How can you improve the experience using social media?

We get in and out of shops on a daily basis. Some of them, leave us thinking for good or bad (sometimes even deeply) about that full experience, what the shop did have and didn’t… and many times we instantly come up with great ideas (“If I owned this business I would…”)
This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll walk back to the shop and share the feedback with the manager… but it’d be a great idea next time ๐Ÿ™‚

The following are two recent examples that immediately sparked in my head a cool bunch of social media ideas for business:

Formal Menswear

Two weeks ago, I was looking for a nice suit for my wedding. Since I did not have a strong refference about where to go, I googled a few good spots to visit. First thing I realised isย  how bad all the websites in this trade where. It took me a bit but finally got a nice deal. Over there, the manager told me that they had a lot of their suits & tuxes over at a trade event that day…

Here’re three ideas on how to make your formal menswear business different (and better):

  1. The LIVE experience:ย  That day, the shop and the stand over at the trade show where very busy. Get two webcams and broadcast LIVE what’s going on in both places! Anyone coming in the shop will know that your company is “busy” doing business at an important event (They may even go there to see more!). Over at the trade show, then can see that your shop is “real”.
  2. Build an offline database: Provide the option for people walking in the shop to leave their details (email, Twitter, Facebook) to stay in touch, share great offers and build your online community almost effortless! With this strategy, you’ll realise that a big percentage of your online community are people that have visited your shop already! That is priceless.
  3. How do I look? After trying different suits, do we remember how all of them looked?ย  The simplest way to go about that is to take a few pictures (anyone has a digital camera these days!) and share them later with the prospect/customer. Even further: with the customer’s authorisation, you could share those pics (LIVE would be more interesting) and ask your community which one looked better. This task, could be easily done immediately with a multimedia mobile, uploading content instantly. Many companies struggle to come up with good content. This would take a bit of time (or almost no time from a mobile) and you would be pumping fresh, engaging content everyday to Twitter and your Facebook page!
    You can also go the pro-way with Nedap machines in your store to share how you look

The barber shop

I recently got a voucher for an old style, hot towel shave. Besides mentioning the obvious: it was fantastic!! I walked out of the shop thinking… “there’re so many simple things that could be done”.

Here’re four ideas on how to make your barber shop different (and better):

  1. Build an offline database: Same as the previous example, collect email, Twitter and/or Facebook contacat details. Again, this is one of the easiest ways to strongly develop your community.
  2. How do I look? Why not takingย  “before” and “after” photos? and sending then by email/twitter/Facebookย  with a nice template to your customers? I guarantee you, you’ll get a smile/laugh out of them and very likely, they’ll share it with their friends, colleagues and family. More people than now, will know your barber shop ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, if you take these pics with a multimedia mobile, the effort is almost “zero” and with your customer’s permission, you can share those before/after pics on social networks. I bet you’ll spark some conversations…
  3. Making the slow day, a BIG day: In every shop, there’s a slow day during the week. Here’s the idea: Choose a good topic. A very simple, attractive and interesting one… those that you have with customers while you cut their hair!! Then, invite someone that could really add value to that topic and then, record a 30 minute chat with your customer (with permission of course) while cutting the hair. If you want to video-record it, even better!!! (people can get a taste also of what your shop looks like) You will be creating a series of weekly podcasts “…at the barber”.ย  Not only this approach will make your business unique, it also holds a cool story that could be interesting for great PR!
  4. Share the experience: If your barber shop is already different by offering hot towel shaves for instance, how can you share this story so more people come by or folks like me, feel curious and go for a treat?
    Use the email database and your community on Twitter and Facebook to share pics of your shop in action! Again, with customers’ permission, get those before/after pics up there, share the series of weekly podcast and invite your customers to bring a photo or video camera,ย  in case they want to keep a record of the luxurious treat ๐Ÿ™‚ You will come accross these people…. Have a look

In the following weeks we’ll create a Wiki with social media marketing ideas by business category in which all you can share yours!! Stand by.

In the meantime, what do you think about the above ideas? What would you include?

Best,

Fred

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anything from co-browsing YouTube to playing games, adding funny effects to a live video conference, interacting on Facebook together with your contacts or even shopping for things online together with your friends or family members
Comments ( 10 )
  • sianmaloney says:

    Hi Fred,
    I was in one of my Client's Bar & Bistro in Drogheda – Bru at the weekend and they have a fantastic Social Media campaign where they release a buzzword on Facebook every Friday and people then give them when they arrive at the bar and get a free drink and reduced cocktails. Fantastic idea and great use of social media!!

    Sian x

  • Channelship says:

    Great idea indeed! Thanks for sharing Sian ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Miriam Ahern says:

    I read this blog-post yesterday and it really captured my attention and got me thinking about my own professional services industry – management consulting.

    The strategies you suggest are fantastic for retail businesses Fred. True 'out of the box' thinking. However, I'd like to lay down a challenge to you!

    I am a director of the Institute of Management Consultants and Directors and am also on the committee which facilitates a network of independent consultants within this institute. I would like to pose a question to you with our members in mind:

    Can, and if so how, can professional services businesses (and independent consultants in particular) leverage social media marketing? In many cases the work we do for our clients is confidential. Often-times our 'products' are customised interventions or solutions for particular situations (unlike, say a website, where people can seek out examples of your work). Referrals tend to be based on reputation, relationships and are usually of the 'word-of-mouth' variety. Also many of our clients, particularly those in the public sector, probably would not like to see their names floating around on SM platforms.

    Apart from seizing opportunistic opportunities to share our expertise by answering queries on platforms like Twitter or commenting on blog-posts of interest that pass through our radar-screen how can we pro-actively employ and exploit digital/SM marketing? Given the creative suggestions in this excellent blogpost, I await your response with enormous anticipation!

    PS If you would like to discuss this subject further or if you would like to come and speak at one of our events, please don't hesitate to contact me.

  • Channelship says:

    Thanks for the great comment Miriam,
    We'll dedicate a specific post to this subject and will try to share a few good examples too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Miriam Ahern says:

    I have to confess that I was really hoping that you might be prompted to dedicate a separate blog or video post to this topic. Thank you very much in advance.

    I will direct all of our members to it when it's published. I know that many of our members find this a very challenging topic.

  • bsegovia says:

    hahah! I'm very jealous of this experience (the shave).

    Did you share your improvement ideas with the shop? How did they react?

    (P.S. Your facebook connect on comments is not working for some reason)

  • Channelship says:

    Yeah! ahaha, the shave was brilliant I must say ๐Ÿ™‚
    Did share the content with the shop but I guess they haven't incorporated the idea of “content” and I'm not sure they will any time soon… Anyway, as I showed in the post… the opportunity is there for whoever that wakes up first ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for the heads up on the FB connect man. Will fix it.
    Cheers!!
    F

  • Miriam Ahern says:

    I have to confess that I was really hoping that you might be prompted to dedicate a separate blog or video post to this topic. Thank you very much in advance.

    I will direct all of our members to it when it's published. I know that many of our members find this a very challenging topic.

  • bsegovia says:

    hahah! I'm very jealous of this experience (the shave).

    Did you share your improvement ideas with the shop? How did they react?

    (P.S. Your facebook connect on comments is not working for some reason)

  • Channelship says:

    Yeah! ahaha, the shave was brilliant I must say ๐Ÿ™‚
    Did share the content with the shop but I guess they haven't incorporated the idea of “content” and I'm not sure they will any time soon… Anyway, as I showed in the post… the opportunity is there for whoever that wakes up first ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for the heads up on the FB connect man. Will fix it.
    Cheers!!
    F

The comments are now closed.