Social media isn’t just a place to post pics of your lunch, or kids, or dog. By this point in 2017, nearly every business out there has a presence on at least one social platform, from Twitter to Snapchat to Instagram to Facebook. The impact of social media on business can translate into real results, drum up interest in your organization and help drive folks through your doors.
After the early days on social media platforms when users were social just for the sake of it, the time of shot-in-the-dark experimentation is over. That’s because there are social analytics tool that can help you to accurately measure the impact of social media on your organization and whether or not it’s driving change.
How Social Media Drives Foot Traffic
Today, social media plays a key role in foot traffic into business locations. From retailers to casinos to libraries, businesses of all kinds have discovered how social media marketing can reach the right customers and encourage them to visit their locations.
One of the easiest approaches? You can offer a coupon or discount to followers only (i.e., a consumer who “likes” your page) through a single social channel (it’s easier to track that way) and that’s redeemable in a physical location only.
Targeting through Facebook is a great example for casinos, especially since both casino visitors and users of the social platform skew older. By targeting user profiles similar your casino’s current customer base, you can offer an incentive to visit your casino and see how customer acquisition grows accordingly.
Engagement: Are Your Social Efforts Paying Off?
Measurement is key to understanding the impact of social media. Once you have a campaign up and running, it’s critical to measure its progress, which can reveal how well it’s working to achieve your desired goals or whether you need to retool your approach.
Most marketers talk about impressions and reach when it comes to social media. Impressions are the number of times your social content is exposed to consumers; that is, how many times overall it shows up in consumers’ feeds, etc. Reach, by contrast, is the total number of people exposed to the content. Note that, for example, your social content might reach 10 people, but if one of those 10 saw it four times, then impressions would total 14.
Here’s Where Traffic Counters Factor In
How can you really measure the impact of social media at your locations? By monitoring foot traffic with people counting technology. With a people counter system installed in your facility, it’s easy to identify trends in traffic trends, cross reference that with your social analytics and observe the results. For example, if you launched a social campaign on Friday encouraging shoppers to redeem a coupon in store on Saturday, then you’d expect a corresponding rise in Saturday footfall. If there isn’t an increase, you may want to tweak your approach in the future. With traffic-counting data, you can verify just how effective your social campaigns truly are.
Over time, you’ll get a feel for which campaigns are successful and which ones don’t encourage visits to physical locations. Capitalize on what works: multiply the impact of social media by creating initiatives similar to what has driven tangible results in the past. This could mean prioritizing certain social channels over others; perhaps Facebook is more effective for reaching your audience than Twitter, or your Generation Z consumer base prefers Snapchat.
While it may be natural to compare the impact of your social media strategies with some of the big players out there, keep in mind that every industry has its own factors at work. Casinos have one set of challenges, retailers another, not to mention the environment libraries and similar institutions are dealing with. Be realistic about the results you can expect.
When coupled with people counting technology, the impact of social media campaigns can be amplified to propel your business forward, reach a new audiences and engage with users in a smart and modern way.