Social media and digital signage are more alike than they might seem: both are designed to engage with customers, both offer channels for personalized communication and both can be integrated with each other to improve the experience of customers in your business.
If you have to ask, you’re way behind. Recent projections show that by 2018, the number of social media users around the world will total 2.67 billion, mostly spread across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Until the advent of affordable digital signage solutions, customers were previously relegated to social media engagement on laptops and mobile devices. Now, with high-impact digital signage solutions becoming the marketing standard, brands can share content and interact with customers on on-site digital displays at their locations where the customer is most engaged with the brand.
Social media is where your customers are. It’s where they live, work, and play. Any attempt to reach customers in the era of digital marketing must have a social media component. What’s more, your customers expect it. With so many users and brands on social media, any business without it comes across as out of touch and behind the times.
The benefits of social media visibility aren’t just limited to brand exposure. Active social media accounts improve the perception of your brand. Think about the last time you looked at a brand’s website with dead links and outdated content. Chances are, you didn’t leave with a positive perception of that brand. A dried-up online presence may be even worse than no presence at all. Incorporating social media and digital signage shows customers that your brand is buzzing and has plenty to talk about.
Marrying social media and digital signage is about more than just integrating of physical and digital marketing; it’s a fast-paced way to promote user participation and generate excitement for your brand.
When users are waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for appointments at their local clinic, or are stuck in the hotel lobby until their check-in time, they’re hungry for diversions to distract them. Businesses that maintain live digital feeds of their social media page not only engage these customers but encourage them to interact with the brand more directly. Customers love seeing their thoughts put up in the limelight, and they’ll jump at the chance to interact with a brand they like in exchange for a few minutes of fame on your digital video wall.
Businesses should consider live social media feeds as a new type of call-to-action. Customers love voicing their opinions but often need prodding to do so. Many customers won’t feel compelled to share their views unless they’re given an opening, which is where social media and digital signage comes into play. By making it easy for them to share their thoughts and shining a public spotlight on those who do, business owners gain more value-driving customer engagement and feedback than would ever be possible otherwise.
The benefits of incorporating social media and digital signage are clear:
To achieve these benefits, businesses need to strategically incorporate each aspect of their social media feeds into their digital screens. This can be done in a variety of ways, but strategies will ideally be based on the concepts important to your brand: customer interaction, education, and brand authority.
User-generated content is a growing trend because of its low cost, the trust factor and availability. It’s easily one of the biggest advantages of integrating social media and digital signage. Rather than spending money generating fresh content in-house, social media feeds provide a never-ending stream of material that users never tire of reading.
Consider integrating Twitter feeds into your digital signage. Twitter’s short-form content is ideal for idle audiences with a few minutes to spare, and chances are, anybody posting with your brand hashtag will be discussing recent promotions, offers, or special deals you have going. Plus, there’s no worry of “advertisement fatigue” or a lack of consumer trust in your message—social media posts are trusted by readers and are an authentic way of showcasing your brand.
But social media feeds aren’t just about raising awareness or giving customers a voice—they’re effective ways to draw attention to other initiatives you want to promote. By encouraging social media participation and showing user posts on each of your location’s signage screens, you’re making it more likely that users will stay engaged with your content. This opens new possibilities for exposing them to other advertisements, which they may have otherwise avoided.
According to a recent study, one in three of your customers turn to your brand Facebook page to ask product questions. This tells us two things: (1) Your social media page doubles as an information hub, (2) You have a wealth of informational Q&A-style content available at your disposal.
Look through your old posts and find common questions asked about your business. Cycle these questions on your social media walls to give users a dynamic FAQ about your products or service before they ever speak to one of your representatives. Not only is this helpful for them, but it proves that your business knows its stuff—and is willing to share the knowledge with anyone who asks.
Whether posted via digital signage or not, social media comes equipped with plenty of built-in feedback tools that brands can use to track content performance. These include likes, shares, impressions, and more. Use your digital signage and social media feeds to test each piece of content and then build strategies that take advantage of your top performing material.
Digital signage is still a relatively young solution in the traditional advertising world; as such, many businesses have yet to understand the value it can provide. Social media is just one of the many ways a business can expand its influence through digital signage, but as time goes on, more and more companies will begin to catch on to its benefits. Business owners looking to get a leg up on the competition must start their integration as soon as possible and explore the benefits of social media and digital signage as a true point of competitive advantage.