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Recently a colleague asked if I thought we should set up a Facebook page for a neighbourhood shopping centre that was getting ready to open in a small suburb of Western Australia. She was concerned that the page would only be used for the launch event and that ongoing management would be impossible due to limited funds and labour. In spite of this my immediate response was an overwhelming YES, but of course, we needed to back up this decision with evidence for the shopping centre owners. Today I’m going to share with you some of the things we took into consideration and the overall results.
The local area had a Facebook penetration of 54% which when compared to Australia (at 56%) was exceptional. In addition to this 74% of dwellings in the area had an internet connection compared to just 65% for the entire Commonwealth Electorial Division, further demonstrating the use of technology by the local population.
According to the Yellow Social Media Report 2014, Facebook was the most popular social networking site in Western Australia with 97% of respondents saying that they use the site. The average age of the demographic in question was 32 years and the same report identified that 94% of people aged 30-39 years use Facebook. Lastly the Centre was located in an area with a high ratio of families and grand opening activity targeted this market, therefore as far as social networking sites go, Facebook was once again an obvious choice given its popularity across the generations.
The Facebook page was set up and within 24 hours the Centre had over 500 fans! This was achieved with zero Facebook advertising, zero competitions, three posts on the Facebook page and a couple of messages to key Facebook groups and pages within the suburb. Whilst 500 Facebook fans might not seem like a lot, it’s a great start and it’s more than most neighbourhood shopping centres will achieve in one year! In fact 500 fans in this instance is equivalent to 6% of the trade area’s population, which is awesome for less than 24 hours of operation. This result whilst not always achievable in every situation, clearly demonstrates the buzz and excitement that the community had for the opening of their new local shopping centre.
After the launch event in Centre, the Facebook page had just over 1,300 Facebook fans, which equates to over 15% of the local population. Whilst the Centre had limited funds and resources for ongoing marketing the Facebook page can now be used by retailers and centre management to communicate key events, campaigns, community information, retailer offers and much more.
If you’re not sure if your neighbourhood sized shopping centre should be using Facebook or other social networking sites, contact us to find out more!
When I visit a new city I usually check review sites like Urbanspoon or TripAdvisor for information about the best places to eat. Recently however, I’ve noticed a few Facebook groups which are gaining traction in my community so I thought we’d take a look at Facebook groups for cafes, restaurants and food retailers in more detail. We’ll look at how to search for groups, who should join groups and some of the things you can do once you become a member.
Facebook Groups are communities set up within Facebook for people with like minded interests.
Some of the groups you might be familiar with in your local area include:
1. Click no the image, then press to comment
2. Instead of commenting, now find your comment and swipe towards the left, it should look like this:
3. Simply press the red trash icon to delete
If you follow these instructions your image should remain and you can make a new comment in the comment section.
Has your Twitter account become inactive? Are you finding it difficult to remember to post content to both Facebook and Twitter? If this sounds like you, you might be interested in linking your Facebook page to your Twitter account. This means that any content posted to your Facebook page will automatically be tweeted from your Twitter account.
1. Visit www.facebook.com/twitter (make sure you are logged in to Facebook)
2. All of the pages that you manage on Facebook will be listed, select the option that says ‘Link to Twitter’ next to the page you’d like to link to your Twitter account
3. You’ll then need to log in to Twitter to authorize the app and within a matter of seconds your accounts should be linked
4. Now everything that you post to Facebook will automatically be shared to your Twitter account
Ever visited your Facebook page’s newsfeed only to find that the content is old and not worth commenting or liking?
This is easily fixed if you simply change the view of your newsfeed to the ‘most recent.’ You’ll find this option over in the left hand menu bar as follows:
If you’re not sure what I mean when I say that your Facebook page has a newsfeed, make sure you check out this post about how to find and create your Facebook page’s newsfeed.
Running a competition on your shopping centre Facebook page might seem easy but if you’re not seeing the results you might reconsider these three things:
Growing a fan base who’ll be interested in your future posts means you need to offer a prize that compliments your retail offer. You might consider a prize pack filled with products and services from retailers, gift vouchers, an experience in Centre or a combination of all three. This will ensure that your competition is a must to enter for customers!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is only posting one status update about your competition. Your fans are not logged on to Facebook 24/7 and they don’t see all of your posts. You need to post more often and keep things interesting. Consider investing in other advertising collateral to boost results. You might email your customer database, use in centre signage at key areas where people are likely to be using their mobile devices and Facebook advertising to name a few. If you have retailers with active Facebook pages, reach out to them and ask them to share your competition on their page. You’ll also need to ensure that you remain active on local pages to help spread the word about the competition.
