Tasti D-Lite is making a big push to get its consumers chatting about the brand on social networks.
The frozen dessert chain has rolled out a new TastiRewards program that lets customers tie their loyalty cards to their accounts with Twitter and mobile social network Foursquare. They can then enable their accounts to send messages to the social networks when they use their card. Each time a user updates Twitter or Foursquare with updates related to the brand, they earn one point. It takes 50 points to earn a free Tasti D-Lite cup or cone.
A typical update would be "I just scored 5 TastiRewards points at Tasti
D-Lite Columbus Circle, NYC http://mytasti.com."
"Clearly you can see if someone has 1,000 followers and visits Tasti D-Lite once a week that message will get out there," said B.J. Emerson, director of information and social technologies at Tasti D-Lite.
The company is starting the program with 10 locations, including Nashville, Tenn., Scottsdale, Ariz., Houston and Miami. It plans to offer it in the spring to its 47 stores nationwide.
Tasti D-Lite is dipping into the trend of auto-updates that several Web services, like Foursquare itself, have used to grow. Foursquare lets users send their current status through Twitter, which has helped the service gain awareness. Foursquare now has about 200,000 users.
"They're sharing their Tasti D-Lite experience and earning points for something they may be doing already," Emerson said.
The company is no stranger to Twitter or Foursquare. It has an account on Twitter, run by Emerson, which has over 2,000 followers.
It was an early tester of Foursquare's nearby specials system. Through this, an offer at a nearby store is presented to Foursquare users when they "check in" at a location. Emerson said the program has shown promising results, particularly since he can track not just whether people viewed the offer but if they then went on to check in at a Tasti D-Lite.
"It's a small piece of information but a critical one," Emerson said.