Social Media and Inbound Marketing for Retail. An Overview for Resort Shopping Centers

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1 Social Media and Inbound Marketing for Retail An Overview for Resort Shopping Centers

2 Unique challenges for retail stores and restaurants. For high-ticket items customers may think that it requires them to make a long-term sacrifice. Stress the benefits of the product that make it worth it. Smaller stores must compete against larger, wellknown stores. Focus on your unique offerings and service that larger stores can t offer. There are many restaurants and retailers competing for the visitors attention and dollars. Be clear who your target audience is and supply what they want. Promote in a way that appeals to them.

3 Unique challenges in a resort area. Every week new visitors come to the resort and leave. Your challenge is to make an impression that ensures that they include your establishment in their plans. More reliant on new customers than on local repeat customers. Be sure to build positive relationships with local customer base. They do make referrals. More need to presell before visitors arrive. Provide online information that ranks well in the search engines. Less brand recognition. Build a strong brand with consistency and credibility.

4 Why the need for social media and inbound marketing? Many people plan activities, dining, and shopping in advance Visitors use their smart phones to search for information and directions when on the road Resort environments have repeat visitors Reviews on directories are used as a decision-making tool

5 Where to start? Have a mobile-ready website Get listed on free online directories Establish the most obvious links to your website

6 Are you mobile ready? 31% of adults now own a smart phone, up 13% from For those under 35 it s as high as 48% in that age group. (Technology Tracker) Convert your standard HTML site to a mobile-ready format Ensure readability across all platforms and devices Include blogs, newsletters and landing pages

7 Claim your business listing with online directories. Utilize free directories even without having a website. 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Get found. Highlight strengths. Get customers. Add detailed business description, products, services, photos, videos, special offers, maps, payment methods, hours, links. Google Places Yahoo! Local Bing Yelp Local.com

8 Download our free guide to claim your listings. Our worksheet will help you organize all of your information BEFORE you start claiming your online listings. Helps keep all of your pertinent information in one place for easy reference and updating Saves you time and eliminates having to revisit directories to add information

9 Basic links make it easy for people to get more information. Links back to your website (back links) from relevant sites using targeted keywords in the text will have an impact on your ranking in the search engines. Don t overlook the obvious sites to link back to yours. Shopping center and resort websites Franchise sites Corporate brand sites Blog articles

10 Next steps after the basics. Developing a long-term social media and inbound marketing strategy to attract your ideal customers will increase your organic traffic over time. Some things to consider when creating your strategy: Resources time, talent and money Tactics which are best suited to promoting your products or services online. Targeted audience who are they, what do they like to do and where do they hang out online

11 Why start a blog? Search engines use content to determine whether your site is worthy being ranked high in the search engines, and therefore sending traffic. Relevant, keyword-rich content with photos and links are best. Inbound marketing is the most cost effective way to attract new customers. Blogs improve your search engine ranking by adding new keywords and pages to your site. They provide valuable, relevant information for your target audience, increasing traffic to your site. It s an opportunity to build relationships with your audience, to comment and give feedback.

12 Best practices for blogging. Write about relevant topics your audience will find interesting and useful words. Select a topic that is focused on one keyword phrase that your customer is most likely to search with. Add a relevant image to grab attention of visitors. End with a call to action offer. Add keyword-rich anchor text links and make important text bold. Publish consistently, at least once a week. Twice is better.

13 Topics for blogging Write about your products/services What s unique about them Where and how they are produced Why the product/service is important How to use the products Provide tips Fashion tips Local produce descriptions and recipes Gift recommendations Provide news and information not advertisements

14 Building a community with social media. Create a platform that encourages and acknowledges people s participation. Invite your community to comment and share. It is the one way to differentiate the customers shopping experience (24/7) from their buying experience. Use it for instant communication with customers and to provide free, useful content. Facebook Twitter YouTube Foursquare

15 Facebook business page builds brand loyalty. Facebook is a social utility for connecting people with those around them. Over 50 million active users, more than two-thirds are outside of college. Use it to engage prospects and customers where they live (online) to increase foot traffic to your store and to grow your business. Ideal for promoting other content you create, including blog articles, videos and photos.

16 Facebook best practices. Create a business page separate from your personal profile. Brand your business page with a customized profile image. Build a compelling landing page to increase your Facebook fan base. Make posts as your business not personal profile. Connect with friends and join networks. Promote your page on your marketing materials.

