Pimping your Timeline for free drinks – a saviour for the ailing pub industry?
Stockwell pub The Cavendish Arms is pioneering a new way of enticing punters through its doors whilst generating Facebook exposure by using NFC technology. NFC hardware comes as standard in most new-generation smartphones, and is the mechanism behind the contactless credit card payment system. That one that makes you feel well swanky when you’re buying fags.
The Cavendish Arms has installed swipe points inside the pub which you can tap with an NFC-enabled smartphone. The code it generates gets you drinks, entry into a draw, comedy night guest list and a host of other fun stuff. Each tap sends a post to your Timeline telling your friends you’ve just redeemed an offer, with a link to the details. Kind of looks like Facebook Offers, but this is in the here and now instead of something that gives you palpitations at the thought of ending up on the same discount B&B weekend as your boss. Awks.
Is linking traditionally offline establishments so closely with social media something that can help in the pub industry’s quest to stay afloat amidst unwanted irritants like the smoking ban-slash-recession? Think about it: you’re skint but that won’t stop you going out to get pissed. Knowing you can numb the pain for a fiver less is a fairly decent pull for most of us.
LifeSynk, the organisation behind the NFC-to-Facebook technology, says “it’s hard enough for pubs and bars to control what’s being said about them over social media. Aside from posts on their own page which have a limited audience, all you really have is the odd check-in. Using this technology, the pub exposes its offer to an average of 250 people per tap.” In that respect, giving away a few free drinks is a small price to pay for effectively free advertising.
Of course, you’re probably hacking up bile at the thought of being marketed to via your friends. But for boozers, clubs and restaurants whose promoters are face-desking because the cat photo from earlier did not a full bar make, it’s potentially a dream come true, and a trend we predict a lot more of in 2013.
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