Let Customers Take a Pikachu

Nintendo’s “Pokémon Go” now has more users than Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. You may be seeing people walking around as though they’re on autopilot: head down, phone in hand, roaming around your neighborhood. They aren’t texting or posting on social media—they’re trying to catch Pokémon. And people are doing just about anything to “Catch ‘em all.” As a small business, there are ways for you to harness the power of Pokémon Go to increase foot traffic and generate real revenue, not just loiterers.

To start, log in to the Pokémon Go App and see if your business is near a “PokéStop” or “Gym” (see image below) which pop up in the game’s map. A PokéStop allows users to acquire valuable materials to catch the monsters, whereas a Gym is where users go to train their Pokémon or battle others in an arena. The best-case scenario is that your business would be one of these important locations, or very close to one. If not, there are still ways to take advantage of this phenomenon to drive foot traffic to your business.

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PokéStop, drop and roll

Predetermined locations were selected by Nintendo to be PokéStops before the launch of the game. These show up on players’ maps as blue cubes (see below). Once you get close enough, the cube turns into a circle for users to collect useful items players need to be successful in the game. This draws players from all over the local area, and if your business is close to one, be sure to promote that on your social channels.

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Players are drawn to these stops and the surrounding area because they offer the chance to not only catch new Pokémon but also get their hands on rare in-game items, such as Pokéballs, potions, eggs and more.

Lure Modules? Lure Customers.

A lure module attracts Pokémon to a Pokéstop for 30 minutes. In that time, everyone in that direct area can benefit from the effects. If your business is located near a Pokéstop, you can (and should) set off a “lure module.” It turns the regular Pokéstop into a hub of activity and encourages crowds of people to come closer.

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You might think that since lure modules cost money, you should shy away, but it’s very affordable. With $100 netting you 14,500 Pokecoins and an eight-pack of Lures costing 680 Pokecoins:

14,500 Pokecoins / 680 = 21 eight-packs of lures

(21 * 8)/2 = 84 hours

$100/84 hours = $1.19 per hour

So for $1.19 an hour, your business could double its business and draw a new audience you might not even know you had. The Lures can only be set off at a PokéStop, so choose your spot wisely. Here’s how to place one easily.

Host a PokéHunt

You’ve heard of bar crawls, and this idea is similar. There is an item in Pokémon Go that allows you to “hatch eggs.” And the only way to do so is to walk a certain amount of kilometers (and no you can’t cheat by driving, unfortunately). The average egg takes about three miles (5 km) of walking to hatch. You can encourage the group by saying whoever catches the rarest Pokémon or hatches the most eggs gets a free item that your business offers (i.e. sandwich, t-shirt or future service). Below are good steps to take to create one.

  1. Create a Facebook event publicizing the hunt and invite all your friends, and encourage others to share it.
  2. Write down where all the PokéStops are in within a three-mile radius of your business.
  3. On the day of your event, set off a Lure Module 30 minutes before the start time.
  4. Give everyone your “map of stops” to take.
  5. Tell the group that the person who catches the rarest Pokémon or hatches the most eggs will win a prize at the end.
  6. The event should last about two hours.
  7. At the end set off another Lure Module at your business, hand out prizes and discuss with customers the Pokémon that they caught.

During the time that the lure modules are live, users will want to hang around in that vicinity to catch rare Pokémon. They’ll also need something to do – like buy/use your products.

Primary color war

Once players reach Level 5 they are asked to join a team: Team Instinct (yellow), Team Mystic (blue), or Team Valor (red). Players compete on behalf of their team when Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 2.04.53 PMthey go to battle. The allegiance is strong within the teams and could be a good way to offer a discount for a certain team at different times throughout the day. You could, for example, have flash sales in which a certain team receives 30 percent off their purchase for a short period of time. All the customer/Pokémon hunter needs to do is show the cashier their Pokémon Go profile to prove they’re a member.

Some online stores are even creating “badges” for each team. Buying a bundle of badges and having them at checkout is just another way of letting your customers know you appreciate their Pokémon hunting, and they’ll be much more likely to stop by again.


Show us your Snorlax

Rare Pokémon are hard to spot, let alone catch in the game. Offering perks to players who tag and share a photo of the rare Pokémon they find in your area is a great way to drive increased traffic. Charizard, Snorlax, and Wigglytuff are among the “epic” monsters in the game – and people will go far out of their way to snatch one up.

And if you don’t believe me after reading how this can help your business – here are 17 businesses that are cashing in on the craze.

So don’t shy away from Pokémon Go, embrace it and invite customers to come in and take a Pikachu.

Brands, Here’s How to Get Started on Snapchat

Every morning, I sift through all my favorite apps: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Chive, Snapchat, and back to Facebook one more time for good measure. Before I’m even fully awake, I immerse myself in the online world. I know I’m not alone in doing so, as many memes reassure me of this.

So, it’s no surprise that social media drives consumer engagement and builds brand recognition. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all great channels, but brands may be missing out if they aren’t taking advantage of Snapchat.

With a $16 billion valuation, Snapchat has more than 150 million daily users who spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app every day. Naysayers will point out that Facebook has roughly 10 times as many daily active users, but those users spend less time on Facebook (20 minutes per day) and are responsible for just as many daily video views (8 billion) as Snapchat’s users.

As of June 2016, Snapchat has more active daily users than Twitter. Going from 110 million daily users in December to generating 40 million more in just six months, Snapchat is growing at a rapid pace.

Even hard-hitting news outlets like CNN and the Wall Street Journal have recognized the importance of a strong Snapchat presence, as it’s Snapchat it is a great way for them to reach a younger audience.

