Oxford Properties Group Defines the Future of Retail Malls With All Eyes on Social

The real estate investment and property management company adapts physical space experiences for customers on digital

“We shape places that move people. Places that inspire. Places that enrich cities – where people can live, work, learn and play.” This is the ethos of Oxford Properties Group, a company with operations in real estate investment, development and property management on a global scale. With shopping centers, food markets, and even an amusement park across Canada under their retail portfolio, the avenues for inspiring content activations are near endless. 

So how can a company that works in the physical space adapt, and make social media the go-to place for brand experiences? We caught up with Sharon Kim, Digital Content Manager for Oxford Retail Marketing, about the company’s approach to marketing and branding across digital channels.

Customers Are the Main Focus With Central Dashboards  

“Prior to 2020, our 10 shopping centres were largely interacting with customers through in-mall experiences such as activations and Guest Services. At the time, social media was one of the main elements we wanted to work on expanding.” Sharon shares how all that has changed, “Now we see a desire and demand from the customers to interact through social and have a seamless online experience. It’s very important that we address pain points that can potentially be solved through amplifying content, responding to online messages, and social listening.”

With its fair share of the unexpected to manage, Oxford Properties Retail must be able to easily and clearly communicate with customers, wherever they are. Having visibility of what the customers are looking for and ensuring they are providing the best call to actions from one central platform has been key.

Sharon said, “During these times, social has been driving the conversation between our shopping centres and customers, especially when we cannot be physically on-site to engage. Our portfolio of shopping centres stretches across Canada, and are unique to each region. For communication about planning your visits with safety top of mind, new updates on curbside pickup, and more, we are using Socialbakers to share this content.”

Metrics from Q4 2020 alone show the increased reach of Oxford Properties’ social media and the necessary role it plays:

  • Engagement: +14%
  • Average reach per content piece: +20%
  • Number of Shopping Centres Requiring Content Coordination: 13 (including food markets and entertainment portfolio)

To make the right decisions, Oxford Properties Retail embraces a data mindset. Analytics and performance dashboards bring visibility to projects, helping everyone stay synced and tuned into emerging best practices.

Socialbakers has helped us organize and determine what elements and benchmarks to track in order to push forward. Our team members have visibility into the dashboards, which are shared on a biweekly or monthly basis. We also share performance dashboards with key stakeholders when needed. By looking at the overall portfolio, through Socialbakers, we are able to see the unique engagement levels by looking at metrics such as Interactions per 1K fans.

Sharon Kim, Digital Content Manager, Oxford Properties National Retail 

Shared Workspaces Bring Teams Closer Together 

Beyond a centralized reporting structure, teams also need a common workspace to help build smooth, streamlined – and flexible – processes. When Sharon moved from a shopping center role to the National Retail team, onboarding a functional social platform for the teams was a major priority.

“We partner with Socialbakers because there are so many platforms and portfolios for us to manage.” To keep the content output regular and meaningful, Oxford Retail makes use of Socialbakers’ shareable content libraries that all teams can draw from. Bringing the best ideas and assets to the table, the team can ensure a cohesive strategy.

Moving from planning to execution, a central editorial calendar brings visibility to all scheduled posts, allowing teams to better collaborate and build off of each other. Although campaign planning must remain flexible in many ways, the publisher tool allows their team to plan ahead.

A Trusted Technology Partner Enables Future Growth

As they look to the future, Oxford Properties’ teams work closely with Socialbakers to define their priorities for 2021 and to drive business results. The strategy for 2021 includes some important additions to their workflow. “We want to see how we can grow our social media engagement and listening for 2021, with the new opportunities we saw this year,” said Sharon. 

Navigating the changing digital landscape, it’s important for the company to have a trusted support system by their side to provide expertise and enable growth. Sharon shares her experience with the Socialbakers team and the tailored growth programs built just for them. “It always helps having our customer success manager, Ethan, around. With a big team, we want to ensure we support them in all the ways that we can and Ethan has been assisting us with this. It’s a pleasure working with him and the wider support team; they are quick to give us support and feedback.”

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