Posted on: April 26, 2022 | Investing
Social media can be a powerful tool for many businesses, including vending businesses. The right social media platform and strategy can help you build awareness for your vending machines, make new audiences aware of your machines, and help you forge profitable relationships with other businesses. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how to leverage social media to grow your vending business.
How to Leverage Social Media to Grow Your Vending Business
Leveraging social media to grow your vending business requires a local focus. Though social media platforms reach an international audience, they can also be tools for connecting communities. Finding the right social media strategy can help you connect with customers effectively.
A local social media strategy should accomplish at least one of the following:
- Reinforcement: consumers have to see an advertisement about 7 times before it impacts buying decisions. Social media is another touch point to connect with consumers and make an impact.
- New audiences: Many potential customers are near your vending machines, but might not know it exists. If they never pass your machine or see your signs, they can’t become a customer. Social media is a way to reach them.
- Resolving Doubts: All businesses must overcome a consumer’s doubts in order to bring in new customers. For example, customers might be reluctant to purchase ice from your machine because they are unsure how it works or not sure the ice is clean. Social media allows you to address and resolve these doubts.
- Reassurance: Simply seeing a brand or any message multiple times is, oddly enough, a way to generate more trust and positive sentiment. By seeing something multiple times, it becomes more legitimate, less risky, and easier to process in a customer’s mind. This is known as the mere-exposure effect, and it’s a cognitive bias affecting all of us, outside our awareness.
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6 Social Media Strategies to Grow Your Vending Business
With the previously stated goals in mind, let’s take a look at a few more specific strategies that you might leverage on social media to grow your vending business.
1. Local Groups
Many social media platforms, such as Facebook, Reddit and Neighborly, use groups (or a similar mechanism) to help users find the content or the other users that they’re interested in. Join local groups on your platform of choice and share your vending businesses location so you can reach nearby consumers and other businesses.
2. Share with Businesses
Working with other businesses, you can increase traffic to your vending machine in creative ways. Make your vending business known to nearby businesses and employees. For example, if your vending machine is close to an office building, you might find businesses in the building on Facebook and share a discount or new item with them. For ice and water vending machines, you might reach out to businesses that work outdoors and rely on ice to keep food and drinks cold.
3. Local Hashtags
You can increase the odds that local consumers will see your posts by using locally-focused hashtags on platforms like Twitter or Instagram. These will usually include the city name and a fond phrase, such as #iheartCITYNAME or #visitCITYNAME. Consider how you could make your posts relevant to your audience. For example, for a coffee vending machine, you might include a caption like “jumpstart your morning without waiting in line #VisitCityName.”
Local events tend to spur a lot of local social media activity. This is a great time to join the conversation and share your vending business too. Once again, use particular hashtags to bring your content into the conversation. This might include something like #CITYNAMEFestival. During a busy festival, you might show where your snack vending machine is and include a caption like “can’t get a table at #CityFestival? Stop by and satisfy your snack attack!”
5. Special Locations
If your vending machine is located in or near a special location, it can be helpful to leverage social activity from that location. Parks, beaches, marinas, event centers, theme parks and other areas are likely to attract a lot of visitors and followers. Connect with the location online if you can and see if you can share each others’ content. Or, use hashtags connected to the location.
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6. Targeted Ads
Social media ads can help to increase exposure for your vending machine and bring in new customers. However, it’s important to budget carefully, and make sure that your ad spend makes sense with your ROI. Many social media platforms allow you to narrowly target your ads, so you can accurately reach your audience. Targeting your ads by zip code is a good place to start.
What Sort of Content?
There’s a strong impulse to post what seems to work best online, such as funny animal videos or jokes. This type of content might be fine occasionally, but it’s important to keep your content relevant to your business. Consider these suggestions if you’re not sure what to post.
- Behind the Scenes: You might give your followers a “behind the scenes look” to show what you do. Show that you are cleaning, restocking and maintaining the machine regularly.
- Free Vends and New Items: Social media is a great place to share special offers you’re having or new items you’ve stocked, and encourage customers to make a visit.
- Maps: Make it obvious where your machines are located, with clear street names and nearby stores, so customers know how to find you.
- Demonstrations: Show how your machine works, and then show how much customers are enjoying your coffee, ice, water, snacks, or other items.
With some strategies and content types in mind, choose a platform that you’re familiar with and enjoy using, and get started! See what works best for your audience and make changes accordingly. Remember to be patient and consistent; you won’t see an increase in sales overnight, but increasing awareness overtime can help you grow your vending business.
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