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Dynamic Signage Gets Social

(June 2014) posted on Tue Jun 24, 2014

How your customers can connect their brands with their consumers socially.

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By Beth Osborne

Pinterest sprang up initially as a way for moms to share DIY craft ideas and easy recipes. Consumer brands took notice, realizing that users (mostly women who make the decisions on many home purchases) could “pin” their items and therefore share it with their networks.

Several major retailers have been placing printed signs by items that are most pinned, which can prompt a Pinterest user to log in and check who pinned the product, how they are using it, and possibly even see reviews. So why not bring that experience to consumers while they are in the store without making them reach for their smart phones? By using dynamic signage to promote frequently pinned items, brands can bring the experience directly to the customers in their physical locations. This also allows real-time updates of how the featured items are trending on Pinterest.

Here are two different ways to apply this idea. First, you can use small digital screens within the product displays to highlight key items. Many manufacturers offer smaller screens that are cost effective but also mobile. Look for screens that are battery powered to avoid the need for plugs and that have wireless Internet connectivity. By using these small, portable screens, your clients can move them easily as new items become popular.

The other approach would be to use traditional larger screens positioned either within departments or at entrances. Multiple items that have been pinned can be featured along with information about where shoppers can find the items in the store.

Another growing social media site is Vine. With its six-second video clips, it’s the perfect social media plug-in for dynamic signage. Most studies show that viewers of dynamic signage have an attention span of about eight seconds, so Vine’s quick videos are sure to be brief enough to interest an audience.
Here’s a new idea to get your customers excited about using Vine within their dynamic signage: They can engage with their followers by asking them to feature their products or services in videos. Going a step further, they can introduce contests and request submissions.

By tasking followers with creating videos, brands are actually placing advertising into the hands of the public. And with an extra incentive that winning videos would not only be viewable on Vine and websites but also in store locations, customers become more engaged and excited about the brand.

For example, let’s say a yogurt shop introduces a new flavor and asks its patrons to create short clips introducing the product in a creative way. The submission that best speaks to the brand and the essence of the new flavor would be named the winner. The clip chosen could be played on screens in locations throughout the country. That type of recognition is something many social media enthusiasts are searching for, hoping for their “15 minutes.” The brand would not even need to offer an additional prize to the winner, but it could ask the winner to continue creating clips about his or her love for their yogurt.

Why is this a win for brands? Because they’ll be using digital screens that already act as menu or message boards and not incurring new costs for hardware. And because it’s a social campaign, they’ll be generating brand awareness with little additional expense. Finally, by finding real brand ambassadors who want to share their adoration of the product, they can scale back traditional, expensive advertising.

This integrated social media strategy is applicable across many different industries. Regardless of the product, the reasons social media works are universal.

Time to engage
Ready to introduce some new ideas to your customers about dynamic signage and social media? You don’t have to be a social media expert; however, you do need to make sure your pitch includes important information about execution. Your customers need to know why and how these techniques work, so as a provider you need to be able to answer the technical questions, too. By introducing additional ways to incorporate and use dynamic signage, brands will give you points for your forward thinking.

Dynamic signage will continue to find its way into most anywhere that consumers go. By adding a social element, you can ensure that brands get the notice they are seeking. Customers who feel like they are part of a brand’s story (and there is no doubt they do when engaging socially) become much more than customers; they become brand champions. There is no better way to capture that than by displaying the real-time interaction of social media through dynamic signage.