I spent the last 10 days vacationing in various parts of California. And because of location-based mobile search technology and the power of online communities, my taste buds – and those of my family – were titillated multiple times each day.
For those of you who know me, you’re aware that I pretty much spend every minute of every day thinking about my next meal. For those of you who don’t, suffice it to say that I love food. A lot. And whenever I travel, I’m looking for culinary experiences that aren’t fancy tourist spots, but rather places that are local favorites. I don’t want refueling. I want orgasmic food experiences. Anything less and you can count me out. Enter location based mobile search – my dreams become reality.
As a result, during the course of our California sojourn, several times each day I spent some time on Yelp, poring over reviews. Each time, I mentioned to the family my love for the Internet, and how cool it is to have just about anything you’re looking for delivered to the palm of your hand and how location-based technology is beyond fantastic. If I hadn’t kept delivering outstanding eating experiences to them as a result of my efforts, they might’ve revolted and tossed me off a cliff along Highway 101. Yes, I was that annoying.
A Yelp fan before this trip, I emerged even more of one as a result of the fabulous meals we experienced during the course of the last ten days. Each day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the amazing people who comprise the Yelp community inspired me. By virtue of their reviews, tips and suggestions, every meal that we had was fantastic. Even our friends who lived in the communities that we visited discovered new places – and all because of the power of online communities and location-based technology.
Back from vacation and engaged in what I like to call “Re-entry” – which really means working on what seemed like load 17 of a veritable mountain of laundry (yes, I do lead a glamorous life), I saw this tweet on Saturday night from Charlie Wollborg It reminded me of my food odyssey and inspired me to cast aside the laundry and write this post:
Phenomenal social media integration at @MiguelsCantina. The TOP of the menu asks for a foursquare checkin, a Yelp review …..
Clearly, the folks at Miguel’s Cantina get it when it comes to the power of online check-ins and how location based technology can help you not only build brand awareness, but get customers in the door – and get them coming back for more.
They invite you, right there on their menu, to follow them on Twitter, rate them on Yelp and check in on Foursquare. And, on their drink menu (not pictured) they invite you, again, to check in on Foursquare and let you know that there might be something special in it for you if you do.
And by the way, because I was already impressed by Miguel’s Cantina, I slid over to their website for a quick look. No surprise – they’re doing savvy stuff there, too. They have a well-designed site that’s accompanied by a blog that they actually update on a regular basis. Their blog is filled with tantalizing pictures of the food they prepare and the various things they’re doing and events they are a part of. Personally, I’d like a little more content to accompany the pretty pictures, but maybe they’ll get there.
Bottom line, Miguel’s Cantina is a great example of how a business – any kind of business – can use their existing collateral marketing materials (and in my book, a menu is a marketing tool), take advantage of location-based marketing and invite their customers to connect and engage with them in social arenas. If you’re not serving up invitations like this, especially in a restaurant – when customers are sitting down, phones at hand with a few minutes to kill while they wait, what better time do you think you might find?
Have you seen good social integration – especially location-based marketing services – by businesses that you’ve visited? What about innovative ways you marketers are serving up those kinds of offers. Do tell – we’d love to know.
And thanks, Charlie, for the inspiration!