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With my job, I have been lucky enough to have opportunity to run hundreds of social media campaigns for hundreds of small to mid-size businesses. In my experience, 90% of the time the client is incredibly happy and that satisfaction level automatically jumps up to 100% if the client’s business is entirely ecommerce.

After conducting many campaigns, I have noticed a trend. The businesses that aren’t fully satisfied are the brick and mortar (Restaurants and Retail) companies. The main reason I see this, is that we will often create a successful digital campaign with them and then they have a hard time translating what we are doing into the offline world for their business.

If you are running a brick and mortar business, you need to leverage your social media as soon as someone walks into the front door of your building. As an agency, we can get them through the door or to a website, but if you don’t impress them or engage them when they physically walk into your building, then there is nothing we can do. It isn’t always easy to engage someone offline and have it benefit you online. I will highlight some tips below that you can implement into your “offline” social media strategy.

  1. Ask them directly to “like” your page or “follow” you on twitter when they check out. You can go a step further and offer a discount if they prove they have already “liked” your page. Now you might be asking why you would want to do something like this, or you might think that you might be bothering them. These are the wrong questions to ask. Instead, approach it like this. This customer just bought something from you, they obviously like your products so therefore, they are more likely to want to follow your social media accounts for discount opportunities.
  1. Put signs in your store reminding them about your social media pages. If you don’t have signs in your store telling customers that you are on social media, a customer might not even consider looking you up. Think about how many more followers you could gain by just having a simple sign reminding them to check you out on social media?
  2. User Generated Content: Every time someone walks into your store there is a chance that they might be making a post about your products. This user generated post could be used to further market your company in a very beneficial way. Think about it, every time you go clothes shopping you try on tons of different outfits. Imagine if you as a shopper received a discount on that outfit if you shared it with a hash-tag to your social media channels. I am sure you would jump on that deal instantly, especially since you’re probably already taking the picture to share with your friends. The same concept applies for restaurants and food.
  3. Take what your agency is doing and discussing it offline. We will often post open-ended questions to our client’s pages so we can get some discussions going with their followers. We often see businesses fail when they try the same offline approach in their establishment. If we ask a question on your Facebook page, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask a customer in your store the same question and let them know to share it on your social media! For example, for some of our realtor clients we might ask where the best place to relax in town is. They will often go back and tell their prospective clients or old clients (offline) to give an answer online. Not only does this create a reason to communicate more with old or new clients but it is also directly translating your online marketing “offline” and vice versa. You want to create a good circle to keep people engaged.

Take a look at what Chick-fil-A has put on every one of their tables when you decide to dine in one of the chain’s restaurant locations:

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In conclusion, these are just some simple tips that you can start using immediately and I suggest you do, you are missing out on a ton of engagement if you aren’t implementing any of these tips. I also would love to hear any other tips you all might have. If you have any just leave a comment below!

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Grant Cooper

About Grant Cooper

Grant Cooper is the co-founder and CEO of Social Vantage, a prominent social media management agency based out of Philadelphia, PA. Over the last three years, Grant and his team have worked with hundreds of businesses across six continents, created thousands of campaigns and generated well over 100,000 leads for businesses through social media marketing. Grant is a passionate hockey fan and a regular attendee at Philadelphia Flyers games.

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