While I was waiting to get my cell phone upgraded last week, I took some time to look at the digital signage in the store. The displays were mostly pushing advertisements and some videos of skateboarders. I did however, noticed a Twitter symbol at the bottom of the display, and a line of text moving very quickly across the page.
As I looked closer, I realized that was the company's twitter feed, which was speeding along so quickly, I could barely get a sense of what it was trying to say.
The only really effective part of that social media feed was that the company's Twitter handle was in full view. This is a shame, because end users can integrate social media into their displays far more effectively by simply making content visible, highlighting interactions and including a clear call to action.
Making content visible
If you are going to include social media elements in your display, it needs to be clearly visible. Simply including a feed at the bottom won't draw any eyeballs.
There are a few ways to make it visible without taking up the entire display. You can use contrasting colors to draw attention to the content, or use animations to make it stand out.
You can also set aside some time in your content loop for full screen "social media segments," where the display can showcase some of the best replies or comments.
If you want to highlight your social media, you need to make sure you emphasize the "social" aspect. You can't just put your own statuses or tweets on your displays and expect people to care. You need to show customer interactions. Here are a few examples:
Of course, you can obviously control which comments you choose to highlight. You shouldn't just put up your feed of comments, which might contain trolls. But you can also take advantage of troll comments by highlighting a snarky response to trolls, such as the infamous Wendy's Twitter feed, which features take downs and roasts of users.
Include a call to action
The key to all successful advertising is having a clear call to action. Customers should take a look at your message and understand what they should do in response. So if you use social media in your display, it needs to have a clear purpose.
If you simply want customers to follow you on social media, you should display your handles/pages very clearly so people can see it. If, however, you want to use social media to help drive sales with your display, you will need to carefully consider your message.
You could for example, offer customers a coupon or discount code for liking or following your company's pages. Or you could put a message on your display saying, "Mention this ad on our social media for a free coupon!" With this message, you have a clear call to action in place that helps boost your bottom line.
That being said, I do need to offer one quick word of caution here. Do not use your social media simply to push sales. If you do this, people will very quickly tune it out. After all, the average adult sees 360 advertisements per day, and they only noticed about 150 of those.
You need to offer content that engages with your users, not just sells to them.