Foot traffic is a key determinant of the success of any in-store. The more the foot traffic, the higher the chance of increasing sales. But, can you use social media to increase foot traffic? Read on to find out.
How can you use social media to increase foot traffic? A brick and mortar store can use social media platforms to increase its foot traffic by:
- Utilizing the ‘about’ section
- Use of location-based marketing
- Encouraging check-ins and reviews
- Interacting with its customers
- Providing product reviews
- Creating relevant content
- Sharing pleasing photos of its contented shoppers
Instead of complaining about the increased use of social media, why not use this trend to your businesses’ advantage? Here, we will provide you with some proven ways to use social media platforms to attract more customers to your shop.
The impact of social media on in-stores’ foot traffic
According to 2018 statistics by We Are Social, the number of internet users has passed the 4 billion mark. This means that more than half of the global population is online. Out of the 4 billion internet users, 3.397 people are active social media users who spend about 116minutes online every day.
Another study shows that more than 71% percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. These statistics should not worry you. In fact, they only signify the importance of having a strong online social media presence. Below is a guide on how to use social media to positively impact the amount of foot traffic to your store.
Join social media platforms
For you to benefit from this huge audience on social media, you need to be part of it. Your type of business should determine the social media platforms that you join. For example, if your businesses’ focus is on women, join one or two platforms where you can easily connect with them.
Facebook remains the most popular site, closely followed by Twitter. Other popular social media platforms include Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Whatsapp, and many more.
Utilize the ‘about’ section on your page
After joining a social media platform of your choice, take advantage of the ‘about us’ section. Here, let your consumers know what you offer, your contacts, your location, what times your store opens and closes, and any other relevant information.
Make it short and precise so that users can grasp as much info as possible within the shortest time possible. While platforms like Facebook provide ample space to toot your own horn, others like twitter only offer a space for a short bio. Whichever the case, ensure to populate that space with relevant information.
Now that you have an active social media profile, here is what you need to do next.
Get people to follow your socials
Remember that any social media platform is meaningless without social interactions. So, how do you attract the right audience to like and follow your brand in a pool of other users? The answer is simple; make your business known to the right people. How will you do that?
You can start by encouraging your offline consumers to check in and follow your socials. Offering discounts to the first few followers is a good strategy to kick start this. Also, ask your consumers to kindly leave a review of your services on your social platforms. A majority of shoppers always refer to online reviews before making an offline purchase.
Provide comprehensive product reviews
In addition to customer reviews, fill your pages with product reviews. Most consumers want to learn about a product before they can purchase it. And if you can provide all the information they need to know about that item, it is more likely that they will get the item from you.
Use of location-based marketing
Make use of social media ads that target consumers within your store’s location. This will go a long way into tapping online searches by users in your locality. Most users normally search for items and stores near me online before deciding where to purchase the item.
Engage your fans
If you follow the above strategies religiously, at this stage you should be having a significant number of followers and fans. Now, the question is how to grow your audience. You need to ensure that your social media pages are engaging. How?
A good way to do this is by using social media influencers to engage your audience. A social influencer is a person with a significantly large following and can easily convince his/her followers to use a certain product or service. You can partner with them to market your business. Ensure that such posts can be easily shared with other platforms. This is a great way to grow your brand name.
Also, research and join nearby forums concerning products or services that you sell. They are the perfect place to flaunt your prowess in the industry. Impress the users by exhaustively answering their questions and giving recommendations. This way, you will be selling your brand and gaining the trust of prospective buyers (who will probably check your store).
Have an active and interesting social media page
If your page is dormant, your hard-earned followers are likely to leave. So, to keep them and entice new followers, ensure that your page remains active. You can do this by constantly posting engaging content about your products and services that prospective customers may be looking for.
Another proven strategy is posting impressive pictures of happy clients shopping (or being served) in your store. Remember humans are visual beings. Lovely photos and videos are more likely to entice users into trying your products.
Probably you are wondering, where do I get these photos? Sure, taking random photos and videos of your customers may feel inappropriate. You can start by featuring random ‘customer of the week’ posts where you feature photos of a random customer shopping and/or being awarded.
Or, you can encourage customers to take selfies in your store and post them on your page. Then, the owner of the photo with the most likes gets an award. This is a good way to encourage foot traffic since the photos must be taken at your physical store. Additionally, the photos will attract more people to your page as they plead with them to like their photos.
Quickly respond to all customer concerns and queries
Generally, people love to feel valued and to be heard. The best way to achieve this is by offering exemplary customer service for your online followers. You will easily earn their loyalty by quickly and comprehensively responding to all their questions. In fact, the more responsive and personal you are with your users, the more likely they are to view you as reliable. This is a great way of indirectly attract them to your store.
Buy Online, Pickup In-store Technique (BOPIS)
With the rapid increase in online shopping, traditional brick and mortar stores have been pushed to be more innovative than ever. The BOPIS technique has recorded huge popularity and success in significantly increasing in-store foot traffic.
But how does it work? Shoppers can shop anywhere at the convenience of their phones or laptops, and later pick the items from the physical store. A majority of consumers prefer this shopping method for several reasons such as:
- To avoid incurring shipping fees
- If they don’t want to wait for delivery
- If the store is nearby
- If they are afraid of losing the item during shipping
To the store owner, this technique is very beneficial. First, it is a sure way to increase your in-store foot traffic. But most importantly, a lot of shoppers have been seen to indulge in impulse shopping while picking their items.
Run offers that are exclusive to your social media platforms
Promotions and offers are a good way to attract new customers to your store. For example, if you own a restaurant, you can offer coupons for a free drink to the first 10 people who bring a friend for lunch. Not only will you increase foot traffic but your sales will significantly increase.
Major reasons why consumers follow brands on Social media
It is important for you to understand the reason that social media users may want to follow your brand. The information will help you develop appropriate strategies to grow and maintain your followers and business at large. A majority of consumers will follow your brand on social media to:
- Learn about the products and services you offer
- Keep pace with your company’s current activities
- Participate in promotions and take advantage of offers
- Give feedback about your product or service
- Interact with other fans of your brand
- To buy your product or service
- To air a complaint regarding your products and/or services
Have a look at the below statistics by Sprout Social on the topics that consumers think demonstrate a brand’s transparency on social media. The data will help you make more informed decisions in managing your business.
How can I maintain my social media audience? The best way to retain your followers and reach more prospective buyers is by constantly posting engaging, interesting, and relevant content that would appeal to your target audience. According to recent research by Smart Insights, 51% of consumers said that they would unfollow, block, and spam brands in social media if they posted annoying content.
How much should I invest in social media marketing? The amount of resources you invest in social media marketing depends on the number of resources your business allocates for digital marketing. Ideally, a business should use 15-25% of this amount on social media marketing efforts. However, you should not pour all your resources on social media since spending more money does not guarantee higher chances of success.