Four ways to Connect with your Social Media Followers Offline

March 6 2017

Social media management can be time consuming and expensive. For many the real value isn’t something they can clearly see. If your goal is to turn likes into more bricks and mortar customers, or you want to get a sense of a return on your investment, consider these ideas.

1. Exclusive Offers:

Typically, your social media followers are already customers. However, they may have not returned to your brick-and-mortar location in some time. Now, you have the opportunity to invite and reward your followers with special savings or an exclusive event. You can target offers to your ideal audience through Facebook’s exclusive offer program. For example you can send a special offer invite to new online customers that have not checked in at your store, people who have not interacted with your business online, or brand advocates who have recently visited your location and checked in.

Once you determine the followers you want to target, send them a special code or coupon to use in your brick-and-mortar location. This will allow you to track what traffic has come from your social media pages. You can also offer a special sale to all of your followers or encourage people to connect with your social media pages while in the store for additional offers and extra savings. The old “blue light special” is having a rebirth on social media. Exclusive offers generate business and are easily tracked with analytics.

2. Host a Tweetup

A tweetup is a social gathering of people exclusively organized on Twitter. Now that mobile devices are more prevalent, the power to stay connected is in the hands of your customers. Tweetups can be somewhat difficult to organize, but with a strong Twitter following they can be very effective. You need to give your followers a reason to stop at your location with a special event. Take advantage of the mobile world when you are making changes to your store, expanding or offering new products.

A tweetup will require you to host an offline event with clear times and offers at your store. We suggest inviting as many customers and prospects as possible to this event and do most of your outreach on Twitter. You can also offer exclusive savings codes, prizes or rewards for your Twitter followers. During the event encourage customers to connect on Twitter, tweet about the event and use a specific hashtag. Use of an event specific hashtag may result in your event or business trending on twitter. You will be able to record how many people were interacting on Twitter during the tweetup, and the special offers will allow you to track how your tweetup translates to sales.

3. Giveaways

Social media giveaway contests are great ways to get customers to interact with your website and social media pages. When you offer a prize that is redeemable in your physical store, then your social media followers will start to walk through your doors. There are endless contest opportunities that you can implement across social media platforms. We suggest special offerings to a follower that hits on a landmark number, for example your 500th Twitter follower. You also want to encourage your followers to hashtag, mention or check in at your business entry into a raffle. This will help your search engine optimization, get your business more impressions on social media, and get more people at your location. Social media followers love to get involved, ask them for feedback and offer prizes for innovative ideas and suggestions. This will improve your customer experience and increase social media involvement. Our final suggestion is to offer a photo contest featuring your products. This will allow people to see how your goods can fit into their everyday life and will encourage them to buy.

Tracking interactions on these can be set if they are done through the site, or you can compute the number of entries to see the impact. Then mark your prizes so you know when they are redeemed at your location. Then you can tell if the promotion worked or needs to be updated. Make sure that you review the rules and restrictions for each social media platform before you begin any contest or giveaway.

4. Support Local Events/Non-Profits

Connect with a favorite, local non-profit and show your support for their cause. Connecting with like-minded individuals in your neighborhood through their social media followers, while doing positive things in the town you call home is priceless. When you connect with non-profits at events, through volunteer work, or by donating offline, make sure to connect on social media. Tag the nonprofit in a shout out on your social media outlets. They are more than likely going to appreciate and reciprocate the gesture. Tracking sales or visitors to your location through your connections may be difficult, but your commitment to your community will be noticed.

Social media followers are typically your biggest brand advocates. Keep them engaged, connected and excite them online to engage with your company offline.

By Stevens Strategic Communications, Inc.

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