Contrary to popular belief, social media isn’t really about the platforms. In other words, it’s not about whether or not you have a profile on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
In all honesty, not every shopping centre should be on Facebook. Choose platforms according to your target audience, not popularity of platforms.
Shopping centres relatively have low engagement rates on social media (usually around 2–4 likes per post), and this is because most centres share the same content on their platforms. It becomes redundant. Marketing Managers (and agencies) that can create truly unique content around their centres will win at this social media game.
A content-centric approach to social media marketing is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
The thing about social media content is that it stems from the overall strategy for the shopping centre. In example, one of the strategies for one of our clients — Sammy Marks Square — was to create a co-working space, called The Hub, for the entrepreneurial demographic of the audience. The content around The Hub has created a new narrative around the centre. This is seen in the 27 523 people (organic engagement) that engaged with the content on Facebook, between March and April 2018.
So dear Shopping Centre Marketing Manager, to build a truly solid content strategy, I suggest you look at the following:
- Think long-term with your marketing initiatives, for e.g. The Hub @ Sammy Marks. Once-off campaigns do not give people a reason to visit your centre. The advantage of longevity in initiatives is in the building of a new narrative around your centre. People do not visit shopping centres for shopping exclusively; figure out what the other reasons are and build spaces and initiatives around that.
- Link the overall strategy with your social media. Social media shouldn’t just be about sharing tenant content, but consider that your centre’s brand is equally as important and this is where social media can help.
- Lastly, content must be conversational. It must talk to the less-obvious needs of your audience. And STOP using stock imagery; invest in photography and show off your centre.
I hope this has given you something to think about.
Yours in Good Marketing
Lebogang Mokubela, CEO — Lemok Agency