A Leeds retail destination is harnessing the power of social media to make sure it is top of the shops with its thousands of online followers.
Trinity Leeds is taking to popular social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to connect with its audience and offer more than just a shopping experience.
Nowadays window-dressing alone is not enough to reach customers, and the £400m centre is getting its voice heard with eye-catching campaigns such as Instagram-friendly pumpkin-carving at Halloween, a digital Kissing Tree at Christmas, student shopping nights and super-sized slides installed for spring.
The attention-grabbing events all have a social media focus, whether it is shoppers sharing their snaps online or Trinity Leeds promoting its own content.
Dan Wharton, marketing manager at Trinity Leeds, said: “Shoppers don’t just want to pop in, shop and leave any more. They want an experience – a meal or drinks with friends, a trip to the cinema and a look round the shops.
“It’s our job to make it memorable enough for them to tell their friends about it and make sure they keep coming back.
“Having these tools at our fingertips helps us maintain a connection with our audience even when they’re not physically here – they might be at home and see an event of ours pop up on Facebook, or their friends might be using one of our Snapchat filters or one of our event hashtags on Twitter.
“This produces the phenomenon of FOMO – the fear of missing out – and it continues to keep our brand desirable for those that shop with us and provokes curiosity for those that don’t.
“Opening up a dialogue between our customers is key – and the impressive number of people we welcome through the doors at these events show just how big an impact digital can have.”
One of the most successful digital outcomes to date was for Trinity Leeds’s Student Night event, which offered discounts and giveaways amid a party atmosphere generated by dancers, DJs and entertainment.
Despite the ever-evolving student population being a notoriously difficult audience to woo, the event saw more than 30,000 people descending on the shopping centre in just a few hours one evening last year.
This was partly due to a creative digital campaign called The Real Deal, which included a Candid Camera-style video using lookalikes of stars such as Premier League footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and model Cara Delevingne visiting Headingley and other student hotspots.
The video reached 200,000 online users and led to more than 25,000 people signing up for the event.
Alongside the video, Trinity Leeds launched its own Snapchat profile providing live content, discounts and offers, while a geofilter was created to ensure relevant content was delivered on platforms popular with students.
Mr Wharton said: “This is just one example of how we’re looking at digital a little differently and using it to full effect.
“Not only do events like this offer customers a unique experience but it also helps us shout about what we’re doing here, and how we’re worth paying a visit.”
The Yorkshire Evening Post recently launched its Digital City platform in partnership with Sky Betting & Gaming.
The platform is designed to highlight the giant strides being made by a sector that boasts around 3,000 organisations in Leeds.