Hillier Garden Centres to drive customer engagement and sales via Twitter

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Hillier: engaging with shoppers via Twitter

Hillier: engaging with shoppers via Twitter

Hillier Garden Centres is launching a social media strategy across its 13 UK stores following a pilot, which raised its profile among local shoppers.

The company has appointed SocialRetail.co.uk, a retail consultancy and training provider, to audit and implement the project.

It is designed to engage with local customers, in order to increase customer retention, primarily using Twitter.

The pilot programme, trialled from March to May 2012 at centres in Bath, Chichester and Eastbourne, increased Hillier’s presence on social media by tweeting garden shoppers and creating an impact in local communities.

Mark Pitman, operations manager of Hilliers Garden Centre, said: “We worked with SocialRetail.co.uk to run a pilot in social media strategy, predominantly using Twitter, within a small selection of stores. Allowing stores to take ownership of their local marketing has generated significant new customer and sales figures within their local area.

“The pilot was deemed such a success we are rolling this out to all our stores during mid-2012. Each Hillier Garden Centre will use social media to promote and market themselves locally and update their site specific webpage, and to promote each other via central marketing activity.” 

Pete Doyle, managing director and founder of SocialRetail.co.uk, said: “We have a unique approach to planning and implementing Social Media and integrating this with other marketing communication channels. We call this approach the Conversation Plan. We worked with Hilliers to construct a Conversation Plan and implement a strategy to increase footfall and grow sales. The pilots that we ran have been hugely successful and individual stores are now better integrated into their local community. This will be repeated for Hilliers stores nationwide.
“It is essential for any retailer, whether they have one shop or 1,000, to make an impact on the local community. Social media is an effective way of encouraging shop staff to build local relationships and increase sales.”