Sometimes the simplest competitions are the best. If you’re running a competition via an application and you’re asking users to provide their email, phone, postcode, gender, favourite store etc people are not going to enter because there’s too much information to complete. If however you keep it short and sweet, only taking the bare essentials like their name and email you will gain more entries. On page competitions can be useful too (provided they’re in line with your overall goals), especially if you’re only asking people to like or comment to enter.
If you don’t have time to run your next competition effectively or perhaps you’re a busy Centre Manager completing dual roles contact us to find out more about Facebook Competition Management. We can set-up, implement and manage your social media competitions from start to finish. Retailer communication, terms and conditions, competition draws, winner communication, everything is included. We can even lodge your competition with the various states and territories to ensure that you fully comply. Contact us for more information.
Now it’s over to you: What Facebook competitions do you find work best for your audience? Do you offer prizes from retailers or one of a kind experiences that your fans simply can’t get enough of? Join the conversation on our Facebook page and share your experience.
Since Facebook updated the Insights feature to show more details about your fans, it’s easier to find out!
Simply visit the See Insights Tab on your Facebook page:
Click on Posts and you’ll gain an overview of when your fans are online:
How often do you login to Linkedin? I’m guessing it’s probably only when you receive a notification to connect, am I right?
If you use Linkedin more regularly I’m confident that you will see more opportunities both professionally and personally. It might be to connect with new or old colleagues, stay up to date with your circle of influence, find more business opportunities or simply discover news about your industry or interests.
Today I want to challenge you to do these six things to help get more out of Linkedin.
The most difficult part of staying up to date with all of your social networking sites is remembering to log in! To help you remember to login and check your Linkedin account make sure that when you open up your internet browser, Linkedin is one of the tabs that opens up automatically.
If you use Internet Explorer go to Menu>Add Site to Start Menu> Add
If you use Chrome go to Menu>Settings>On Start Up Open a Specific Page> Set Pages>Add the URL>Add
Now each time you open up the internet browser at the start of your working day you will see Linkedin in one of the tabs.
Think about people you might have made contact with today, yesterday or last week. They might be colleagues, friends, family, business acquaintances etc, search for them on Linkedin by name and press connect. You’ll be surprised at how many people you know who are registered on Linkedin. If you can’t think of anyone right away or you’re having difficulty finding people in search you can click on the ‘People You May Know ‘ option located at the top right hand side. It looks like this:
You could also upload your email contacts by clicking on the menu item Network> Add Connections
Quickly scan your newsfeed to see if anyone has a new job, a job anniversary or maybe they’ve posted an update. Press the like button or comment on their post. This will help you to establish better relationships with your connections and help you stay up to date with what’s happening.
Endorsing a connection is easy but it only makes sense to do this when you know the capabilities of a connection or if you have experienced their service. You can do this by visiting their profile and clicking on the ‘endorse’ buttons which are located underneath the heading ‘Skills and Endorsements.’ Sometimes Linkedin will show the option at the top of your Linkedin home screen as a reminder and you can easily click endorse.
If you haven’t joined any groups you should find a group or interest and click the join button. From the menu click on Interests>Groups and there is an option for ‘Groups you may be interested in’ alternatively you can search for groups by industry.
If you are part of a few groups take a moment to visit one of those groups and ask a question or join the conversation. This will give you the opportunity to connect with different people and learn more about the group topic and your industry. If you need answers to a question this is also a good forum for help.
Find out if your competitors, suppliers or customers have a Linkedin company page by searching companies in the search tool bar. You can click on the follow button and receive updates when they post to their company page. Following a company will help you stay up to date with their products, services, positions vacant and other corporate announcements.
I hope this blog post has helped you get a little more out of your Linkedin account. Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin or visit any of my other social networking sites.
Retailers located within shopping centres usually pay a portion of their rent into the shopping centre’s promotional fund, are you paying promo levy?
While you might be paying into these Marketing funds, some retailers don’t take advantage of the opportunities available. In today’s blog post I’m going to talk about 10 FREE marketing opportunities which might be available at your Centre and I encourage you to check with your Centre Manager or Marketing Manager to see if you can become more involved. If you are a shopping centre, you might like to share this post with your retailers as a timely reminder to get involved!
