A lesson for shopping centres – 10 steps to social media success from The Ridings Centre

The Ridings Centre is a fabulous example of how local shopping centres can stay connected to customers and engage them with locally relevant content. Throughout the last lockdown The Ridings Centre kept up its communication, not only focusing on its retailers, but also on the causes close to its Wakefield customers' hearts.

Here we show you the 10 steps they take to achieve ongoing engagement whether they are fully open for business or not.

Step 1: What was the business goal?

Like all local shopping centres, The Ridings Centre needs to use social media to keep customers engaged. It keeps up its social media activity to ensure customers are visiting and shopping at essential retailers during lockdowns, and welcomes them back when the doors reopen for everyone.

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Step 2: Telling the The Ridings Centre's story

The Ridings Centre is rightfully proud of its place within the Wakefield community. Throughout lockdown #2 the centre continued to support the shop local message in Wakefield.

The centre uses local hashtags such as #lovewakefield in its content and the #shoplocal message sits at the centre of the conversation as does the place hashtag #wakefield.

Having a strong local connection to place is vital for local shopping centres and for independent businesses, as it shows pride in place and support for the local community. People will care about you and your business when they see you care about them.

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Step 3: What did The Ridings Centre want its audience to do?

During the second lockdown, The Ridings Centre wanted its customers to continue to shop local and encouraged them to visit the centre's essential retailers.

The centre produced regular updates on Facebook and Instagram displaying the list of retailers open. It regularly produces guidelines and expectations for customers to follow and observe to shop safely.

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Step 4: How does The Ridings Centre engage with customers?

The Ridings Centre doesn't’ simply engage with comments and feedback on its own pages or in its own inbox.

The business proactively encourages shopping local and supports its local community in Wakefield. By listening to and engaging in the Wakefield conversation, the Ridings Centre is able to demonstrate its commitment to Wakefield and earn its place at the heart of the community.

The business benefit of this is that it increases the likelihood of someone who doesn’t know the centre or the brand, checking out their social media profiles.

When this happens on a Facebook or Instagram profile, Facebook captures the details of that user. Even though those details won’t make the customer identifiable to you, it does mean that if you’re advertising, you can then build a custom audience to target anyone who has engaged with your content or even simply visited your social media page.

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Step 5: Who did The Ridings Centre need to engage?

The Ridings Centre needed to continue to engage local shopping centre customers in Wakefield. Despite being closed, the centre posted details of retailers still open at the beginning of lockdown #2. The centre used the hashtag #staysafe and #shoplocal to demonstrate it wanted to support its local retailers.

Maybe* allows you to track your social media performance across best social media posts, engagement, sentiment, conversation topics and influencer. Doing this allows you to see what tactics are working for your competitors, so you can do more of the same. You can set your competitor when you sign up to Maybe* for free.

The Maybe* dashboard showing The Ridings Centre's best performing social media post against another local shopping centre

Steps 6-10

To read more, including how local shopping centres can master advertising and measure performance against competitors, sign up to Maybe*. It's free to get started and you'll have full access to the remaining five steps to success.

Key takeaway

The Ridings Centre gets social media right for a local shopping centre. It has a strong place message, a strong retail message, and plenty of content that is relevant and exciting to keep its customer base engaged. In addition with plenty of safety messaging and clear guidance, it has nailed the tone of the times while still remaining positive. It is an approach local shopping centres and any business can learn from.

Maybe* is here to help businesses stay connected to customers so you can make more sales.

To make social media work for you like the Ridings Centre, sign up to Maybe*.