How Retailers are Using Geo-Social Media for Holiday Inbound Marketing

How Retailers are Using Geo-Social Media for Holiday Inbound Marketing

By Chad PollittNov 18 /2010

Macy's FacebookThis past weekend I did a rare thing. . . I went to the mall!  I know, I know. . .  this is not an inbound marketer’s favorite place to go, but I needed a new pair of pants.  When I go to the mall I go with the intent of grabbing what I need and getting out as soon as possible.  

However, upon walking up to the door at Macy’s, I was confronted by a window cling that read, “Check into Facebook and receive 20% off your purchase.” Even though I hate the mall, I still love a good deal.  So rather than grabbing a pair of pants and high-tailing it out of there, I decided to take advantage of the 20% off deal by checking into Facebook.  I ended up leaving with six more items than I had planned on purchasing.

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After leaving, my shopping brain was quickly replaced by the inbound marketer in me and I began to reflect on the ramifications of what just happened.

  1. Macy’s earned more revenue because I bought more.
  2. The coupon my iPhone Facebook app gave me on the screen had an expiration time.  It was just enough time for me to pick out a few more items to purchase.
  3. I potentially communicated to 940+ Facebook friends on their news feed that Macy’s is offering a 20% off deal.
  4. By this check-in showing on my Facebook wall I am essentially vouching for Macy’s – Its virtual word-of-mouth.
  5. By the Facebook wall post containing, “Over 100 remaining – Ends: Tomorrow,” a sense of urgency was created for those seeing this post and interested in the deal.
  6. Millions of people were potentially exposed to this campaign that otherwise would have had no idea a 20% discount was available.
  7. This type of geo-social media campaign has major viral potential.  If the deal is good enough it could snow ball into millions of dollars in incremental revenue.   
  8. Millions of people were potentially exposed to the Macy’s brand on Facebook.

What did this cost Macy’s?  It cost the price of the window clings and their employee’s time to set up the campaign.  You could say they lost the 20% from the deal they offered me, but I had no intention of purchasing anything except the pair of pants I went there for.  So, they really didn’t lose that 20%.  Besides, it wasn’t my business Macy’s was going after.  They wanted the business of my Facebook friends.

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The Future of Retail Inbound Marketing - Geo-Social Media

With 62 million smart phone users in the United States and a steep northern trend for their future use, this has the potential of being the preferred channel for discounts and deals by the vast majority of Americans soon.  In the future, millennials will probably only shop at retailers that offer geo-social deals.  Since 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertising, geo-social media is the perfect inbound marketing tactic for retailers during the holiday season.

Let us know what geo-social holiday deals you've seen or come across on Facebook, Twitter or while checking-in and what creative window clings you see.   The future looks bright for this new inbound marketing tactic.