Today's retail landscape is all about being Instagram-worthy like this space in New York City, pictured above. Consumers and influencers are always on the lookout for new, unique, and visually appealing places to take photos and videos for their social media channels.
As a retailer, you can capitalize on this trend by creating a dedicated space in your store for visitors to take photos and videos to post to Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. But you must first get up to speed on trends in social media and keep yourself current. In other words, don't get caught off guard by the feta cheese.
Benoit Breal, the owner of Saxelby Cheesemongers - a wholesaler supplying restaurants - told Marketplace, “It was a feta cheese surprise.” Suddenly, they found themselves getting a lot of orders for feta in the middle of winter. The demand was mysteriously 10 times greater than usual. He was confused.
Breal finally saw the trend on the news, but by the time he coordinated extra orders with his suppliers, he missed a whole week of the feta craze. A couple of weeks later, it was over.
Remember, this is all about staying fresh and attracting your shoppers in new ways using visual aspects throughout your store. And the more you can tap into what is popular on social media at the moment, the better.
How to get started with your Instagramable space?
Ask three friendly customers to spend a few minutes in your store taking 3-5 photos of what they notice most or think stands out. Note that this does not include your employees and make sure you compensate them with a small gift or a gift card to your business or another you know they like. Then proceed to build your future area around their suggestions which have highlighted what is already most impactful.
Incorporating social media not only makes the shopping experience interactive but is also a great way for your brand to get free marketing and further promote its stores.
Why you need an Instagram/YouTube/TikTok space in your store
If you're trying to attract more followers and ultimately customers, and generate more engagement with both, then a social media-friendly space can be a big incentive.
If you want to drive traffic to your store, being social media-friendly can be a great way to bring them in.
If you're trying to create a unique and fun shopping experience for your customers, this is an easy addition to what you currently offer. Finally, if you're trying to promote your brand or product, this is an easily attainable means to access consistent and inexpensive marketing.
So, if you're looking for a way to make your retail store more successful, making the physical space for social media to work for you might be just what you need.
Tips for creating the perfect social media-friendly space
Creating the perfect social media-friendly space in your store doesn't have to be difficult. Here are a few tips to start with:
Keep your social media current. It goes without saying, but make sure your own social media accounts are updated and fresh, they link to your website or Insta shop as well as include directions to your physical location. Just in case your Instagrammers and TikTokkers don’t location enable their posts, suggest your #mystorehandle by posting it at the site or asking them to tag you. Use one or two trending hashtags when you post to help amplify the reach of your content.
Make sure there is plenty of good light. While a photography store should have great props and umbrellas that can make your station well-lit, often just keeping this area to the front of the store say on the left as you enter the store, will allow light from the windows to augment your own lighting. Snap some test pictures on your own phone to make sure the lighting isn't too low and the photo resolution is good.
Add some visually appealing elements like murals or statement pieces. Just having a clearing by a mirror or a director’s chair in a corner won’t make people take pictures. Selfies often have a message of hope like “Hi beautiful,” “Love,” or “Besties.” It could be scrawled on a wall or mirror in marker, written in chalk on a blackboard, or lit up in pink neon, depending on your brand sense. It could be a bonsaied plant if you were a garden center or made of pasta if you’re a kitchen store. The key is thinking about how it makes the space unique and Instagramable. And remember, it can change with seasons or a whim if it has focus and eye appeal.
Provide props or set up photo ops to encourage customers to take photos and videos. One way to make your in-store events memorable is offering oversized props like glasses or hats for your guests. The key is to be creative. If you have Gen Z associates, ask them to find examples of pics they love on Instagram or TikTok. No need to reinvent the wheel here.
Make sure the space is easily accessible so that everyone can enjoy it. When you're creating a social media-friendly space in your retail store, one of the most important things to keep in mind is accessibility. This means making sure there are no obstacles that impede access and that the space is large enough for people to move around freely. By making the space accessible, you'll be able to attract more followers and drive traffic to your store.
Keep the area clean and tidy at all times. While having an unpolished appearance is part of what makes social media so appealing, there’s authentic and there’s messy. This is your brand’s selfie to the world too so make sure it isn’t some forgotten corner that you or your cleaning crew forget to keep perfectly imperfect.
Notice who uses the spot and think about how to encourage other users. Are your users high schoolers on the weekends and young parents with babes in tow during the week? Sports and fitness enthusiasts? Or home and garden lovers? Recent surveys have shown that men look to influencers for content on cars, electronics, and gaming. If your store is in a college town, the draws may be beauty, cosmetics, entertainment, and gaming. Experiment with different options or create a one size fits all space like the one pictured above.
And remember the whole goal of a post or video going viral depends on whether the content feels useful, the product is accessible, and the video is easy for other users to copy.
Install a selfie frame in your store
One of the best ways to make your retail store Instagram-worthy is to add a selfie frame. A selfie frame is a great way to encourage customers to take photos and videos. It also helps you attract more followers and drive traffic to your store. So, if you're looking for a way to make your store more successful, a selfie frame is a great option.
Overall, creating a social media-friendly space in your retail store can be a great way to attract more followers and generate more engagement. By following the tips above, you can create a space that is visually appealing, easily accessible, and full of photo ops. This will help you attract more followers and drive traffic to your store.
If you'd like more personalized suggestions for your unique space - in person or on Zoom - click the link below.