17 What to post on Facebook? Post a lunch special or sale item, complete with a photo. Ask your fans for suggestions on what they d like to see. Ask patrons to share their experiences. Make compliments or thank people Feature a new product every day and say what s unique about it. Offer exclusive fan only coupons. Make an announcement on slow days for walk-ins who mention they saw it on Facebook.

18 Compelling reasons to use Twitter. Twitter is a social networking service that answers the question, What are you doing? in text messages of 140 characters or less, called tweets, sent to your friends or followers. Use for customer feedback and customer service. To answer questions and update customers. Learn what customers like and don t like. Post other content you create such as blog articles and Facebook posts.

19 Twitter best practices. Reinforce your brand by customizing your page. Use the advanced search to locate people within a certain mile radius along with another keyword. Follow those that appear to be your kind of customer. A number of them will follow you in return. Build trust by listening and responding. Spend time finding and building your audience locally first. Reward followers with updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals.

20 Add YouTube to your marketing to connect visually. Even if you don t make your own videos you can include YouTube in your social media mix. Commenting and sharing others videos or creating playlists and favorites. Embed videos into content you create. Manufacturers often have videos you can use to enhance the visitor experience. Create your own short (under 3 minutes) instructional videos about your products or services to build rapport with your market.

21 Foursquare rewards returning customers. Location-based apps are used by lots of people. When they check in to a place they let their friends know where they are, and it s shared on Facebook and Twitter too. Presents an opportunity to reach out to your customer base and reward them without having to stamp a frequent customer card. Good for marketing high traffic location based businesses such as restaurants and retail stores. Use for customer loyalty programs, first-time offers for new customers, and to leverage word-of-mouth marketing.

22 Additional tools to build your customer base. There are all kinds of tools, applications, and services available to help you attract new customers or reward existing clients. Sweepstakes Fan promotions Pay-per-click advertising QR codes

23 Sweepstakes build lists for lead nurturing. In exchange for leaving their name and address prospects have a chance to win something of value to them. Sweepstakes are an excellent way to build your list. Online sweepstakes that use applications specifically designed for Facebook are easy to use and collect names and addresses to then use for leadnurturing campaigns. Traditional in-store offline sweepstakes also build mailing lists but have to be input manually. Use sweepstakes to keep your brand top of mind.

24 Facebook fan promotions reward loyalty. Promotions offered for fans only encourage people to like your page. They don t receive the discount code or coupon unless they like your page first. Applications are available to make the process easy. Special offers make fans feel special. Keeps your audience coming back so they don t miss upcoming promotions. Attracts more fans when shared with their friends.

25 Pay-per-click advertising attracts traffic quickly. While social media builds organic traffic slowly over time, PPC advertising attracts traffic immediately when using the right keywords to reach your target audience. Google AdWords aims to provide the most effective advertising available for businesses by precisely choosing the audience you want to reach. Combined with an SEO strategy you can immediately improve your rank in the search engines. Facebook ads can be targeted to very specific market segments. Once they like your page it is shared with their other friends.

26 QR Codes add flexibility to marketing campaigns. QR Codes (quick response or 2d barcodes) eliminate one of the biggest problems with print advertising outdated information. With the codes linking directly to web pages the details can be updated and even be connected to multiple promotions. Customers can simply use their smart phone to scan the code which links them to your landing page. Use QR Codes for: In-store product Contact information information Special promotions in lead-nurturing s Advertising and brochures Text messages with promo codes.

27 In summary... There are many options available for inbound marketing and social media marketing...more than most small business can handle alone. Before jumping in, take a few minutes to plan your strategy. Define your target audience Create content that is of interest to them Decide what tactics/channels will work best to reach them Promote that content in multiple channels

28 Need more information? Download our guide, Create Your Own Digital Word of Mouth, to get more information about how to use social media in your business. You will find: Information about additional social media channels More tactics to promote your business Links to valuable resources

29 Would you like to speak with someone? Hafner Creative Communications is a dream come true for small and medium-sized businesses looking for savvy and creative marketing assistance. Located on the Island of Hawaii, Hafner Creative Communications assists customers in Hawaii and beyond using a virtual office business model. It offers strategic consulting for traditional and inbound marketing services to business customers in Hawaii and beyond. We invite you to call us with your questions at

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