According to latest developments with regard to Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, the state government has approved easing of curbs. However, with malls being shut all this while, the mall authorities had been working on different ways to engage consumers.
The power of social media platforms to provide personalized information changed the dynamics and helped malls to enhance their relationship with the consumers and to become an integral part of their customer’s life.
Reaching out with social media
Anuj Arora, General Manager of a mall says, “With malls remaining shut for the past few months pursuant to the Government guidelines, we continued to engage with our patrons solely through our social media handles. Malls are known to provide the best ambience with their infrastructures meant for social gatherings, entertainment, food, movies and not just for indulging in shopping. Our online social media presence is also big, where the mall regularly keeps uploading various interactive posts and updates on mall events, celebrity visits, influencer shoots, engaging games/fun content along with brand or product specific content across all social media platforms.”
The pandemic restrictions and closures had made it difficult to keep the connection going with customers. In simple terms, out of sight was out of mind for mall authorities. Sachin Dhanawade, the Chief Operating Officer of a suburban mall adds, “The best way, to remain in the minds of our customers is to be active and visually engaging on the one place people rarely go an hour without-social media. This is one area that our mall has captured by giving its customers moments and memories worth a story; a story that can be posted to social media to share the experience with many more.”
Staying relevant even when malls are shut
Malls have begun to undertake an evolutionary change to stay relevant to the new normal and the evolved customer. Sachin adds, “Going forward, social media will be fully utilised to increase overall brand perception of malls, curating content to signify that they are places where people want to build experiences and not just a place to shop.”
Interactive events and contests on social media has worked well
Some malls concentrated on this and found that activities, contests and events had good engagement rates. Rima Kirtikar, Chief Marketing Officer of another mall says that they have been working on offline content that’s been adapted into online weekly pegs like Tuesday Treats, Women’s Wednesday, Filmy Friday. “We have hosted contests too in the past four weeks on Father’s Day, Nature Photography Day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It helped us gain maximum post engagement, reach and active followers. Recently, our social media pages saw maximum engagement and successfully hooked the audience through engagement stories, daily contests, and interactive posts,” says Rima.
Brands focus on building a sense of community
With the pandemic creating varied levels of stress and distancing people, building a sense of community became more important than ever for big brands. Uma Talreja, Marketing Expert of a shopping chain brand, says, “We have been focusing on common platforms that bring people together. Giving a voice to communities is a great method of creating a sense of support and letting consumers know that the brand is there for them. From supporting the messages that encourage Covid safety protocols to helping consumers enjoy the much missed dopamine effect of shopping as a relief and as means of strengthening bonds between friends and family, brands can leverage social media to unite people and create marketing moments that matter during the pandemic.”
During these past few months, there has been content interaction on a monthly basis and malls have garnered a reach across all social media platforms. Through regular uniquely curated content, malls have continued to see a healthy increase in follower count. “We saw a surge in our traction during our anniversary week with 75 per cent more traction than usual to the comments and likes on our posts,” says Anuj.