Pokémon Go and Your Small Business

It’s safe to say that no video game company in the world has enjoyed the monstrous success of the augmented reality mobile exploration game Pokémon Go. According to Inc., the game has been installed on twice as many phones as Tinder, has double the engagement of Snapchat and it is rising past Twitter in its percentage of daily active users.  We “poked” around the web (see what we did there?) to find out just how the small business owner can take advantage of this game to drive traffic and potentially increase profits.

The obvious first step for small business owners is to have working knowledge of the game. MacWorld.com has a comprehensive article that gives you all of the details here: The beginner’s guide to Pokémon Go: An FAQ on how to catch ’em all. You’ll want to take a look before you quickly throw the video game into your marketing strategy. Writer Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, who tweets at @geeklil, observed that Pokémon Go is lacking in beginner instruction. She writes that this may be on purpose as Pokémon Go has a huge social element. Fewer instructions means more people turning to each other for help. This type of organic interaction can drastically increasing awareness and engagement.

Whenever there’s a pop culture explosion, a fantastic source of information and observation is Reddit. User Override9636, took a look at the numbers:

If a business spends $100 for 14,500 pokecoins, they can buy lures for $0.59/lure. $100 gets you 170 lures and 85 hours worth of increased traffic. If you’re a bar in a college town/city, this is the greatest investment you can make right now.

We’ll go so far as to say that money spent to bring in customers can work for any small business, not just bars and restaurants. Increasing foot traffic is always a great opportunity to nurture existing customers and attract new ones.

Business News Daily is on it with their article: 4 Ways to Put “Pokémon Go” to Work for Your Small Business. Suggestions include hosting Poké-hunt or a Lure Party. (If you’re thinking “Huh?!?”, see beginners guide above) If you just don’t have the bandwidth to explore Pokémon Go, see if there’s a person on your team who is playing. Pick their brain and perhaps put them in charge of a Pokémon Go push.

We have a feeling that other companies are scrambling to recreate Pokémon Go fever. We’ll keep an eye out for more fads, tips and tricks that can immediately benefit the small business owner. For now, take heed of the observation by writer Walter Chen when writing about the game and small business: “The ROI here is ridiculous”