25 Jul Pokémon Go and Your Social Marketing Strategy
Unless you’ve completely avoided any media in the past week, you’re probably aware of the behemoth that is Pokémon GO . You can’t scroll through your news feed, or even turn on the local news station, without seeing stories and posts about the game that’s been sending users of all ages outdoors to capture as many imaginary creatures as they can. The game has more daily active users than even Twitter, and it has already surpassed Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat in the amount of time users are spending on the app per day.
Many local businesses, and even presidential candidates, have taken notice and are starting to capitalize on the craze, but I’ve been noticing a lot of missed opportunities on social media. So, I’d like to offer a few tips for incorporating this prolific new game into your existing social marketing strategy.
First, you’ll need to know the basics of the game. Pokémon GO is an “augmented reality” game that plays off of real-world locations. Players interact with the “heads-up display,” or HUD, to explore and catch as many Pokémon (animated creatures) as they can. They also collect rewards at PokeStops and team up to battle other players at Gyms to defend their territory.
The first step to successfully using the game is to find out if your location, or a location near by, is either a PokeStop or Gym. These spots will have built-in foot traffic. Once you download the app, simply search the map near you to find these “portals.”
The next step is to use one of the most powerful in-app purchases: the Lure. With a Lure Module, you can attract wild Pokémon to a PokéStop for a limited time. This means that a much higher number of Pokémon will be available to capture for 30 minutes at a time. These Lures cost just over a dollar per hour and almost guarantee increased foot traffic.
While you’re most likely used to using your storefront to draw in any passing customers, below are a few tips for bringing this craze to your customer’s Twitter and Facebook feeds, which will not only increase your engagement both digitally and in-store, but build a more loyal following among the millions of players.
1. Notify people before you place your Lures
I saw a local pizza place post on Facebook and Twitter about how they would have Lures out between 6 and 9 pm. Guess where my son (and husband) wanted to go for dinner that night? I got a night without cooking and some “cool mom” points all in one fell swoop! I was planning on going out for dinner already, but this company’s promotion of the Lures before the fact put them at the top of my list, when they hadn’t even crossed my mind as a possibility before I saw the post.
2. Offer a promotion for Pokémon users that check in at your location
Facebook check-ins let all the people in an individual’s friends list know where they are and why. Each check-in expands your reach and visibility to a new audience base.
You may want to offer a 10% off coupon for Pokémon GO users that check in with a post about the Pokémon they caught while visiting your location. You could even offer something as simple as free access to Wi-Fi (for continued game play) for everyone who tags #pokemongo in a check-in post. Get creative! You know your clients best, so use what appeals to your existing clientele, and add the trending Pokémon post for ultimate engagement!
3. Create a Pokémon hashtag for visitors to use when they visit
Hashtags are great for building a community online, especially for something as topical as Pokémon GO. Display your hashtag in your location, maybe something like #CatchEmAllatPizzaPlace, and encourage visitors and your audience on social media to use it. You’ll further set your business apart.
While the Pokémon GO craze may seem like a fad to some, the game has a massive fan base that has been loyal to the brand for 20 years. Even if the initial enthusiasm does fizzle out a bit within the next few months, engaging that fan base now will ensure their continued interaction with your business for years to come.