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Case Study and Lessons Learned: Increasing Foot Traffic for Retail Using Social Media and Event Marketing

Case Study #4: Neighborhood Shopping Center

Background: 

This client came to me with a desire to raise awareness of their shopping center and the variety of stores and shops within the shopping center.  The shopping center itself is in a very urban area, but provides services and shopping to a family-oriented clientele.

Listen:

They had previously done an influencer campaign which produced a short burst, but didn’t create anything sustainable and they couldn’t figure out why.

Think:


After hearing about their previous experience, Akamai determined the influencer campaign fell flat because the influencers weren’t neighborhood influencers. These influencers had their own set of chops as foodies and heavy social media users, but these influencers weren’t influencers to the target market either in terms of demographics, motivations or geography. We recognized that the likely shopper to this center had a distinct ethnic and demographic profile.

We actually recommended that the shopping center reduce the number of social media profiles in order to focus on the platform that was most likely to reach their audience.

We also wanted to start building an email list for the shopping center so it could continue to reward and connect with their customers outside of social media. We used promotions on Facebook to build this list.

Do:

We kicked off the campaign with a community, family-focused event which included prizes and give-aways for social media participants.

Akamai Marketing developed a promotional Facebook campaign and contest that created curiosity and conversation among it’s target market while highlighting the variety of stores and shops in the shopping center.  All content was custom developed to resonate with the target audience from a motivational and interest perspective.

The nature of the campaign enabled it to stay fresh for the entire 6 months without duplication.

We then advertised these posts to our highly targeted audience using a small but effective Facebook advertising budget.

Results:

Increased Shopping Center Traffic: 178%
Increased Awareness: 3,800%
Increased Unadvertised Impressions: 87%
Increased Overall Impressions: 644%
Email Registrations: >200 in 6 weeks

Lessons Learned: 

We learned to be highly targeted and clear on audience demographics for each post. We also learned that the stores would not provide content, so we shared what we could and supported the stores through offering to create content for them.

For our target audience, the overly slick content didn’t do as well, so we stayed with a more homey, less “advertising” feel to our content and messaging.

With a newly engaged social media community, we tested the audience with a selfie contest over a heavy shopping weekend. This contest was not successful and we attribute that to the audience, it’s comfort with sharing and the interface hurdles inherent in the sharing of the selfies.

Every shopping center is designed around an ideal customer.  It’s important to embrace that ideal customer’s natural tendencies, motivations and inclinations. Taking risks in social media should be balanced with campaigns that the user will naturally be attracted to.

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