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Paul's Ace Hardware uses "check-in'" deals to attract customers.

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Paul's Ace Hardware, with several locations in Arizona, recently started "check-in" deals on several social media sites to bring in more foot traffic. The retailer offers $5 off a $20-purchase for checking in several times on the operation's Facebook, Foursquare or Yelp pages. The store's Internet sales and marketing manager, Tricia Dauwalder-Luna, says using all three social media platforms gives the store more feedback about their consumers' online habits.

"Since we are new to the whole 'check-in' offer deal and wanted to see what the feedback was on each device, we decided to go with the same deal for each site," she says. "But each site tracks the check-ins differently."

"Checking-in" means customers post on their social media site that they are visiting the store, letting all of their connections know that they shop there.

Dauwalder-Luna says customers get the deal once they check in to her store five times using Facebook.

"I chose to use this deal to promote return visits to the stores and set the deal to be 'unlocked' at five check-ins. Because of Facebook Places, a location-based function on Facebook, I now have a Facebook page for each of our five locations, instead of using one page for all locations," she says. "I ran the deal on each of those locations, and let our associates know to promote that and check in themselves. The deals have only been active a short amount of time and we haven't had any redemptions yet, but have had more check-ins on the newer Facebook pages than the original location."

Dauwalder-Luna is running similar check-in promotions on Foursquare and Yelp to drive more customer loyalty.

"All in all, right now running these deals is free, which is a pretty fantastic price for advertising that can be shared all over the Internet on social media sites where our customers are," she says.

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Title Annotation:LOCATION-BASED SOCIAL MEDIA
Publication:Hardware Retailing
Date:Aug 1, 2011
Words:312
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