At a quick glance you might not think there are a lot of similarities between digital signage and social media, but guess again! Both digital signage and social media provide dynamic real-time information that can be seen on a variety of devices including mobile phones, tablets and screens. Have you ever wondered about combining the two? It's an idea that many businesses are considering, because it offers customer engagement, dynamic content, and a new communication channel unlike any other.
When combining social media with digital signage there are some important points to keep in mind:
Consider Your Customer Base
While people of all ages use social media, some demographics are definitely stronger on certain social media sites than on others. For example, Facebook is trending toward more mature users, while Twitter is largely dominated by Gen Xers, and Instagram is popular among adults in their thirties and younger. These aren't hard and fast rules, but organizations need to consider their business and the social media platforms that will work best for it. Going a step further it is also important to consider which media platforms you integrate with your digital signage. For example, if you're in a highly visual business like fashion or interior design, a social media platform with a strong visual presence like Instagram may be your best choice.
Create Hashtags with Care and Consideration
Hashtags are everywhere, particularly on Twitter and Instagram, and they can be terrific for connecting with your target audience, building your brand on social media, and generating social media content for your digital signs. Ideally, you should create a hashtag specific to your brand that's unique, brand-relevant, yet easy to spell and relatively concise. That's not always easy to do, but it can help keep interactions on-message. In addition, you may want to occasionally create hashtags around relevant, non-controversial news or pop culture, and around events, like a special sale coming up.
Place a Call to Action on Your Digital Signage
After you spend a few minutes scrolling through Facebook or Twitter and it becomes clear that people love talking about businesses and brands. To trigger customers to talk about your brand on social media, you can place a call to action either in a corner of your digital signage content, or as a transition visual amongst your other content. Keep it simple, with something like "Post your thoughts on Twitter and see it here," perhaps with your hashtag included.
Interact with Customers on Social Media
Social media must be treated as a two-way conversation. By engaging with users who provide content that ends up on your digital signage, you reward them for being brand advocates and show that your business is not removed or aloof from its customer base. When a customer shares a positive message about your business or product on social media respond with thanks, perhaps re-share the content, or otherwise make positive contact with that customer. These types of positive conversations showing up on your digital signage entertain in-person customers and keep your signage mix dynamic and current.
Monitor your social streams
It goes without saying you should actively monitor your social media platforms for negative messages but this is even more important when you are integrating it with digital signage in real-time. The good news is there are a number of tools and plugins available that can help with that and ensure the right messages are getting shown on your screens.
With the explosion in the popularity of social media in the past several years, it was only a matter of time before businesses started combining content from it with their digital signage. Whether you share positive tweets from Twitter on your employee-facing signage to improve morale, or whether you share customer comments or pictures on your customer-facing signage, you immediately increase the excitement factor both on your digital signs and on your social media presence. Together these two technologies can do more than either of them could do individually.
Digital signage will continue to evolve as customer online and mobile habits change, and one of the best features of digital signs is that they're easy to keep updated with dynamic content. When you integrate relevant social media content into your digital signage content, you show customers that they matter, you demonstrate a sense of fun and excitement, and you set the stage for better customer engagement.