Caesars is doing it and how you can too

Mobile social tips for hotels, restaurants, local deals sites, airlines, food trucks and destinations
Today’s news from Caesars Entertainment is a good example of how major hotel chains are embracing mobile social strategies. Caesars will be rewarding in-resort guests for check-ins and tweets at 9 properties, including Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Rio, Harrah’s and Bally’s, through a partnership with Topguest. Bigger chains realize the power of social to attract and engage with customers, but this can be done in several categories and can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Location-based mobile apps like Foursquare are here to stay and now is the time to get on board to engage with your customers and guests. Feel free to post questions below.

Hotels: Pay attention to guests as they check-in to these apps in your locations. Watch very closely and act on suggestions or complaints as they post them. Interacting with guests through these apps should be treated as seriously as you do for any interaction, including their actual hotel check in. Be sure to follow them on Twitter and engage with them on Facebook.  Thank them for being a guest at your hotel.  You may even want to reward them in some way for checking in with surprise upgrades, drink specials, discounts on other hotel services.

Restaurants: I have heard first hand from top restaurants and how they are tracking and reacting to customer feedback on social media. Your reputation is extremely important and nipping any complaints in the bud can be done if you are watching what your customers are saying while they are dining with you.  They might not tell you directly what is wrong but they will tell their networks. Restaurant managers should be actively watching these check-ins throughout the night and be aware of feedback as it is posted through the app. Be sure to read through the tips your customers are adding about your location. Perhaps you want to keep that item on the menu when you read how many people like it. Be sure to acknowledge and thank people for posting comments.

Local deals sites: Local deals sites and group buying sites should be very active on Foursquare. Email blasts are only one way of engaging with your members. People are consuming information in vastly different ways and interacting with them in their daily lives is crucial if you want to get your deals in front of them at the right time. Promote deals with your all merchants in nearby locations. Deals are a spontaneous purchase and these apps allow you to get people when they are thinking about restaurants, spas, nail salons and other services. Gently reminding members in relevant locations at the right time will add value to the member experience as well as strengthen your merchant partnerships.

Airports & airlines: If you are on Foursquare you will see that airports and gates are big check-in locations. With wireless available inflight this can even happen on board a plane. Airlines should be thinking about how to reward their customers for sharing their preferred airline with friends.

Food trucks: You’re always on the go and you want your customers to know where you are at any given time. Make sure each truck has a Foursquare persona and your staff are actively checking in at every stop. Post tips on when you will be there at neutral locations like parks. Make sure you are following everyone you can find in locations where you stop frequently. Your goal should be to reward regular customers and those that check in to your truck through the Foursquare app. If you can build a following you will be golden when you do special promos with big brands.

Destinations: This includes tourism boards for cities (CVBS), states and countries. Your website may be a great planning tool, but when people are traveling they are not at their computer. All tourism marketing organizations should be aware of how to engage with guests and visitors and help them explore your destination while they are on the go. You can also use Foursquare to encourage them to post tips and recommendations. Be sure that major icons of your city are added to Foursquare and that you are posting tips on a regular basis. Be sure to educate your stakeholders about why this is important. Many people use the app to get ideas on what to do and where to go.

Retailers or any storefront location: If you have a storefront of any kind you need to have an active presence on Foursquare. There is a good chance that one of your customers has added your store or location if you haven’t already done it. Claim your location and start engaging with them. Make sure you are following everyone that checks in on Foursquare and Twitter. Reward your mayor!

Event marketing companies: I’ve done many events and incorporated ways for people to check in on Foursquare. This is even more important for larger events when you want to create a buzz and potentially your venue could be the location for a Foursquare “swarm”. Building buzz about your event on Foursquare is key as this encourages even more people to either know about it or come and check it out. You can also use hashtags for events and the Foursquare checkins, if the hashtag is used and they are connected via Twitter, will end up all over Twitter as well and into Facebook. This is how you can connect with your audience and raise awareness for event, either big, or small.

I’d love to hear your questions on this topic. Please post them below.

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