The Sign Connection: Integrating Digital Signage and Social Media

Two technologies—digital signage and social media—have joined forces to create valuable opportunities on campuses and in retail locations. The growth of digital signage paired with the ever-growing social media sphere goes hand-in-hand. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube continue to increase their audiences, with Facebook over 845 million. All over the world, businesses have embraced social media as an important means to create and maintain relationships with users. You don’t have to read between the lines to know that there is a booming need for digital display signage. Digital technology and displays are in demand for their ability to enhance viewer experiences.

As business owners, creative agencies and graphics departments consider what digital signage content to present to the public, they would do well to remember that adding engaging, attention-grabbing elements to their digital sign may be no further away than a Facebook page or Twitter account. Digital signage, and its ability to leverage social media feeds and present them in an eye-catching form while at the same time delivering a sense of immediacy, fosters a natural, mutual relationship between social media content and digital signage delivery.

According to DigitalSignage, there are three keys to successful integration of social media with digital signage: presentation, real-time updates, and leveraging analytics. In terms of presentation, content must be eye-catching and easy to read. In addition, part of the appeal of social media is the ability to receive news and updates in real time. Finally, analyzing and following trends provides information and an understanding of who is viewing the signage, when and how. This information can impact business decisions and choices in content.


In Retail Environments

Social media is all about engaging in conversation. Integrating social media with digital signage can help create a circle of communication, encouraging both customer and retailer to build a stronger relationship. Take the use of QR codes, for example. Customers can walk into a store and scan a QR code to Tweet their location, check out daily deals, enter a contest and more.

Shopping is becoming more social. People are using their smartphones to “check in” to locations and can receive recommendations for what they should or should not purchase from others who have already been there. Digital signage gives social media a large platform to share those messages. Imagine walking into a store and before even reaching for your smartphone to “check in,” you’re greeted by a digital display that not only lists specials for the day, but also shows comments and suggestions compiled from social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google +.


In Educational Environments

Digital signs are now becoming a standard communication tool for schools, as noted in “How Schools Integrate Digital Signage and Social Media,” a blog posted on It provides a smooth and effective link between school administrators and the students. Digital signage can provide students, faculty and staff members with information about news, events, athletics, emergency updates and more. And by integrating social media, students can send messages via their smartphones and interact with signage in ways that make them interested participants, rather than passive viewers. Social media has also become an essential part of student life, with campuses throughout the U.S. incorporating social media into their communication plans.

Here are just a few ways digital signage can improve communication in educational settings:

  • Emergency messaging. This is a crucial part of the campus communications network. Anything from inclement weather to auto theft needs to be communicated. Digital signage offers a way for school administration offices to communicate with people all over campus in the event of an emergency. If a winter storm causes classes to be cancelled, updates can be sent to the Facebook fan page or tweeted, which then route to a digital display of the social media account.
  • Announcement engagement. Social media has become a natural and essential part of student life. Students follow university fan pages for the latest announcements about semester activities; they follow their favorite college teams on Twitter for real-time score and major play updates. With the integration of digital signage, students are constantly engaged with the school. Photos and videos also garner a great deal of engagement on social media sites. As social media accounts are integrated with digital signage, students don’t necessarily need to be logged into Facebook to see the latest pictures or videos from a guest speaker, or drama class performance.

This article only covers potential benefits in two major industries. It doesn’t take other environments into account, such as corporate, hospitality, and entertainment, which would also benefit from the integration of digital signage displays and social media. Based on emerging trends, there is an abundance of opportunity out there for sign business owners—we just need to capitalize on them.