Trend spotting: Social Media unravelled

Zoë Enever


In an industry rife with pressures, over the years we’ve discovered that there is way more to social media success than simply posting beautiful images of coveted products for fans to lust after, or showing off the architectural wonderment of our schemes. This particularly applies to smaller schemes that simply don’t have the social status of their larger, regional counterparts.

Some of our biggest social media successes have stemmed from an intuitive application of a popular trend.

From our success with Market Place’s Mannequin Challenge – an ‘of-the-moment’ activation back in 2016 which saw us turning a global phenomenon into a national and international award-winning initiative and gaining us a 9.5% increase in Facebook fans overnight…

… to viral sensations like our ‘Men who are most likely to buy their partner a puppy’ post for the Galleries in Bristol which reached over 1 million people and enjoyed over 200,000 engagements. Not bad for the city’s ‘value’ shopping mall that was struggling to find its place in the retail scene prior to AL coming on board.

And from the acknowledgement of pertinent ‘National Days’ with poignant and emotive messages from well-known sources such as our post for Waverley Mall on ‘Mental Health Awareness Day’ featuring a quote from the late Robin Williams which resulted in a huge spike in engagement and page likes…

… to posts that focus on people’s passions such as Shrewsbury Shopping’s competition to celebrate the centres going ‘dog-friendly’. The initiative saw hundreds posting pics of their beloved pooches for the chance to be involved in the official launch and win some doggie goodies.

Recently, we’ve started appealing to the sentimental side of our fans with cross-generational activations to build a sense of community. These include our currently live initiative for The Harvey Centre, Harlow which has seen us asking older regulars at the centre’s free coffee club to share their words of wisdom for the younger generation. Once shared on our social platforms the content was met with unprecedented levels of support from a broad spectrum of the community as well as over 8,000 engagements and over 27,000 people reached.

These social successes certainly work to catapult a scheme into the social limelight and position it in the forefront of the consumers’ mind – sustaining the hungriest of social media fanbases and keeping them engaged.

The next challenge is right around the corner and the solution is generally right under our nose. We just have to look, to see it.

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