How social media is shaping local businesses

Minot, ND - Christmas shopping is upon us, but it's not exactly what it used to be.

Brick and mortar shopping on Black Friday has given way to things like Cyber Monday, where you can get similar deals online from the comfort of your own home.

But big box stores aren't the only ones who take to technology to attract shoppers.

Local  businesses are now stepping up to the social media plate to generate more foot traffic.

 "People demand it nowadays," Oliver's Attic boutique owner, Jackie Field, is talking about the demand of knowing what's in her store before even walking in it.

"To stay viable in the market, you got to keep upgrading and updating. It's not like it used to be," she said.

One of the upgrades she's had to do is take to social media.

"Some people see a picture on Instagram or Facebook and call right away and say, 'oh I want that, can you save me one?" Field said, "What are your hours I have to come in, I need to try on that top.' It definitely helps."

Some Minot State students are putting social media to the test by utilizing the benefits of Snapchat to reach an audience.

"There's pages and pages of stuff online for you to look at. But when they pick out key things that they think people are going to like, it makes shopping a lot easier for a customer as well," MSU Jordan Dahl.

Kaitlin Feist, co-owner at Michele F, said using a social media strategy has changed her business model, too.

"I can't tell you the amount of people we have that reach out just based off of, 'well I saw this on your story.' And there you go, it's just a reason for them to come in and check it out," Feist said.

Feist said feedback from the social media following has helped in ways she didn't anticipate when the store moved to Minot four years ago.

"Especially with these last few years of construction, we really needed to connect with our customers and we really needed to let them know that we were still here and still open and that we were still here to service them."

Now the challenge is to keep up with whatever new social media platform comes next.

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