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“We worked with Hilliers to implement a strategy to increase footfall and grow sales” Pete Doyle, MD and Founder of SocialRetail.co.uk

67 time RHS gold medal winning Hilliers Garden Centre has appointed SocialRetail.co.uk, an innovative retail consultancy and training provider, to audit and implement a social media strategy and policy throughout its 13 stores nationwide. 

Following a successful pilot at Hillier Garden Centre in Bath, Chichester and Eastbourne, SocialRetail.co.uk will implement a social media strategy and policy from the ground up with the purpose of engaging with local customers to increase customer retention and engagement levels using Twitter.

The original pilot programme, trialled from March, to May 2012,  increased Hillier’s Social Media from under one thousand to just under one million by ‘tweeting’ garden shoppers and using social media to create an impact on local communities.

Mark Pitman, Operations Manager of Hilliers Garden Centre commented: “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.”

Pitman continues, “The pilot was deemed such a success that 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, MD and Founder of SocialRetail.co.uk commented:  “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.”

Doyle Continued: “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.”

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