When you think of retail event marketing, few business owners or store managers think of Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, BUT that can mean an even bigger turnout because the playing field is much less crowded!
Using Social Media For Retail Event Marketing
We all know about the huge rollouts of Superbowl ads with big media buys and drive-to-Facebook campaigns from national chains. BUT retail business is actually conducted locally and there are many ways you can utilize social media to get feet in the door, even for big-box stores.
First, you need to know what your corporate policy is about using social media. If your company has a restrictive policy, using social media on a local level may be onerous. For the sake of this article, we are considering that the company is open minded about the use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to drive sales.
Ways To Grow Your Local Customer Base Through Social Media
Having a local presence on Facebook or growing a local Twitter following can provide a tremendous boost to in-store sales. Getting this base is easy, either pro-actively acquire them through promoted sales and giveaways which only apply to “followers” or “friends” of the local social media page OR aggressively by searching them out on the social media outlets themselves.
Once you have even a small base, you can offer coupons, sales and upgrades that only apply if the person shows that they are a member of your LOCAL social media tribe.
Another way to encourage local sales is to have your sales staff contact THEIR social media base with links that drive customers to the store or back to your local social media page. It is an easy sell as the more they share, the more feet in the door and the more sales they ring up. If you have non-commissioned salespeople, have a contest to see who can help drive the most traffic in the door!
Big Box Stores In A Small Town World
It is easy to think that your corporate marketing, which always worked so well, is going to continue to help drive sales. Unfortunately, the competition for attention has become so overwhelming that most consumers never even know that you are having a sale (do you REALLY think that 18 year old is reading the Sunday paper ads?). Even television marketing works less and less these days with use of digital recorders and online services like Hulu and apps that can bring TV shows right to your tablet computer.
Social media has leveled the playing field and your competitors are not using national ads to drive sales, they are going directly to the consumers and cutting into your bottom line. Today’s consumer electronic landscape looks much like small town America with neighbors telling each other over the fence about the great deal they heard about down at the local store. If you can find a way to tap into this local market, your retail event marketing can utilize social media in ways never before possible!