In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Changescape Web is featured as one of the Top Duct Tape Marketing Consultants. Check out their profile here.

For brick and mortar businesses, social media marketing can be a very cost-effective marketing tactic, especially when you have a strategy that includes user-generated content.

Some of the top ways to use social media if you are a brick and mortar business include:

  • User-Generated Content
  • Online reviews and recommendations
  • Capitalizing on your physical space at your location
  • Doing visual posts (both images and videos)
  • Leveraging ads to expand your reach on social

User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is when a social media user other than an employee posts about the business. This can be when someone posts a picture at your restaurant, tags your location on Facebook or Instagram, or when someone uses a hashtag on Instagram or Twitter.

One of the best ways to generate UGC is to run photo contest! Users can enter via a hashtag on Instagram or Twitter, or post directly to your Facebook! You specify that your business retains the right to use any of the images, so you gain future repostable content as well!

A great example of a well-done photo contest is StickerYou. By requesting that users submit pictures bearing their logo in interesting places, they not only were able to generate significant buzz, but also improve their brand awareness at the same time!

Getting Reviews and Recommendations

Brick and mortar businesses have a prime opportunity to be found by “near me” type searches, so facilitating a strong review process can be extremely important in helping a business show up on the Google Map results. Recommendations on Facebook can also be very important as they create strong trust signals to potential customers.

Use the Physical Space of Your Business

You pay good money for your physical space, why not use it to help promote social media? You could use a mural, have a selfie station, post signs with hashtags to use in key locations, or have an ambiance that justs asks customers to post. Make it super easy for people to help your business with their posts: train staff to ask and use signage and printed materials like menus or receipts to post, promote with your hashtags, and to encourage people to follow you.

Visual Content Gets Engagement

If you want to get the best engagement on social media use visual posts. Videos perform the best, but product demos, photos of your store, products, and employees do well too. Posting memes and inspirational quotes also tend to get good engagement, but make sure they are relevant to your business.

Instagram has become a marketing powerhouse, and it’s ideal for brick and mortar businesses. Because it’s a visual platform, engagement rates are stronger than Facebook and Twitter.

Consider Social Media Ads to Increase Reach and Engagement

Even if your social media content is getting good engagement, you are still missing the overwhelming majoring of your target market. Social media ads, especially Facebook and Instagram ads can take advantage of powerful, cost effective targeting.

As an example, if you have a restaurant or a boutique, spa, etc, you can do a simple boosted post with a special of the day or a weekly offer. Since you are most likely going to target people near your location, just spending a few dollars a day can dramatically improve your reach to your ideal target customers.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget Pinterest

For some businesses, Pinterest can be a real game-changer for marketing. Since it’s a visual platform engagement rates can be strong. Pinterest has always historically been a strong source of referral traffic to your website too.

Put these social media tips in action!

Social media marketing is a key for most brick and mortar businesses. Try these recommendations and let us know how they work for your brick and mortar business!

Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker is the Owner and Chief Marketing Strategist of Changescape Web, a digital marketing agency based in St. Louis. He has written a couple of marketing books available on Amazon and has a new book due out this fall. Ken has served on the Board of Directors for a couple of local chambers, and current serves on the Board for MADCO.