So if you haven’t heard yet there is a new mobile game and it seems like just about everyone is playing. Pokémon Go was released on July 6th in the US and the response has been overwhelming; to the point that users are often getting error messages because the servers are overloaded.
The augmented reality game has players running all over to catch Pokémon, train them, and hatch eggs. It’s addictive and fun and kids and adults everywhere are loving it. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s a complete guide to getting started and everything you need to know to become a Pokémon Master. Also be sure to read this guide: Ten Things I Wish I Knew when I Started Pokémon Go” (including a secret hack to get a Pikachu!)
As a level 9 Pokemaster and a member of #TeamMystic here are my suggestions on how you can leverage this insanely popular game for your business.
Here are 5 ideas you can start with:
- Let people know if your location is a Pokestop or Gym. These are geotagged locations in the game that require a player to be very close in order to engage with the game. You cannot request to become a stop (they are predetermined by the game) but if you have one of these at your place of business, thank your lucky stars now because you are about to get some traffic! Posting on your social media accounts lets players know that your location is a part of the game and that your business is open to having players come by.
- Let players know what Pokemon are near you. If Pokémon can be found near your location, snap a picture and let folks know! Pidgeys and Rattatas are super prevalent but Pikachu’s and Charizards are not. If you have any lurking around your store players will want to know. This is also a great way to show off your business or location like this museam in Arkansas did. Social media is inherently social and this is what folks are talking about right now. Join in the conversation and engage with your customers and players!
- Invest in Lures. If you have a Pokestop near or in one of your buildings, install a Lure to attract Pokémon to your Pokestop and the players hunting them will follow. Lures can be found or bought for gold (real money in the game). At $.99 each or 8 for $6.80 they pretty cheap. Lures work to attract Pokémon to a particular Pokestop and can be used for up to 30 minutes each. My local Chipotle has a Pokestop inside and for the couple of hours they had lures set up, they saw a massive uptick in traffic and folks grabbing dinner while they scouted for Pokémon. It’s a super cheap investment for a ton of traffic, not to mention staying relevant and engaging with what’s on trend right now.
- Offer some sort of special for players. Much like businesses offer freebies or discounts to a Mayor in Foursquare, you can offer specials to players in Pokémon Go. Just post online or with in-store signage and let folks know. You can offer discounts to specific teams (like this restaurant did), players at certain levels, or even with game inspired food or drinks.
- If you are a shopping mall or happen to have an indoor track, attract players looking to hatch Pokémon eggs by offering a safe place for players to walk. The game encourages players to get out and hunt for Pokémon as well as walking powers the incubators to hatch eggs. However safety issues have become prevalent as players have been robbed and stumbled upon dead bodies, as well as players having reactions to the summer heat. Be a solution and let players know that they can come hunt for Pokémon with you! My local mall has several Pokestops and Gyms and all weekend players could be seen setting up lures and walking around the mall catching characters and taking advantage of the air conditioning.
If you normally offer free Wi-Fi and have electricity plugs available for your customers, consider putting out extension cords and charging cables and let people know you have a charging spot for them. This would be a great idea for a coffee shop to get folks to stop in, get out of the heat, and grab a drink or snack while they charge up. Extra points if you are also a Pokestop and can use lures to attract Pokémon to your customers. Snap a picture of your set up and post it to Facebook and Instagram to let potential customers know what you have to offer.
The Pokémon Go game is exploding and if you are looking for up-to-the-second content ideas and ways to attract more customers now is your chance to capitalize on the craze. If you use any of these ideas, please post up in the comments below and let me know! I’d love to see what worked for you and how your guests liked it.