How to Increase Foot Traffic With Social Media
It seems strange to think that you could use a digital, universal platform to generate foot traffic into a particular place. But it’s totally possible! A lot of people want to know how to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get people into their brick and mortar locations – whether they own bakeries, jewelry stores, computer repair shops or something completely different. The basics were provided by Rich Brooks in 2010, but some new features regarding each social platform have helped businesses increase their foot traffic. I’m going to focus on those. So here are our tips on increasing foot traffic with your social media accounts, and I’ll tell you how PromoRepublic, the effective social media software can help you get the job done with awesome visual and contextual social content.
Contextual posts is what gets your business likes, shares and the most important – traffic to your site. Thinking over your weekly content calendar for social media, you’re searching for viral and lead-generating posts that will boost your conversions. Everyone knows that content creation and wise publishing is time consuming. But please don’t turn your social into curated content storage – the only goal you meet with this strategy is presence. Don’t even dream about brand awareness, followers growth, engagement and other things your accounts we initially created for. Sound frustrating, right? Relax. PromRepublic is a new generation content calendar with a 15k ready made posts templates based on holidays, trends and special events.
Save yourself 8 hours a week for trend monitoring, posts creation, scheduling and statistics.
Make the Most of Your About Info
The amount of information you can share about your business depends on the social network you’re using. Facebook offers you the most amount of real estate to communicate information about your business. You can list your hours of operation, address, phone number, display popular hours and your URL, which will all appear on the right side of your business page. If a user clicks the About tab, you have they can toggle between an overview that shows them the same information, the page info that shows them the long and short descriptions and general information fields. This is where you can dazzle users with your compelling copy and your value proposition.
Since some users might not dig down into the About section, you have to make sure the information displayed on your main business page is clear and accurate. We’ll use a boutique hotel in Richmond, Virginia, as an example.
Quirk Hotel, located in downtown Richmond, Virginia, has already been recognized by Conde Nast and is fastly growing popularity as a destination hotel. Their about section is simple, but it lists their location, hours of operation, and other crucial information for people who might want to stay there, visit the restaurant, or just stop in to look around.
Everything everyone would need to know in order to go to Quirk is right there on the front page of their business Facebook page. We see a lot of businesses that do not populate this information. They are missing out on foot traffic by sheer omission. Not good!
Your Instagram and Twitter profiles don’t give us as many opportunities as Facebook, but that doesn’t mean they should be neglected. Instagram gives you a little space to provide a 150-word bio and a link. This is important, because it’s the only link you’re allowed in the great world of IG.
Let’s use our hotel in Virginia as another example.
In their bio, the hotel is promoting a Facebook engagement opportunity. This is a great way to get Facebook followers from a business’s Instagram account. It’s an example of an Instagram profile best practice. While your Facebook about might be more or less evergreen, it’s best not to let your Instagram profile stale. It’s your only link opportunity on the platform, and as more and more people join the ranks on Instagram, it’s good to provide them with a new call to action from time to time.
Your Twitter profile offers even less of an opportunity to tout your brand and invite people to visit. You only have your name, your @, a short bio, location, url and the date you joined Twitter. So, it’s best to have a really strong and punchy bio and, with all social networks, a great profile pic and cover photo.
Now that you have your basic profile guidelines in place, let’s talk about another great way to convert social traffic to foot traffic.
Encourage Check-Ins and Reviews
Humans are social animals, for sure. Why else would so many staggering amounts of people use social networks? Social media didn’t start out as a great way to market your business. It started out as a way to connect people to one another. That’s why, in all social media strategy, you have to think about your impact on your fans and followers. How are you improving their experience? What value do you provide? That’s why the content you post has to be visually stimulating and well-written. And, once you’ve established your value and thought leadership, that’s when you can start prompting people to come see you in person.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have check-in functionality. It’s that little location icon in each UI.
Facebook’s looks like this:
Twitter’s looks like this:
And Instagram’s looks like this:
Encouraging your fans and followers to check into your location is literally the best way to get people into your location. This is not new. But, how can they check in if they don’t come and how do you get them to come so that they check in?
That’s actually pretty easy. Offer an incentive for a check in. Maybe the first person to check in that day will receive a free cup of coffee, if you’re a coffee shop. Or, if you’re a retail shop, maybe they’ll get a free gift or a 10% discount on something. Not getting the response you want? Stay tuned for the section on sponsored posts and Facebook ads. But before that, let’s talk a little bit about reviews.
On Facebook, particularly, users have the option of leaving reviews on your business page. Never underestimate the power of reputation when you’re dealing with consumers and potential consumers. Nearly 92% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. And, 68% of consumers say that they trust a local business more when they have positive online reviews.
So, make sure your reviews are visible on your Facebook business page, and don’t be shy about asking your fans and followers to leave reviews of your business. You can ask on Facebook, and you can copy the link from your Facebook page to use in email marketing to your contacts. Draft a nice email with the link to leave reviews to encourage even more people to boost your credibility on Facebook.
Your Facebook page might also rack up some unsolicited reviews, like in the case of Harlem Haberdashery in Harlem, New York. With a modest amount of likes but a strong social presence, they have gotten a nice 4.7 out of 5 stars over 105 reviews with very little effort.
Don’t miss an opportunity for organic and solicited reviews on Facebook to help boost your brand’s reputation and make people feel good about shopping (or dining) with you.
Sometimes, though, the best efforts on social media are unrewarded. And while you can’t win all the time, you can even up the odds if you’re willing to spend a little bit of money.
Promoted Posts and Ads
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all have advertising capabilities, and they work especially well when you’re trying to generate local attention. Each system works differently. Here’s a rundown of your options, and our recommendations for what works best.
Twitter has seven options for ads. You can pay to grow your following, as seen in the above image.
Or, you can pay for Tweet Engagements. In this method, you promote your tweets about new products or locations and pay for engagement. This is especially helpful to people marketing to local followers.
The third tweet-related option is video views, which I’ll cover in a different article. You can also pay for promoted tweets to boost web traffic, app installs, lead generation, or the new BETA website conversions.
For local marketing, just select your users based on your location and other demographics and set your budget so things don’t get out of hand.
Instagram, now owned by Facebook, has an ad option. You can create ads in the ad creation option, via the Facebook Ads API, or the Power Editor. You can target your demographics based on location and your ads will be shown to users.
Facebook lets you create ads, or you can boost, or promote existing posts. So, if you create a post like we talked about above, where you encourage users to check in at your location, you can boost it to achieve more engagement.
As with any social media effort, it is important to keep track of your success. Find what works and what doesn’t, and readjust your plan accordingly. Do you have more tips on increasing foot traffic with social media? Please share in the comments below.