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How to Use Location-Based Social Networks in Your Customer Retention Program


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Social media marketing has become part of the mainstream, but using location-based social networks like Foursquare, Yelp, and SCVNGR for marketing customer retention programs is still a novelty. These social media platforms allow customers to check-in and share their physical location with their online contacts. Even larger social networks that aren’t solely location-based, such as Facebook and Twitter, allow customers to share their location and associate it with a status update or tweet. Marketing your business with location-based networks is all about strengthening your relationships with customers and retaining customers for a much longer time.

According to an infographic by Microsoft Tag, 30% of smartphone users access social networks via their mobile browsers, and that figure will likely continue to grow. But the idea isn’t to abandon traditional client retention programs and replace them with location-based marketing programs – the most effective strategy is to combine the two mediums. Here are some tips for using location-based marketing to drive loyalty, word-of-mouth marketing, and referrals in your customer retention program.

Track and Reward Your Most Loyal Customers

 Many customer loyalty programs are stale because they haven’t taken advantage of today’s social media tools. Only a select few customers ever qualify for the “Gold Elite” or “Platinum Status” that standard loyalty programs offer, so most of the general population doesn’t even get to participate. According to a study by ACI Worldwide, three out of four Americans are members of at least one customer reward program, but 85% of members haven’t heard a word from the programs since they signed up.

Location-based networks enable members of customer retention programs to actively participate on a regular basis. The most loyal customers get to earn additional points by participating in location-based networks, while newer customers win small rewards and recognition that give them an incentive to continue participating.

Increase Adoption of Location-Based Social Networking

When people check-in at your business using location-based social networks, they are sharing their brand experience with their online connections. And a customer’s likelihood of recommending your company to a friend or colleague is hands down the best indicator of their loyalty. Encourage members of your traditional customer reward program to participate in your loyalty program by enabling automatic check-ins when they swipe their loyalty cards at your store.

Create Deals and Prizes

Create a deal that enables your customer retention program members to earn a reward based on a set amount of check-ins. Deals drive competition and encourage more people to participate in location-based customer retention programs. You could also randomly give away prizes to encourage people to check-in.

Use Geofencing

Use geofencing to encourage people to stop by your business. Geofencing is a virtual boundary set around a particular location on a location-based network. For example, say you own a coffee shop. If one of your customer retention program members crosses your coffee shop’s geofence, you could automatically send them a message with a special offer or discount reminding and encouraging them to stop by.

Don’t allow check-ins at your business on location-based networks go on without you. Customers who check-in at your business are passionate about your brand – why not reward them for their passion and encourage others to join in on the fun? By combining location-based marketing with your loyalty program, you can recognize customers just for visiting your store, thereby making it possible for the general population to actively participate in your customer retention program.

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