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Gap Forms Marketing Partnership with Facebook Places

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Social Answers Featured Article

November 08, 2010

Gap Forms Marketing Partnership with Facebook Places

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
TMCnet Contributor

In a push to begin competing with social networking check-in site Foursquare (News - Alert), Facebook's new Places service is making a big push via marketing partnerships to woo mobile shoppers. Clothing retailer Gap announced a promotion this week to give away 10,000 pairs of jeans to Facebook (News - Alert) Places users who “check in” to any Gap stores via Facebook's new Deals feature. Deals allows users to earn special discounts when checking in to different businesses via Facebook Places on their smartphones.

After checking in with Facebook Places, either via its iPhone (News - Alert) app or by visiting on another Web-enabled device, shoppers were required to show their check-in to a Gap employee. Each store was given an allotment of a certain number of free jeans, and in most cases, they were reportedly gone by mid-morning.

This is just one of a number of mobile and social media-based campaigns Gap has launched in recent months to get shoppers into its stores. In August, Gap partnered with daily deals site Groupon to offer $50 worth of Gap merchandise for $25, selling 441,000 Groupons in total and smashing previous sales records in the process. Gap also offered 25 percent discounts to all shoppers who checked in to a retail location via location-based social network Foursquare that same month.

Though there was no shortage of participants and the free jeans were given away quickly at most Gap stores, some bloggers wondered about the narrowness of the promotion and whether it's likely to make a difference or encourage non-users onto check-in services. Advertising Age (News - Alert) (News - Alert) blogger, Matt Carmichael, who participated in the deal, said, “There were signs that social media, and especially location-based marketing, still have a ways to go before being considered mainstream. You'd suspect longer lines for a door-buster like this if it were advertised in traditional media. Of the first 25 people at the store, I follow at least three of them on Twitter. But maybe this kind of promotion will help the services catch on. One friend posted on Facebook, 'Never thought I'd use any location-based social media tools ... ever ... until the Gap offered me free pants. And it's just that simple, folks.'”

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

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