partnering-with-mall-management-example-copy-350x400.jpg

Fall 2013
Sure-fire Facebook Strategies

In today’s marketing world, using social media is a must. But updating your Facebook status every day or posting invitations to “stop by our cart this weekend” isn’t going to cut it when trying to compete for consumers’ attention online. What can you do instead? Here are some ideas.

Get your Facebook posts seen, grow your networks and generate more traffic and sales. Here are five strategies that will get you started:

1. Fully fill out your page. This might seem obvious, but with Facebook’s Graph Search (explained later), which was launched earlier this year, it’s more important than ever to have all the necessary data on your page, and to make sure that information is keyword-rich.

Go to your page, click on “About” and make sure every section is completely filled out (and current!). The Company Overview and Description should include the name of the shopping center you’re located in, if applicable. Include every kind of product you carry so you can be found for those keywords or phrases.

For example: if someone searches for “cell phone cases for sale at mall” on Google or Facebook, whether on their desktop computer or mobile phone, your Facebook page could display on the first page of the search results which helps you compete with the Apple store that will come up for similar search terms.

Also make sure all your contact information is included (phone number, email address, web address, etc.) and list all your online URLs so people can find you elsewhere (like your Yelp or Pinterest page). Don’t skimp on the content you list within these sections, they’ll help you get found in online searches, Facebook searches and mobile check-ins.

Finally, make sure under “Address” you select “Located inside another place” from the drop-down menu, and enter the Facebook page of where you’re located. This will help your page get found within Graph Search and on mobile devices.

partnering-with-mall-management-example-copy2. Promote your Facebook page at the kiosk. It’s important to always be building your “likes” to continue to grow online. One of the easiest ways to get people to like you is by having them do so while at your kiosk.

Signage that states “We’re on Facebook” or “Like Us” with a Facebook logo is good, but to take it a step further include a QR Code customers can scan to like you immediately, or tell them to text your page name to 32665 (stands for FBOOK) to “like” you using their mobile phone.

QRStuff.com is a free QR code website where you can create QR codes for several social media profiles, an email opt-in or for your website. Just enter your data, create the code and add it to a printout that’s easy to see and scan.

To take it a step further, give something away like a free piece of candy, a $5 gift certificate or a reusable shopping bag if someone became a brand new fan while visiting your kiosk.

3. Host a contest or giveaway. To increase the number of people who like you, and to engage your current audience, run a campaign on your Facebook page with a highly desirable prize. Something like a $100 gift certificate, free installation or a free product or service (depends on your price points and type of product/service). Or, if you rather have a smaller prize value, run something more consistently like a weekly or monthly giveaway.

After you decide on the prize, when you’re going to run the campaign, and how long you’ll run it for, you need to start planning how you’re going to promote it and what the logistics are. As of August 2013, Facebook changed their contest terms so you can now run a contest or sweepstake directly on your Timeline, without using a third-party application like Woobox.com or NorthSocial.com.

This is a plus for small businesses because it’s now easier to run contests on your Facebook page; however the biggest benefit of using an application to run a Facebook contest is it collects email addresses, and email marketing is still one of the best ways to increase sales. Preferably use an application to run your contest, but if you don’t know how or are looking to do something quickly, legally you can just post something on your Timeline.

Typically Facebook contest rules are like this:

  • Like us on Facebook
  • Like this status update (try to make it a photo) and/or tell us why you want to win
  • We’ll pick the winner by random and announce on (day) {day}

You can also promote your contest on Facebook, but host it at your kiosk where people have to come to you and fill out a piece of paper or scan a QR Code to win. This helps generate foot traffic and gives you the chance to talk to them face-to-face.

4. Partner with mall management or other kiosks. Most likely the mall itself has a Facebook page. If so, try to work with them in two ways.

1.) Like their Facebook with your page and like/comment on some of their posts each week, this is considered “social media networking” which most businesses don’t do. Most businesses just post to their page and never have a conversation with other pages.

However, don’t just comment to comment; actually add in helpful or meaningful comments like, “Great weekend ideas! We’d add seeing (band name) play live at the (venue), it sounds like a great show!” or “We had no idea about this, thanks for the heads up!” Try to avoid things like “Cool” “Thanks” “Good post” and add something of substance. When you add a comment onto the mall’s page, you’re helping their engagement score (“Talking About” score) and you’re gaining exposure to their Likes who see/like/comment on that post.

2.) When you run a contest or giveaway on your Facebook page, tell the mall management a few weeks in advance and see if there is any way they can promote your contest too. Typically they’re looking for content to share on their page, and if you can write some posts for them to share, you’ll save them time on finding and writing these updates. Plus, the more people who enter to win your contest the more exposure for the mall!

Take it a step further and try to partner with the mall on a contest, or partner with other kiosks and do a Scavenger Hunt or Cart Crawl where to enter to win, people must go to each cart (provide them a list of participating carts and their location) and complete a scavenger hunt. Design a custom graphic for a contest like this and ask the mall and all participating carts to post at their cart, and on their Facebook pages.

5. Use Facebook Graph Search. Finally, Graph Search is a great tool to find out more about your likes so you can post information on your Facebook page that is interesting to customers, which will make them like, comment and/or share. Plus, using Graph Search is a great way to stay competitive.

If you’re not clear about what Graph Search is, it’s Facebook’s internal search engine which uses information gathered from users, their network of friends and supplementary information supplied by Bing. Graph Search provides personalized search results for each individual user.

Try these two graph search examples below to see how it works and to understand the type of data you can find.

In the Facebook search bar enter:

Pages liked by people who like The Promenade Temecula (or enter your local mall)

You’ll see results like the city page, the Temecula Patch page (a local resource which is great for local retailers!) and some other businesses like wineries and the library. These are pages that, if you had a cart inside the Temecula mall, you could like, and network with by leaving comments and sharing their content.

Now try entering Interested liked by people who like Promenade Temecula (or enter your local mall)

You’ll find results of the things people who like the Promenade Temecula Facebook page like doing, which can give you ideas of what to talk about on your Facebook page, to be relatable and participate in (and start!) the conversation.

example-of-graph-search-copy

Crystal Vilkaitis

Crystal Vilkaitis is the owner of Crystal Media, a company dedicated to helping independent retailers market online. Vilkaitis started Social Edge, an online membership group exclusive to retailers looking to gain an edge over competition using online tools. For more information visit crystalmedia.co.
Publications of ICSC

1221 Avenue of the Americas, 41st Floor
New York, NY 10020
Phone: 781.709.2420
Fax: 781.829.1042

© 2000-2017 International Council of Shopping Centers

DRIVE business.
Make MONEY.
Find UNIQUE concepts.
DISCOVER hot products.