Archive for the ‘Social Network marketing’ Category

Cellphones replacing loyalty cards?

June 1, 2010

By now your business surely has a Facebook fan page, and some of you are even actively using it to promote your store/product/whatever. We even know of some Top 100 dealers who offer Facebook-only specials to its base of fans — usually, a 10-percent off something or other special. It’s a brave new world, this social networking stuff, and it’s sometimes hard to tell if all the work keeping up with it is for naught. 

Sure you have 500 fans on Facebook, but what does this mean? Has it translated into more sales or door swings? 

Well, the New York Times is reporting on a number of social networking companies who are turning their social media skills towards programs that can help you track your more loyal customers — at least those who are actively engaged in Facebooking, Foursquaring, etc. 

There are already several tech companies — Foursquare, Shopkick, Gowalla and Loopt — that have turned shopping and visiting stores into a game. Consumers using the social apps on their smartphones mainly use them to “check in” to different locations to let their Facebook friends know where they are or where they’re shopping. They can also collect virtual points, prize badges and titles such as Mayor or some such. They’ve basically turned running errands into a game. 

Sound silly? Yes, sort of, until now. A couple of these companies have introduced partnership programs that allow you to reward loyal customers for coming into your store and “checking in.” This is basically mobile marketing that allows you to offer such perks as discounts or free gifts to loyal customers. The idea is that these targeted bonuses will help increase repeat visits in addition to foot traffic. 

The New York Times reports that such companies as Gap, Burger King and Universal Music have plans to use Loopt Star to reward loyal customers. The participating companies can tailor the program to offer different “rewards” for such actions as “checking in” a certain number of times, or give out an extra perk to those with a specific number of Facebook friends. Retailers can design “rewards” with their own graphics, special offers and the actions they’d like their loyal customers to take. These include:

  • check in to selected venues with Facebook friends
  • check in to selected venues and broadcast this on Facebook
  • check in to selected venues at certain times of the day
  • check in to selected venues a specific number of times  
  • Foursquare, the most popular of the “checking in” apps, allows businesses to offer Foursquare Specials, a program that includes a set of analytics to gauge consumer behavior. The free program allows you to collect behavioral data about customers such as:

    • most recent visitors
    • most frequent visitors
    • the time of day people check in
    • total number of unique visitors
    • a histogram of check-ins per day
    • gender breakdown of customers

    Foursquare also encourages businesses to promote their involvement with the service via Twitter, with signs at the cash registers or sidewalk signs, and can help stores market their Specials via window clings or through downloadable PDFs.  

    Here’s an idea. Why not combine the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Revive Your Ride program and one of these mobile marketing services to promote the upcoming riding season?

    It’s undoubtedly frustrating keeping up with technology when you’re running a dealership, especially the rapidly evolving social media world. But it might be worthwhile to investigate what’s out there as it’s very likely a large swath of your customer base is already clued into this stuff. Also, a lot of a it is free and who doesn’t like free?

    Stopping Internet-Phone Use In Your Dealership

    March 4, 2010

    Or Can You Make That Phone Habit Work For You?
    Some Retailers Have. Here’s The Story.

    It was the second day of a 20 Group meeting and the discussion turned to employee cell phone use. It was one of the hottest topics of the weekend.

    “How can I stop my employees from spending so much time on their cell phones during working hours?” one asked. “They’re on the Internet all the time.” The question struck a nerve, and the discussion was off an running.

    The consensus: Internet phone use in dealerships is out of control and there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to stop it. But do we really want to stop it? Using that ingrained habit has proved profitable for some retail operations like yours.

    (more…)

    Good Stuff at Roland Sands Design

    November 23, 2009

    I’m pretty much a sucker for most everything that come out of Roland Sands Design. The RSD aesthetic nails me on somewhat of a cellular level much like that from any great designer — whether it be furniture, architecture, can openers, bathtub plugs or motorcycles. If it were up to me, even the most mundane object would be of interesting design. (Why should we have to surround ourselves with boring things?)

    But the bikes and parts produced by RSD are anything but mundane. Even RSD’s ad campaign featuring Estevan Oriol photographs of Justene Jaro and Rachel Sterling are  stunning. But I didn’t post this blog as another personal lathering of RSD, in fact I think I just officially went on a Tangent.

    No, what I’m interested in is RSD’s new Blog It program. Enclosed in each RSD product package is a postcard that lets customers know if they take a picture or shoot video of their RSD-adorned machine, post (more…)