5 Social Gifting Apps That SMBs Can Use to Connect With Customers

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Social gifting apps let users send physical items or gift cards via Facebook or email, combining social media marketing and e-commerce. While some types of gifting platforms are meant to be used by big retailers and national brands, a number of new services have popped up that local merchants can use to fuel in-store transactions and increase their online presence. Here are five social gifting platforms perfectly tailored for SMBs.

1. Plumfare
Plumfare is a social gifting app focused on food and photography. It allows users to take a photo of an experience they’re enjoying — devouring a delicious slice of pizza, say — and send that photo to a friend. Through Plumfare, the photo then can be converted into a gift. Any business can have its offers integrated with Plumfare for free; the app charges users and sends the profits directly to the business. The app allows for promotion of local restaurants and their items (through photos) and creates a direct connection to customers via the gifts.

2. Treater
Treater is powered through Facebook, enabling users to send “treats” to their Facebook friends. The app lets merchants offer specific items, not just coupons, and the transactions resemble those of credit cards. Users redeem “treats” at local spots. This app helps connect merchants to their online social followers and allows for online transactions that translate into offline customers.

3. It’s On Me
It’s On Me is a social gifting app that works through Facebook, allowing users and businesses to send and offer gifts through the platform. The service lets users buy offers directly from businesses in their area or the recipient’s community. The app allows businesses to control what they offer and provides for direct consumer connections. It’s On Me enables local businesses to simultaneously grow their social media presence and e-commerce.

4. Boomerang
Any merchant can sign up for Boomerang, a Facebook-compatible service that helps business curate offer packages. The businesses get full control. There are zero upfront costs to the merchant; only a small commission goes to Boomerang, which is partially funded by daily deals giant Groupon.

5. Gratafy
Gratafy is a social gifting app directed at restaurants and nightlife. Based in Seattle, the company behind the newly launched app works with more than 40 venues in the Seattle area. Any local restaurant, bar or nightlife venue can sign up and the app lets users choose from a menu of items for each and select gifts at full price. Gratafy is also integrated with Facebook, allowing an SMB to build its social media presence since users can post on the site when they’ve used the app or sent gifts.

 Isa Jones is an assistant editor at Street Fight.

Image courtesy of Flickr user FutUndBeidl.