Drafting your neighbourhood or sub-regional sized shopping centre marketing budget can be a challenge when funds are limited, but there’s a few things you can add to your budget which will make a huge difference to your social media marketing.
Collecting customer data is relatively easy for shopping centres, we simply run an online or in Centre competition with the appropriate opt-ins and we have a good starting point. To get the most out of this data however we need to commit to doing something with it!
Have a think about how you will use the data, how often communication will be sent and segmentation. Once you decide on this you’ll have a better idea as to how many times you’ll be sending out emails each month. You should also take into consideration the number of people you have on your list and the rate at which the list grows based on in Centre and online activity. When you have these details you can make an informed decision about the database management system which is right for you. Most systems charge based on either the number of people on your list and/or the number of emails you send out each month. Simply add the costs for ongoing fees and template set up into your annual budget. If you have the staff in house to send EDMs this can be a cost effective way of communicating with high value, loyal customers.
Whether it’s for you, your staff or your retailers, invest in training! There is always more to learn in the online space. You might be interested in learning more about Facebook or other social networking sites. For retail I recommend that you investigate Instagram and Pinterest. If you have retailers who are local owner-operators without the support of national franchisor’s local search marketing and setting up websites might be another area of interest for your Centre.
There are plenty of online courses which offer great content or you can enlist a trainer like myself to help guide you through the process. Take a look at some of our retailer training options.
If you already use social media marketing as part of your mix, competitions are a great way to increase engagement with your audience, provided the prize is directly related to your offer. I recommend prizes that compliment your retailers or encourage people to visit and increase their unit spend. If you’re using Facebook you can now run competitions on your page, these competitions tend to focus more on generating awareness about a product, service or retailer. If your aim is to grow your customer database then focus on a competition which is run through a third party application where you can collect customer names and email addresses. Competitions run through applications tend to be better at increasing likes and growing your database provided your prize is in line with your retail offer. Budget considerations will include:
If you are a smaller centre without the resources to manage this process we offer social media competitions done for you. This means we can organise all retailer communication, source prizes, set up the competition, organise the graphics and photography, manage the Facebook page updates, draw the competition and arrange collection of the prize in Centre.
If your shopping centre is on a tight budget and social media forms a major part of your marketing strategy, hiring an up and coming professional photographer to visit retailers with a shot list is the perfect way to make sure that your social media accounts are effective in drawing a crowd. Good quality images of people, products and places will help to tell your story and encourage sales and traffic. Key retail periods or events are always a great place to start if you are wondering when to budget for photography. If you are organised and work to an editorial calendar you can prepare a shot list every couple of months to minimise photography sessions.
If you have an active Facebook page then I recommend you invest in Facebook advertising. Your aim might be to grow your fan base, increase your reach and engagement or drive traffic to your Centre website. All of these things are possible with Facebook ads. It’s easy enough to set up Facebook advertising yourself using the Facebook self service tool or you can hire someone to manage the process for you. If you outsource your Facebook advertising the consultant should be able to track website traffic, conversions and use custom audiences which will yield better results. Facebook custom audiences allow you to provide data from in Centre campaigns (email addresses) and target these customers through Facebook.
If you’re not sure where to start with Facebook advertising we offer this service to our Facebook management clients and Competition Management clients, you can contact us to find out more.
Now it’s over to you: Do you already budget for some of these items? Have I missed something? What else would you like to include? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Author: Celina Johnson
• Customised social media set up
• Daily Monitoring of your social media
• Marketing Plans and Strategies
• Experienced in Shopping Centres
• Experienced in Retail
• Experienced in Small Business
• Media trained
• Experienced in stakeholder liaison