Regardless of your perspective on whether it’s a positive or a negative, social media has made an enormous impact on our lives. Up until fairly recently advertisers were much more interested in the impacts of TV, radio and billboard campaigning rather than what people saw about their brand on the internet.
One way to highlight the absolutely massive shift in advertising priority is to look at the fact that in just 10 years Facebook’s revenue has grown from $280 million to an enormous $5.5 billion, with the vast majority of the income coming from advertising revenue.
Between Google and Facebook, they currently generate nearly 40% of global online advertising revenue, making $52 billion this year alone, with Amazon closing that gap year-on-year as retailers start to spend more promoting their products.
That being said, one interesting phenomenon that’s become notable in the past 18 months is the rise of Instagram as an advertising platform, and the power of images and videos in advertising and marketing.
So how can you make the most of social media without spending a fortune? It’s a question that almost every retailer wants to make the most of, and we’re going to share a few tips with you today to ensure you’re making the most of your online presence.
One important thing that many high street retailers, bars, restaurants and shops are understanding is the power of the picture. Put in simple terms, are there displays or areas of your retail space where you could imagine customers taking a picture and posting it to their social media? Tagging friends?
If you take the time to walk around most shops now they’ll often have been kitted out with colourful or interesting displays. Think bath tubs in bars, giant sweet and candy displays, generic words in lights against dark walls.
In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of almost all bars and clubs having words lit up against dark walls now is that the lighting is generally recognised as being ideal for taking selfies and group photos for social media.
These types of changes can be made at little expense and with not too much time invested. Ideally, most retail spaces get customer feedback through surveys and focus groups, and then rearrange their displays and retail space accordingly.
For your shop or retail area, a day spent surveying your customers about what they’d like to see could lead to massive improvements and a space that could easily become ‘Instagrammable’.
Another trend that has hit the mainstream in the last few years is retailers offering their customers discounts or even free stock to follow them on social media or repost their content. It’s not unusual to see candy retailers offering free products to customers, and stalls at festivals offering discounted merchandise in return for customers following and interacting with them.
The result of these incentives and promotions is that by extension they look busy and popular to customers. You probably don’t need me to tell you the power of recommendations from friends in the advertising and marketing world, in that they’re worth their weight in gold.
Charities, for example, estimate that one single share of their posts on social media can increase donations by up to 10%, such is the exposure from a single share. If a retailer has some stock they can afford to give away then the potential returns on social media can far outweigh any cost to you.
TripAdvisor now, for example, hold an absolutely massive sway over the reputation of restaurants and café’s across the country, to the extent that many have threatened to sue the company for false or misleading reviews which can impact their revenues.
For your business, you don’t necessarily have to spend lots of money to get exposure across social media, some simple rearrangements in your retail space or an incentive for people to interact with you on social media could have a huge impact.