Every business knows that social media is a valuable way to grow your online engagement – but few retail businesses recognize the value of using social media toincrease in-store customer engagement.

Using the right social media strategies can not only improve the quality of your brand, but it can also capture the interest, and audiences, of your customers.

Here are four examples of brands using social media to increase in-store engagement.

Kellogg’s sells cereal for Instagram posts

A few years back, Kellogg’s launched a new version of Special K, one of their most popular cereals, and offered fans in Sweden (one of the biggest consumers of Special K) a first taste through the first-ever Instagram store, or Insta-shop.

Here’s how it worked, customers could receive a free box of cereal in exchange for an Instagram post with the hashtag #nyaspecialk and a picture of them holding a box of Special K. All they had to do was show their instagram feed to the sales associate to receive the box of cereal for free.

Lowe’s home improvement uses Vine to offer advice

In the US, Lowe’s is one of the leaders in do-it-yourself home-repair. They sell virtually everything a homeowner might need to build, improve, or repair their dwelling.

To offer additional value to customers (and increase sales) Lowe’s employees regularly offer advice on how to make installations and repairs. By helping customers discover how to do something on their own, the customer is more likely to purchase from the store.

To take their fix-it focus to a whole new level, Lowe’s launched Fix in Six on Vine – where viewers can learn how to complete a variety of repairs, all from a six second video.

In addition to helping connect with their audience on social media, these videos can also offer a valuable resource to customers and employees – saving in-store employees the time required to explain specific tasks.

Victoria Secret offers free gift for in-store selfies

To help raise awareness for the Tease perfume line, Victoria Secret launched a campaign that gave a free gift to anyone who went into one of the brand’s lingerie stores and took a selfie next to one of the displays.

This campaign provided two benefits. First, it drove customers back into the store. Second, it gave the brand access to each visitor’s social media following.

Although sponsored media from influencers is becoming popular among retailers, using “regular” customers can be far cheaper while still gaining access to a large audience.

Nordstrom goes big with on-store social media

Nordstrom did a unique twist in their in-store social media campaign last year by making it an on-store social media campaign.

To promote an anniversary sale, Nordstrom took to Instagram in a whole new way. The fashion retailer created a massive piece of artwork, replicating an Instagram image, on the top of their flagship store in Seattle.

The exhibit depicted one of the dresses included in the sale in a larger-than-life size – on an 8 meter hanger. Not only are the images impressive, so was the response on social media.

Closing thoughts…

As the four examples above illustrate, social media is a great way to get customers into the store and interacting with the brand – both online and off.

Furthermore, for retail brands, the key to a successful social media campaign is to ensure that it remains highly visual – dominated by images and videos. As the goal is to raise brand and product awareness, finding ways to connect as many people as possible with images of the product is key.

Consider using social media to increase the in-store experience for your customers and you may discover a whole new way to connect with your audience.