The AL Marketing social media team believe that social media has been an incredibly powerful tool during the pandemic – not only to keep customers engaged but also to provide support to the local community. Even though shopping centres have been closed either partially or fully, we have made sure that customers were never forgotten.
In fact, we recognised that engagement, follower and reach levels have spiraled up across our client’s social media channels over the last number of months. This was because people more than ever needed engaging and entertaining content that they could share with friends and family, and so we provided just that.
To lift spirits we focused on creating content that focused on what was happening in the local community, as well as posts focused on wellness and positivity.
It became less appropriate to promote non-essential content during lockdown, so we wanted to show that shopping centres were truly supporting local communities.
We took the approach of highlighting positive and amazing news from local communities. This involved regularly promoting the ‘Clap For Carers’ campaign that ran for 10 weeks, reminding followers each week of the event and resharing videos we had taken of claps at the destinations we look after.
Additionally, we took to sharing images and videos of the local rainbow trails, painted rocks and displays which brought together communities forced to stay inside.
We felt it was vital to recognise the hard work that the centre’s cleaning and security teams were doing every day to ensure the safety of shoppers and staff. We regularly published posts which thanked specific teams for their dedicated work. We believe these posts performed so well because we focused on hard work happening right in front of us, for the safety of the community. Such posts received huge support from our audiences across all channels. On Facebook, The Harvey Centre received 3,900 impressions and 485 engagements and on Instagram, Shrewsbury Shopping received 678 impressions and 62 engagements.
While we couldn’t actively encourage followers to shop in the centre (due to the government guidelines), we shared some of the ways the local community were spreading positivity. Our followers enjoyed seeing their local town coming together to make the most out of a bad situation. On Facebook, The Gracechurch Centre received 3.4K impressions and 315 engagements for their ‘Thank You Key Workers’ vinyl display. The Harvey Centre received 9.6K impressions and 1,711 engagements for their ‘Yellow Hearts’ display.
Here are some of the great stats we received during the lockdown period: