If you haven’t heard of Pokémon Go, you’re probably living under a rock. The new smartphone app has taken the country by storm and currently has more active users than Twitter!
Pokémon Go encourages people to get out and walk around local businesses to catch little digital creatures. (You’ve probably seen some of these people walk around your salon or spa like zombies hunched over their phones.) This presents an incredible marketing opportunity for your business to boost sales.
So, what is Pokémon Go? It’s a mobile game that uses a phone’s GPS and camera to track a player’s movement and display animated creatures (i.e. pokémon) in the real world. Players try to “catch ‘em all” by visiting local landmarks around town, known as “Pokéstops,” that can usually be found near shops and stores. Players also battle other players at “Pokégyms” that are located in real places around town.
The best ways to learn about Pokémon Go is to download the app and take a walk around your business to experiment with it. Once you are familiar with the game, try these 3 ideas to market your salon or spa:
1. PLACE A “LURE” NEAR YOUR BUSINESS
Essentially, Pokémon Go players are wandering around trying to capture little creatures that spring up unexpectedly during their walk. So, what if you could make more Pokémon appear near your salon or spa? You can!
The game allows you to buy “lures” which increase the number of Pokémon that appear in 30 minute increments. The more Pokémon around, the more players and potential customers you’ll have visit. Lures only cost a few dollars, so experimenting with this idea won’t break the bank.
If you set a lure, don’t forget to promote it! Let your customers know when you are going to set your lure and encourage them to visit during that time to catch some rare Pokémon. For step-by-step instructions on how to place a lure click HERE.
2. CREATE A “POKÉSTOP” PROMOTION
Players must physically visit Pokéstops, which are usually landmarks in the area, to gain different tools that help them play the game. Once quiet landmarks have turned into hot spots overnight. Find the nearest Pokéstop and create a promotion to encourage it’s visitors to stop by your shop.
For example, say the nearest Pokéstop by your salon or spa is a memorial plaque that’s two blocks away. You can create a promotional email or social media post like this: “Gotta catch ‘em all! Stop by our salon when you stock up on pokéballs at the memorial plaque on Main Street and grab a coupon for 10% off any service!”
3. SUPPORT A TEAM OR A SPECIFIC POKÉMON
Players join teams once they reach a certain level in the game: Valor (red), Mystic (blue), or Instinct (yellow) and fight for control of Pokégyms that are located around town. Try supporting a team with a social media post or sidewalk sign like the one shown here for CitySēn Lounge.
We also like the idea of supporting a specific Pokémon that players can catch. For example, use a Facebook post to tell your customers “We think Charmander is hot, show us your Charmander and we’ll give you 10% off your next appointment!”
Using Pokémon Go to promote your business is an easy, free (or very inexpensive) way to attract millennial customers to your salon or spa. Jump on the bandwagon and join the phenomenon before it’s gone!
About the Author: Mark is a lawyer, social marketer, and lover of Pokémon Go.