Clif Bar Uses Foursquare’s API for Geo-Targeted Twitter Campaign

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By restricting advertisers from targeting users at specific locations, Twitter has made it difficult for big brands to use its platform when running geo-targeted campaigns in the past. Clif Bar found a way around this challenge earlier this summer, when the company began asking customers with GPS-enabled devices to voluntarily tweet their locations for the chance to win coupons and prizes. In the month since the contest’s official launch in July, more than 400 people have already entered, resulting in 9,000 page views and 2,200 video views. Here, Doug Cornille, Clif Bar’s brand director, talks more about the campaign.

Tell me about the Twitter campaign you’re running right now. How did it come about?
Clif Bar’s approach to marketing is very grassroots. We are focused on interacting and engaging with our consumers in-person—such as at athletic events or expos, where we can share our story and learn about their passions and adventures. We recognize that our fans have on-the-go lifestyles, and to maintain these interactions and expand our reach, we launched MojoGo [the new mobile campaign].

How does the MojoGo campaign actually work?
We created a special handle for the program, @CLIFMojoGo, to accept entries and engage enthusiasts in the program. During an outdoor adventure, [people] tweet to @CLIFMojoGo from a GPS-enabled mobile device. When the geo-targeted location is verified as a park, beach or trail, [we will] direct the user to to receive a coupon for a free Clif Mojo trail mix bar. Each additional verified tweet to @CLIFMojoGo will enter the participant into a sweepstakes for a chance to win great prizes. Individuals without a Twitter account can also enter by sending an email.

Why make the campaign geo-targeted? Why not just run a standard Twitter promotion?
Clif Bar’s heritage stems from outdoor adventure. We chose a geo-targeted campaign to encourage participants to get outside, discover a new trail, and just play in nature’s backyard. As a company, Clif Bar participates in a number of local events, allowing us to engage with our enthusiasts face to face. However, with the increased use of social media by our consumers, we felt it was the right time to launch a virtual initiative to continue interacting with fans.

How do you know people are actually outside while they’re tweeting? Do you have a way to verify that?
When participants send a tweet with a GPS-enabled device, we confirm their location with a back-end scrub of Foursquare’s open API. If they are within our predefined radius of an outdoor location, they are sent a reply from our @CLIFMojoGo account that includes the coupon redemption link.

What obstacles did you run into when putting together the campaign?
Clif Bar’s marketing philosophy is to be as inclusive as possible, something that can be challenging when relying on participants using geo-location to confirm their proximity to a park, beach or trail. To help solve this problem, we added the email submission element to allow users that may not have location-enabled smartphones to enter with a picture from the outdoors.

Now that the campaign has been up and running for a few months, what has the response been? Has the campaign been a success?
We are proud to say that thus far, we have secured more than 9,000 page views and 2,200 video views, with people spending more than three minutes on the page. To date, we’ve had more than 400 people enter the program via tweet or email. Consumer engagement will be the main measure of success for MojoGo. Since this is Clif Bar’s first virtual geo-tagged campaign, we are looking at our level of interaction with fans more than the amount of coupons we give away.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.