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How Local Pages Help Your Store

Retailers with multiple locations have a decision to make when it comes to creating Facebook business pages: do you make one page that represents all locations or do you make individual pages for each store? I discussed in a recent blog post how to do both, as well as how to link the location pages to the banner page. In the post, I highlighted the more practical reasons you should consider setting up the locations pages. For example, setting up individual location pages might make sense if your products, services and messaging vary widely from store to store. Those practical reasons are important but there is a less tangible reason to create local pages for each individual store location. Your customers are more likely to engage with a local page versus a banner page for the entire chain. According to an article on MediaPost, “local store pages generated 25 times more impressions than brand pages.” Citing research from MomentFeed, MediaPost highlighted findings of their analysis of impression data in early 2017 from approximately 50 national brand clients, including restaurant chains,…

Charlie Hustle Facebook Cover Photo.

Cause Marketing Tips from Charlie Hustle – SMCKC Recap

*Image above is a cover photo from the Charlie Hustle Facebook page.  Charlie Hustle is a vintage apparel company based in Kansas City. Since its founding in 2011, the company has gained a huge following of fans who not only buy its products, but also connect with the brand on social media and support the causes the company promotes. A significant part of the Charlie Hustle brand is its cause marketing efforts. Charlie Hustle helps non-profit organizations fundraise through sales of specialty t-shirts designed specifically for each cause. In fact in the last 12 months, the company has helped raise funds for more than 20 organizations! Why do organizations like Charlie Hustle spend significant marketing efforts on supporting others? By becoming a community partner, brands connect personally with their customers. The goal here is not simply to increase sales (although that is a nice side effect of cause marketing), but instead to develop a relationship with customers, and together do some good. Study after study shows that the millennial generation wants to build relationships and loyalty behind brands that are…

Shop Local

Digital Storefront: Keeping it Local on Social

You’ve probably heard the term “shop local.” It encourages consumers to support local businesses in their area rather than larger national chains. This is an idea that AWG independent grocers embrace and it extends to their social media platforms. I regularly tell the retailers I work with to look at their social media platforms as a “digital storefront.” While it’s a good idea for a grocery store to include product/pricing on their digital platforms, social media is also the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a great place to show support for your community and even show off that support every now and then. Just don’t “show off” too blatantly or too often. It will start to come off as insincere and end up having the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve with this type of content. In a Progressive Grocer article, Randy Hofbauer cited a recent study that found “nearly nine in 10 supermarket shoppers regularly following one or more social media sites” but of that group “only one in four…claims to be friends with or connected to…

Collage of social media icons.

Time for some spring training

Spring training isn’t just for baseball players. It is also a good time to learn new skills. Brush up on Twitter best practices. Refine photography skills. Learn to code. Each years digital skills are being democratized more and more. Tasks that were done only by professionals with expensive equipment can now be done by following simple tutorials on YouTube. Use the skills below to jump start your own spring training. COB – No, this has nothing to do with corn. It stands for Cut Out Background. Ever wonder how the Crying Jordan face gets added to things so fast? COB is the answer. Removing the background from an image can be a good idea for highlighting individual items. It may not be a skill that you use all the time. However, knowing how to do it will save you a ton of time. Photoshop allows for the most control. The more precise the cutout the better the final product will look. There are at least five different ways to cut out a background in Photoshop – here is one. This…

Man in front of screen that says The Human Side of Weather: Using Social Media to Build Trust with your Users

Trust-building In Social Media: How Grocers Can Learn From The National Weather Service

Food is an important business. Grocery consumers care now, more than ever, about what they are putting into their bodies and those of their spouses, children, and even their pets. We’ve seen this trend through the growth of the organic category, ethically sourced foods, clean and clear labeling, and more. Therefore, consumer trust is big business not just for grocery food brands, but also for grocery retailers. How can we build this trust in an increasingly competitive marketplace? Last Friday, I attended the monthly Social Media Club breakfast, where the National Weather Service in Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) suggested that social media is a great place to start. The @NWSKansasCity must be seen as a trusted organization for people to care about the information they are sharing. This is true for local grocers, as well. Advertising circulars can boast the lowest prices in town, but customers must trust that their local grocer will carry quality products at these prices and employ a staff that cares about the consumers’ needs and those of their community. Social media is another avenue to build…

