Facebook and Foursquare offer some great ways to reward your customers.
I wrote about how daily deals can be damaging to your business. I also said there are ways to utilize and capitalize on the benefits that daily deals do have to offer. Showing that you value your customers is a great way to make an impression. One way to to reward your customers for interacting with you is through "check in" deals.
Facebook allows you create one of four types of deals.
-Individual: This allows you to reward customers for checking in to your location. As a merchant you can offer a percentage off their bill or provide some sort of incentive to thank them for checking in. I always say make sure the reward is valuable. Consumers know when you are trying to take the cheap way out.
- Loyalty: This is a great way to thank your customers for their frequency of purchase. For example after every 5 times you check in you get a free admission to your theater or 40% off your dinner. It is less expensive to increase the frequency of purchase on your current customers than it is to try to acquire new ones.
- Friend (group): The way to utilize this deal is to offer something of value to a group of up to 8 people. The benefit of creating a friend deal is that the customer must tag all the individuals they are with in order to redeem. For example: your a bowling alley and you will give a free game to all parties of at least 5 people. One person checks in and tags all four other people and then they are able to redeem the free game. Now, all 5 of these customers wall displays that they are at your bowling alley. Great exposure, considering the average Facebook user has 130 friends (multiplied by 5 and you get 650 pairs of eyes).
- Charity: A merchant can show their Goodwill by offering some sort of donation for every check in by a customer. This can be completely tailored to what every value the donation is and the amount you will cap your donations at. Example: Every time a customer checks in to our shoe store we will donate $1 to the Maine Entrepreneurs Start Up Foundation up to $50,000. This is not a real charity, as far as I know (hmmm, maybe it should be).
Foursquare works very much like the platform that Facebook has with the biggest differences being that customers can share on twitter and Facebook and you, as a merchant, can run two different deals at a time whereas Facebook your allowed to run just one. The other great thing about Foursquare is that the customer with the most check ins becomes the Mayor of your location. You can create rewards for the mayor and this will entice others to keep checking in and sharing so they can receive this exclusive reward. I recommend that a Mayor receives incentives of fairly significant value. The greater the value the more customers are going to desire it and try to strip the title of mayor away from each other. Increased desire leads to increase in activity. Maybe the mayor gets a free bag of popcorn for every visit to the movie theater, or a free soda every visit to your restaurant. Be creative and make it fun.
Lesson: Create value and your customers will do the best thing for you in return, TALK ABOUT YOU.