Group buying has exploded in the social media market place, where a company offers a deal or coupon each day to its network or followers. Groupon has become the largest of these companies, though the idea is not new, Amazon was trying this same thing back in 2002. Groupon deals are available in large market cities world wide. Groupon has recently partnered with Twitter in a new campaign which is called @EarlyBird deals. Groupon also has a site for users to subscribe, through this they can personalize each individual member to receive discounts based on their likes and interests. Last week Groupon introduced it’s first nationwide discount, in partnership with the GAP, everyone received a 50% off Groupon, this turned out to be a huge success.
Due to their success, Groupon has been copied by several new companies and a few old ones. Zagat and Yelp have both turned away from their normal strategy and have tried to promote group buying to their sites. Others like LivingSocial and 8coupons have started up recently to some surprising early success.
Group buying software has even popped up recently, with this software individuals can create their own coupon and target groups on Facebook and Twitter. This is just another business opportunity available through these social media networks.
With the large and ever growing use of Smartphones, loyalty and reward programs are changing to meet the needs of users of this popular media trend. Two new companies have started up, Key Ring and CardStar. These companies have moved these programs in a mobile direction. With these applications companies can eliminate the use of plastic cards, using barcode technology. From retail stores to gyms businesses have started using this new technology, and look for this to grow in a big way in the next year.
Entertainment is next, sharing what is on TV, or what band is playing where, has become more of a social experience then ever before. In recent months a few services have started to refine your social experience with entertainment checkins. This allows users to watch their favorite show at any given moment. Companies such as Philo and GetGlue have propelled this into the mainstream and look to grow at a tremendous rate heading into 2011. Tunerfish is another mobile TV checkin service, it has backing from HBO, Showtime, and NBC among other stations. With Tunerfish, users gain rewards for watching their favorite show or movie, and it is looking to bring on board sponsored awards for it’s users.
This is just a sample of what we can expect from social media platforms now and in the near future, with the tremendous growth and ever changing media platforms, who knows what could be next.