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Case Study: How Restaurants Can Drive Sales with Foursquare

veronica resizedFoursquare is a hidden gem of social media marketing for restaurants. As we’ve discussed in the past, Foursquare frequently outperforms the other social media channels when it comes to promotion redemptions and revenues.  Today we’re going to talk in greater depth about using Foursquare to drive sales, increase the ROI of any given promotion, and even grow your list.

Do you remember SM3 Team Leader Veronica Dunbar? She’s one of Fishbowl’s social media marketing experts.   Using the Foursquare mobile app, Veronica drives restaurant sales for her clients AND grows their list to keep the revenues coming on an ongoing basis. She recently faced a business challenge for one of her clients – and devised a Foursquare solution to successfully address it. 

Restaurant Concept: Authentic Greek cuisine, specializing in seafood dishes.

Business Goal: Drive sales and increase awareness of new $1 oyster happy hour special.

Campaign Length: 1 month

Campaign Tactics: Originally, Veronica promoted the $1 oyster special through the client’s existing marketing channels, i.e. Facebook, Twitter and Email. However, once the summer excitement wore down, sales slowed.

To help her client extend the promotion, , she decided to test a new channel, Foursquare, to see  whether she could increase reach, and show ROI through the check-in and redemption features. She was also interested in discovering the power of Foursquare as a standalone social media channel.

The Foursquare initiative worked like this:  The special was “unlocked” (this just means that a guest fulfills certain criteria defined by the restaurant to get the offer through the application; in this case, simply checking into the restaurant). At that point, the app reminded the guest of the deal, essentially putting the special on the forefront of the guests’ minds anytime they used Foursquare.

Results: In 1 month, there were 35 special views and 33 special “unlocks” of the happy hour deal. Thirty of those unlocks represented new customers! The Foursquare campaign was so successful that the restaurant decided to extend it indefinitely.

Lessons Learned: Using Foursquare to promote a special is a great way to increase awareness of existing promotions among guests. Like Facebook and Twitter, Foursquare is free to use and exciting to leverage.

The biggest surprise for Veronica? Foursquare is especially effective for reaching new guests. You see, when a Foursquare user opens the app, she is confronted with a map of her immediate area. The map highlights nearby restaurants that are using Foursquare for promotions, along with their specials. So even if the user has never visited a particular restaurant before, the Foursquare app may drive her in!  No wonder Veronica is so interested in Foursquare as a marketing channel.