Driving feet through Facebook
One of our business goals is to drive foot traffic to our properties. Internally we say we want to be “the REIT that drives feet.” While doing this is no easy feat, social media is increasingly playing an integral role in propelling us toward our goal.
Social media is relatively new to all industries, especially retail. As a result, we recognize the need to establish practices and policies around social media, rather than just jumping in and promoting initiatives without an objective and a plan.
With this in mind, we have taken measured steps to launch a corporate blog, two Twitter handles, and 11 Facebook pages over the past year (one corporate Kimco page and a page for 10 of our properties). We’re using these platforms to open lines of communication between Kimco and our external audiences — tenants, their customers, and our investors — as well as drive foot traffic to our centers.
Most recently, we used Facebook in a new way to reach this goal. We ran a back-to-school sweepstakes on our Airport Plaza Facebook page, which gave customers a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree for any of the stores at the center. The Farmingdale, N.Y., center was an ideal fit for this themed promotion because many of the tenants are back-to-school shopping destinations, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples, and T.J. Maxx.
The goal of the sweepstakes was to engage Airport Plaza customers, help drive foot traffic to the property and tenants, and help improve the retail performance of the center. To that end, we ran the sweepstakes for four weeks and promoted it across our social media and other communications channels. The sweepstakes generated a flurry of activity on the Facebook page, and generated some 400 entries from targeted local consumers.
When the submission period was over, we randomly selected one winner from the entrants. The lucky shopper was Melissa Naeder. We announced that she won on Facebook, and also interviewed Melissa about what it was like to win and how she planned to use her shopping spree. You can watch her reaction here.
Congratulations, Melissa. We hope you enjoyed your shopping spree.
Our Airport Plaza sweepstakes is one of the first of several Facebook sweepstakes and contests we’re in the process of rolling out now and in the coming months. If you have any ideas for a sweepstakes or contest you’d like to see us run, feel free to leave a comment.