Give People a Reason to Follow Your Social Media While at the Store

Carnival Stuffed Animals

Social media icons and signs that say “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter” aren’t nearly as common in brick and mortar stores today as they were a couple of years ago. Many companies who tried to make it work (or are still trying) found that the presence of signs didn’t do much to improve their following.

Today, it can be different. Many people use their mobile devices to stay active on social media, much more than they did a couple of years ago, but even with this the old school follow/like signs still won’t work. They can, but not if you don’t give them a reason. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase your following. To do it, you have to make it worth their while.

One car dealership I’ve worked with has found strong success by using the concept in their service department. They’ve gone so far as to give three reasons for people to follow them on Facebook (they aren’t as hip on Twitter yet but I’m trying to get them interested). There’s a sign at the pay counter that says, “Get a 5% discount just for liking our Facebook page.”

In the “small print” under the offer, they write, “We post 4 or 5 times a week and we won’t annoy you with bad jokes or links to our blog. Instead, we post Facebook-only service specials and only the best of the best cars for sale from time to time.”

It works like a charm. Their numbers are constantly rising. Then, the take it a step further with the third incentive in even smaller print below the second line. “If you like us already and still want the 5% discount, just post that you’re here and that you ‘like getting my service done at [dealership name] because _______.”

Signage is the least used effective way to get fans, followers, engagement, and endorsements. These are people who are already doing business with you and if they like the way they’re treated, you should encourage them to let their friends know. It doesn’t have to be a discount. It does have to include a reason. I know one non-dealer that has stuffed animals, the small ones you see at the carnival, stacked on the wall with a sign that says, “Get your kid (or yourself) a stuffed elephant or moose by becoming our Facebook fan.”

Be creative. Be fun. Make a promise about how your social media profile brings value to your followers and then deliver on that promise by making your pages and profiles awesome.

People won’t like or follow you without a reason.

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  1. JD – I stopped on this article because your title made me think.

    Whether it’s in-store, package or online marketing, why haven’t (most) companies figured it out social media?

    For example, I ordered a pepperoni pizza last night from a very popular pizza chain. Being the marketing nerd I am, I gave the box a thorough review and found their social media links on the side. To cut to the chase, it said follow (ABC Pizza) on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. That’s it.

    Let’s be honest, I love (ABC Pizza) but what is my reward for seeking them out to follow? They probably offer deals, contests, etc – but there is no mention of that. So many will move on.

    Why not something simple like…

    Follow us on Twitter for “follower only deals”? or…

    Like us on Facebook for an instant $5 off coupon or whatever…

    So, more or less, if companies don’t offer an “incentive” to communicate with their brand, their social media will suffer. Whether it’s in-store social media promotion or any other way, it comes down to timing and “incentives.”

    Consumers are savvy and aware of what is happening online – they need a REASON.

    Thanks for the article, it makes me think different about social media.


  2. haderach

    Just found this:
    For me it would be interesting to find out how such an app will look like and whether it can have any impact.

  3. Katie Abrams

    This is definitely true when it comes to social media marketing. I see signs all the time when I’m shopping or eating out at a restaurant that tell me to “Like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, but never do I reach my phone out to do it. This post made me realize that the reason I don’t follow or “Like” them is because I’m not getting anything out of it. All I get when I follow different brands is have their posts cluttering up my newsfeed or Twitter feed. It gets annoying and rarely do I ever learn about a sale or an offer that they are having. Brands need to not only provide an incentive and reason for people to follow them on their social media sites, but also make these sites compelling and worthwhile to stay on. They don’t simply want you to follow them to get your deal and then immediately stop following them after you redeem it. Providing an incentive is the first step, but they also need to keep customers engaged thereafter as well.