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The hottest current topic in marketing circles is social media. The premise: The key to greater customer engagement—and ultimately increased profit—is aggressive use of Twitter, Facebook, and the like. Or so a multitude of papers, conferences, and symposia would have corporate marketers believe.
With the launch of its Go Places application on Facebook, JetBlue takes its place among the true believers, promising in its news release that "this is the first of many customer-driven promotions that JetBlue has planned for 2011 on Facebook Places."
We've been warned.
The sole purpose of the Go Places app is to earn JetBlue points. But before you go anywhere, or earn anything, you'll have to take many steps.
- Go to JetBlue's Facebook page.
- Click the Go Places tab.
- Click the Let's Go button.
- Allow JetBlue Go Places to access your "basic information."
- Register (you'll need your TrueBlue membership number at this point).
- Confirm your account.
- "Access Facebook Places on your mobile phone to check in at any U.S.-based JetBlue terminal location to unlock virtual and real rewards. Once you complete a check in task, the system will automatically trigger a request to reward your account."
- "Scroll through the JetBlue Badge section on the Go Places dashboard to learn how to unlock each badge and earn points. For example, every check in at a JetBlue terminal earns you 25 points (limit two check-ins every 24 hours, at two unique locations)."
The offer is in effect through March 1, or until 5.5 million points have been awarded.
Deal or No Deal
Never mind JetBlue's assertion that this promotion is "customer-driven," unless by that they mean that participating may drive their customers to distraction.
Rather, the goal would seem to be to train customers to use their smartphones to check in for JetBlue flights.
Using frequent flyer miles to encourage consumers to adopt new technology is a tried-and-true tactic. Remember when airlines offered bonus miles to book online? That was easy and rewarding for consumers, and represented a significant cost savings for the airlines. A win-win.
By contrast, this feels cumbersome and manipulative. And all that work to earn a measly 25 points ...?
Techies, hide your smartphones.
Reader Reality Check
Have you earned TrueBlue points through this promotion?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.