Now, if you’re a marketer targeting high-level decision makers at B2B companies, then Snapchat isn’t your best bet. But if you’re trying to reach a predominantly young market, between the ages of 13 and 34, then Snapchat may be a worthwhile investment.

Discover a Brand’s Lighter Side

Brands such as ESPN, Cosmopolitan and Daily Mail are fixtures on Snapchat’s Discover page. You tap on an outlet’s name (which displays their lead story) and a continuous stream of “My Stories” plays on a loop for 24 hours. As of June 7, the entire design layout of Discover was changed to a more visually pleasing and user-friendly display.

Amy S

Users can click on any of these outlets to see content published on a 24-hour cycle. These outlets publish content that’s unique to Snapchat, enabling them to bring some personality to their writing rather than just promoting hard-hitting news. Users can screenshot a funny photo then send it directly to a friend. It’s similar to sending a text with a caption saying, “Hey I saw this cute dog and needed you to see it.” Photos like the one below from the Discover brands are sent by users to their friends through Snapchat’s direct messaging feature.

Users are also encouraged to personalize brands’ snaps by drawing lines or adding their own phrases, essentially making it their own before sharing directly with their Snapchat friends.

Interacting with a brand’s “My Story” is like a mini game to people. By allowing users to personalize the content, it helps the brand break through the clutter of static online ads.

Also, because each photo or “My Story” only lasts 24 hours, users have an increased sense of urgency to share those moments with their friends and check back to the brand’s snapstory daily to see what else they can share.

Seeing Brands through Another Lens

Another unique Snapchat feature is the ability for businesses to create sponsored Snapchat Lenses. Snapchat said its users are including Lenses in about 10 million snaps per day. Lenses give users a way to augment selfies. These are often goofy animations that are overlaid on your selfie. One popular default Lens, which debuted when Lenses were first introduced, is a rainbow that pours out of your mouth. Snapchat adds new Lenses daily (there are only seven to choose from on any given day) and replaces the oldest one with newer ones. That means Lenses eventually disappear for good (again, creating a sense of urgency).

The most successful brand-sponsored Lens was Taco Bell’s recent campaign on Cinco de Mayo which transformed the user’s face into a giant taco. The Taco Bell taco filter was viewed more than 224 million times.

The fees Snapchat is asking advertisers to cough up are similarly hefty: $450,000 per day for Sunday to Thursday, $500,000 for Fridays and Saturdays, and $700,000 for holidays.

With the average person fiddling with the filter for around 24 seconds before snapping, it was essentially a 24-second commercial for Taco Bell. Considering Taco Bell’s Lens lasted 24 hours, the $750,000 price tag seems well worth the price of admission compared to a 30-second, non-interactive TV advertisement.

Get In-Demand with a Geofilter

Prices for the In-Demand Geofilters start out as low as $5 and vary based on the time, size and location of the campaign. You can choose spaces that are a minimum of 20,000 square feet — about the size of an average office — to a maximum of 5,000,000 square feet — roughly a few city blocks.

If you have an upcoming event, why not create a Geofilter that those attendees can snap to their friends? The intimacy and exclusivity of being able to use a specific Geofilter in a certain location drives FOMO (fear of missing out). When people are snapping with a creative Geofilter at an event, their friends want to come join to be able to use it as well.

People using your Geofilter essentially become brand ambassadors promoting your business  for free! Snapchat makes it simple to create a filter. There’s no need to be a design expert to make one. Follow these easy steps to create one for your company today.


Get Snapping and Go Shopping

Consider the “right now” mentality people have. For example, if a retail store is looking to increase their Snapchat followers and promote their business, they can put sales/offers on their My Story that is shared withBlog Sammi everyone who follows them. On their other social media platforms, they post, “Check out our great deal only available for our Snapchat followers today!” By doing so, it drives potential followers to their Snapchat account. The store then continues on Snapchat promoting, “Show us you’re our Snapchat friend by showing our My Story to the cashier and receive a discount at the register!”

Reaching out to people directly makes your target audience feel like they got the inside scoop on an item before it goes public. With just one satisfied customer, the word-of-mouth endorsement is worth way more than any advertisement you could ever produce. This is also a way to help drive followers from your other social media channels, which can be hard to do. As a no-cost option, Snapchat can provide “sneak peeks” or a behind-the-scenes look at an event you’re hosting on your brand’s own snapstory. These short videos or photos give your followers the feeling that they are special and valued, generating additional brand loyalty.

Say More with a Snap

If a picture says a thousand words, imagine what a 10-second Snapchat video can portray quicker than a press release. Demonstrations and quick tips can be produced at little or no cost. You can be the expert in your field giving tips on what’s trending with your products and how to use them different ways.

Here’s an example of how a product like Magic Eraser could expand on its value proposition. Magic Eraser is known for cleaning bathtubs and dishes, but did you know it can also clean shoes, get rid of drink coaster stains and buff out scratch marks? If the brand had a presence on Snapchat, millions of people would be aware of how you can use this popular cleaning tool on other household items. Using Snapchat, a product can be expanded to reach a wider audience.

You might be thinking that Snapchat users wouldn’t spend their time looking at a brand’s My Story if it isn’t on the Discovery page, but you’d be wrong. Whenever a Snapchat user posts a My Story, their friends receive a notification which doesn’t go away unless it’s been viewed or the 24-hour time limit runs out. Most millennials, including myself, look at the My Story just to get rid of the purple notification on the bottom right corner of the screen.

Snapchat is no longer just for sending cute selfies. It’s about snapping a festival you’re attending with that location’s Geofilter. It’s about swapping your face with your BFF or your favorite celebrity. It’s about directly interacting with brands on an app. This multi-use platform is not being used to its full potential, and now is your time to get on board.

Be sure to check out @dittoepr to see a “day in the life” of a public relations professional.