I, like most cost conscious consumers, love loyalty or reward programs, and easily achievable rewards are on the top of my list. Thankfully, my family’s favorite restaurant offers a nice 10% discount. Couple this fact with an award winning brew master and I’m more likely to agree to their request to eat out. Here at MoreVisibility we rotate responsibility for bringing in bagels, so why not frequent the shop that provides me with a free dozen after purchasing twelve. I simple present my card at time of check out and they stamp the next number on the card until I have filled up, and then the dozen is free.
A new e-loyalty system is now in its infancy and growing in popularity, using Foursquare’s application for smart phones. Foursquare combines social networking and location by awarding users that “check in” at bars, restaurants and other business via their smart phone. The application leverages your smart phone’s GPS and allows participants to identify where they are via checking-in. If the location exists and is participating in the program the person checking-in may be accumulating loyalty points they can use for goods or services offered by the business. If the business is not participating, the person checking-in can leave a “tip” for others using Foursquare to read up on and possibly drive traffic for the business. Becoming the Mayor of a particular store is a title you earn via having more visits in a period of time than any other “friend” also using Foursquare. You may lose your title of Mayor to one of your friends who learned about the business and Foursquare would let you know that via email. Competition between your friends could easily escalate. For instance the “Mayor” of the local ice cream shop, may also be in running to be the “Mayor” of the local gym.
Considering the huge adoption in smart phones, it makes sense for firms to consider using Foursquare’s service for promoting their goods and services. The hospitality industry folks are going to lead the early adaptors, since it provides a trendy method to promote their goods and services and allows for an inexpensive way to create a buzz. In today’s tough economy any marketing initiative that rewards your customers with discounts and freebies will be a winner. The process to “claim” your business and join is straightforward. If you know your customers’ demographic includes these early technology adaptors, get started with the latest loyalty program and see ‘em “check-in”.
This month LinkedIn is revamping the Groups section of their site. You may already be a member of a group on LinkedIn, but if not, I would highly encourage it. More than likely, there are groups about your industry or a specific topic that is of interest to you. LinkedIn’s groups have always been a great way to portray your expertise in a particular area or stay up to date on news topics, but with this recent update I imagine that they will become even more helpful.
The focus of this revamp seems to be to place an emphasis on discussions within groups. You will now be able to find news and discussions all in one place, making it easier to start discussions around recent news topics. One of my favorite features is the carousel within the discussions section. This area is a great place to highlight topics, such as blog posts, as MoreVisibility’s group features. Members of the group can then scroll through the different featured topics.
Individuals within these groups can comment on an article, news, or discussion topic. When they do, a thumbnail image of that member will appear. Simply scrolling over that user’s image will enable you to see their comment.
Other features include an area called Top Influencers This Week. Following top influencers can help you to stay current with their topics and discussions. You can actually follow any members within a group. This follow feature in particular seems to be very “Twitter-like”.
There is also a Manager’s Choice section, where the Manager of the group can select a discussion topic of their choice to feature. You can also search discussions to find a specific topic that interests you.
Become a member of a LinkedIn group today to learn about how you can get involved.
Seriously. Social Media is no longer a novelty, nor should it be viewed as such. Online Marketers who have not yet taken the plunge – ought to – and fast. Many clients that I speak with on a regular basis have already initiated a Social Media Strategy. Those who have not, typically explain their lack of social media involvement on two main reasons: Time and Knowledge and not having enough of either.
Let’s address the time factor. If you think having a Facebook or Twitter Page is going to take up time, you are 100% correct. If you’re not sure what is worse between having zero presence on social media channels, or having a crummy presence, it’s the latter. There’s no way around it, Social Media is a time investment. If you do not have the internal resources (and knowledge) to devote to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page, you may be doing more harm than good. A clear strategy is mission critical to the success of your Social Media efforts. There should be an action plan in place so everyone in your organization is clear as to who is responsible for which channel, how often posts will be made, which promotions will be offered and when/how you will responding to any feedback (both good and bad).
Now let’s address knowledge. It is super important to become well versed in the various social networks, especially those in which your organization will be participating. Knowledge is power and the more you educate yourself the better your efforts will be. Anyone can start a social media profile page (especially with no graphics or custom design features), but the harder part is understanding which channels are the best fit for your organization, why someone would frequent your page or profile and how to engage users to appreciate and become a part of your social media arena, as well as tell their friends/business associates about it.
If any, or all of the above, seems overwhelming, please feel free to visit the Social Media page on our website, which will hopefully help to shed a little more light on the subject. We offer a variety of programs that can be customized to your needs and goals.
Jumping into Social Media can be intimidating, however if done correctly, it can reap huge rewards. Go Social or go home!