Some companies get it. Social media, that is. They can see something, understand it, and use it to its fullest potential.
Some companies don't get it.
When I was out running some errands and grabbing some lunch today, I was reminded of a few of those companies in the latter group. The first example being Bed Bath & Beyond.
I noticed they had a foursquare special running. Curious, since I occasionally do find my self browsing their store, I decided to see what it was. This is what it says:
Receive up to $120 towards your new Dyson vacuum and make the switch to Dyson Patented technology. Ask an associate for details.
Hmm... OK. At first glance, a $120 savings on anything is quite significant. And it may actually end up being a great deal. But here's why I don't think it works (for foursquare)... If I see a special on foursquare, I just want to be able to redeem it and go. I don't want anything else to have to do. Buy my stuff, show the discount to the cashier and leave.
Now, admittedly I have not gone into the store to "ask an associate for details." But that's kind of the point... if I'm going to redeem a foursquare special on something, I shouldn't have to! The other thing to consider is that it does absolutely nothing to build repeat business or loyalty - but then again, not all specials do that to begin with. With this particular example, it's just kind of icing on the cake for my example.
My second example was going to be Bath & Body Works... but looking up their venue now, they don't seem to be running their special anymore. Previously it was a special to buy 2 things get 1 free (iirc, anyway)... and the thing that got me was that it said "no coupon code required" or something to that effect. And that tells me that it wasn't so much a "fourquare special" as it was just advertising. No loyalty mechanism, no rewarding users for using fourquare to check out their store, nothing. Just a normal sale that any random person could get, foursquare or no foursquare. Why bother? Other than just using it for advertising?
One last point on Bed Bath & Beyond is that I went to Twitter to post about my thoughts on their "special" ... but they don't seem to even have an official account. How is that possible? There is some account with the BB&B name, but it's some store "advocate" or something. What a waste of an opportunity to communicate with your customers...