Blog: Internet grows the high street star
Social media plays an important role in supporting retailers by driving footfall and ultimately increasing sales.
It isn’t a case of the internet destroying retail; the businesses that use it effectively can create interest and build a relationship with customers.
Social media is fundamentally changing the rules of doing business.
At the Chesterfield Investment Summit, Polly Barnfield OBE from tech company Maybe* said: “Social media is fundamentally changing the rules of doing business. It’s not a question of a business being online or offline anymore – they must be both. There has been a huge shift in human behaviour over the last 15 years driven by social media. For the first time ever, people now spend more time on their mobile phone than watching TV.”
Social Media from businesses shouldn’t just be me, me me!
As someone who encourages people to promote their place, it was great to hear Polly reinforce the view that activity on social media from businesses shouldn’t just be me, me, me!
Polly urged retailers not to focus on selling themselves on social media. “Engagement with the community around you is key. You can’t just sell your own product on social media if you want to be successful. Retailers should post on social media every day and talk to their audience not just about what is happening in their business, but what is happening around them.”
Since Maybe* has been working with Vicar Lane Shopping Centre in Chesterfield, footfall has increased by 29%. Through social media, the centre is interacting with its customers, asking them what they want and developing new events and facilities based on feedback. It is not surprising that giving customers more of what they want keeps them coming back.
As a marketeer who has worked with social media for many years, I find it amazing how many people forget where these sites came from. The clue is in the title! They are all about social engagement and for conversations, not for shouting views or asking customers to buy. It’s about engaging, listening, building relationships and creating a community.
Social media is the modern form of word of mouth and with everyone’s support, we can all play a role to engage with local businesses and share Chesterfield’s story far and wide.
Case Studies from Chesterfield business
We have some excellent case studies of businesses in Chesterfield, which are using social media to grow:
“We use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitch live streaming to showcase our products and tournaments. This has led to us increase our national and international sales. We have recently sent our 3D printed miniatures across Europe, China, and the USA.”
“By posting on social media it’s a constant reminder to customers that we are here and keeps the business in the front of their minds. The more independent retailers within the town that use social media to promote local activities, the more it benefits all the other companies and shops. We are big on supporting each other.”
Laura Jo Owen
“We’re active on most major social platforms, but customers prefer to contact us via Facebook and Instagram. Jewellery lends itself to image-based platforms and our customers can browse, ask questions, buy jewellery and have it delivered all from the comfort of their mobile phone. Join us @adornchesterfield”
“As a town centre furniture retailer we have found that using social media campaigns have been vital in successfully promoting our business. It is also a great opportunity for our customers to visit Chesterfield, supporting the town centre by creating awareness and driving footfall, which helps increase both local and visitor spend.”
Edge Events Management Ltd (organiser of The Chesterfield Food & Drink Festival)
“Social media is key to a thriving town centre, particularly where the generational shift is concerned. Almost every person owns a mobile phone, which is a direct link for companies to the individual. We have found that traditional advertising methods, like posters and magazine adverts are almost obsolete.”
Etienne Curtains & Blinds
“I only recently started using social media to promote my business, but already I can see it is a great way to reach out to customers and potential new customers by getting them to follow you, and it’s absolutely free. My advice – grow your audience to grow your business.”
Please do give the Destination Chesterfield social media channels a follow and engage with us.
You can follow or use the following hashtags across all social media channels.
#lovechesterfield – positive posts about the town
#chesterfieldnews – local news
#chesterfieldevents – local events
#shopchesterfield – Shopping in Chesterfield
#eatchesterfield – Food and Drink in Chesterfield