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Food Lion, Concentrics reward customer loyalty via mobile-social push

Supermarket giant Food Lion LLC and Concentrics Restaurants are running mobile-social marketing programs to drive foot traffic to their bricks-and-mortar locations and encourage customer loyalty.

Food Lion tapped PlacePunch to connect with its customers in real-time when they check-in at its new stores in Greenville, NC via Twitter and location-based mobile social networks. The messages welcome guests when they check-in, thank them for visiting and promote Food Lion’s new in-store offerings.

“Food Lion is committed to delivering savings and value to our customers on every level,” said Steven Saunders, interactive marketing manager at Food Lion, Salisbury, NC.

“With the recent surge in smartphone usage and the expected increase in usage in 2011, we feel it is imperative that we are connecting with customers through this exciting new channel,” he said.

“Along with the recent launch of the Food Lion iPhone app, we have also started to implement location-based marketing tactics.”

Delhaize Group’s Food Lion is a U.S. grocery store company that operates approximately 1,300 supermarkets in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states under the Food Lion, Harvey’s Supermarket, Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food and Reid’s brands.

PlacePunch helps businesses create a mobile loyalty program that rewards customers for checking in on social check-in services such as Foursquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla and Yelp.

Brands automatically reply to customers via Twitter when they check-in. They can also see real-time analytics and reports that help them identify and learn more about their customers.

Mobile-social LBS
In September, Food Lion ran a four-week promotion in its Greenville, NC market.

The grocery store chain partnered with PlacePunch to send goodwill Twitter messaging to customers who checked into Food Lion stores.

Additionally, Food Lion messaged people who checked into local Greenville-area locations to support its tailgating promotions at East Carolina University football games.

“We delivered dozens of Twitter messages to engaged smartphone users during the promotion, and we feel it was a great way to introduce Food Lion into this new market and connect with college students,” Mr. Saunders said.

“Food Lion will continue with more check-in promotions in 2011 as part of the overall social media strategy,” he said.

Concentrics Restaurants’ properties include One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks, Tap—a Gastropub, Parish Foods & Goods, Lobby Bar & Bistro, Murphy’s and Room at Twelve Centennial Park.

The restaurant company tapped PlacePunch to create a loyalty program that rewards guests for checking-in across any check-in service, including Foursquare and Facebook Places.

The mobile-social initiative is designed to increase customer visits and help Concentrics increase social-media awareness for its restaurants.

Concentrics also uses PlacePunch’s location-based analytics to learn more about its customers and identify its most frequent guests.

“Our customers are extremely savvy in regards to social media,” said Michaela Anderson, public relations and marketing coordinator at Concentrics Restaurants, Atlanta. “Our chefs and restaurants are continually interacting with diners via Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

“PlacePunch is the perfect solution to efficiently managing our social media dialogue, further connecting us with our consumers,” she said. “Specifically, PlacePunch allowed Concentrics to launch our loyalty program that connects all check-ins across the social media spectrum.

“Using PlacePunch, we are able to reward our returning customers, at every fifth check-in with complimentary food and beverages.”

Final Take