If you have a bricks and mortar store, you may wonder how social media marketing can help you drive more customers to your door. After all, you are tied to your location and need to drive people to it. Location, visibility, traffic and proximity to direct competition all play a role in successes and setbacks but marketing has a key role.
Word of mouth referral is one of the primary sources of foot traffic for local businesses. It is why Handpicked Harrogate works so hard to build a network of people to whom we can refer our members. As with Handpicked, modern word of mouth referral may well come via Social Media. People chat and share great experiences via social media and can lead to a number of new customers visiting your store to see why their friends thought it was so brilliant.
Everyone likes free stuff so if you give away a free gift in your store, whether it is sweets, biscuits, a bag of buttons or whatever, word will get around and people will visit, often purchasing something else whilst they are there.
So, you could set up an incentive system and pay people, or give them a free class if they refer a new person. BUT, if the people coming in know about the incentive, they may feel the referral was given in order to gain the incentive and not because the business is a great one. And your business is a really great one. So, incentivise both the referrer and the new customer. If they both get something extra, the taint of “did this person only refer me so they’d get a free class” just goes away.
But I’m established.
Are you SURE your target clients ALL know where you are and what you do? Social media can help with this, particularly if what you provide is not something people need every day of the week. People research things on line before they go out to buy. This is particularly important if what you sell is expensive or a rare purchase.
But everyone does it.
Yep. Everyone does. Which means that when people do their research, they’ll expect you to do it too. As a standard. On top of which, you need to have your unique feature. And how do people find out about your unique feature? They talk to other people, and they look on Social Media to find out what is out there. They will visit the one that has the unique feature that most appeals to them. So, knowing your target audience and what they will respond best to becomes critical in choosing what unique feature you offer. Although this article is about social media marketing, don’t forget your print marketing either. Reusable bags with your brand logo on. Flyers dropped into locations where your ideal client hangs out. Advertisements in publications which your target client is likely to read.
Get them inside
People who visit will convert more readily once they are physically inside the store. They can look around, see you, the lovely owner, looking all friendly, talk with you and find out how knowledgeable you are about your product and sector and how willing you are to give free advice relating to your sector or the products. They learn about you and build a rapport that makes them want to purchase. Your marketing, whether it is your shop window, flyers or social media posts, drives them there by creating a curiosity to investigate.
Create a buzz.
Have a monthly giveaway. These are quite easy to run. They can run on social media and in store at the same time and can create a real buzz if the incentive really appeals to your target audience. People will suggest their friends take part and you can grow quite a following and increase footfall to your store using this method.
You can also partner with another local business to create a joint contest or giveaway. So a photographer could team up with make up artist and offer headshots and a makeup session as the prize. The prizes should be of equal value and complement each other. You can build up quite a following on social media if you do this relatively regularly and when these followers are in the market for what you sell, they will think of you first because your marketing strategy was fun rather than salesy. How well you both deliver on the prize will also reflect well on you and lead to word of mouth recommendations.
These allow you to target very specific audiences, in your local area, driving traffic to your location. These are a relatively affordable way to advertise your business and can be laser targeted on your desired demographic with relative ease.
And if you are in or near Harrogate and Wetherby, you have Handpicked Harrogate and Wetherby available to help you to reach your target audience using our membership, referrals, networking events, magazine advertising and business index services. We also offer both website creation and social media management so we can handle your marketing if you don’t have the time or inclination to do so, driving people to your door so you don’t need to go chasing after them. Find out more here.