Plink, a Facebook Credits-based loyalty program that rewards Facebook users for their offline purchases, officially launched yesterday.
The concept isn’t new: Sign your credit or debit card up on their website, make a purchase from one of the participating restaurants or retailers, and start earning rewards. What makes Plink different is the blending between offline and online currency. When a user shops at one of the more than 25,000 participating franchises across the country (including Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts, 7-11, Outback Steakhouse, among others), users receive Facebook Credits to be applied to purchasing premium rewards from their favorite Facebook games.
“Facebook Credits is the missing ingredient that’s been needed to connect social media to offline sales,” said Peter Vogel, co-founder of Plink. “Now with the ‘glue’ of Facebook Credits our national restaurant and offline retailer partners have a way to tap into the nearly 800 million users on Facebook, motivate them to become loyal customers, and reward them.”
Although virtual gaming is growing rapidly in popularity, there is still a fair amount of dissent toward its adoption, even among avid Facebook users. That’s why Facebook is looking to expand t’s reach and allow users to purchase a range of digital goods such as music and movies. If Facebook has the mobile payments industry in their cross hairs, the incentive for rewarding Facebook Credits could prove to be even more enticing to users.
Plink provides an easy-to-measure marketing program for participating businesses. In comparison to mass-media advertising campaigns, franchises and large retailers get precise quantitative figures as a result of joining this virtual rewards program.
To drum up interest, Plink directed an advertising campaign at the 60 million Facebook users who were already signed up for the social media’s most popular gaming applications.
The Denver-based startup was co-founded by Peter Vogel, Matthew Lloyd, and David Asseoff.