Most people will search for a Shopping Centre website when they want to find out how to get to the Centre, find out more about a particular retailer (eg. phone number or location) or the website might be used in the Centre’s social media strategy to drive traffic from Facebook (for example) to the website’s ‘What’s on’ section. The What’s on section is usually a list of things that are happening in centre, it can include promotions and retailer offers. Retailers can generally provide offers and content for the website by filling out a participation form and submitting it to Centre Management. It’s always a good idea to provide a professional image if you have one.
With 49% of the adult population* (May 2012) in Australia now using smart phones many shopping centres have started to invest in Mobile Apps. These apps usually include the ability to drive sales using offers. Retailers are again encouraged to participate by providing offers which will move people to action. Ask your Centre Management office if they have a smart phone app and if retailers can provide content. Make sure you fill out the appropriate forms and provide images if necessary.
Check to see if your shopping centre is on Facebook. You can do this by searching the shopping centre name inside Facebook or your shopping centre will advertise the Facebook web address on their promotional material. If the Centre is on Facebook, chances are they have opportunities for retailers to provide content. Ask your Centre Manager or Marketing Manager the best way to do this and always make sure you provide photos or images. When your offer is posted to Facebook always keep an eye on the page, like and comment, you might even reply to Facebook fans who are commenting with a view to increasing the awareness of your own Facebook page.
In Centre Signage usually takes the form of 30×40 poster stands displayed throughout the Centre. Often Centre Management will offer available space to retailers at no additional charge if you supply the posters. Local printers are always helpful in designing and printing your posters at a reasonable cost, expect to pay between $40-$60 depending on design. You might be required to book these poster stands in advance so always check with your Centre Management office for full details.
Throughout the year some shopping centre’s will offer free casual leasing or opportunities to trade out beyond your lease line. This is usually for key retail periods or special sale days and events. Always read marketing communication and take up these opportunities where possible. Even if you are a service orientated business there is always something you can display or you might be able to station a staff member at the site to hand out balloons and promotional material with a view to encouraging enquiries.
Customer databases are popular and usually target Seniors, Kids Clubs, Fashion and Customer Loyalty, this will of course depend on your Centre. Newsletters and promotional material are often sent out to these markets and marketing managers are always looking for fresh content. Be creative with your content and make it newsworthy not just promotional! Ask Centre Management if there is an opportunity for you to provide a regular column or offers.
If your shopping centre has an on hold message service, some Centre’s pay for these messages to be updated regularly. If this is the case you may be able to provide content. Customers who are on hold are a captive audience, sometimes sitting in front of their computers, so you could be driving them to your website, Facebook page or in-store. Think about competitions, increasing Facebook fans, newsletter sign ups or simply telling potential customers about a new product.
During key retail periods, shopping centre’s will provide opportunities for retailers to provide offers or prizes which form part of advertising or in Centre competitions. Always keep an eye out for these opportunities and participate where possible. By providing an offer your store will have a presence in the advertising taking place. Prizes are a great way to highlight new products or services and can encourage add on selling if you use Gift Vouchers.
Sometimes a percentage of the marketing fund is invested into retailer training. If your Centre is offering retailer training make sure you RSVP to events and make the most of them. Topics for retailer training usually include: visual merchandising, selling techniques, Facebook or social media training, online marketing or even key notes from other successful retailers. These sessions should inspire you to take action in your own business.
Often shopping centre’s will search for a panel of retailers to represent each category in the shopping centre, these retailers attend meetings and help to provide feedback on current and future marketing activity. If you have the opportunity to take part in these meetings you’ll hear about marketing and promotions in advance, gain insight into centre performance and feedback from retailers. You’ll meet other retailers and build stronger relationships with participants. Ask your Centre Management team if they have regular retailer meetings which you can become involved in.
Shopping Centres usually have a public address system which is used to disseminate important announcements and play music to set a vibrant mood as people go about their business in Centre. Every Centre is different, however most will have a facility for retailers to advertise their promotional material over this PA System. Depending on the Centre’s agreement with contractors you might need to pay a nominal fee for a recording (between $30-$60 usually), others will offer this service completely free. All you need to do is fill out the participation form and your message will be recorded and played throughout the Centre.
Now it’s over to you: Are you making the most of your shopping centre’s marketing fund? How often do you use these services? Is your shopping centre providing additional services that I haven’t mentioned here? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Author: Celina Johnson
*Statistics provided are according to the Australian Communications & Media Authority, Communications Report 2011-2012 Series Report 3 – Smartphones & Tablets Take up and use in Australia.
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:
• 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