Kansas City Logo

Recap: Connecting & Engaging with Residents on Social Media (KC IABC BCS Breakout Session)

I recently attended the Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC. One of the breakout sessions featured Chris Hernandez, the communications director of the city of Kansas City, Mo. He talked about connecting and engaging with their residents on social media. You might be wondering how this can apply to you as an independent grocery retailer, but hear me out! One of the best things about having a social media presence for your store is the ability to easily connect and engage with your customers. Use your social media platforms as a two-way communication with your customers and you will see an increase in engagement on your page, which often translates to more customers in your store and stronger brand advocates who will promote your store to their friends and family. During his session, Hernandez emphasized the importance of transparency and two-way communication with KC citizens. For example, the city created a First Fridays exhibit, called The Art of Data, that included graphs of city statistics. They placed it next to artwork at the First Fridays in downtown…

letterpress dingbats

KCCIPA – KCDesignCore recap

Letterpress, lead type, screen print, saddle stitching, corner rounder, litho, calligraphy – just a few of the terms that were thrown around last night at Adobe’s KCDesignCore meetup. Our small group of designers were taken back in time as Calvert Guthrie graciously gave us a tour of his community print shop, Kansas City Center for the Ink & Paper Arts (KCCIPA). Calvert’s space, rented to local artists, comes fully equipped with everything a printer needs, including quite the collection of antique and modern printing presses. He also teaches classes, which include letterpress printing and calligraphy. Calligraphy is something he specialized in when he worked on greeting cards for Hallmark. When I was in Typography class in college, we practiced calligraphy, which has become somewhat of a lost art since the age of computers. We were also required to learn and identify over 100 fonts. Being able to instantly identify a font really speeded up my workflow as I was designing graphics. Since then, I’ve forgotten some of the characteristics of many fonts and the number of fonts I immediately recognize…

InSean

Reaching your audience through social media

Today’s shift towards digital media has created challenges for retailers. In an attempt to help KCIABC and SMCKC teamed up to present a panel discussion on “reaching your audience” on September 15. The panel was moderated by KMBC anchor Kris Ketz. He was joined by KCPT’s Angee Simmons, Greg Farmer of the Kansas City Star, KSHB anchor Christa Dubill, and talk radio Rob Carson. Despite the panel’s journalism background the information presented was widely applicable. Farmer reminded the crowd that social media allows people to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Retailers can harness this power by fostering that sense of community. Dubill had similar feelings. “Find your niche,” Dubill said, “and serve the people who you would have been serving anyway.” The platform really isn’t important. You know who your customers are and you can serve them the exact same way on digital as you can in print. The advantage of social is the connection you can make with your audience. “Social media can take down a lot of walls,” Dubill said. Sometimes in our efforts to make…

Photo example of wall mural in Big John grocery store with Superman because store is in town named Metropolis.

Does your store have a mural?

This timelap video I saw on my Facebook news feed of a mural being made really brightened up my day! Credit:Drumans Filmes/Gael Comunicação via  Storyful. News   After watching this video way too many times, I started thinking about the mural in the produce department at the store I worked at in High School. Would you believe customers would call the store and ask, “Is your store the one with the farm painting on the wall?” That’s STORE BRANDING! Murals can tell a story, and combine several concepts all at once. References to historic events can evoke community and local pride. A landscape can also show location. I have seen murals in stores with musical instruments which shows a popular musical genre connected to the area, like Jazz. Really the sky is the limit on what to put in a mural. Another bonus about murals, if you can’t decide on one theme, you can collage several together. If you have no idea where to start, the AWG Design & Decor Source Group can show you a portfolio to get your creative juices…