How Retailers Can Leverage Social Marketing and Branding

Social marketing and branding allow existing and future customers to see your brand more often and in more places. If the only place that they are engaging with your brand is in your brick-and-mortar store, then your items will be out of sight and out of mind.

By the numbers:

  • According to the American Marketing Association, there are 3.3 billion brand mentions in 2.2 billion brand-related conversations in the United States every day.
  • A typical American mentions a brand in online and offline conversations 60 times a week.
  • Fifty-four percent of purchasing decisions are influenced by word of mouth, according to the AMA. Additionally, 66 percent of brand conversations are mostly positive.

Social Media

Hint: This could mean that retailers have a pretty good chance of increasing brand popularity and buying opportunities through the omnichannel. Here are a few suggestions for how to leverage social marketing and branding to your benefit.

From outside in:

  1. People often watch television while also being on their smartphone or laptop. Businesses can incorporate social marketing and branding into their traditional ads to encourage customers to interact with them. It could be as simple as singing up for text alerts of store sales. A TV commercial could encourage them to text a certain number for free updates, and they can do it right then and there on their smartphone – which is undoubtedly right next to them on the couch, if not in their hands. Using a people counte, retailers can then determine whether or not those efforts helped them to spread the word and increase their in-store traffic during sales.
  2. With social marketing and branding, retailers could also promote brick-and-mortar exclusives on a banner ad on their web store or a social media post. By using a people counter to determine the in-store traffic gained from the sale or promotion, store owners and managers could compare that number to their web traffic. This would provide them with insight into the success of their brick-and-mortar store vs. their online presence.

From inside out:

  1. Another easy way is to place marketing materials on check-out counters or near displays to encourage social media interaction with customers. The possibilities are endless. It could be as simple as signs that say “like us on Facebook” or “follow us on Pinterest” – or as high-tech as a tablet kiosk that allows shoppers to create a product wish list or take photobooth pictures and upload them to the store’s Instagram… whatever will make them want to mention your brand.
  2. Retailers could place QR codes on shelf tags, providing customers with a quick and easy way to find these products online, read reviews, view and order additional colors or sizes or access coupons. They could also place QR codes in email promotions so that recipients can open the message on their smartphone and scan the code to receive discounts in store. QR codes are not only a quick and easy way for customers to gain access to additional resources, they are also a relatively new technology that will be exciting for them to use. The use of new technology, in general, puts your brand a cut above the rest.
  3. By offering discounts to people who check-in to the store using location-based apps like FourSquare, retailers can encourage first-time customers to not only visit their store but also immediately make a satisfying purchase. They may have already heard about your brand on social media, but first-time check-in discounts are an incentive for them to take the next step in the buying process and make the trip to your brick-and-mortar store. By advertising these promotions online or in the store’s window display, visitors will know upon entering that they have an exciting opportunity waiting for them inside.

Are you paying attention to what your customers are saying about your brand in each channel, and – better yet – interacting with them? Your brand mentions provide invaluable information about each marketing channel and about your business as a whole. Moral of the story: it is in your best interest to incorporate those mentions into your marketing efforts.

Download a free ebook