Geolocation - Facebook Shelves Facebook Places - Are you using Foursquare?

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 thefoodservice 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

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Yes I actually thought about doing a promotion through that. I have a loyalty frequent buyer card that I hand out to customers. Buy 10 drinks get the 11th free. You know it works because if people pay and bring out the card without you asking if they had a card that they want it. And it HAS worked for my store so far. People get so excited for the free one hahah.

I thought of something on the lines like every 10 check-ins get 50% off but I didn't want to bother confirming so I never tried it yet. Didn't seem like a bad idea though, and yes free marketing to a vast number of people.

Right now I'm doing receive 50% off a drink when you "like" us on facebook. I'd like to let customers know when promotions, events, or news come up. It's been working fantastically. Built up customers on fb and save money on fliers announcing events and promotions.

I'm also doing *FREE DRINK* Just leave a review on yelp and let others know about your experience here. This has been working really well as well. Yelp is a big thing on the west coast since it was created in San Francisco. I've gotten many reviews via yelp and a lot of customers look at yelp before they come for the first time to my store. So far it's 26 reviews and 5/5 stars. No where else around me has gotten a solid 5 star rating. I've checked yelps terms and conditions to see if this is legitimate since in a way it's kind of bribing the customers to leave a review to get the drink. They don't disapprove it. Besides, it's not like I'm saying leave a 5 star review to get the drink. However many stars they wish to rate, it's up to their discretion. I'll still give them a free drink if they choose to give me a 1 star review. Social media is huge. I'm taking advantage of it and building it up. Seems to work great for me so far.


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