Multiple retail stores losing walking traffic because of bridge closing – threat of huge sales slump just prior to Christmas shopping season.
The earlier spring bridge closure had severely impacted the local merchants with some reporting sales down by as much as eighty percent. This provided a benchmark for our program to see if we could make an impact during the impending autumn closure.
We decided to use Social Media in a way that would encourage traffic despite the bridge closure. Engaging posts and FB Live Video would promote the charming disposition of the village shops and entice shoppers to brave any potential traffic issues in order to be part of the immersive experience of shopping in Wickford Village.
• We scheduled store-specific monthly live videos with arresting titles and engaging content to drive customers to the village. These videos centered on specific products offered by the participating retailers.
• We posted creative maps of the detour showing how easy it was to bypass the bridge both to the individual shops’ pages as well as the “I Love Wickford” community page.
• We created historical and special-interest posts that highlighted the character of the community including its history, its reputation as a dog-friendly shopping environment, and its beauty as a seaport shopping center.
• We designed eye-catching posts for all Facebook accounts for scheduled village events such as, “Harbor Lights”, “Wicked Week”, and the holiday, “Festival of Lights.” These and other posts were targeted to specific markets in the local area.
• The impact of the autumn closure was no way near as dramatic as the spring bridge closure. Some shops had better Septembers with the bridge closed than the previous year with the bridge open.
• Shops reported that new customers came in looking for items featured in the live video posts.
• Facebook page likes increased for all participating stores. Increases in page-like growth over the comparable four-month period were generally in excess of 200% with one retailer realizing a 359% increase. Post engagement was up dramatically over the four-month period of the campaign.
• All Wickford Village events were extremely well attended despite the closure.
Creative without strategy is called 'art.' Creative with strategy is called 'advertising.
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