Written by Rick Mans

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Your social media strategy: free wifi; why creating a shareable experience matters

In some cases 95% of marketing budgets are spent on getting customers into a store. When customers finally made it to the store there is often no way to tell their friends what they are experiencing or to lookup some information they needed via their mobile devices. This is not only the case for retail stores. Most venues with a high entertainment value (holiday parks, amusement parks) or venues with a high hospitality level such as hotels or restaurants also don’t offer an easy way to share your experience. All these locations just simply lack connectivity such as a decent phone reception or WiFi.

The reason it is lacking is because of several myths and trends:

  • In hotels there is the worrying trend that the more expensive the hotel is, the more expensive the WiFi is.
  • In stores too many retailers are afraid that people will start comparing prices in store and will ran away.
  • In restaurants people are afraid that guests will be glued to their smartphones and won’t have any attention to the food or their fellow guests.
  • In some amusement parks people are afraid that having their guests share the pictures from the park will result in fewer people visiting the park.

As Ebenezer Scrooge already said: “Bah! Humbug!”. If you spent 95% of your budget on getting people in, why not make sure that when they are in, they can share why they are in and why others should join. Make it easy for them to share the experience. People won’t run out your store because your competitor has goods that are 2 cents cheaper, unless your service is so horrible it will drive them away. In restaurants people pay attention to their food and other people at the table because of the environment they are and a picture of an attraction in an amusement park cannot replace the real life experience.

If you are able to create an experience that people like and are willing to share, people will share it, if you at least make it easy for them to share. Think of offering free WiFi, offer them advice with which app on their mobile phone they could do really great things in sharing, let other people tell your story. Make it worth sharing and make sharing as frictionless as possible. The costs for having such a WiFi connection in place is basically just your marketing costs, since your customers will outmarket your marketing department in the end.