I just wanted to share a great post from Katie over at socialmedialand.net – She gives some great examples of how local businesses in the Tempe area are utilizing social (twitter in particular) to get people in the door, while providing value to their users and followers.
One local bar does discounts on cover charges or free drink specials for their followers. Its a great way to get people in the door for events and they can also use these channels to promote their events really effectively.
Again, I saw a tweet, this time from @RulaBula (honestly, it must have been a retweet-but I forget who it was from now.) It was about an upcoming Twappy Hour (like a tweet-up, or meet up of Twitterers, happy-hour style.) The tweet said if I sent a direct message to Rula Bula, I could get my name on the list and get free food and complimentary first round of drinks. As Rula Bula is one of my favorite bars, I followed them, retweeted the message and signed myself up.
Another great point that Katie makes is that because of the nature of the promotions, she is able to share then with her network, and so on and so on. She goes on to give examples of what they did right, and what they could have done better.
The lesson here is that first of all social works. And it can work for tons of businesses – BUT as a business, if you’re requesting (and get) the right to be in my network, you better be useful. That means not being afraid to do giveaways and discounts. It means not sending out spam. It means giving me information about your business that I can use.
I guess the golden rule is: If you don’t think you’d want to receive a certain kind of message, then its probably not a good idea to send it.