Social Media Coupons Are Better Looking When the Lights Go On

About a year and half ago, there was an article in this newsletter that talked about the pros and cons of nightlife deals. At the time, the idea of coupon deals was not well received in the world of nightclubs, especially the promoters. And who can blame them?  This industry is built on word-of-mouth, velvet ropes and personal invitations. The last thing a promoter and a club owner want is to be viewed as having to resort to social media couponing to fill the place. Leave the daily deals to the nail salons and cupcake shops, right?  Not so fast.

There’s no denying social couponing has its flaws. With a lot of them, the business does not get to control who is being offered a deal. And there’s no way of tracking who bought and/or redeemed it. Not to mention how much you can tick off your regulars when they find out the couple sitting next to them got a better deal on bottle service. But before you completely dismiss the idea of social media deals think about this.

What if you had complete control over who received a special deal, the terms of the deal, and could shut it off at any time? What if the deal was used as a way to reach deeper into a VIP’s network to attract more of specific clientele to the club? Sounding a bit better?

With complete control over the process, the promoter has a way to build upon what’s already going well while also taking advantage of the upside of social media.  If the deal is positioned as an invitation only ticket that allows certain VIPs to bring along a new friend, the promoter reinforces the club’s cache while adding to their arsenal of contacts.  

Here’s how you can make it work without diminishing your brand, upsetting your regulars, or losing control over who gets past the front door.

  • Test it out on a less busy night with an inner circle of VIPs and limit the amount of people who are able to use the offer.
  • Set the guidelines so that the person who receives it understands your goals and criteria of the promotion.
  • Present a compelling incentive when one of your VIPs brings a qualified friend along.
  • Include a QR code on it so you can track the new contact.
  • Treat your new connections like VIPs and get to know them on a one-on-one basis while they’re at the club.
  • Think about creative offers that don’t cut into the profits such as backstage meet-and-greets or private events.

While the bad rap that some social coupon sites have gotten is warranted, the fact is they do bring in money. The reason so many of them didn’t deliver for the long haul is because the vendor in charge of them managed the process in the dark and cut out the promoter.

The key to making these deals work is to put your business in the driver’s seat, while the vendor is solely responsible for the behind-the-scenes technical work.  This way, you can increase profits without diminishing the club’s brand or the cache of the clientele in it.

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