Unless you have been completely cut off from the world for the past week, there is no way that you haven’t heard about Pokémon Go – a new smartphone game that is taking the internet by storm.
Since it’s launch last Thursday (July 7) Pokémon Go has quickly become the most popular app on the iTunes App store in the US. It is now seeing more active daily users than Twitter, and has double the engagement of Snapchat. For those of you wondering how to attract millennials to your business, this may be the answer!
What is Pokemon Go?
Pokémon Go is an Augmented Reality game based on the hit game and series from 1997. It forces players off the couch, and to go explore their neighbourhood and surroundings to catch wild Pokémon, get new supplies and battle for control of gyms.
Players, known as Trainers in the Pokémon world, scour their towns and neighborhoods in search of Pokémon, this is driving huge foot traffic into stores and small businesses and creating conversions for those brave enough to jump on board with the game. Pokémon Go has even been shown to help those suffering from mental illnesses like anxiety and social anxiety.
Why should businesses care about Pokémon Go?
The result of more people being out and about trying to catch Pokémon is booming foot traffic for small businesses in places where the game has already launched. The time is ripe now to prepare YOUR local business for the launch of Pokémon Go in Canada, estimated to be July 31. For the tech savvy ones out there, it would be beneficial to download the game right now (you have to download the .apk file to get access since it is not yet available in Canada) and see what it’s all about. So lace up your shoes, grab some friends and a spare battery pack because Teach Me Social is going to teach you how to get on board this trend and start making sales from eager Trainers.
Maximize Engagement with Pokémon Go
Once you get access to the game, is find out if your business is a PokéStop or a Gym. A PokéStop , quite simply, is where adventurous Trainers, wandering the city, can go to refill their supplies like pokeballs and potions. If you are lucky enough to be a PokéStop , then be prepared for a lot of foot traffic to be coming in and out throughout the day and use this opportunity to make sales or create a campaign around being part of the game.
The next reason why you would want to pick up the game as a business owner? An in-game item called lures. These are placed on the map and attract wild Pokémon to the location for 30 minutes and other players can see where lures are placed. These can be purchased in game, and based on the math, can end up costing your business on average of $1.19 US per hour for these lures, and they have been having a postive effect for business. The ROI for businesses has reportedly been well worth the investment of $1.19 per hour. If your business is near a PokéStop or a gym then it is absolutely worth it to purchase a lure.
Even if you aren’t near a PokéStop or gym, don’t fret, there is still a high probability that there are people all around playing the game, drop a lure anyways, but post it to Fb, twitter and other social sites that you have dropped a lure and watch the people walk on in! For added fun, post a schedule of when you will be dropping lures daily so that enthusiastic Trainers can know when to visit you!
Embrace Pokémon Go in social media conversations
Now, what if your business isn’t near a PokéStop or a gym? Just get a little more creative!
It would be helpful if you first knew what types of Pokémon can be found and where to find them. There is a little menu button in the game that tells you what types of Pokémon are near you.Some Pokémon are rare and hard to find, some only hang around close to environments they are related to. For example, water type Pokémon are more likely to be found near water.
Once you know where to find Pokémon, Tweet and post on social networks about what Pokémon are around your store. You may even want to create a pop-up shop or take your business on the road and use lures to draw Trainers to your location. Go where the Pokémon are and you will find that ever-elusive millennial playing. For example, if you are a fashion brand, maybe you pack up a van full of product, head to a highly populated area, throw down some lures and wait for the crowds to build.
Where this can get really exciting for brands and business is in creating engagement. Get social with it, and let people know about any rare Pokémon that are in your area (a Redditor has created this handy chart to help you identify those rare Pokémon). The key to successful marketing is finding creative ways to reach your audience. Some people may tell you that you are crazy for jumping on board this, but it’s usually the early adopters who enjoy the most benefits for their business! Take the leap – safe hunting, and start dropping those lures!
More great ways to engage with your local customers:
- Offer discounts to those who post screenshots of Pokémon they found or caught in your business
- Ask them to tag your business in any screen shots that players share
- Promote the fact that you are rewarding users who post photos of Pokémon they caught in your store
- Since this is a real world game, tag your posts about Pokémon Go with local hashtags or geo-tags.
Some great examples of businesses capitalizing on Pokémon Fever:
— Bosie Tea Parlor (@Bosienyc) July 8, 2016
— Shop The Rock (@ShopTheRock) July 13, 2016
— TeamInstinctHanover (@InstinctHanover) July 11, 2016
Learn more about how Teach Me Social can help you create engaging and effective social media campaigns for your business at teachmesocial.ca/services