By Amy Slife If you’re a regular reader of the Likeable blog you should be well versed in social media check-in specific platforms like foursquare and Gowalla. These check-in platforms potentially function for the user in the sense of one, tracking and meeting-up with friends, and two, receiving discounts or deals for check-ins, mayorships and the like. For business, these check-in based platforms are a way to offer a new wave of customer loyalty deals and/or specials, beyond the hard plastic loyalty card or key fob, that build buzz and encourage repeat visitation. While some brands have jumped on the foursquare bandwagon with gusto, many others are not currently participating.
As you might be familiar, other networks like Twitter, which has incorporated a location-based tweets feature, and Facebook, which is still rumored to be incorporating some sort of location piece, have recognized the importance of the geo-location featured in social media as well.
The social media check-in and deals concept is continually growing and evoloving. In comes GroupTabs, offering a new variety of check-in specials focused on offering deals for restaurants and bars, where you “check in for deals.” The first GroupTabs deal is scheduled to hit this Wednesday, August 18 in NYC. Think of the GroupTabs platform as a combination of location-based check-in and Groupon, a daily discount deal that is unlocked when a certain number of people purchase it. Similar to Groupon’s daily deal, GroupTabs’ daily deal goes out in an email blast, on their website and in their mobile app. Businesses set up the offer with GroupTabs, say 20 check-ins are needed to unlock or “tip” the deal, which might be a 2 for 1 drink special, with parameters like a date, a location and even a cap for the number of check-ins/redemptions offered. When the deal has received enough check-ins at the restaurant location based on the parameters, the user receives a text alerting them to the available deal.
Why is this smart for restaurants? Well, per the description on GroupTabs.com the platforms allows businesses to drive patrons into the establishment when they want them, say a Tuesday night when business might be slow. Assuming those that head to the establishment to take part in the potential deal will grab a bite to eat or a drink while waiting for the deal to possibly tip, the business has already driven traffic to the restaurant/bar that they might not have had before and potentially encouraged purchase pre-deal. Provided the deal tips, they will most likely see some redemptions of the offer, when on a normarlly slow night they might not have experienced such volume.
GroupTabs does more than rewarding people who already frequent a venue. This is a concept that’s the opposite of most foursquare specials as they are often based on repeat attendance in order to garner a mayorship and redeem the special. GroupTabs goes beyond this to reward anyone who happens to check into the deal and potentially functions to gets new patrons in the door. These new patrons are folks who might return to the establishment if they’re wowed by their dining experience.
What are your thoughts on GroupTabs? As a social media user would you be likely to try out the platform and tip a deal near you? Do you think this is a smart engagement strategy for restaurants and bars to reward loyal customers and get new patrons in the door? Share your thoughts in the comments!