Last updated: December 2022
Digital sales are an increasingly important part of retail business models, but the internet doesn’t have to mean the end of the high street. In fact, your digital marketing channels represent an exciting opportunity to drive footfall to your brick-and-mortar business.
Social media in particular has a lot of power. In addition to enhancing engagement and capturing new audiences, it can be used in the pursuit of physical traffic to your retail business.
The power of social media in a post-pandemic world
eCommerce took the world by storm during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital and traditional commerce are often seen at opposite ends of the spectrum, but in reality, they can be integrated to great effect. By unifying your messaging and strategising with a cross-channel mindset, social media can serve as a fantastic entry point.
Consumers are much more aware of the brands they invest in. Amidst financial turbulence, this is even more true; your users want to be won over by a brand whose values they identify with. The best way to do this is to show you don’t exist in a virtual vacuum.
Read more: 2022 eCommerce Marketing Trends
Social media strategies for driving physical engagement
Here are 8 tips for using social media to drive customers to your physical store.
1. Use location targeting
Target your paid social ads at potential customers in the local vicinity. Local search is a powerful tool for attracting the right customers, and this goes for organic optimisation and content creation as well as with paid ads.
Keep in mind how far people are likely to travel and the areas in which you offer your services. Using these insights in your paid social strategy will help you avoid wasting your advertising budget on audiences unlikely to travel to your physical store.
2. Give users an incentive to shop with you
Customers want to feel like their shopping experience is tailored to them. You can leverage this by giving your social media followers a unique code or offer that can only be redeemed in-store.
This unique offer can be anything from a set discount to unique rewards or a free gift with any purchase – the options are endless. For an extra boost to visibility, consider promoting this offer with a paid campaign.
3. Incorporate remarketing into your social strategy
Remarketing to in-store purchasers and store visitors is a great way of giving potential customers an extra nudge in the right direction. You can do this by connecting the data from your store sales to Facebook using the platform’s Offline Conversions feature, and then service this audience with tailored adverts. You can use this data in many ways – targeting people who spend a long time in your store, those who have lapsed and not purchased for a while or even creating a lookalike audience of people who engage in similar shopping behaviours.
4. Tailor your call-to-actions and messaging
Every post you put out on your socials should contain a call-to-action (CTA). Far from being an outdated marketing tactic, CTAs can be the difference between a conversion and a missed opportunity.
Always make the next step clear to your users. Social posts should be viewed as stepping stones towards conversion, not as isolated events. Make the next step clear and signpost your audience to ensure they’re kept moving through the conversion funnel.
5. Experiment with ad formats
While more of a general social best practice tip, don’t be afraid to try and fail – every post with low engagement is a potential learning opportunity. Use a variety of ad formats including carousels and collection ads to showcase your products. Take note of what works for you – and when – and replicate this in future strategies to maximise results.
These formats make your posts more engaging and give more reasons for your users’ attention to be drawn.
6. Optimise your website for mobile
If users become aware of your brand when on the go, you’ll need to ensure that your website can be accessed easily and that all features can be utilised on mobile devices. Extending your audience’s experience on your social channels by directing them to a well-functioning website can again make the prospect of travelling to your store more appealing.
It all works together; your digital channels are often the first experience customers have with you, so they must be attractive and well-optimised.
7. Include store details on your social profiles
Again, it’s all about making it as easy as possible for users to find what they need. Give your profile visitors as much information as possible about your store on your profile, and make it easy to find (in your bio, with pinned posts, etc.).
Examples to include are your address, opening times and answers to common FAQs (such as if there’s any parking in the vicinity). The more information you give, the easier it is for your users to make an informed decision about visiting.
8. Don’t spread yourself too thin
It’s just not viable to perfectly optimise for every platform under the sun. Start off slow and build up your social presence over time; this can be done by focusing on one or two channels that you know have worked for you in the past, and making it clear that they’re the best place to find you online.
One well-optimised social profile is better than five that are half-optimised. Remember, appearances matter, especially on social media, so take your time building up the appearance you want to give to customers. The results could pay off in unexpected ways, including driving footfall from your digital channels – a satisfying and achievable goal.
Need help attracting customers through social media?
If you want to use your digital channels to boost your in-store sales, our social media team can help. We help eCommerce businesses with digital marketing that just works, with a bespoke approach that meets the needs of your business and brand.
Get in touch to discuss your social strategy with one of our experts today.
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