5 Ways to Use Pokemon Go for Business

Pokemon Go for Business

 

So if you haven’t heard yet there is a new mobile game and it seems like just about everyone is playing. Pokémon Go was released on July 6th in the US and the response has been overwhelming; to the point that users are often getting error messages because the servers are overloaded.
The augmented reality game has players running all over to catch Pokémon, train them, and hatch eggs. It’s addictive and fun and kids and adults everywhere are loving it. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s a complete guide to getting started and everything you need to know to become a Pokémon Master. Also be sure to read this guide: Ten Things I Wish I Knew when I Started Pokémon Go” (including a secret hack to get a Pikachu!)

As a level 9 Pokemaster and a member of #TeamMystic here are my suggestions on how you can leverage this insanely popular game for your business.

Here are 5 ideas you can start with:

  1. Let people know if your location is a Pokestop or Gym. These are geotagged locations in the game that require a player to be very close in order to engage with the game. You cannot request to become a stop (they are predetermined by the game) but if you have one of these at your place of business, thank your lucky stars now because you are about to get some traffic! Posting on your social media accounts lets players know that your location is a part of the game and that your business is open to having players come by.
  2. Let players know what Pokemon are near you. If Pokémon can be found near your location, snap a picture and let folks know! Pidgeys and Rattatas are super prevalent but Pikachu’s and Charizards are not. If you have any lurking around your store players will want to know. This is also a great way to show off your business or location like this museam in Arkansas did. Social media is inherently social and this is what folks are talking about right now. Join in the conversation and engage with your customers and players!
  3. Invest in Lures. If you have a Pokestop near or in one of your buildings, install a Lure to attract Pokémon to your Pokestop and the players hunting them will follow. Lures can be found or bought for gold (real money in the game). At $.99 each or 8 for $6.80 they pretty cheap. Lures work to attract Pokémon to a particular Pokestop and can be used for up to 30 minutes each. My local Chipotle has a Pokestop inside and for the couple of hours they had lures set up, they saw a massive uptick in traffic and folks grabbing dinner while they scouted for Pokémon. It’s a super cheap investment for a ton of traffic, not to mention staying relevant and engaging with what’s on trend right now.
  4. Offer some sort of special for players. Much like businesses offer freebies or discounts to a Mayor in Foursquare, you can offer specials to players in Pokémon Go. Just post online or with in-store signage and let folks know. You can offer discounts to specific teams (like this restaurant did), players at certain levels, or even with game inspired food or drinks.
  5. If you are a shopping mall or happen to have an indoor track, attract players looking to hatch Pokémon eggs by offering a safe place for players to walk. The game encourages players to get out and hunt for Pokémon as well as walking powers the incubators to hatch eggs. However safety issues have become prevalent as players have been robbed and stumbled upon dead bodies, as well as players having reactions to the summer heat. Be a solution and let players know that they can come hunt for Pokémon with you! My local mall has several Pokestops and Gyms and all weekend players could be seen setting up lures and walking around the mall catching characters and taking advantage of the air conditioning.

 

Bonus!

If you normally offer free Wi-Fi and have electricity plugs available for your customers, consider putting out extension cords and charging cables and let people know you have a charging spot for them. This would be a great idea for a coffee shop to get folks to stop in, get out of the heat, and grab a drink or snack while they charge up. Extra points if you are also a Pokestop and can use lures to attract Pokémon to your customers. Snap a picture of your set up and post it to Facebook and Instagram to let potential customers know what you have to offer.

 

The Pokémon Go game is exploding and if you are looking for up-to-the-second content ideas and ways to attract more customers now is your chance to capitalize on the craze. If you use any of these ideas, please post up in the comments below and let me know! I’d love to see what worked for you and how your guests liked it.

10 ways to Use Pokemon Go on Campus

 

10 ways to use pokemon go on campus

 

So if you haven’t heard yet there is a new mobile game and it seems like just about everyone is playing. Pokémon Go was released on July 6th in the US, New Zealand, and Australia and the response has been overwhelming; to the point that users are often getting error messages because the servers are overloaded. Indeed it looks like Nintendo has pushed back the UK release date to further shore up their servers and the European and Asian markets should see the game launch a few days from now once upgrades can be put into place to handle the expected demand.

