benefits of the following platforms:
- Facebook — has the largest, most varied audience
- Instagram — best for sharing user-created images
- Pinterest — best for sharing brand-created images
- Periscope — users can live-stream their experience
- Twitter — best for fast, real-time updates
- Tumblr — good for businesses that regularly create content on their blog
- Snapchat — popular platform for users under 25
- LinkedIn — focuses primarily on professionals
- Yelp — platform with loyal users who write frequently write reviews
- Foursquare — local directory platform
- Google+ — helps with local SEO and includes customer reviews
Use what you know about each social platform to help guide your in-store social media campaigns.
Make It Easy For Customers to “Check-in” or Add a Location to Their Posts
One of the most common ways that users share their in-store experience on social media is by “checking in” or adding a location to their post.
When a customer tags a location, they create a social media post that includes the name of the business. When the business has an active profile on the platform, the post will link to the business’s profile.
This increases exposure for your business. As users check-in or tag your location, they are providing free advertising and making it easy for other users to learn more about your business.
So make sure that it is easy for customers to check-in at your location. Create profiles for the sites that offer check-ins and location tags such as:
Test the platform for yourself and check-in while in your store to make sure your business name display correctly.
Encourage Your Customers to Take an Action
One way to use social media in your store is to encourage your customer to take an action. Use call-to-actions to invite customers to engage with your brand through social media or share their experience with their followers.
“Follow us.” Let your customers know where they can find you on social media by prominently displaying logos for the social media platforms you use.
“Get exclusive content and special offers.” Encourage customers to follow you by offering exclusive content and special offers that are only available on the social platform.
“Check-in to our location.” Consider rewarding customers for checking in or posting from your location. Through a Yelp account, you can set up mini-promotions or discounts to reward users for checking in.
“Use our hashtag.” Set an official hashtag for your business so user posts are curated in one place and easy to find. Before you decide on a hashtag, search through what is currently posted to that hashtag to make sure it isn’t associated with a negative topic or already used by another brand.
“Take a selfie.” Entice customers to take selfies by setting up a great photo-op in your store. This works wells for both Instagram and Snapchat.
“Share your photos.” Invite customers to take a photo of a specific experience or item at your location. Assign a designated hashtag for users to include with their photo or selfie.
“Write a review.” Remind customers that you would love for them to share their experience on a prominent review site like Yelp, Google+, or Facebook.
Display The Social Media Experience in Prime Locations
Use clear and engaging signage to encourage your customers to get involved and to reward them for taking action.
Use digital signage to display live social feeds of what your customers are sharing. Curate the content by displaying posts that use your hashtag. You can also set up a feed that shows your social media stream and then regularly share and repost content created by your customers.
Display your promotions in the store and out of the store. Your social media experience can lure customers into your store so place signage on the exterior of your location. Also, prominently display social icons near the entrance so customers know where they can you find you online.
Get creative with the presentation of your social plugs. Customers love to feel like they are a part of a business or a brand. So think about other places where you can share the content they create to make them feel special. Are there any unique places where you can display the content such as in a menu, near a product display, by a waiting area, or maybe even on a product?
You don’t need to sit at a computer to connect with your customers through social media. You can pull social media out of its digital space and use it as a way to improve your customers in-store, real life experience.
Not sure how to create an in-store social media experience for your customers? Contact Spectrio to receive a free digital signage assessment and let us come up with a plan for how you can best use social media signage to engage your customers and grow your business.