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Mid-America Blog

Social Media Influence and Integration in the Retail Stratosphere


Disclosure – this post was written by a millennial early adapter who lives and breathes for social media content.

Catalogs and mailers are ancient history. Today, retailers are able to have a more direct, intimate connection with consumers via social media platforms. Companies are not only creating an increased awareness of its brand/product with their own profile accounts but also by partnering with influencers to further the reach and opportunity for sales. 

Social media is embedded in our everyday lives and influences our thoughts and decisions more than we sometimes even realize. Pew Research Center reports 70% of the public uses social media – therefore businesses can’t afford not to interact with customers via social media channels. Channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest can all be seen as the modern day catalog.  It is imperative that retailers have a solid online presence including a website that is easy to navigate and one or two social media channels. 

Instagram - a mobile, desktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately -  has created the opportunity to turn its organic engagement channel to a direct selling channel. We see influencers partnering with apps such as “LikeToKnow.It” which allows the consumer to easily shop their favorite influencer photos right on their mobile device. LikeToKnow.It is a game changer in how people are shopping – you simply screen shot the image posted by your favorite influencer and then shop the products featured in the screenshots. Wham bam thank you American Express and in the next 48 hours you’ve got your new gear at your doorstep.

We’re seeing more retail projects being anchored by restaurants as they can bring a unique new crowd and cause a wide spread level of excitement. Globally Instagram food pics are spreading restaurant buzz like wild fire. Instagram provides restaurants the opportunity to offer special promos, endorsements on menu items, and a chance to engage or reward a loyal customer. Our decisions on where to eat and what to order can be dictated by a restaurant’s Yelp.com page or Instagram account profile. Certain accounts are dedicated to food pics only or even more specifically focused on vegan recipes or pizza in NYC! We’re following expert Foodie Blogger accounts such as @Infatuation or a city specific one such as @Miami_FoodPorn, @chowdowndetroit , or @nashville_eats . Restaurants are partnering with the expert Foodies offering free meals and $$ to post that they were at their restaurant. These accounts have 70k + followers and growing by the minute!  People (myself included) plan their travel destinations to taste a menu item found from tagged content on Instagram.  You may be asking yourself how do I even begin to search out the best truffle Mac & cheese - tagged content can be searched out by location based tagging or aggregated keyword hashtags.

It goes to show you that selling a product is no longer enough; consumers want information. Seeing images on the web allows consumers/customers to get a feel for the ambience of a restaurant, read reviews on products being sold without even entering the premises, or jump to take advantage of an in-store or online exclusive offer. In an era of e-commerce and experiential retail, social media channels are becoming the preferred customer communication forum and the expectations are high. So watch yourself and the commenting community retailers... you’ve entered a whole new digital stratosphere!

Lindsey Shaw | Sales Associate
Mid-America Real Estate-Michigan, Inc.
38500 Woodward Avenue, Suite 100 | Bloomfield Hills, MI  48304
Phone: 248.855.6800 | Fax: 248.839.5213
lshaw@midamericagrp.com | www.midamericagrp.com

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