In fact in addition to adding around 7.5 BILLION dollars to Nintendo’s stock value, its number of daily users is about to surpass Twitter in just the 5 days it has been available.

The augmented reality game has players running all over to catch Pokémon, train them, and hatch eggs. It’s addictive and fun and students everywhere are loving it.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s a complete guide to getting started and everything you need to know to become a Pokémon Master. Also be sure to read this guide: Ten Things I Wish I Knew when I Started Pokémon Go” (including a secret hack to get a Pikachu!) Down load the game now and find out what all the fuss is about!

So how can you leverage this insanely popular game for your college or university? Here are 10 ideas you can start with:

10 ways to use Pokemon Go on campus

  1. Map your campus’ Pokestops and gyms on a campus map and share it on FB and IG. Bonus if you can give some pro tips like how close you need to activate one of the stops. If your students are as ravenous as mine, they will love the helpful boost and it’s likely to get shared and liked A LOT.
  2. When posting the campus map or about the Pokémon Go game, encourage students to use your hashtag or tag your campus account to help other students find and locate Pokémon on campus. This is a great way to get in on the fun by helping game players without being stuffy. Check out Valdosta State’s post as an example.Valdosta State
  3. Get Alumni in on the fun. It’s not just kids and teens who are playing, many of the players are adults! Middle Tennessee State University’s Alumni Association posted this about alumni coming back to campus and engaging with students and new freshmen. Its all about engagement and since everyone is already excited about the game, it’s a natural extension to share this excitement on your social media channels.
  4. Invest in Lures. These can be bought for gold (real money in the game). At $.99 each or 8 for $6.80 they pretty cheap. Lures work to attract Pokémon to a particular Pokestop and can be used for up to 30 minutes each. Cheaper than a Facebook ad!If you have a Pokestop near or in one of your buildings, install a Lure to attract Pokemon (and the student’s chasing them) to your location. This is a great idea USF used to boost attendance at a recent ice-cream social for their College of Education to encourage walk-by traffic. For events meant to get students out and meeting each other this is a great way to lure them to your location.
  5. Create content for other social media channels. Have you found a particularly awesome Pokémon on your campus? Since the game allows for a character to be found by multiple players in the same area, scout out locations on your campus and find them, then snap a picture to post on Instagram. Bonus if you can give an exact location and/or time where the Pokémon was found. Webster University posted this pic of a Pokémon trying to park without a permit, and it’s getting 5x the normal amount of engagement on their IG account. Millsap’s College and University of Central Oklahoma students are loving it too. Harvard tweeted about Zubats taking over a campus landmark. The University of Florida caught Pidgeys in their stadium (along with 3,000 likes and over 400 shares!). UT Dallas is finding Pokemon on their campus monuments. UW-Madison has integrated it into campus landmarks. Shots featuring students playing the game and screenshots are easy content ideas especially for this week, to be posting on your school’s channels.   UF
    webster
    UW MadisonHarvard
  6. Battle a rival campus. Texas State and Texas A&M held a Pokémon Battle on twitter and it was glorious. What a creative way to use the game and a campus rivalry for some massive retweets and engagement!
  7. Live stream a Pokémon hunt. If your campus has a Pokestop or Gym, try doing a short Facebook Live or Periscope of a hunt. Bonus if you can also use a Lure to ensure some consistent catches, and live stream the fun your students are having with the game. Short interviews and interactions with students playing the game and the excitement of when they catch one. If you have a Gym on campus live stream players giving training tips and talking about their Pokémon. Students love to be asked to talk about themselves and Pokémon Go players seem extra eager to connect with and talk to each other.
    texas state safety
  8. Support your student players. Students have been seen playing the game all hours of the day and night, which for some campuses can cause for safely concerns especially after reports of staged thefts in which players are lured to locations and then robbed. Campus police should be extra vigilant especially this week and campuses can post safety announcements and tips reminding students to not walk alone on campus at night. Also a great opportunity to make students aware of campus escort or evening safe team / safe ride programs on your campus. Check out Texas State’s tweet and graphic for more ideas of what this could look like.SoutheasternCAB
  9. Pokémon Go is battery hog, so players will need to charge their devices especially with extended game play. If your office is located in a prime hunting ground or if you would like to encourage students to drop in, set up a PokeCharge area with extension cords, extra outlets, charging cables and even snacks and drinks if you have them. It’s a great way for student activities offices, (really any campus office) to get in on the excitement as well as encourage student interaction that they would otherwise normally not have. Southeastern Louisiana created graphics to post around their campus letting students know about stops while also getting attention for their Campus Activities Board.We are always looking at ways to get students to come into our offices and connect with staff, here’s a super simple way to do just that!
  10. Host a meetup. Scouting for Pokémon is more fun with friends! These can be especially fun in the evenings or off hours and when sponsored by a student group or student government can be a great way to combine safely in numbers and also getting students out and about on campus. If your campus has lots of freshmen on campus this summer getting acclimated this would be a great no cost way to get them out of their residence halls and interacting with each other. If you are having a night event try handing out glow stick necklaces and bracelets to students as they trek around campus in their groups. It makes the whole thing so much more fun!

