Engage Customers through Social Media While In-Store

As Location Marketing gains steam through tools like Foursquare, SCVNGR, and Facebook Places small business owners would be wise to begin developing marketing tactics designed to engage customers while in-store. When customers are in your store you have them at Peak Attention in terms of their interest in your business. With most customers being able to access the internet from anywhere with their mobile smart phones, small business owners can engage customers through Social Media while they are at Peak Attention in-store. Now, this doesn’t mean your sales associates should ignore customers while in-store, it simply means a combined approach is now possible at a time when customers are most likely to make a purchase… By engaging customers through Social Media while they are in your store you have the ability to make a big-time impact on their purchase decision.

In-Store Social Media Promotion Ideas

In-Store Peak Customer AttentionWhen it comes to developing ideas for creative social media marketing promotions many small business owners struggle. The biggest things to keep in mind when trying to come up with creative ideas for in-store social media promotions are to keep the tactics relevant to your audience, be creative, and offer something of value in exchange for a desired action from you customers. By keeping these three things in mind, it will be much easier to come up with creative in-store social media promotions for your small business.

Here are a few in-store social media promotion ideas to get you started (these are generic ideas, which should be tailored to your small business and can even be “kicked up a notch” if you so desire):

  • Twitter Picture Contest: With mobile applications like TweetDeck, combined with mobile smart phones, customers now have the ability to instantly snap pictures with their phone & tweet them to their followers. Small businesses should leverage tools like mobile smart phones, Twitter, & TweetDeck to create a Twitter Picture Contest where customers can snap a picture of their favorite product in-store, tweet it, and receive a discount on their purchase.
  • Leave a foursquare Tip: We have written about the power of foursquare Tips for small business owners on the Catalyst blog in the past. Foursquare is a great tool for capturing customers attention while in-store. You can run a contest where every customer who checks-in at your venue on foursquare and leaves a tip will be entered into a weekly or monthly drawing for a gift certificate or another great prize. Although this promotion isn’t directly geared towards influencing a sale, it will engage customers and help you build brand loyalty. If the winner receives a $25 gift certificate, it’s likely that he or she will spend more than that the next time they come in, so it actually may indirectly impact sales.
  • Video Record Your Shopping Experience: Just like most of us have the ability to take pictures with our mobile smart phones, many have the ability to record video as well. Small business owners should leverage this by developing an in-store video marketing promotion. Small Business owners can ask customers to record their entire shopping experience and publish the video to their small business Facebook page. Each customer who participates will receive a coupon towards their purchase.

Benefits to Running In-Store Social Media Promotions

By taking advantage of one of the in-store social media promotion ideas above, or by coming up with your own in-store social media promotion, your small business will benefit a few ways:

  • In-store social media promotions can positively influence purchase decisions, which can lead to increased sales.
  • In-store social media promotions engage customers while they are at Peak Attention, which should increase the number of customers who participate. This activity is great for your social media presence and may entice more prospects to connect with you when they see how many others are actively engaged.
  • In-store social media promotions can build brand loyalty if customers see that you’re trying to provide them with value in a way that’s convenient for them.

2011 Social Media Trend: More In-Store Social Media Promotions

Being that it’s the new year, everyone is seemingly weighing in with their predictions for the upcoming year. Since a wealth of information on social media predictions for 2011 already exists, we’ll keep ours to just this one. Here at Catalyst we are currently working with small business clients on their in-store social media promotions, and we think you’re going to start to see a lot more of it as 2011 presses on. If you’re a small business owner, definitely take some time to consider developing an in-store social media promotion for your small business. We think it will help you drive sales in what looks to be another tough year for the economy.


  1. Excellent point. Stores that have the resources could create a position of Store Ambassador, an individual whose responsibility is to engage via mobile to customers in or near the store and then alert Sales Associates to go in for the close.

  2. Jim –

    I love it! You’re spot on with the Store Ambassador! I think that would be an excellent new position for small businesses. With unemployment where it is, especially with college graduates, small business owners can get great talent for less than they could a few years ago. Small businesses should empower their Ambassadors so these kids feel that autonomy and have the ability to inject that naive creativity into the small business.



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