How To Connect Social Media Metrics to In-Store Foot Traffic

A content-driven, creative, and aggressive social media strategy can effectively pull a business from being just another shop around the corner to being a remarkable establishment or brand at the forefront.

If only Meg Ryan’s character in “You’ve Got Mail” knew how to work around running a social media marketing campaign, maybe her quaint, little bookstore wouldn’t bow out of the competition to Tom Hanks’ giant bookstore chain without a fight. Had she lived in the Facebook and Instagram era, maybe her shop would still be the community’s official book nook.

Being ranged against malls, major franchises, and mega-retail chains are also among the challenges posed at brick and mortar storefronts or what people usually refer to as “the shop around the corner.” But being another Meg Ryan is a mistake that no small or big business has to suffer today — not in the age of social media. A content-driven, creative, and aggressive social media strategy can effectively pull a business from being just another shop around the corner to being a remarkable establishment or brand at the forefront.

!grimms1 Photo courtesy of Christopher Chan via Flickr

The challenge here is conversion. How do you turn every like or comment into actual revenue? How do you convert every share into in-store foot traffic? It is not enough that you make your brand its own website or Facebook page. The real test is inspiring people to take action, check you out, and ultimately be loyal to your brand and what it stands for.

For a start, let’s take a look at the market. A survey by Dimensional Research shows that the buying decisions of 90 percent of consumers are influenced by positive online reviews. Imagine how huge the market is! With a huge market comes great opportunities for your business and with the right digital marketing initiatives, you can convert this number into store traffic and actual sales.

Of Online Coupons and Offline Sales

Among the most common social media marketing strategies is offering discount coupons online and asking buyers to claim the product in the store. Come to think of it, coupons are one of the oldest marketing tactics but are made cooler with social media. Big brands like Starbucks and Target offer their consumers exclusive coupons via their websites, apps, and social pages.

How do you do it? Make the offer exclusive only to followers. As much as possible, make it exclusive to one platform only, like your Facebook page. Make the offer creative: 50 percent discount for all who will share the post on their page, a coupon for those who can invite five friends to like your page, etc. Tell them to exchange the coupon in your store and give them a remarkable in-store experience. Take their happy photos and post them, too. And for sure, you don’t even have to ask them to post and share their experiences online because you can bet that they will anyway.

But remember to go easy on promotional content. You don’t want to saturate your consumers. You have to keep the anticipation high. And you don’t want to look desperate, do you?

Go for non-linear marketing

Link your social accounts to your own microsite and lead your audience into a less crowded and more focused medium. In an article by Propelrr, a digital marketing agency, suggested that you can easily tie online and offline marketing initiatives through different tracking and reward system. Propelrr also suggests developing a close-loop uber funnel will allow businesses to capture more data such as demographics that can be turned into leads.

!grimms2Photo courtesy of Propelrr

Remember that with Facebook, other people can mine your data, but with your own microsite, the data is exclusive to you. This is a good crowd-sourcing tactic that will give you more ideas as to how to target and segment your audience more effectively.