After closing on our new house, my wife and I visited a number of large retailers looking for appliances, a lawn mower and other things that first time “big people” homeowners (read: not a condo in Boston) would need.
Now on the surface this is a great thing for social media as it is getting prominent exposure to the general public. It is also a big step for brick and mortar stores who have not been as quick as their online counterparts in embracing and promoting their social presence.
This in-store real estate will also help increase exposure to these companies’ social profiles, so you would think that there would be something in it for the customers connecting on a social platform right?
If you guessed yes, you were incorrect. When I peeped out the profiles on my phone I found:
- Facebook – one-way communications and push marketing
- Foursquare – no deal, despite a call out to check in
- Twitter – minimal conversation and mostly push marketing
While this was disappointing, I was not completely surprised. The main reason for this is that many companies are still struggling to measure social media. An easy metric they may be using is to tally the total number of fans and followers, so the more the merrier. I don’t have insight into these retailers’ social strategies, but am willing to bet that the number of fans/followers is more important to these companies than offering these folks a meaningful online connection.
So what could they do better?
Content, content, content – Content is often thrown around as a buzz-word but is really something that companies can do a little bit and make a major impact in staying top of mind of their social customers. For example if you sell lawnmowers, offer tips on lawn care.
Branded application – often customers look to stores as the experts in their fields. Having a tool to help make a decision easier might help make the customer’s purchase intent increase. For example, if you sell TVs offer an app that allows customers to pick the TV perfect for their room dimensions and wants.
Coupons or discounts – this one is a no brainer. Offer customers who connect with you on a social network or check into your location with a deal. Since you are asking them to complete an action for you, it is the least that you can do.
There are plenty of things that could be added to this list and would love to hear what you would add to the list.