Shopping Centre Marketing Managers have been measuring free editorial (earned media) in the likes of radio mentions, newspaper stories and television coverage for years, whether it forms part of their KPI’s or simply provides more measurable results in their campaign analysis. My question is this: are you now including social media as part of this analysis and measuring your positive word of mouth either on a monthly basis or after specific campaigns? In addition to this, are you implementing campaigns which use traditional and social media to drive traffic and sales while at the same time generate positive word of mouth for your retailers?
Recently I noticed a campaign taking place at The Myer Centre, located in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) where they did exactly this. They blended social media with traditional media to drive traffic, sales and positive word of mouth, and in this blog post I’m going to share my observations.
The Facts Observed about the Campaign
The Myer Centre rewarded customers with a FREE lunch when they checked-in on Facebook and presented their phone to staff in Centre. In addition to this promotional staff would fetch their lunch thus allowing customers time to browse the nearby shops and potentially increase the Centres average unit spend. Customers who didn’t want to ‘check-in’ on Facebook weren’t left in the dark, they could purchase $7 lunch deals from food court retailers for the two weeks.
The campaign appeared to take place over a two week period, Monday to Friday from 12pm to 2pm, targeting the competitive CBD lunch time trade with the following measurable objectives:
• Increase positive word of mouth advertising/brand awareness via Facebook or ‘People Talking about this’ (Facebook Insights Metric)
• Increase Facebook fans
• Increase food court traffic
• Increase food court sales
Advertising and Promotions Observed from the Campaign included:
• Press Advertising
• Advertising on Food Court Tables
• Radio Advertising and DJ in Centre
• Advertising on their own website
• Status updates on their Facebook page
• In Centre entertainment with an aerial artist in the food court
• Promotional staff for 2-3 hours per day for 10 days
• Free lunch giveaways
Additional advertising which might have taken place: electronic mail distribution, point of sale, flyers handed out in centre, PA advertising and other in Centre signage.
I’ll let you work the costs of these items out for yourself based on where your Centre is located in either a regional area or capital city. But let’s say the campaign cost approximately $40,000 to $50,000 for a two week period, this would not be uncommon for a sub-regional or regional sized shopping centre.
What were the results?
From details available via the Centre’s Facebook page results appear to be as follows:
• Facebook fan numbers increased significantly for the two week period, this is evident by the ‘likes per week’ graph spiking during this time frame
• The first week of the campaign was listed as the ‘most visited’ week of ‘Check-ins’ to the Centre
• The first week of the campaign was listed as the ‘most popular’ week of ‘People Talking about the Centres Facebook Page’
• The most popular city for ‘people talking about this page’ was Brisbane
• A reported total of 760 free lunches were given away with 3 days left of the campaign (i.e. on average about 69 lunches were given away each day which makes a total of approx 967 lunches valued at $7 each for the entire campaign)
If each of those 967 people ‘checked in’ on Facebook to receive their free lunch (as per the terms and conditions) and each of those people have on average 227 social media friends* that means that approximately 219,509 people could have potentially seen the Centre pop up in their newsfeed because their friends checked-in to the Centre. Remembering that a Facebook ‘Check-in’ can prompt friends to click on the page, become a fan or ask their friend why they are at that location, and so beings the word of mouth advertising.
Other results which were observed included people taking photos of the aerial artist and uploading them directly to Facebook and Twitter, telling their friends what they had just witnessed at the shopping centre. Not to mention the WOW factor and experience that these customers gained while in Centre.
Unfortunately I don’t have access to the other cold hard facts like food court retailer sales, traffic counts or average unit spend but this gives you an idea of the sorts of multifaceted campaigns that are achievable by using social media in conjunction with traditional media.
Now it’s over to you, what do you think? Do you see value in running a campaign like this which uses the Facebook ‘Check-in’ feature to endorse your business to your customers Facebook friends and raise positive word of mouth for your brand? Is 967 check-ins (with an estimated reach of 219,509 people) enough for your liking? Do you have any campaigns which you have run using social media which provided better results? I would love to hear from you so drop me a line in the comments below.
Author: Celina Johnson, iSocialize
*Yellow Social Media Report, June 2012
NOTE: Facebook Check in Deals are not widely available in Australia therefor this option was probably not available to help facilitate this campaign, thus the use of promotitonal staff to monitor check ins.
Thank you to the Myer Centre, Brisbane for allowing me to share these facts.
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