There you have it! 10 Ways To Use Pokémon Go on Your Campus. The game has only been around for a few days and we are just scratching the surface of what is possible. It’s a big buzz on college campuses nationwide and as university social media professional showcasing how much fun our students are having on campus makes for great content and engagement all around.

How has your campus reacted to the Pokémon Go craze? Have you used the game to encourage engagement or created posts and pictures around the excitement? We would love to see them! Share them in the comments below!

Use a #Hashtag Properly! Please.

So much truth in this article. Please for the love of god people, this is not hard stuff.

|onebitshort|

I’m starting to lose my mind, there are so many misuses of #HashTags that is drives me bonkers!!! For the love of social media, PLEASE CAPITALIZE THE FIRST LETTER OF EACH WORD! People put so many words together and don’t capitalize the first letter of each word and it’s nearly impossible to decipher what that person is actually trying to say! Before I begin my rant, lets define HASHTAG:

hashtag: “[on social-networking websites] a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.” (Dictionary.com)

Ok, fairly clear right? How about some simple rules.

1. CapitalizeEachWord
2. #Don’t #hashtag #every #word and don’t use hashtags in place of spaces
3. Keep hashtags relevant to the comment #platypus
4. Check the hashtag before using it

Very simple, remember those four and you’ll be a…

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A letter to my Freshmen

This was passed along to me, and I have used it for all my freshmen. You can print it, email it, or just post it on your office door but I have been told its been very impactful for my students.This year I printed it for each student, put it in an envelope and gave them instructions for to open it until the end of their day when they are alone.

Tampa

Florida. Beaches, shopping, theme parks, relaxing. There is no shortage of things to do in this area. But beyond the touristy things, what is there? In town and looking to explore Tampa the way the locals do? Then look no further! I have lived in Tampa my whole life and here are a few of my recommendations for everything you must do while you are in town.

Eats

One of the best things about Tampa is the food. Since many people move here from all over the world, you can find authentic food from just about any region/culture at the local places. Pizza, Phillys, Tacos, and the famous Cubans, here are a few can’t miss places:

Mise en Place

 

Recently named the #1 restaurant in the Bay Area Mise en Place is located right downtown (and also has its own Wiki page, its that popular!) Featuring New American Cuisine with a regional flair, Chef Marty Blitz uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Try the “Get Blitzed” tasting menu; its a sampling of all of the Chef’s favorite dishes that week.

 

The Columbia

 

A Tampa Landmark since 1905 the Columbia can be found in Historic Ybor City (not far from downtown Tampa). It serves incredible Spanish food and the interior of the resturant is a beautiful old world style. Try the 1905 Salad, or the Tapas (small plates) if you are in the mood to share with friends. Oh and don’t forget to try their sangria! Its amazing!

 

Ulele

www.ulele.com

Photo Credit; http://www.ulele.com

 

The same family that founded The Columbia is behind the hottest new place in South Tampa, Ulele (pronounced You-lay-lee). The food here is out of this world good, and the menu is a mix of Florida seafood and southern comfort. Ulele pays homage to the area’s former Native American inhabitants  both in the menu and with its name. They are also a working brewery if you are into craft beers and offer tours. Located along the riverwalk they are next to the Water Works Park. Ulele is fast becoming a Tampa favorite!

