Is Social Media the Answer Your Shopping Center Has Been Waiting For?
Believe us when we say social media has a place in your shopping center marketing plan. Think beyond sales, product promotions and dining options, and focus on creating an overall experience that drives long-term brand loyalty when promoting your shopping center. If you shift your thinking and look at your center as becoming a “destination,” the possibilities for attracting shoppers are endless. Here’s a few ways social media can help you engage and build brand loyalty with your shoppers each and every day.
1. Seek to understand
One of the best things you can do for your shopping center’s social media strategy is long before you start posting…we like to call it your social media roadmap. Without it we can guarantee your social media efforts will be lost. You’ll miss out on understanding your shopper persona, voice/tone of your brand, goals and objectives, and so much more. So don’t skip this step!
2. Make sure someone is listening
If you don’t build it, you can’t sell it, so step one is to make sure you have a budget to grow your audience and tell your story. There are a variety of social media platforms you can be using to grow your audience. Some of the most common used for shopping centers are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, even SnapChat. However, you could even use mobile-centric platforms like Pinterest and Instagram to give your followers an idea of what the shopping center is like on a daily basis. By utilizing the built-in ad platforms to reach customers in your targeted demographic, you can quickly grow both your audience and your engagement with customers.
3. Give them what they want
Your social media profiles need to be engaging and useful…giving your followers a reason to engage with your brand. Highlight real time activities in the moment, promote large events with posts and event pages, entice them to come visit with well-timed lunchtime, happy hour or dinnertime posts, Notice we didn’t say anything about promoting sales or promotions! Catch that? Our goal is to get them there by making this a place they want to come hang out and then they can shop!
4. Make them your biggest fan
Once you’ve been able to successfully turn social media followers into brand evangelists, it’s important to do what you can to turn this into a lasting relationship. One of the best ways to do that beyond giving them content they love, is to make sure you have a strong community management program in place. Responding to questions, engaging with their comments, and addressing feedback in a timely manner can make all the difference in keeping the audience you’ve worked so hard to get.