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  • Writer's pictureBryt Communications

How Social Media Marketing Can Help You, Even Without an Online Store

Don’t second-guess promoting your business on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram just because you only have a brick-and-mortar store. Working with a social media marketing agency will bring you customers even if you don’t sell anything online.

Social drives sales — of any kind

A new study from Vision Critical reveals that social media drives “roughly equal amounts of online and in-store sales.” As the numbers show, 4 out of 10 of Facebook users go from liking, sharing, or commenting on an item in their feeds to buying it. Of these users, 30% physically go to a shop to make the purchase, and 29% finalize it online. Figures for Twitter, though lower, indicate the same behavior at 17% and 18%, respectively.

Another report from Salesforce echoes Vision Critical’s study. It notes that 58% of millenials, the world’s most tech-savvy demographic, prefer shopping in-store because of the overall experience they get in one. However, 60% ultimately determine which store to visit only after an online search.

As Salesforce puts it, social drives sales as “an introducer, but not a closer.”

Online complements offline

How exactly can you use social to introduce people to your brick-and-mortar? Outside of generating online buzz and leveraging recommendations, there are several ways your social media marketing agency can help you do this.

Tell social media followers to go to the store

Invite people to your store by teasing them with what they can browse and buy there. While advertising your catalog is always a must, you don’t have to do just that.

Up the ante by offering daily or weekly specials, such as menu items for food businesses or in-store discounts and freebies for other retailers. These help nudge people to drop by with urgency (and an added sense of benefit!), and even come back regularly.

Run promos that people can access only through social media

Promos that people can take advantage of only through social media will also help bring people to your shop.

For example, there may be people interested in your brand who follow you on a social platform, but have yet to make a purchase in-store. You can draw them in by offering perks as long as they present proof of following you: their name on your friends list, a like, or a share. It’s a win-win situation: they get a freebie other customers don’t, and you finally get a transaction from a long-time follower.

Running a contest on Instagram—such as asking participants to feature your products or store in their photos or stories—also gives you extra mileage while your customers enjoy the prizes.

If any promo you conceive gets you new followers, that’s obviously a plus.

Put faces to your names

Remember that people like going to physical stores because of the overall experience: they get to touch and test things, and discuss products with flesh-and-blood vendors instead of a webpage.

Feature yourself and your co-workers on social media, and you may find more customers walking eagerly through your doors. Putting faces to your names makes your brick-and-mortar more approachable with the promise of a genuine, personalized experience.

After shopping at your branch, customers may even further warm up to future interactions on social media. They’ll know that one of you is speaking through the account, not some anonymous handler. The benefits, again, are there for you.

Harnessing social media for your brick-and-mortar can take many more approaches. Consult your content marketer to decide on the most creative and effective ones for you.

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