The Socii App Lets Users Get Free Food From Social Media Posts
Noting that it’s difficult for businesses to generate buzz using social media merely by asking people to “like” their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter, Victor Dweck saw an open opportunity to introduce a product that he says could change the way customers interact with establishments, while rewarding everyone involved.
Using the app Dweck developed, called Socii, users can reap the benefits of free food, or other goods and discounts, simply by posting photos, status updates, or sending Tweets about shops they are already visiting and sharing information about anyways. “What’s awesome is that these [photos and updates] are shared on peoples’ own walls—not the business pages—so it’s amazing word-of-mouth for the businesses,” says Dweck.
Dweck, a Northeastern University graduate, launched a beta version of Socii not more than 17 weeks ago, working exclusively for the time being with places like J.P. Licks, Tasty Burger, Thinking Cup, Flat Black Coffee, Finale Desserts, Trade, Max Brenner, Spike’s, Crazy Dough’s, and more, to connect customers with freebies, while at the same time increasing social engagement, and reach, in the social media universe. To do that, the app uses the most commonly activated social media sites that people are on, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and FourSquare.
Based on what type of social media platform people prefer, and how they use it, whether it be by sharing a photo of J.P. Licks on Instagram, or just following them on Twitter, a user accumulates points. The points vary based on the type of social media you use, and what activity someone chooses. The maximum amount of points for an activity is 200. Those points, overtime, then translate into a sort of digital cash that can be used to scoop up the rewards from an establishment.
To get started, after downloading the app, a user picks between the stores working with Socii, and based on their preference get a kick-off reward for their choice.
The more times a user promotes that establishment, the more options are unlocked, and the more businesses to use the app at and get free rewards from become available to the user, creating a game-like useage where “levels” need to be completed. “We do this so businesses can kind of have an idea of who likes them most, and put a game around it. We want you to prove you’re loyal and you really like a business,” says Dweck.
Since the launch in April, Socii has tracked how the app has changed the way people generate content about businesses, and how fans share their experiences. Tracking the data from the initial roll out, J.P. Licks, for example, showed an uptick of 275% on Facebook, and upped their Twitter follower count by 70% in under three months, says Dweck.
Jason Provost, marketing manager at J.P. Licks says Socii yields hundreds of organic posts about them monthly. “It’s…the best tool, other than ice cream, we’ve ever used to generate word-of-mouth.”
Dweck says it creates value for the business because they get “awesome advertising,” and it creates value for the customer, because it’s easy and socially fun. “It’s a win-win,” says Dweck, adding that of course, it’s also good for his own personal brand.
Dweck’s business model, as the company grows, will be based on charges per store on a monthly basis per location. They are not charging yet, because they are in beta version in Boston, he says. They are also thinking about doing a cost per activity model with bigger brands when the time comes. “We know at places like TGIF they spend tons of dollars on Facebook ads and Google ads for a pay-per-click model, but instead they could come to us,” and will generate a larger buzz, he says.
In time, he wants to spread the use nationally, and even dip into the retail side of things, allowing people to share photos of the clothes they bought, or stores they shop at, in order to get similar rewards.
Dweck say he has a few larger projects already in the works, but he couldn’t discuss them at this time.
For now, the operation is mainly focused on food, and businesses in the Boston area, and working on changing the way advertising is done. “We envision ourselves being able to plug in anyone into this model,” says Dweck.