 

 

 

Moxies

 

If you are looking for a great place to grab lunch downtown be sure to stop by Moxies. They have sandwiches, soups, salads, and the biggest homemade cookies you have ever seen. Bonus they also have a full coffee bar and homemade ice cream. My favorite is the Amore sandwich (add tomatos!) and the out-of-this-world pasta salad. You won’t regret it!

 

Datz Deli

Datz

Photo Credit: College Humor

 

Not technically downtown Datz is in near by South Tampa. A super popular brunch spot, Datz has great good and ambiance. Make reservations or be prepared to wait for a while, Datz is a Tampa institution and incredibly popular. But that’s how you know it’s good! While you wait, pop over to Datz Dough next store and check out the dessert cases and pastries. Its worth the trip!

 

 

 

Oxford Exchange

Photo Credit: Shannon Berrey Design Blog

Photo Credit: Shannon Berrey Design Blog

Located just over the river from Downtown and across from the University of Tampa Oxford Exchange is an upscale yet relaxed location to grab a bite to eat and socialize. Grab a coffee or a tea at the bar, lounge in the overstuffed chairs, or poke around their shop. OE is a local favorite and will be yours too!

 

Drinks

Its probably no secret that Tampa likes to drink and party. There is a vibrant craft beer scene, and no shortage of bars and clubs all over the city. Here are a few of my favorites near downtown.

Jackson’s Bistro

One of the trendy places to see and be seen there are few places hotter on a friday night than Jackson’s. Located on Harbor Island, Jaskson’s has great drinks, and even better food. At night the rooftop terrace turns into a nightclub with a South Beach vibe and the young and beautiful take over. Definitely a Tampa must-do!

 

 

 

Fly Bar

If you are anywhere near downtown, stop in to Fly Bar. A popular after-work watering hole, the Fly Bar outside patio is one of the places to see and be seen in Downtown Tampa. The drinks are great and dinner on their rooftop deck in the evening overlooking the city is a great date night. Bonus that they are located next to the Tampa mural!

 

 

 

 

Floridan Palace & The Sapphire Bar

Hotel Floridan

Photo Credit: K Sereno

Located in the newly restored Floridan Palace (the sign on top says Hotel Floridan) the Sapphire bar is all elegance and a great excuse to see the inside of the hotel. Built in 1926 the hotel is all old world charm and grand elegance. No visit to Tampa would be complete without checking it out.

 

 

 

 

Cigar City Brewing

cigarcitybrewing.com

Photo Credit: cigarcitybrewing.com

No trip to Tampa would be complete without checking out our Craft Beer scene. In the past decade Tampa has become a mecca for those who love beer. One the best breweries in town is Cigar City Brewing company. Although they are not located downtown (they are several miles away on Dale Mabry) it is totally worth the trip. Take a brewery tour (it comes with a beer in a souvenir glass!) and learn all about how beer is made, bottled, and shipped.

 

 

 

Ciros Speakeasy

Tampa has its own speakeasy but you have to know where to find it. Here’s a hint; its on the first floor of a building at Howard and Bayshore. Don’t look for a sign, cause there isn’t one. But you do need to know the password and it changes daily. Find a local we will show you how it works.  Once inside its like a step back in time as the staff (and many patrons!) are in authentic 1920’s garb. If you didn’t pack your 1920’s gear, still be sure to dress up, there is a dress code. The drink menu is really more of a small novel and features appropriately old fashioned drinks. Anyone in the mood for a gimlet? Definitely the coolest bar you have ever been to!

Things to See

Now that the important things are out of the way, get out and do something! There are many things to do in the area both indoor and outdoor. Its very helpful to have a car as there is extremely limited public transit but here are a few of my picks that are walking distance from the downtown area.

