Wednesday, September 23, 2009

tweeting incentives to get customers into stores

I wrote this piece was written for and am reposting it here.

Smart brands are gaining followers on Twitter by offering real-time discounts or giveaways to get customers into their stores. Borders, the bookstore chain, is offering free or discounted books at certain locations. Baja Fresh, the Mexican fast food food chain owned by Wendy’s International, offers freebies or discounts during lunch hours to customers who show the Tweeted offer at the register.


This kind of promotion is smart for a couple of reasons. Establishing consistent rapport with consumers during a downturn helps a brand remain top-of-mind when the economy improves. And for chain retailers, which are often seen as having no real connection to the communities where their stores are located, a promotion like this evokes a sense of local familiarity. The tactic is also extremely measurable—return on investment is easily calculated based on the number of Twitter followers a brand has and the number of people who follow through on the giveaway.

Plus, this is a great way to participate in the online conversation, the constant stream of social media chatter that brands need to join. Our most recent trendletter, “The Now Web,” explores how brands can leverage the Web’s shift to real-time communication.

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