Facebook announced this week that they’re testing audiences based on in-store visits. This is exciting news, especially for all the brick-and-mortar stores out there who love clicks to the website as much as anyone, but whose real goal is foot traffic. Targeting people who have already come into the store, and people like them, is sure to help those businesses reach their goals.
But Store Visits audiences are still being tested and, unless your business has multiple locations, you can’t run ads optimized for store visits at all.
So what’s a business to do when they want offline conversions in an online world? We’ve got your back with some easy strategies to drive in-store traffic AND effectively track results.
The easiest way to check whether your social media strategy is generating in-store visits is to just ask.
For example, if you’re posting about a weekly special (like $2 Taco Tuesdays at Tin Lizzy’s!) ask followers to comment on the post if they’re coming. You’ll be surprised at how many users will tell you they went and what they liked or, even better, tag the friend they brought with them.
2. Check-In Incentives
Another easy way to track in-store visits is by asking users on social to “check in” at your store on Facebook.
Oftentimes, however, people won’t check in when prompted, even if you ask them nicely. So, provide an incentive like a discount, but only available to people who complete a check in and show it on their phone at the time of purchase. Facebook keeps a tally of check-ins on your page, so it’s easy to gauge effectiveness.
3. Exclusive Coupon Codes
Similarly to checking in, a social-media-exclusive coupon code is a great way to track visits. Simply create a code, something as easy as SOCIAL works, and give 10% any in-store purchase.
Only promote the code via social media so every time a customer uses it in the store, you know they found it on social. For added interaction, ask them to follow, like or screenshot a post to qualify for the deal.
4. Offline Conversions
Offline conversions are a measurement capability available through Facebook Ads Manager. They allow you to track when transactions occur in your physical business location and other offline channels after people see or engage with your Facebook ads.
They require a little more effort than the other strategies but have a big payoff in the form of concrete numbers of offline conversions that directly correlate to ROI.
To set up offline conversions, upload a file with customer information from the point-of-sale and use that information to create a custom conversion or audience. For full instructions and more information, check out Facebook’s explanation here.
5. Store Visit Ads
*Disclaimer: As mentioned above, Store Visits ads require more than one physical location. However, if you meet that requirement this ad type can provide a gold mine of information about who is visiting your store and allow to retarget, exclude or build lookalike audiences based on that information.
The results are based on people who visit your store who have location services enabled on Facebook, which is nearly everyone, and provides greater accuracy in reporting than offline conversions alone.
It’s like a Facebook Pixel, but for your store instead of your website! (I’ll pause here to give everyone a second to geek out on that with me.)
Store Visits ads are pretty simple to set up, but require a few extra steps. First, set up Business Locations (either in Settings on your business page or on the Business Locations tab in Ads Manager.) Then, create a new campaign and choose “Store Visits” as the objective. The ad will automatically show the most relevant location to users and include a handy map.
Are there other strategies you use to track in-store visits from your business’ social media? Share with us in the comments!
Story by: Kelsey Thompson