Solutions for Operators
Yesterday Facebook quietly announced the death of Facebook Places. Rolled out a year ago, partly in competition with Foursquare, Gowalla and other geo-location apps, Places eventually was only adopted by about 6% of Facebook users.
In observing the social media adoption by the foodservice industry, Facebook Places was never a competitor to Foursquare. This begs the question – have you been using Foursquare or some other geo-location app to help drive customer loyalty and sales?
How do geo-location apps work? Users, like myself on Foursquare, will enter a coffeeshop and “check in” on Foursquare. Checking in publishes to my social networks (this is optional) that I’ve just stopped at your coffee shop (woot! free marketing for you!). If your business is registered on Foursquare, you might have a special offer for me to redeem.
Most foodservice operators that use geo-location services reward the person who “checks in” the most in a week or month. I might get a free beverage or sandwich if I’m the “Mayor” of your shop during a set time period. Think about it – I’m telling all my connections (for me that’s about 10,000) that I keep returning to your business – again, free marketing for you, and, it’s word of mouth.
If you decide to dig deeper in geo-location, you can also reach out to people checking in; send them a tweet or message thanking them for stopping in, ask them how their experience was, ask them for suggestions, etc.
Foursquare and Gowalla are the two most popular geo-location apps in the USA. The death of Facebook Places is not a huge surprise. Are you using apps like this to increase your customer engagement and loyalty? What works for you?
Jeff from Mocafe