Do you have a mobile marketing plan? If your strategy consists of signing up for everything and putting in minimal time or effort, the benefits will be limited, ultimately hurting your business in the long term. To stand out from your competition, you need to immerse yourself completely in the digital world, maintaining a consistent strategy that will attract new guests and keep loyal guests coming back.
Here are some quick tips to get started:
• Get on Facebook. The importance of this social-media site can’t be reiterated enough. Fan pages establish followers who want to know more about you and what you’re doing. Additionally, as fan pages become more advanced and evolve, you can start targeting specific demographics with Facebook ads to entice them to come to your bar or club.
• Use text-message marketing sparingly. Your natural instinct is, undoubtedly, to take advantage of text messaging and smartphones, as you should. But because this strategy is such a direct and seemingly invasive approach, you’ll only want to text message your database with exclusive one-of-a-kind deals. If you bombard people with text messages, you'll lose them as customers, and more importantly, you'll lose business.
• Get in the game with Quick Response (QR) codes. Technology can seem daunting, but applying QR codes to your business really is quite simple. Some Websites allow you to create codes for free; you then can print them on coasters, table tents, posters, etc.
With multiple QR–code-reading apps, your guests can use smartphones to snap a photo that will take them to a mobile site of your choosing, such as a Facebook page, mobile Website, or online contest. The possibilities are endless, which is exactly what you want. Remember, though, that QR codes are best used to establish your brand. Incentives and promotions are certainly a smart way to get people to use the codes, but be versatile and inventive: These codes can send you almost anywhere, so take advantage of that.
• Do you want to create loyalty in an innovative way? Try PlacePop, a virtual loyalty card that rewards individuals for coming back to your establishment. Guests sign into your establishment using their smartphones and are awarded loyalty points; they then can claim rewards, coupons or discounts. This certainly takes loyalty cards to a whole new (digital) level.
• Don't fear the unknown. With all of these evolving technologies, and with social-media Websites and apps entering the fray on a daily basis, it can be overwhelming. At times, mobile marketing can feel like a dangerous and risky investment. Stick with what you know and what’s working but don’t get complacent. Make sure you’re using your mobile strategies in a creative, innovative and evocative way. If you do, you’ll start seeing the benefits.