The Tampa Theater

IMG_4917

Photo Credit: K Sereno

Catch a movie, take a tour, or just get a picture with the marquee out front, no trip to Tampa is complete without a visit to the Tampa Theater. Opened in 1926 the Tampa Theater is an atmospheric theater designed by famous theater palace architect John Eberson. On the historic register, the Tampa Theater has been named one of the top 10 movie palaces in the world by The Credits. Before each movie the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ entertains the audience. Step back in time and check this place out. You won’t soon forget it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tampa Mural

Photo Credit: KSereno

Photo Credit: KSereno

 

Located on the north side of downtown, the Tampa Mural can be found on the side of the PP+K Advertising Agency. Stop by at some point during your trip and get a picture to prove you were here!

 

 

 

 

University of Tampa

Phot Credit: K Sereno

 

The Minarets of the Plant Hotel on the University of Tampa campus have become an iconic part of the city’s skyline. Check out their campus along the river, and get great photos from across the river in Curtis Hixon Park. There is even a historic tour of Plant Hall.

 

 

 

 

Curtis Hixon Park: (Including Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa Museum of Art, and the Glazer Children’s Museum)

Curtis Hixon is the park at the northern end of the new Tampa Riverwalk. It is the site for many urban happenings, concerts, and large scale events like Margarita Fest and this weekend’s Gasparilla Music Festival. From the park you can walk along the river south to MacDill park, Harbor Island, and Channelside. Boardering the park you will find the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa Museum of Art, and the Glazer Children’s Museum. Check them all out if you have some time.

 

 

 

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Photo Credit: K Sereno

Photo Credit: K Sereno

Its not all booze and pirates in Tampa!

If you are into stunning architecture, check out Sacred Heart Church in downtown. Open daily, it is absolutely stunning inside and out. A dozen stained glass windows, incredibly detailed alter and original tile work make this a must see. Mass is offered 5 times on Sundays with other services during the week.

 

 

 

Bayshore Boulevard

 

Officially the longest continuous sidewalk in the world, Bayshore is the site for the infamous Gasparilla Pirate Invasion Parade and a favorite for local runners. Lined with massive mansions and the trendy Hyde Park & South Tampa neighborhoods Bayshore is a great place to watch the sunrise, or just stroll along the water.

 

 

 

 

Did I leave anything out? Let me know your favorite place in the comments!

New Semester Play List

If you are like me and work in higher education you are probably experiencing a wonderful time of year known as “move-in”, or “add/drop”. Where the days begin at un-holy hours, swilling gallons of coffee, all of the events we prepped for all summer are happening RIGHT NOW, and students are all of a sudden back on campus. EEEEkkk! Is it really fall already??

I feel your stress. I’m right there with you.

What you need is a get-pumped-playlist. It’s a proven scientific fact that fast paced music with a strong base line actually gives you energy (I don’t know the exact study, but you can google it). Seriously this actually works.

So here are my top songs that I have on repeat every morning this week while worshiping the Starbucks gods.

Pompeii by Bastille.

Yes its about a natural disaster where everyone dies, but its just so peppy!

All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor   

All of her sass and a 1950’s housewife style? LOVE HER!

Miss Movin’ On by Fifth Harmony 

You can’t listen to any radio station this summer and not hear this song at least 10 times. Cause its awesome!

Bartender by Lady Antebellum

Night out with the ladies getting over an ex? Sounds like way more fun than I’m having right now.

Shake It by Metro Station

Just try not to dance. Its not possible. Just give in and Shake It!

We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus

Yea, she’s a hot mess sometimes but aren’t we all?

Crazy Lucky by Better Than Ezra

Great song. Great lyrics. Catchy hook .

Bottoms Up by Brantley Gilbert

Turnt Up country style with great guitars.

We Are Tonight by Billy Currington

I saw this one live in concert this summer with my guy, and it was a close to a religious experience as I have had yet. Awesome!

Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…” Long days, little sleep, but the excitement of a new semester? Lets do this!!

Bang Bang by Jessie J

Maybe its the clapping, but this song is just so dang catchy!

Alone Together by Fall Out Boy

Another song from a summer concert and I am just in love with this one. Love me some FallOut Boy!

Boom Clap by Charlie XCX

I first heard this getting on Virgin Airways plane in California and its been on repeat on my ipod ever since. I dare you to try not to dance to it.

Shake It by Taylor Swift

This song just dropped this week and I’ve ready listened to it 50+ times. “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”

So that’s my playlist? Anything you would add? Post up below. Happy Move In Day / Add Drop Week friends!