Incentives have always been a marketing scheme designed to attract customers and build long-term value. UK-based holding company, Tragus Group, the owner of restaurant brands like Strada, Bella Italia and Café Rouge, is encouraging customers to share their experiences through the use of user-generated content – namely photos and videos – on Facebook and other social networks. In return, Targus will offer money saving vouchers in order to drive footfall.

The pitch: engagement via social media will produce greater customer loyalty. “We are very focused on generating real value from social media through more proactive engagement with our customers to help ensure that they become even more loyal to our brands, said Jemima Bird, Tragus Group marketing director in a Marketing Week article.

Italian restaurant chain, Bella Italia, launched a Facebook’ app in October, which users could then share their personalized pizzas on the social network and receive a promotional voucher, said the article. “The promotion ended in November and over 1,800 vouchers were downloaded during this time,” it added.

Our philosophy at SCT is that engagement in social media, in and of itself, is of little value. But as a means to an end – that of producing a verifiable return on investment – is another matter altogether. To quote Gordon Gecko from the movie Wall Street: “It’s all about the bucks, kid. The rest is conversation.” Apparently, Tragus hopes that conversation in social media through the use of user-generated content will translate into real-world dollar value.

Bella Italia Facebook page

Strada Facebook page