Pub chain combines social media with rewards card
2,000 people a week signing up for new site
The UK’s Walkabout chain of pubs has launched a new social media website to operate in tandem with its loyalty scheme.
The Walkabout Community social media site enables users to create their own online profile, comment on photos and videos, and gives news of events and sports showing at the Australian-themed pubs.
The site is designed to keep Walkabout in close contact with its customers and to become the new home of its Boomerang loyalty card.
It costs £3 for users to join Walkabout’s loyalty scheme (either online or by SMS), and they are then able to access the website. Members receive a card for points collection, redeemable against a range of rewards, including VIP birthday packages or 3D television viewing.
Customers can use their Boomerang points for redemption of online vouchers for use at Walkabout pubs.
“Creating a socially enabled site and combining it with a loyalty program is the first part of our digital strategy,” said James Mawer, commercial manager of Walkabout’s owner Intertain.
“This is proving to be a very powerful channel for customer engagement. As we develop our strategy we need to be able to use social media to talk to our customers, not only through our own website, but also through other social media properties.”
The chain says it is now signing up 2,000 people a week for the new website.
Using Martech’s M.Social platform, the site is designed to enable Walkabout to develop better relationships with their customers, build a comprehensive database and offer incentives to return.
Customers are being encouraged to create their own profile and keep it refreshed with photo albums, videos and blogs. The site also integrates with Facebook Connect, allowing users to sign up with their Facebook account and publish content posted to the Walkabout site to their Facebook wall.
Simon Larcey, MD of Martech, commented: “The convergence of social media and loyalty schemes provides new opportunities for brands to engage with customers and build stronger relationships. Online branded communities are a natural progression for customer loyalty programmes.”