There are many reasons to join social networks. Maybe you want to connect with old friends or simply interact with people who share your passions. Regardless of the motivation, new users are flocking to social networks by the millions. As of November 2013, Facebook has 1.19 billion users and Twitter boasts more than 500 million accounts.
While interaction on social networks has increased rapidly, shopping centers have joined the conversation. The Garden State Plaza, in Paramus NJ, boasts more than 105,000 likes on Facebook and 3,300 Twitter followers. Water Tower Place, located in Chicago, has 45,000 Facebook likes and 2,600 Twitter followers.
What makes social media a valuable marketing tool for malls?
They can connect with shoppers 24/7. Shopping centers can deliver messages to their best customers on a regular basis. A Facebook post about Santa coming to town or a store having a big sale will reach shoppers whether they are in your mall or at their home.
On Twitter, users will re-tweet news of a store’s grand opening to all of their followers. During the holiday season, parents will share pictures of their children with Santa and shoppers will post pictures of magnificent holiday décor that fills shopping centers with the spirit of the season.
— Amanda Alampi (@AAlampi) November 10, 2012
There are even more ways malls realize value from social media interactions. Many users include hashtags (#) when they post pictures or comments about the mall. With hashtags, malls can gather feedback and look for ways to improve the shopper experience. Additionally, social media gives shopping centers a digital presence and an opportunity to reach customers before they click “ship” when shopping online.
Smartphones have become ubiquitous and people, young and old, use social networks to stay connected. As technology evolves, shopping centers will continue to find valuable reasons to connect with their customers on social networks.