Creative Digital Signage for Social Media Savvy Customers

Creative Digital Signage for Social Media Savvy Customers

Last updated: June 20, 2014Perry Kuklin

Broken air conditioning plus one working security checkpoint equaled heaps of disgruntled flyers at LaGuardia airport recently. And they weren’t shy about complaining on their Twitter feeds about an uncomfortable, lengthy line. Here’s the reality: Your customers can gripe about the line they’re in via their social media networks, or they can be an asset to your business and promote your business, even in the midst of a bad situation. Here are five ideas for creative signage that will keep you in good stead with the tech-savvy among your customers while getting the word out about your brand and keeping people happy while they’re standing in line.

1. Follow While You Wait

There’s no better time to promote your business than when you have a captive audience. Traditional sign stands or slim frames can be used to post signage that lists your Twitter handle, Facebook page, Pinterest account, and the like. Give customers incentive to jump on their social media accounts, such as, “Follow us and earn 10 percent off your next purchase!” Just make sure your queue is in good working order so that your customers will feel like they’re really getting a perk rather than just being on the receiving end of a bribe to be quiet about the insufferable queue they’re in. It’s still important to create a queue they won’t mind returning to.

2. Encourage Interaction in Line

It seems people interact more with others through their mobile devices than face-to-face, even if they’re standing beside a kindred spirit in line. So use digital signage to make suggestions about what to Tweet while they’re waiting (#BestDealsAreInTheCheckoutLine or #FlashSaleHappeningRightNow). Or direct them to a contest, sale, or promotion you’re running through your Facebook page. There is a lot of information out there in the social media world for people to slog through – if you aren’t your own best advocate, there’s no guarantee that customers are going to seek you out independently. Give them a reason to follow you or become a fan and keep those social media sites populated and worth their while. Use digital signage within the queue to show your latest Twitter updates.

3. Never Underestimate the Power of Owning Up

When you know your line is long, when you’ve done all you can to make it shorter and there is just no way of getting around the inevitable, acknowledge the wait. Make the best of a bad situation. Digital signage to the rescue again, letting you change messages by the second: “Don’t hate us. The cash register is on the fritz. Give us a minute, pretty please? Check out our favorite folks to follow on Twitter.” People might complain, some might think it’s corny, but they’re more likely to admit that you’re at least making an effort to fix the problem and amuse them while they wait. You might even get a Tweet like #WorthTheWait from the most devout customers. If you’re really pulling out the big guns to keep people from revolting or reneging, you may get some Facebook love like: “Espresso machine down but got a voucher for free coffee.”

4. Enlist the Help of Your Customers

The viral voice is powerful. If you can’t get the word out fast enough about snafus that are holding up the queue, allow your patrons to do some of the work for you. Digital signage comes in handy to notify customers of unexpected upsets in the queue, while also allowing you to control the language you want out there about your establishment. Ask for Retweets and Shares of notifications about the best times of day to visit your business, when to expect the shortest lines, and why you especially love the customers who are truly willing to wait it out, even at the worst line times.

5. Virtually Social

If you’re willing to implement changes to your queue to appeal to the social media savvy of the masses, it may be time to consider virtual queuing which will allow your customers to register for their spot in line through their computer or handheld device. You can communicate with people via text to let them know when their turn has come, and you can encourage them to Tweet their success with your new techie ways: “Just registered for my spot in line with my iPhone! Now I can relax and let them come to me.” Bottom line: Your customers will talk about the level of service they receive in your queue, and there is an incredibly strong likelihood that they may talk about it as they’re waiting – especially if the wait is awful but also if it’s unexpectedly pleasant. Your reputation is in your hands so make sure you hold on tight. This is no time to be subtle about messaging – keep your customers happy and far from discouraged about waiting in your queue. Think ahead, be proactive, and figure out how to say what you need to say in as little as 140 characters.

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