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Social Media Drives Foot Traffic

As a developer and leasing professional, it is important to take advantage of current trends to increase foot traffic and sales volume.

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  • | 7:00 a.m. July 27, 2018
  • Lakewood Ranch Commercial
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Recently, I spent a couple days at a conference in Miami. After hours, a group of us were looking for restau-rants and trendy hangout spots. None of us were local, though, and we did not know where to start our search. Google is okay, and Yelp can be help-ful but often misleading. We turned to social media. The traditional “Word of Mouth” is beginning to turn into that often hated “food pic”, which your friend posted on social media. Ultimately, we rifled through the social media accounts of some popular Miami based eateries: examined the number of followers, viewed photos posted by friends, and cross examined them with a few photos posted by the restaurant’s main account. VOILA, we chose the most promising looking restaurant. The process took the duration of a 15-minute Uber ride and it ended up being great. We were very pleased.

This experience provides a few key takeaways for retailers, developers and business owners. For retailers, it is important to utilize social media, post frequently, and view the oppor-tunity similarly to additional store frontage. Boutique retailers should post their fresh merchandise. Restau-rants should post their seasonal spe-cials. And, service tenants, like hair and nail salons, should post unique offerings, specials and differentiation points. It might seem minimal at first, but it will cause your product or offering to be top of mind for your current customer. Also, the fresh content will be helpful in attracting new customers searching the market. The best part is it’s free or relatively cheap in the grand scheme of marketing expenses.

At this point, there is very little cor-relating data on social media driving foot traffic, but it is due to the difficul-ties of tracking the correlation. Col-leagues and business professionals agree that social media is a key traffic driver for millennials and generation Z demographics, and it will continue to grow as the user base of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat grow. Four-Square performed a recent study fo-cused on which tenants boost mall traffic. One example of increased foot traffic was at Tysons Corner Center in Washington, D.C., which experienced roughly a 20% boost in foot traffic year-over-year. The traffic increases correlated with a renovation project that included openings of a Jinsei Organic Juice, a Kung Fu Tea and a Sweetgreen restaurant. The com-bined food establishments have nearly 190,000 Instagram followers, which caused the center to become more rel-evant to younger demographics and appear more frequently in their social media feeds.

As a developer and leasing profes-sional, it is important to take advan-tage of current trends to increase foot traffic and sales volume.

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