With the rise in social media, individuals and communities are using social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a platform to interact with others in sharing content across the Web. For businesses, this creates an ideal marketing opportunity for user-generated content to promote their brand online.
Photo kiosks are being utilised at events, functions and venues to enable users to take photos and upload them to their social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Placed in high volume locations, the kiosks are intended to encourage social interaction whilst acting as advertising for the brand. Sharing content online is becoming increasingly popular in the rise of social media networks.
Although we are now able to share photos via our Smartphones, kiosks provide physical points for sharing, which are more suitable for occasions and group shots. These kiosks invite consumers to share photos, interact with the brand and in turn, market for them to a wide online audience. The photos are liked, commented on and shared via the web, which spreads the brand message across the social networks. Some kiosk solutions are also using touch screen facilities so that users can edit their photos before sharing.
Benefits of linking kiosks to social networks:
- Encourages social interaction
- Invites consumers to interact with brand
- Gives brand marketing opportunities
- Maximises online presence
- Spreads content broadly
Recently, a European company have designed freestanding digital kiosks that facilitate video calls, which are ‘Skype stations’. These kiosks also serve as a marketing tool for deployers. These are being tested in airports as interactive ‘booths’ that users can engage with while waiting for a flight. The station incorporates an in-built webcam, interactive touch screen and speakers. Skype stations could take off with the deployment in alternative public locations.
Retail kiosks and digital signage solutions are also integrating social media to entice consumers and encourage user-generated content. Digital signage used in large retail spaces can provide live feeds and updates, also creating an opportunity for retailers to advertise promotions or campaigns. With links to social networking sites, people from the community are able to share their opinions, comments and photos within a public space. This benefits retailers as they can gain real life feedback and generate brand awareness.
Within retail environments, social media interactivity is being utilised in wayfinding kiosks to drive traffic and provide a service. With the integration of Smartphones, shoppers are able to gain access to the shopping centre Facebook page and receive to directions that are emailed from the kiosk.