As noted in a previous post, some tech experts dub Foursquare as “the next Twitter.” During the Social Media Success Summit, Tristan Walker (@tristanwalker) of Foursquare and Andrew Mason (@andrewmason) of Groupon shared tips on how to bring satisfied customers repeatedly back to your business.
If you don’t know what Foursquare is, check out our post titled “Why You Should Check Into Foursquare.” By encouraging people to explore their cities and frequent local businesses, Foursquare has proved to be an effective tool in gaining customer information for businesses both large and small. Using the service, business owners can learn who is visiting, how often, during what time of day, etc., and leverage the information to increase sales and their customer base.
To illustrate this point, Walker cited the experiences of two small business owners:
Monique’s Chocolates – Running specials via Foursquare (e.g., if a customer bought one truffle and checked-in at the store, they received one truffle free), Monique’s saw 60+ promotion redemptions, while local newspaper ads garnered no results.
AJ Bombers – After learning how to successfully unlock the “Swarm” badge (50 or more people checked-in to a location at once), the restaurant chose to host a “Swarm Badge Party.” Within 13 minutes on the day of the party, 160 people had checked-in (typical daily average: ~30 customers), and 75 percent bought something off the menu during the party.
Building on this success, AJ Bombers now offers a free burger to the mayor (most frequent Foursquare visitor), and has seen a 30 percent increase in overall menu purchases.
Results vary, but these examples demonstrate the marketing potential of social media tools, and the prospect of a positive ROI.
Following Walker’s portion of the presentation, Mason described the idea behind Groupon – a site that uses subscribers’ social networks to reach a large group of potential customers over time – and how businesses have achieved more sales through the service.
Essentially an online coupon, Groupon features a daily deal on the best things to do, see, eat, and buy in a variety of cities across the U.S., Canada and Europe. In order to cash in your “Groupon”, the deal must be tipped by a set number of Groupon purchases. Once the deal is on and you’ve bought your Groupon, it will be sent via e-mail and expire six months from date of purchase.
For a business to have a featured deal, Groupon looks at the following:
– Best deal ever offered (required)
– Reviews (both online and in print)
– Overall popularity
– Price point
Since a minimum number of people must buy for the offer to be valid, Groupon guarantees paying customers. These subscribers aren’t looking for “the perfect deal,” they’re looking for the perfect excuse to try something new. On average, a Groupon customer spends 60 percent more than the value of their Groupon.
In addition, it costs nothing to be featured on Groupon. They make money by taking a piece of each Groupon sold, so it’s a win-win situation when customers purchase your featured deal.
To learn more on using Groupon for business, visit www.grouponworks.com.
The growth of location-based social networking tools has made it possible for ventures such as Foursquare and Groupon to flourish. Have you utilized such sites as part of your online marketing and sales strategy? What new tools do you predict for the future?