Christmas is literally just around the corner and the hordes of people that your retail business will inevitably receive during this period presents a fantastic opportunity to marry your offline experiences with your online social media campaigns.
After all, the festive period (depending on your market) is not only when you’ll receive the most customers through your doors, but it’s also when more people than ever will be searching online for that perfect Christmas gift.
So while some of you will be mainly gearing up for the Christmas period in-store, we’re going to give you some food for thought when it comes to engaging your customers simultaneously on both an offline and online level.
Create a Harmonious Festive Message
Chances are that your retail store staff have come to know many of your customers personally; especially if you operate in a small town. If that’s the case, why not create a bespoke festive video message for all your customers – both offline and online.
You can display it on a loop in-store for your customers to see, as well as posting it on your various social media channels – Facebook and Youtube are the two that spring to mind immediately.
It will serve a two-way purpose.
First, your in-store customers will be alerted to your online presence. Advertise the fact that you have these various social media channels and highlight the benefits they afford.
For example, if you run competitions from time-to-time online then tell your in-store customers that. They’re likely to follow your online pages if there’s something potentially rewarding in it for them.
Secondly, your eCommerce customers (if you’ve got an order-accepting website) will be greeted with a more personal shopping experience. The video can run on your website and give them a feeling that’s more likely to be found in-store.
Give People a Reason to Visit Your Store
Utilise your social media presence to attract people into your physical store during the festive period. It may be that you promote some of the things you’ve got going on in-store this Christmas.
Perhaps you’ve got special offers that are only available in-store and on a limited basis. If that’s the case then you should really let your online social followers know about them too.
It will serve to boost your customer numbers as well as create a buzz on your social channels. The more reasons you give people to talk about your brand the more they will.
Furthermore, you can take this concept to the next level by actively encouraging spending and sharing. For example, why not ask your in-store customers to record a short video message about their shopping experience and then post them on your social profiles.
It will create a real sense of community and is a great way to engage both your online and offline customers.
Run a Seasonal Competition
This doesn’t necessarily need to be restricted to just the Christmas period but as that’s the focus of our attention today, we’ll stick with it for now.
Social media competitions are another great way to create a buzz around your brand and engage your customers before Christmas. It may be that you run a simple comment-based promo where you choose your winner randomly.
People will automatically and actively promote your channel if it gives them a chance of winning.
But you may be thinking, what about the losers? Well, why not give people an added incentive to get involved by stating that everyone who takes part will receive at least something.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to break the bank either. It can be as simple as a small percentage discount or even a runner-up consolation prize. The trick is to be creative and think of something that’s appealing but won’t cost you too much financially.
Promote Your In-Store Buzz Online
With a store full of people it can often be difficult to focus on other things. But a busy retail store should be looking to laud its offline success in an online capacity.
Take lots of photos of your customers, your staff and your overall in-store environment. These can serve as photographic evidence to prove how glorious your in-store Christmas experience was.
Post them on your social media channels and let the world see the smiley faces of your customers and staff.
If you know some of your customers personally and they feature in your pictures, a great way of engaging them further and adding a really personal touch to your online presence is to tag them.
Simply take a name at the same time as taking the picture and tell them to look out on your social channels for their photo to appear.
We’ve talked time and again about engaging your customers and prospects and the festive period presents some great opportunities. Use them to your advantage.