How do the social media engagement strategies of shopping centres shape up?

The latest findings from Springboard show that from June to August 2019, footfall on the UK high street declined by 3.1%. According to the British Retail Consortium, retail parks have managed to challenge this trend through the summer months by providing a blend of experiences as well as shopping in their out of town locations.

Maybe* listened to the online conversation created by and about 15 UK shopping centres throughout August and early September 2019. 

In our four-part blog series, we explore whose social media strategy is engaging shoppers well and why that might be.

Looking at the detail

Followers mean very little

In our first post, we explored how Vicar Lane and Rushden Lakes have landed on a successful social media strategy, despite not having the biggest social media followings. Now we take a look at Manchester’s Trafford Centre, and The Howgate, both in our free index of UK Shopping Centres, to see what we can learn from them.

Trafford Centre

Manchester’s Trafford Centre posted 50 times throughout the period mid-August to mid-September.

The See What Works report from Maybe*, highlighting engagement with the Trafford Centre's social media content. See the engagement for your own content.

By comparison to Vicar Lane, they were as active and as engaging, but with an audience of almost 50 times the size of Vicar Lane’s, Trafford’s content does not resonate as much.

The content is beautifully edited, offers competitions, and talks about newness and trends in the centre - but it lacks the relevance somewhere like Rushden Lakes sees.


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Adding a pop of yellow to your outfit, like these @ClairesAccessories headbands, will make it feel like summer all autumn #TryATrend

A post shared by intu Trafford Centre (@intutraffordcentre) on

The Howgate

The Howgate Centre’s total number of engagements is second only to Rushden Lakes. With an audience of over 14,000 and a total of 86 posts over the period, the centre sees 2400 total engagements through the month and an average of 87 per day.

The See What Works report from Maybe*, highlighting engagement with the The Howgate's social media content. See the engagement for your own content.

The top 3 most engaging posts created by Falkirk’s finest, are all Facebook posts and competitions. And while contests might be difficult to demonstrate an impact on footfall, they have a local dimension to them.

The first competition supported the local theatre, while the second and third promoted an event taking place in the centre, encouraging and rewarding physical participation in the event. Furthermore, the event itself supported a local charity. By utilising a photo-sharing mechanic, the centre has also been able to use their audience participation in their own content.

The key takeaway

A big social media following means very little if the content you create does not resonate with your audience. Social media engagement is achieved by inspiring action from your audience.
When you only produce what works, you’ll encourage interaction, build stronger relationships and save valuable money and time. Maybe’s social media engagement analytics gives you the insider knowledge you need to create a better social media strategy. 

Find out where your social media efforts rank among your competitors with the Maybe* UK Shopping Centre Index. Our completely free index tells you the size of your following and how often you post and benchmarks your efforts against your biggest competitors. By placing your social media strategy into a nationwide context, you can easily see how much you need to do to improve. . Benchmark my shopping centre.

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