It may come to a surprise to many but traditional businesses still make up a large part of local economies in Australia. For such businesses, while driving traffic to a website or engaging with people online is critical, physical evidence of sales isn’t generated solely by this action. The use of Social Media in brick and mortar stores is to add value to the physical service or product they already provide by attracting and engaging. This level of response and the ablity to have a direct conversation with employees is a service that wasn’t apparent 10 years ago. With access to an array of business resources, consumers have come to expect this level of service from their retailers and service providers. These providers are now required to deliver this element of service as a consumer expectation to remain competitive.
Many of the businesses that I manage social media for want to use various platforms, Facebook in particular, as a tool to attract customers to their physical location. Local functionality is much more integral in these instances and I’ve put together some quick tips to help this action.
Call To Action Button
Facebook now has the option to feature a CTA button in the header of you page. This invites users to click the button to be taken from Facebook to the business’s website, contact or complete a more direct action. Its a great feature for businesses to utilise because more often than not, a customer will be drawn to the Facebook page for information before checking out the website. Not all customers will make it to the website so for a quick, direct way of contact your business, the CTA functionality comes recommended.
Online businesses drive customers to connect with their communities through promoting their social media channels on their websites. In an interactive environment, users can easily click through a website and onto a social media platform, engaging with a brand at home, at work wherever they are on their mobile device. While brick and mortar stores often do have a website, their main sales function occurs in store. Facebook have developed a Beacon, which can be added to physical stores. When in close proximity, Bluetooth enabled phones are taken to the store’s Facebook page immediately after opening Facebook. This is still a new functionally but it is changing the way consumers shop and shaping traditional business’s use of digital resources.
If you have a Facebook page, Facebook wants you to pay for advertising. They have made updates to the algorithm that seem to deter pages from showing on users news feeds that don’t have advertising, provide only selling propositions or have low levels of engagement with their audience. Locational advertising is a great way to promote your page or create a campaign targeted to an audience within a particular proximity. Facebook advertising is quite inexpensive in comparison to out of home media or even Google Adwords. Facebook advertising is available to pages with followers of any amount, giving small businesses level playing field with the big brands.
Its proven that Social Media has marketing incentives like widening your reach, engaging with a larger audience and creating more fans but this doesn’t come from purely posting promotions for your business. Social Media is centred around networks of people and is often referred to as communities. Managing these communities requires a responsive and conversational voice to connect and be responsive. Generally speaking, individuals create Facebook accounts to keep connected with friends, family and colleagues. As a business or organisation, your page is competing with these people to gain the attention of the user. This makes compelling, relevant content and an approachable voice integral to the Page’s success. In this way, local businesses have an advantage over larger national or international companies as they have access to local information that can be used to target a specific audience.
While it’s common knowledge that social media is a vital tool to be used for businesses of any size or nature, the above demonstrates its value spans further than primarily engaging and can be used to drive sales even for businesses that rely on a physical exchange.